Michael Anthony Doesn’t Want to Be ‘Bass Player Everyone Forgot’
Starting over after achieving incredible success can seem daunting — and it's a feeling that former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony knows all too well.
Yet as Anthony explained during a recent interview with the Riverside County Press-Enterprise, he really didn't feel like he had a choice after he left the Van Halen lineup. "I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing, because my last name isn’t Van Halen," he pointed out. "I didn’t want to be the bass player everyone forgot about."
As fans are aware, Anthony started a new chapter with a fellow Van Halen vet — singer Sammy Hagar, with whom he's collaborated on an array of projects that includes the all-star Chickenfoot combo as well as Hagar's latest group, the Circle. None of them have hit the multi-platinum sales numbers the duo regularly racked up as part of Van Halen throughout the '80s and '90s, but according to Anthony, that was never the point — and it definitely isn't now.
"What’s great about Sammy and I is once we reconnected, we had already attained a level of success and it allowed us the luxury to just have fun," said Anthony. "There’s no egos involved, we are all really good friends and although it’s nice to make money, it’s not money driven."
Still, that doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate a solid paycheck. Commenting on an upcoming casino show, Anthony pointed out the difference between playing arenas and those smaller venues, quipping, "The casinos are always packed and a little more intimate. ... We have a lot of fun playing those and we plan to bring all the craziness that we do. And I gotta tell you, they pay really well."