In a brand new interview with Parade, Sammy Hagar was asked if his initial departure from VAN HALEN in 1996 was the end of an era or a new beginning for him. He responded: “Both. It was end of a lot for me, because it was very disheartening for me. I was not happy about that, but was not happy in the band either. It was at a real tipping point in my life. I did not like being in that band anymore because we weren’t getting along. And I did not want to tour as much as they did. I did not want to work, work, work. I was getting ready to have my first daughter. When she was born, I just said, I don’t want to go out, and drag her all over the country. It was a weird thing, but I did not want to quit because I loved the band. So I got kicked out. And after that, it became a new chapter that I discovered my lifestyle thing and I moved to Cabo and I became Sammy Hagar. The one you see now. So, it really was a new chapter.”

Hagar told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that his problems with Eddie Van Halen began as far back as the sessions for VAN HALEN‘s 1995 effort “Balance”, Hagar‘s last album with the group. “Eddie needs somebody to make decisions and a leader, y’know?” he said. “He’s not a natural born leader kind of guy. And his brother [Alex Van Halen] was always the leader before — or [singer David Lee] Roth was the leader before — and when Roth left, his brother and him bumped heads so much, when I walked in it was like, ‘Well, what does Sam wanna do?’ y’know? So it became kind of like, yeah, I was making all the decisions, so then on ‘Balance’, all of a sudden, he didn’t like my decisions and it was like really weird.”

Hagar blasted his former bandmates in an interview in 2015, saying there was “no chemistry” between the members of the group’s current lineup, including original singer David Lee Roth. He said at the time: “They don’t like each other. I mean, it’s obvious. It’s like a backup band with a guy out there in front. I bet they don’t say five words to each other offstage.”

Hagar, bassist Michael Anthony, Alex and Eddie Van Halen last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.