David Lee Roth on New Van Halen Record: “I Get the Sense That It’s Gonna Happen”

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PHOTO: Chris McKay | Getty Images

Van Halen haven’t released an album of new songs since 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth. That album itself came 14 years after its predecessor, Van Halen III. Naturally, Van Halen fans are worried that it might be another decade, at least, until the group issues a new album.

They might take heart from David Lee Roth. In the latest episode of The Roth Show, the singer sounds confident that the group will be recording and touring in the future and that he will be part of the equation.

The quote comes in the middle of a rambling monologue about aging, during which Roth talks about his plans for the future.

“It’s not like my career path is gonna be altered,” Roth says. “I sort of know what the next 10 summers are going to bring. Eddie Van Halen aside—those are ups and downs—I don’t know when we’re going to tour but I have a sense that we will. I don’t know that we’re going to record again—when that’ll happen—but I get the sense that it’s gonna happen.”

Van Halen toured last summer in support of their first live album, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. After the tour wrapped up last October, fans began speculating that Roth might be replaced by former singer Sammy Hagar, who fronted the band from 1985 to 1996 and from 2003 to 2005. The chatter began in January when Hagar broke his years-long estrangement from Eddie Van Halen and tweeted birthday greetings to the guitarist.

Then, in February, Roth released a song titled “Ain’t No Christmas” that included the line, “Quittin’ while you’re ahead ain’t quittin’, and I’m quittin’” which some took as a reference to his status with Van Halen. Roth denied the rumor through his management, saying, “It’s poetry. It has nothing to do with Van Halen.”

As for Hagar, he denied his shout-out to Eddie was anything more than an attempt to put the past behind him. He told Classic Rock he was motivated by the deaths of David Bowie and the Eagles’ Glenn Frey that month. Bowie was 69, the same age as Hagar, and Frey was 67.

“It just makes you stop and think that, you know, with my relationship with Eddie Van Halen and stuff that’s always been in the toilet, it makes you say, ‘I don’t want to be buried with any regrets or bad vibes like that,’” Hagar said. “It makes you want to be just friends with everybody and say, ‘Hey look, forget it.’”

You can hear the entire Roth Show episode below. The above quote is at the 4:10 mark, but it is the only mention of the group he makes. Dave wraps up the program with a cover of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.”