Formed in Pasadena, California back in 1972 by the brothers Alex and Eddie, Van Halen was one of the few bands who had successful eras with two different singers: David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. They also had for only three years Gary Cherone on vocals and recorded one album with him but it became one of their least successful records.
Roth returned to the band twice and Hagar once, but the final album ever recorded by the group was “A Different Kind of Truth” released in 2012. Besides the brothers, that album had David Lee Roth on vocals and Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass guitar. It was criticized by many Van Halen fans not only for the absence of Michael Anthony who wasn’t invited for the band’s reunion a few years before and also for the sound.
One of the things that probably prevented Anthony from returning to the band was his friendship with Hagar and also being part of his solo band. Hagar himself already gave his opinion on the band’s final album and it wasn’t good.
What is Sammy Hagar’s opinion on the final Van Halen album
All the tracks were credited as being written by all the band members, who also produced the album alongside John Shanks. It was their first record in 14 years, since their previous one was the 1998 album “Van Halen III” with Gary Cherone on vocals.
In an interview with Radio Metal in 2012 he criticized the record. He said that all he heard at the time didn’t impress him at all. He also said that in his supergroup Chickenfoot, which also had Michael Anthony, they had raised the bar a little bit higher.
“I think they (Van Halen) chose to take the easy route. (To) take some of their old stuff 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?”
“(…) I think there’s zero inspiration and zero creativity. If there was any, they would write new songs.” He compared them with Chickenfoot, saying that they came up with original songs when recording their albums. Because they didn’t try to “rewrite” older songs.
Sammy Hagar even suggested that Joe Satriani was a better guitarist than Eddie at the time:
He also was asked about the comparisons people used to make between Van Halen and Chickenfoot. Hagar said that didn’t bother him and that in his opinion at the time, you couldn’t compare Satriani with Eddie. The reason was because Joe was playing much better than the legendary guitarist.
“I think it’s a joke, sure I love the comparison as long as it’s fair. Not because you’re a big Eddie Van Halen fan, you think that he’s God therefore you think that he’s better than Joe. You have to be bipartisan and just listen and watch both of them play.”
“Listen, I played with them both. I can tell you right now: there is no comparison today. Never mind the innovator that Eddie was. I’m talking about what they can play today,” Sammy Hagar said.
David Lee Roth also doesn’t like the album
Sammy Hagar is not the only one who doesn’t like “A Different Kind of Truth”, the singer David Lee Roth is also not a big fan of the record. That was revealed by Eddie’s son Wolfgang in an interview in 2023. He said Roth was the one preventing the album from returning to the streaming services. The contract for streaming services expired and it was Roth who didn’t want to sign a new one. So the album is not available anymore digitally.
“The contract ran out on putting it up on streaming services. So we’ve been working on getting it back. But there are some people involved who do not like that record and are not making it easy to get it back up,” Wolfgang Van Halen told Eddie Trunk.