David Lee Roth is expressing frustration with the lack of movement as far as new material in Van Halen.

He has also broken what has seemed to be a firm rule in Van Halen since he rejoined six years ago: He's talking publicly about former bassist Michael Anthony.

In an interview in Rolling Stone from his new home in Japan -- where Van Halen is scheduled to play this year -- Roth says he's waiting on guitarist Edward Van Halen.

"I'm not sure what's in Ed's mind at this point," Roth said. "Truth be told, Edward and I haven't written a new song in 20 years. I would certainly look forward to working with Ed on some new material, but we have yet to do that. Almost all of the music that you hear on our most recent album was written and demo-ed before the first album. And I would certainly look forward to writing a whole list of songs with Ed, but we haven't found the time to do that (laughs). You hear the tone. I'm not sure what's in Ed's mind at this point. I'm gonna guess that his plans are to write with his son, and I'm not sure where that actually leads."


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Roth also expressed interest in taking Van Halen to festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, something he said he's discussed with drummer Alex Van Halen. "There's nothing on the ticket as far as (touring past this summer), and that's a disappointment, frankly. How long have I been back with the gang? Maybe six years, we'll say and we have yet to travel to Europe, South America, Japan, anywhere outside of those basic 50 cities in the United States. And again that's been a disappointment. We have an audience and we have a potential future in many, many places, but our story is one of a whole lotta Shakespeare going on.

Roth also used the dreaded "M" word. As in, former bassist and backup singer supreme Michael Anthony, who was exiled from Van Halen years ago for keeping alive both a musical and personal relationship with former singer Sammy Hagar.

"We haven't really been able to speak about it and it's a disappointment, just as not having a chance for a reunion of the original band," Roth said. "Clearly, vocals are every bit as much a component of success as a rhythm section or a guitar solo, and there's an old expression saying, 'They don't go home singing the lighting show, they don't go home singing the production.' You're right, they sing my words and my melodies. And what we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever — that was in Michael Anthony. In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both — that's intentionally. So I would always look forward to that reunion, and I would always look forward to writing a whole variety of material.

Roth said he's invited his bandmates to come work with him, though it's unclear whether that would include Anthony, who was replaced as Van Halen bassist by Edward's son Wolfgang.

"I've offered the fellows, come on out here to the land of the gods," he said. "And if you don't want to make it that far we'll make it halfway — Konishiki (his friend and former champion sumo wrestler) has said he'll lend me his house in Hawaii, Let's go woodshed. But so far there hasn't been any response, so hope and faith are not actual tactics and strategies — they're strippers from Albuquerque."

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks, or on Twitter at twitter.com/insertfoot.