Michael Anthony Talks Chickenfoot And Van Halen

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Could any interview with any member of the new “supergroup” Chickenfoot be complete without some explanation regarding that crazy name? When the group’s bassist, Michael Anthony, talked with Detroit radio station WRIF recently, that was the first issue that came up, and much to everyone’s surprise, there actually is some logic behind the name choice.

Anthony admits that nobody seems to care for the name, but as he rightly points out, once you hear it you know who it is. It turns out the name was originally chosen when Anthony, Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith were jamming down at Hagar’s club. Since there were three of them, and a chicken’s foot has three prominent toes, the guys –- likely in the midst of a tequila-fueled evening – gave birth to the name that everyone seems to hate.

Chickenfoot Anthony admits that they did spend some time researching other names and getting a bit frustrated when they plugged various selections into Google and discovered that another band was already using the name. When Google informed them that there were no results for any bands using the name "Chickenfoot,” Anthony goes ahead and admits that they “were just stupid enough to take it.”

Anthony also explains that the logo that they came up with for the band actually makes sense for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it kind of looks like a chicken foot and secondly, the peace sign, which closely resembles the logo, was referred to as “the footprint of the great American chicken” by some U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam era.

So, it appears that there is a little bit of history behind the choice of the name, although Anthony admits it was recognized only after the name had been chosen.

These days we also expect to hear something about the recent war of words that has been going on between Michael Anthony and Eddie Van Halen, and this interview did not disappoint. Anthony maintains that he never quit the band, despite Van Halen’s recent comments to Rolling Stone that he did. Don’t expect a lot of vitriol and insults directed towards Eddie however. Anthony doesn’t seem like that kind of guy and sounds like he would just like to move on and stop rehashing the past drama of his years with Van Halen.

Although he does not come right out and say it, Anthony does hint that life in Van Halen was a bit like living under a dictatorship. He seems quite happy with the way things work in his new band, and describes his later years in Van Halen as a more “choked,” indicating that he didn’t have the creative input that he may have liked and was more-or-less told what to play.

According to Anthony, the creative process at work inside Chickenfoot is much more democratic and each member is free to run with his own ideas and freely inject as much creative input as he wants.

There’s a lot more to listen to in this interview, including a little chat that the jocks have after they get off the line with Michael Anthony where they basically side with Anthony over the whole Van Halen thing. Going on my own gut feeling regarding that issue, I’d say that I have to agree with them.

Check out the full audio interview at WRIF.

1 Comment

  1. cameron November 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I’m glad that Michael Anthony is putting all the bullshit between him and Eddie behind. Mike may be the most undrrated bassist in rock, but he still knows how to keep a party going, and he is still singing his ass off today; keep up the good work, Mike!!!!!!!!!!!

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