Supergroups have been a part of the rock landscape since the mid-‘60s – some good (Cream; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Asia; Traveling Wilburys), some not so much (Chickenfoot). One recent supergroup that’s flown almost completely under the radar considering its collective musical pedigree is Kings of Chaos – featuring members of Cheap Trick (singer Robin Zander), ZZ Top (guitarist Billy Gibbons), Deep Purple (Glen Hughes), Billy Idol (Steve Stevens) and Guns N’ Roses (Duff McKagan, Gilby Clarke and Matt Sorum) – which hits the Hard Rock Live near Hollywood on Friday night.
As you might imagine, the goal of the band is not to change the world or challenge The Beatles’ songwriting mastery, but to simply have a rockin’ good time jamming on each other’s tunes. So you can be sure you’ll hear Cheap Trick’s hits “Surrender” and “I Want You to Want Me,” ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses” and “Sharp Dressed Man,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself,” among many other classic-rock faves.
Billy Gibbons helped clarify the Kings of Chaos’ musical mission in a wild, sometimes cryptic, email interview for The Miami Herald:
*On what inspired Kings of Chaos to be created: Kings of Chaos is one wild and gangly group of guys joining the party to make certain the groove and beat is LOUD. As the saying goes, “Let’s have a good time!” We’d run into each other around the planet with that peculiar respect and admiration for each other’s sound.
*On how long it took for the band to go from conception to reality: There’s been our exotic collaboration group of like-minded “fiends and friends,” designing this kind of thing for a short while. More about our informal gathering of wayward mindless youths without any thinking of the excursion of work. Heaven forbid!
*On how much rehearsal the band needed to start sounding good: We’re in touch with each other in terms of sonic ideas, composition lists and plenty of personal preferences, so there’s a good idea going in whatever direction unfolds. Call it really an extended party while we do our best making sure the presentation is coherent and totally rockin’.
*On whether it’s difficult to settle on the band’s set lists: The high card is taking requests to the band by way of social media. The real deal is playing the list in and out of order. Standing closely with our fans’ demand of a “one-on-one” game.
Kings of Chaos will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Hard Rock Live Arena at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, near Hollywood; Ticketmaster; $45-$65.