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Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith Explains Silly Side of Bombastic Meatbats

Chad Smith
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

You’d think holding down the drum kit for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Chickenfoot would be more than enough for most guys, but Chad Smith apparently needed another band to pass the time — and he found it with his instrumental side project, the Bombastic Meatbats.

As you might have already guessed from the band’s name, the Meatbats give Smith a chance to highlight his silly side, right down to song titles like ‘Oops, I Spilled My Beer’ and ‘Lobster Legs.’

“The songs are just all these inside jokes, which is the way the band works,” Smith explained to Billboard in a recent interview. “We have nicknames for everybody in the band, everybody that works for us. So because you don’t have to name any songs from whatever the words are, we just have some fun with them. That’s the personality of the band.”

That should come as no surprise to fans of either of Smith’s other bands — the Chili Peppers gained early notoriety for their outlandish stage getups and proudly unrefined sense of humor, while Chickenfoot frontman Sammy Hagar is one of the more enthusiastically buffoonish rock stars of his generation. But as with either of those groups, just because they’re joking around doesn’t mean they don’t know how to play.

“We were born out of being a live band,” explained Smith, discussing the Meatbats’ new double-disc live album, ‘Live Meat and Potatoes.’ “We’re not a jazz band; we have structured songs, but in those structures there’s room for improvisation and we just stretch out and listen to each other and play off each other and have little musical conversations. That’s our thing. That’s the Meatbats.”

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