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Michael Anthony Still Hasn’t Listened to Van Halen’s ‘A Different Kind of Truth’

Larry Marano, Getty Images

Want to know how far Van Halen is in Michael Anthony‘s rear-view mirror? Not only has he not spoken to Eddie Van Halen in a decade, Anthony has ignored ‘A Different Kind of Truth,’ the first album Van Halen made without him.

“I’ve heard two or three of the songs,” Anthony told Eddie Trunk. “I haven’t actually sat down and listened to the whole thing.”

Anthony, who was with Van Halen from 1974-2006, was replaced for that 2012 David Lee Roth reunion project by Eddie’s son Wolfgang. But Anthony’s aversion to ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ apparently has less to do with this surprising turn of events than with his having become so familiar with the songs used to complete the album.

“Pretty much a lot of the stuff that I listened to is stuff that I remember us all recording as demos years ago,” Anthony said. “And they’re just kind of bent a little which way, or whatever, and Dave came up with some different lyrics. But a lot of it, what I heard, was just really reminiscent of some of the songs [from years ago]. In fact, I’ve still got some of those demo tapes.”

Anthony got to know Wolfgang over the years, as the youngster showed an early interest in the family business. Of course, Anthony says he never guessed he was looking at his successor in Van Halen. “If I would have known that was happening, when he’d be bugging us up at the studio as a little kid, I probably would have slapped him around a little bit more,” Anthony joked.

Anthony said he last spoke to Eddie and his brother Alex Van Halen at the conclusion of the group’s ill-fated 2004 reunion tour with Sammy Hagar. He found out that he’d been replaced by Wolfgang the same way everyone else did: via the news.

“And it’s really sad, too,” Anthony said. “I’ve heard from different people — I know a lot of people that work with them, like the crew guys. So I always hear stuff from them. You know, ‘I talked to Al today,’ or ‘I talked to Eddie,’ and I know that Al would like to still have some kind of relationship or whatever, but I think maybe because of the way Eddie felt that Al didn’t wanna ruffle his feathers by calling me or whatever.”

Anthony is set for another round of live dates with Hagar, as they tour Mexico in October, while Van Halen are reportedly at work on a follow-up to ‘A Different Kind of Truth.’

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