"The first rule of FightClub is, talk about FightClub!!" says Aaron Hagar, the affable son of Sammy. The younger Hagar recently started a sort of mini-supergroup called FightClub, comprised of the sons of Bay Area rock royalty — guys like Journey's Neil Schon (his son Miles plays lead guitar), Greg Kihn (his son Ry is the second lead guitarist), and of course the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, whose other son Andrew is in the band along with Aaron (on rhythm guitar/piano and vocals, respectively). Rounding out the crew are two other guys: Trevor Church on bass, whose father played bass for Sammy, and drummer Tony Montanez, a dude who teaches music at Fresno State.
By "Talk about FightClub," though, Hagar apparently means spread the word via social media, because repeated requests for interviews from SF Weekly went unheeded. Not that Aaron wasn't enthusiastic. In fact, the plucky lad adds about four exclamation points to everything he writes, especially when he talks about FightClub.
Me (via Facebook): Hey dudes! I'm Katy St. Clair, a writer with the SF Weekly, and I'd totally love to write about you guys! Do you have a press contact?
Aaron: Absolutely. Let's e-mail please. Great!!! Thank you soo much.
I sent him my SF Weekly email, and he thanked me and said he had forwarded it to "Craig," his management. "This is getting big fast!!" he added. "It's so wonderful!!"
I figured they would be excited to have a story written, since the band had just embarked on an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to hit the studio and put out an album. That's right — the son of tequila entrepreneur and rock star Sammy Hagar, worth an estimated $120 million, was starting a grassroots campaign to get his band off the ground. "Unlike the perception you may expect," Aaron wrote on Indiegogo, "We do not share in the lifestyle and success of our parents. We need your help to fulfill this dream."
The band is trying to raise a whopping $103,562 to cover recording costs. Which, WTF? The concept of raising cash via crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is au courant, but needing that much money to put out music seems a concept stuck in '70s stadium rock. All you need now is a good Mac and, better still, good music. Unfortunately, the demos FightClub has released so far sound like something that would play during the credits of Porky's Revenge, or during the montage from an '80s teen flick, where a nerd transforms himself into a stud to shock everyone at the prom. It's hard rock reminiscent of Sammy Hagar, with booty-bass drums, high-pitched vocals, and sah-weeet guitar licks behind lyrics about fast women, all with zero irony.
But Aaron is just so enthusiastic and happy about the project that perhaps no one wants to point any of this out.
Me: Still haven't heard from Craig. Happy Easter!
Aaron: We are pretty overloaded. He will shortly. Thank you very, very much. Hope you had a good holiday.
FightClub has promo videos of the project on the Indiegogo site, along with exuberant messages from Aaron. Goal: $103,562. Raised as of press time: $21,006. "I'm speechless," says Aaron in a YouTube post. "We're not even a week into this thing and we've reached over $10,000." Judging from the comments, most of the early contributions seemed to be from friends, which might explain why they soon fell off. (The campaign began at the end of April and will go until May 9.)
Not that the boys aren't trying to sweeten the pot. A $25 donation gets contributors two digital song downloads, but $2,500 gets you dinner with FightClub: "Imagine the stories we have to tell?" the pitch goes. "All travel and accommodation expenses to L.A. need to be paid by yourself in about a 45-day window while we are recording. Limited to 4 guests per day. We cover dinner bro." But wait, there's more! If you throw in an additional $2,500 and bring your donation up to $5,000, you get dinner with the band plus a day in the studio. Mas tequila!
Aaron: Thank you again very much... I just spoke to Craig. He has an errand to run and then he will get a hold of you : )
Me: Sorry to keep bugging you! Your manager keeps breaking the First Rule of FightClub though! LOLZ. Still haven't heard from him... Are you guys not interested?
Aaron: Hi Katy... Interested. I've got one guy. He's insanely busy. Sorry, I've done a couple of interviews today and trying to get the scheduling done for this weekend... I will let him know again. Thank you dear.
So it would seem the runaway train that is FightClub can't stop for music journalists — but it does stop for interviews with Playboy Radio and Billy Bush. See First Rule again, guys.
Me: You seem like a great guy. I hope you have proper management working for you.
Aaron: OMG yes. I've known Craig for over 15 years. But he's a one man show. He's struggling with the workload as am I. It's massive!!! But he will reach out today!!! Thank you!!! : )
Craig didn't reach out that day, but he did eventually call me. He was on his way into a meeting, but he promised to get back to me to set up an interview. As of May 3, the FightClub freight train kept on chugging along ("Motors runnin' let's get this thing haulin' and running flat out!!!" Aaron wrote on the band's Facebook page), yet Craig still had not gotten back to me. So take those rules as you will.