During a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist Michael Anthony was asked for his thoughts on his old group’s upcoming album, which is tentatively due this fall.
“Well, you know what?! As far as people saying, ‘Do you miss VAN HALEN?’ or any of that kind of stuff, I’ve totally moved on. Man, I am just in my total happy place right now. . . Yeah, I’m curious to see what they come out with, but there’s no type of competitive type thing.” He added, “It’s funny, I go online, and see what the fans are saying, you know, ‘Oh my God, it’s gonna be VAN HALEN against CHICKENFOOT this year, both things coming out, and what’s going to be better?’ and blah blah blah. If they out put out a great album, that’s great. I just know that ours is great, and I’m really proud of it.”
Anthony hasn’t spoken to any of the members of VAN HALEN since the end of the band’s 2004 tour. He said earlier this year, “The tour did not end as harmoniously as we would have liked it to and it probably should have gone on longer than it did.” Still, Anthony wouldn’t be against having his band CHICKENFOOT open for VAN HALEN should they go on tour — “I got no problem with that,” he said.
Anthony last year said that Eddie and Alex Van Halen hold a grudge against him for maintaining a friendship with Sammy Hagar. Anthony recalled to Mojo, that the problems started between him and the band when in the late ’90s, VAN HALEN once again tried unsuccessfully to bring David Lee Roth back into the fold. With VAN HALEN seemingly on hiatus, Hagar had called Anthony to see if he was interested in hooking up with him and Neal Schon in their side project PLANET US.
Anthony explained, “Some VAN HALEN fans say I left the band to hook up with Sammy, but I never said, ‘I quit.’ There was nothing going on in the VAN HALEN camp, but Eddie kinda backed me up against a wall. . . Eddie felt that I was a traitor. I helped hook Sammy back up with them for the 2004 reunion tour, but Eddie didn’t want me to be a part of that originally, so I took a big pay cut. I’m not crying, I didn’t need the money. I did that because I wanted to play for the fans. I signed away any legal rights I had with the name, the trademark or whatever. I did it because if that was the last time VAN HALEN would ever be on stage, I wanted to be part of it.”
He went on to say, “The major reason why I’m not in VAN HALEN (now) is because I became friends with Sammy again. The Van Halen brothers never got over that. If they hold a grudge, they hold it forever.”
During VAN HALEN‘s August 2007 press conference announcing their reunion tour with David Lee Roth and Eddie‘s son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, Roth skirted over the issue of why a then-16 year old kid was playing bass instead of Anthony. “Michael Anthony is part of this band’s history, ” he said. “There’s a lot of great alumni who have been through this band. I’m shocked that any of us are still vertical after 30 years. And as far as why Wolf is in the band, may I speak for you, Ed? I understand how he wanted to play with the boy because he’s amazing.”