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Chickenfoot Drummer Chad Smith Looks to Kenny Aronoff to Replace Him on Tour

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Side projects aren’t supposed to conflict with a musician’s main gig, but sometimes it does happen — just ask Chad Smith, the longtime Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer who also keeps the beat for the supergroup Chickenfoot.

The Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot have new studio albums coming out very soon. And with the likelihood that both bands will be on the road at the same time, Smith has called in a ringer to keep his ‘Foot stool warm: good buddy Kenny Aronoff.

“I’ve got my day job I got to go to . . . [so] I’m gonna hand over the sticks to Kenny, but you know what? It’s not permanent — it’s just for a little bit,” Smith says in a recent video post.

Former Van Halen frontman and Chickenfoot singer Sammy Hagar seems totally fine with Smith’s selection of the hard-hitting Aronoff, best known for his extended stints backing John Mellencamp and John Fogerty.

“He beats his drum set to death,” Hagar says. “He doesn’t play them. He beats them to death. … We need that power.”

The new Chili Peppers album, ‘I’m With You’ — the band’s follow-up to 2006’s ‘Stadium Arcadium’ and first album with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer — is due Monday. The group has already lined up a tour of South America and Europe that begins Sept. 11 in Bogota, Colombia, and ends Dec. 17 in Madrid, Spain.

Chickenfoot’s second album, the oddly titled ‘III,’ will be released Sept. 27. That same day, the band — which also features guitarist Joe Satriani and bassist Michael Anthony — will take part in a live show webcast (details are forthcoming).


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