In tonight's episode of 'The Simpsons' entitled 'Covercraft', musician Sammy Hagar guest stars as himself. The episode sees Homer take up playing the bass guitar and forming a cover band with some of the other Dads in town. Their success is soon blown out of the water, with a unlikely star in Apu. The episode airs Sunday, November 23rd at 8 p.m./7 p.m. central on FOX. TVRage sat in on a conference call with Sammy to talk about the episode.
What was going through your mind when they approached you to be on The Simpsons?
I liked the list of people that have done it before me and I was honored just starting right there. It’s like something new, something different. I’ve only done a few voiceover things in my life and I really like doing it. I’m kind of like I like being a little bit of a character myself, you know what I mean? Like I get to overdo it and every time I overdo it around the house, I get criticism from my kids and stuff, so it’s really nice to be able to overdo it and get away with it.
What was your favorite thing about the experience of doing this episode?
My favorite thing was that it was something different for me. Like I’ve been a character on some various cartoon shows or stuff or in magazines or stuff, but I never got to do my own voice. They usually made up my own voice or they made up my voice and so I think getting to experiment with my own personality, I know it sounds like, this sounds deeper than probably it may seem like it was, but for me it was fun with the director saying, “Oh, now try something a little more high energy; now try something like you’re laid back like you’re high or something” and try this and try that, so it kind of fun to experiment with my own personality I got to tell you. And when I heard it back when I finally I saw the episode, they let me see it ahead of time and I heard my voice, I thought that wasn’t me, you know what I mean? So it was kind of cool just jumping out of character.
What do you think of how your character looks?
You know a Simpson is a Simpson. I don’t care who you are if they make you look like a Simpson, I don’t think anyone can relate to themselves being a Simpson. When I saw it, I went, whoa, hey, hold on here, it’s pretty funny. But no, like I said, I can’t relate too much to the character except you know they got my tennis shoes really right; and they got my flowered shirt on, my kind of semi-Hawaiian lifestyle look, but no, I couldn’t relate to the body and face look.
Do you have a favorite Simpson character yourself?
Yes, Sammy Hagar, he’s my new favorite character.
Are you looking forward to reacting to fan's comments instantly on social media?
Yes, I really enjoy my fans’ comments when I do different kind of things. My fans are used to me being a rock star, probably a couple other things, but it’s really fun to do stuff like this and see how they respond because some people really like it and some people don’t. But you learn from what your fans like and you say either I like doing this, so I’ll keep doing it, or fans don’t like it, so I won’t do it anymore, but I’m sure they’re going to love this. I’ve seen it; it’s pretty funny.
Did you learn anything from becoming a character on the show?
Yes, honestly I was surprised that I was so easily adaptable to different parts of my own personality. I didn’t know I had that many characters in me. You only got to hear the one that’s on there, but for me the outtakes, maybe someday they’ll do an outtake with me like saying like, “Hey, wow, man, I didn’t know that that’s the way it was” instead of “Hey, man,” so I kind of I really learned that I can do that and it made me want to do voiceovers. I told the guys after I did it that I wanted, I said, hey man, invent a permanent Simpson character for me and I’ll do it. It was fun. I’m telling you it was really, really fun. It’s like playing dress-up, it’s like Halloween on a vocal level.
Can you tell us a bit about the free New Year's Eve Concert you are performing in Cabo?
I go to Cabo quite often. I play down there 20, 30 times a year unannounced and stuff, so we’re going to do a New Years Eve thing, because New Years Eve is such a big deal in Cabo, so many people come down for it. And I thought it’d be a good opportunity, we have a big donation box we’re going to put up at every entrance in the Cabo Wabo and I always play for free and unannounced usually, but we’re going to announce it and we’re going to take donations for a great children’s charity down there that I’ve been supporting since the beginning of time. But we’re going to kick it up a little bit, so it’s a good opportunity to try to help directly to some of the kids down there and a good time of the year to do it, too.
Cabo got hit pretty hard by a hurricane didn’t it recently?
Yes, like really hard. This has happened many, many times. I’ve been doing my birthday bash down there for 25 years and we’ve had about 10 occasions in October, which is kind of the end of hurricane season, where we got hit pretty hard, but we’ve always been able to go through with the birthday bash. This was the first one that was so bad that I couldn’t do the birthday bash. The hotels were beat up; the town really got hurt, so we moved it to Las Vegas and did it, had to honor all those people that had planned their lives around it, so this is my first trip down since all that, but not because I was afraid to go or something.
I’ve been really busy and I’m going to go down there next month and spend a lot of time down there and assess all the damage, but the Cantina has done so much for the community over the years. Every time this happens, we’ve gone so far as to I’ve played charged at the door, next they went and bought food and supplies and water and stuff and diapers and went down to the area that got hit the worst where was an [indiscernible] one year that got washed out where people had moved into it that hadn’t had water run for like ten year. And then all of a sudden a big flood came though there, went directly down there with all 130 of our employees and handed out everything we had until we had nothing left, so we’ve done stuff like that every time.
But it’s gotten so big it’s like beyond being able to do those kinds of things and now it’s a government thing and the government has done a great job, but the place is rebuilt like crazy. They’ve done an amazing job of getting that place back together and some of my friends have already been down there and said it’s almost brand new again; and it’ll be better because the town always needs to get rebuilt every now and then and they probably wouldn’t have rebuilt it unless they had to. So now they had to, so the place is going to look fantastic by the first of the year, I’m really excited.
What drives you now as an artist, what keeps you recording and performing and wanting to do it?
I love to do it. If I don’t write a song every now and then, I get really frustrated. I sit down every morning before I did this interview I was sitting down playing my guitar. That’s what I do. I get up in the morning and have a little coffee, a little breakfast, I sit down play some guitar and go check my messages and so forth, but it’s part of my daily routine. And when I pick up a guitar every time, there’s a something towards a song, maybe not a whole song, but a riff or a melody or a little lick and I just save those things and if I don’t get to them, I get frustrated. I start thinking I got do this, I got to do this and that’s what drives me. It’s strictly the love of creativity.
And all my restaurants and my rum business and all those kinds of things that I do outside of music kind of satisfy that a little bit, but when you’re a creative person, you cannot turn it off. And I jump up in the middle of the night mad going damn it I can’t sleep because I got this thing I got to go write it down. I pick up my tape recorder and I sing into it and I’m that driven and hopefully always will be.
Is there anything that you would like to try that you haven’t done yet?
I’ll try about anything, okay? I’m very interested in this stage of my life and career to do things that I’ve never done and this was one of them; and it was fun and it was easy. I was nervous at first, but to be honest with you once I got into it, I was going, man, this is a blast. I could do this all day. As a matter of fact I nailed it much earlier than we stopped. The director on the other end was saying you want to just have some fun, just go for it.
I said, okay, man, and I just started making up characters and things and so I enjoy doing things like that that I haven’t ever done before, so I’m interested in anything like that. I’d love to have a bit part in movie—not like a star trying to carry the movie. I wouldn’t put that on anybody, myself anyway, but I would love to do and try some things like that to where I can be some other character. I’m tired of being Sammy, you know what I mean?