Not only is Michael Anthony interested in being a part of a proposed Van Halen celebration tour, he confirmed that he's been in touch with his former VH bandmates Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth about the idea.
Anthony made the revelation in a new interview with The Mitch Lafon and Jeremy White Show.
He added that the only thing about the hubbub that's strange to him is why it was ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted who let the plan slip.
"When [Jason] came out and said that Alex had talked to him last year or something like that, which is kind of interesting because I actually have been talking on a conference call with [Van Halen manager] Irving Azoff, Alex and Dave last year," Anthony said. "So I don't know what the Jason thing was all about. And that's with [Joe] Satriani. I spoke to Joe about it."
Newsted gave an interview in early April in which he revealed that Alex Van Halen and Satriani had invited him to jam, as they worked out the details of a possible Van Halen tribute tour. Newsted went on to say that he had misgivings about doing justice to Eddie Van Halen's legacy and eventually declined the opportunity.
Anthony continued, suggesting his conversations with Azoff, Roth and AVH were more of a preliminary nature; the group isn't itching to get the show on the road.
"Alex is still ... mourning or whatever you want to say. ... But I did have some talks with Dave and Alex last year. I'm not really sure what the Jason Newsted thing came out of because we've been discussing this for well over a year."
Anthony joked that maybe Newsted revealed the news to promote a new album (although the interview in question was to promote a fundraiser). He added that there had been no developments recently as far as a VH tribute tour goes.
"I hope something happens in the future here," Anthony said. "I think Joe was mentioning in some of the interviews that it's more a celebration of the band and of the music than calling it 'Van Halen.' Obviously, Eddie being the most integral part of the whole band, you can't really call it Van Halen after that."
While Satriani initially expressed dismay that Newsted spoke out of turn about the tribute plans, Roth handled the leak in a significantly more ... Roth-y fashion, arguing through a statement that "in the age of COVID," the tribute celebration should roll at least two-deep for every position in the band.
"IN MY MIND 'VAN HALEN 4K,' IN THE AGE OF COVID IS GOING TO REQUIRE TWO OF US FOR EVERY POSITION," Roth said. "SATRIANI AND [Steve] LUKATHER, ANTHONY AND NEWSTED, AL OR TOMMY LEE. PROBABLY THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO MY JOB TODAY WOULD BE PINK."
It remains unclear if Roth himself plans to perform live again after canceling his Las Vegas residency this past winter.