Geoff Charles of the Providence, Rhode Island classic rock radio station 94HJY conducted an interview with former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT frontman Sammy Hagar this week. You can now listen to the chat below.
When asked how it feels to see his former VAN HALEN bandmates out there touring with their original singer David Lee Roth, Sammy said, “I’m happy as a lark. I think it’s the coolest thing that they’ve done for their fans since the ’04 reunion with me, and then before that, look how long it was, so…. I was always dogging them about, ‘Why don’t these guys do something?’ I’d be walking down the street and people would come up to me all the time [and say], ‘Sammy, why don’t you guys get back together’ ‘Hey, how come you and Eddie [Van Halen] can’t make a new record?’ ‘Hey, why can’t you and Eddie get along and go and tour? Man, the fans really need it. We really miss you guys. We really want. We really want.’ And when I wrote my book, I just wanted to put that to rest and say, ‘Here’s why it can’t happen: We don’t get along.’ And whose problem it is, it doesn’t matter — we couldn’t make it work. And I wanted to write the book and make that statement. But when I heard that they were doing this, everybody is going, ‘Wow, how do you feel?’ And I’m going, ‘I feel great! I don’t wanna be in that band. I’m in CHICKENFOOT!’ Mike [Anthony, former VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist] and I are loving Joe [Satriani, guitar], and Chad [Smith, drums] and Kenny [Aronoff, drums]. This is like a love fest over here. I don’t need any better musicianship than what I’ve got here. So for them to go out and do it, I’m happy for the fans, and… Hey, they’re doing great! I can’t dog ’em anymore. You know, that’s the only thing I’m upset about — now I can’t dog ’em, ’cause they’re out doing it. [Laughs]”
Although he told Rolling Stone last fall that he would be the “first guy in line” to buy “A Different Kind Of Truth”, VAN HALEN‘s new album with Roth, Hagar admitted to the Boston Phoenix that he has only heard a little bit of the record since it came out last month — but that still hasn’t stopped him from bashing it.
Hagar said, “When I heard ‘Tattoo’, that single . . . it wasn’t a song that made me run out and buy their record. And so I haven’t heard it. I haven’t downloaded it, I haven’t done anything.” He added, “I heard another one that was kinda goofy too, and then I heard, on the radio, ‘She’s The Woman’, and I thought that was kinda cool. That one sounds like what I would expect from VAN HALEN, a little closer to it. The other stuff didn’t sound like what I was expecting, that’s for sure.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Hagar also spoke about the current lineup of VAN HALEN ignoring all the material from his four albums with the band in its new live show. Hagar explained, “The difference between Dave and I in that band, besides all the other million things, is that he can’t sing any of the Van Hagar-era songs. Maybe he could do ‘Finish What Ya Started’, possibly — so that makes it kind of weird for [Alex and Eddie Van Halen], I think, to take 11 years out of that thing.”
During his time in the band, Hagar himself only ever agreed to perform four songs from VAN HALEN‘s first six albums with Roth. That left a lot of the group’s all-time classics out of the set for Hagar‘s own decade in the lineup.
CHICKENFOOT is launching a spring tour in May that will find the band playing in Los Angeles right around the same time as VAN HALEN. Hagar admitted that he was ticked off about the scheduling initially, saying, “It’s just gonna cause a needless competition between the fans, and I don’t like that. I want the fans to feel like they can love VAN HALEN and that they can love CHICKENFOOT totally the same.”