Sammy Hagar on New Van Halen: "I Don't Think the Fans Are Going to Be Happy With It"

Sammy Hagar is not a man afraid of sharing his opinions.

Speaking to Radio Metal recently, the Red Rocker got his chance to share his thoughts on the new Van Halen record, and sound off about whether VH or Chickenfoot are the reigning four-piece rock band of today.

"What I've heard so far, I wasn't impressed with at all, personally," said Hagar of his former band's new stuff. "I think in Chickenfoot, we've raised the bar a little bit on what a four-piece rock band can do, and I think they chose to take the easy route and take some of their old stuff and and re-record it instead of writing new songs. Who is Van Halen today? I don't know, I don't think the fans are going to be happy with it. I couldn't care less if it's the biggest album of the year; that wouldn't be important to me. What is important to me is that, as artists, why would you do that? They haven't released an album since my last album in something like 1991 or '92, and then they just go back. To me, it makes a strange statement, it kind of says, 'We don't have anything, we're not a band anymore, we're not creative.' Isn't it a strange statement to you?"

Hagar once more criticized the band for writing songs based on old demos from the '70s, as opposed to writing all new songs. When asked if he think the band were out of inspiration, he replied: "I think there's zero inspiration and zero creativity. If there was any, they would write new songs. What does the band do? When Chickenfoot got together for our first album, we were four new guys and we got together and wrote ten, twelve songs and made an album."

And of course, Hagar couldn't resist comparing his old gig with his new one, adding: "If you take Joe versus Eddie, you take Dave versus me, Wolfie versus Mikey, Chad or Kenny versus Al… I mean, come on! You know what I mean? Man for man, who can sing the best? Dave or I, today? Who can play the best? Joe or Eddie, today? Who could play or sing the best? Wolfie or Mikey? I think it’s a joke."

Van Halen's new album, A Different Kind of Truth, is out February 7, 2011.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.