Between the U.K. and U.S. events in September, the Mammoth WVH leader played guitar on three classic Van Halen tracks: “On Fire,” “Hot for Teacher” and “Panama.” In a new interview with Classic Rock, he said the appearances left him feeling less concerned about the chances of a long-discussed reunion of Van Halen members from various lineups of the band to perform a tribute to Eddie.
“I think I already did it with the Taylor Hawkins tributes,” Van Halen said. “I feel a lot of closure because my part of the show was a tribute to my father.”
The multi-instrumentalist also cited intraband strife and dysfunction as causes for concern about a prospective Van Halen tour. “I don’t know what it is with some bands, but certain personalities just can’t get over themselves to work collectively for one purpose — that’s been the curse of Van Halen for its entire career,” he said. “So my playing at the Taylor shows delivered that catharsis without the stresses of dealing with the Van Halen camp, and the players involved. Their camp is very dysfunctional – everyone! – hell, it was difficult to make plans even when the band was active.”
Van Halen also expressed skepticism over Sammy Hagar‘s recent comments about wanting to take part in a tribute. The Red Rocker told Rolling Stone he “would love to play music with Alex [Van Halen] and Mike [Anthony] again,” and “would sing half the Dave [Lee Roth] songs too for the Van Halen fans.”
“He said that, but he also said he wouldn’t,” Van Halen said. “Sammy said two different things. No… I feel that I’ve said my piece, and if the Taylor concerts are all that happens then I’m happy with that.”
Van Halen is currently focused on making a follow-up to Mammoth WVH’s self-titled 2021 debut album. Last night, the bandleader posted a photo from behind a drum kit in the studio where he recorded Mammoth WVH. “In the same spot as my last post. Almost 8 years later,” he wrote. “7 years to the day since the very last Van Halen show at the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s to new beginnings. Let Mammoth II commence.”
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