Joe Satriani Details The Expenses Of Working With Chad Smith

During a recent appearance on ‘That Jamieson Show,’ Joe Satriani reflected on his creative process while collaborating with different artists such as Chad Smith. The guitarist stated that it’s expensive to hire musicians like Smith, so he had to be prepared to record his 2017 album.

Joe Satriani teased his then-upcoming 16th studio album entitled ‘What Happens Next‘ on September 16, 2017, via a post on his social media accounts. Four months later, the guitarist released the record that featured Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes. The album peaked at no. 42 on US Billboard 200 and no. 40 on UK Albums Chart.

This wasn’t the first time Satriani worked with Smith since the guitarist joined supergroup Chickenfoot in May 2008, a band that consists of former Van Halen members, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith. The band released its eponymous debut album on June 5, 2009, and Satriani received a co-writing credit on all the songs on the record. Their follow-up named ‘Chickenfoot III’ was released on September 27, 2011.

Satriani recently reflected on the difference between his work with Chad Smith for his album and their albums for Chickenfoot. According to the guitarist, it’s very expensive to work with musicians like Smith since it’s hard to schedule even ten days to collaborate. This is why he had to be prepared for their recording process to prevent losing time, which meant losing money.

When it comes to their recordings as members of Chickenfoot, Satriani didn’t do any preparations for their albums since they didn’t have a strict schedule for the time they’d spend in the studio. Therefore, the only two albums he recorded with Smith without worrying about the time were the albums they released with the band.

When asked if the recording process happened naturally, Satriani said:

“No, I have to figure out the vibe ahead of time. It’s expensive if you decide to hire guys like Chad Smith. You got to find ten days when he’s not working first of all with Chad, and it’s really tough. Every minute you’re in the studio, it costs hundreds and thousands of dollars. You’ve got all these expensive people around, and you’ve been in an expensive room like Sunset Sound or Skywalker or something like that.

So I have to come in really clear, and they really want to know from me, ‘What’s the vibe? How far can I go? Should I hold back? What should my drums sound like?’ all that kind of stuff. So, I have to be really prepared. The only time I’ve done albums where we haven’t been prepared were the two Chickenfoot albums because we never knew when we were going to record.”

You can watch the interview below.