In a brand new interview with The News-Herald, former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony was asked why he thinks now is the right time for a reunion of the band's classic lineup. He responded: "Well, I mean, partly because you obviously see all of these other bands doing it these days. And also for VAN HALEN's fans. Maybe some kind of proper closure or something. I'm not sure. Everybody in the band is still relatively healthy and alive. So there's one thing right there. And Sammy [Hagar, former VAN HALEN singer] has brought it up quite a few times in interviews he's done. He'd be open to doing a tour with him and Dave [Lee Roth] singing."
After the interviewer pointed out to Anthony that Roth and Hagar already toured together more than a decade ago, the bassist said: "Yeah, that tour started kind of harmoniously, but didn't finish up that way. I went out and guested with Sammy on a handful of those shows and things got maybe a little strained. But at this point, I personally am through with all of the drama that comes with everything. I want to go out, play music and have a good time. I want to go to my grave a happy guy."
During an appearance in May on the "Trunk Nation" show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Anthony was asked about Hagar's comment that he would be open to a VAN HALEN reunion tour, including Roth, with the two frontmen taking turns performing their classic VAN HALEN numbers.
"I think now's the time, especially if you listen to some of the interviews [Sammy has been] doing or whatever now," Anthony said. "Right now he's saying the proper way to do a VAN HALEN tour, he's saying, 'Let's do it with Dave and myself.'"
The bassist continued: "If we did, like, an hour with one singer and then an hour with another singer, you never know — there might be a lot of people that don't wanna come for the first hour, or don't wanna come for the second singer, or whatever. This way you mix it up and everybody's gotta stay for everything. And believe me, if something like that came to fruition, I guarantee there wouldn't be one person who would leave that show disappointed with anything — with either singer, probably."
Anthony went on to say that a VAN HALEN reunion involving all the original members plus Hagar would only happen if "everybody was equally excited to do it. Because you don't wanna go out and have it be work, you don't wanna do it and have people say, 'Well, they're doing it just for the money,'" he explained. "I wanna truly go out there and just kick ass and give the people everything, and that's what it would have to be."
Anthony revealed in a 2016 interview that he reconnected with VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen less than a year ago after more than a decade of not speaking to each other. Asked by "Trunk Nation" if he has had any further contact with Alex, Michael said: "No. With Alex, no, actually, I have not. And then people were going, 'Why don't you call him back? Call him back and tell him it was great talking with him or whatever.' And I said, 'You know what? No.' We had a great conversation and I'll just let it lie and see what happens. 'Cause I don't know what his situation is or whatever — I don't know if there is something keeping him from calling me back or whatever. But I'm not gonna speculate."
Anthony, Hagar, Alex and Eddie Van Halen last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.
In 2007, the Van Halen brothers, Wolfgang Van Halen and Roth announced they would be hitting the road for a reunion tour. Anthony later told Music Radar that he "found out about that tour like everybody else did — in the press."
Anthony has played primarily with Hagar in the thirteen years since he last performed with VAN HALEN, in groups like CHICKENFOOT and THE CIRCLE.