There’s once again drama in the world of Van Halen, with singer David Lee Roth complaining about a recent lack of activity and communication within the band, and openly calling for a reunion with original bassist Michael Anthony.
In a wide-ranging (and frankly, downright inspiring) interview with Rolling Stone that primarily documents his recent adventures living in Japan, Roth declares that he’d love to make more music with Van Halen, but laments that it’s been over a year since their last tour and says that he’s “not sure what’s in (guitarist) Ed (Van Halen)’s mind at this point.”
(In fairness, it should be remembered that Eddie Van Halen underwent emergency surgery for diverticulitis at an unspecified point last year, a procedure that carries an estimated four to six month recovery period.)
Roth also goes on to explain that he and Eddie “haven’t written a new song in 20 years,” and suggests that the group’s 2012 album ‘A Different Kind of Truth‘ was comprised of even more reworked material than most originally suspected: “Almost all of the music that you hear on our most recent album was written and demoed before the first album.”
In what’s likely to be the most relationship-damaging part of the interview, “Diamond Dave” also calls it “a disappointment” that the group hasn’t reunited with Anthony, who wasn’t invited back — and in fact, was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang — when the group reconfigured with Roth for a tour in 2007. Anthony is currently a member ofChickenfoot alongside Van Halen’s second singer, Sammy Hagar.
“What we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever — that was in Michael Anthony,” Roth explains. “In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys… so I would always look forward to that reunion.”
Why is Roth rocking a boat that has proven to be so easily capsized in the past? A sense that time is not exactly in his favor anymore seems to be his primary motive: “For me, 60 is the new 80. You oughta see my X-rays. So get going, start heading north. And whether we accomplish anything or not becomes beside the point. The goal is to get with somebody and get with a group or team or a squad and get going on something that everybody’s contributing to.”