But Hogarth claims current lineup is “the original band” despite Anthony’s absence – and reveals why he avoided DevilDriver disagreement

Van Halen

The new originals? Van Halen with Wolfie, right, instead of Anthony

Van Halen engineer and mixer Ross Hogarth says the band have completed recording their new album and they’re “at the top of their game.”

But he describes the current lineup – founding members Eddie and Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth alongside Eddie’s son Wolfie – as the original band.

Many fans eager for news of the outfit’s long-awaited comeback will be disappointed to speculate that bassist Michael Anthony is still being treated like he was never there.

Hogarth tells Ultimate Guitar: “The new Van Halen record has been recorded and we’re all excited. We’ve just started mixing the record.

“it’s the killing side of Van Halen at the top of their game again with Diamond Dave, and the band on fire.

“I’m really stoked about it as it is the original band, Eddie and Alex with Wolfie playing bass and David Lee Roth singing.”

Followers were unhappy after Van Halen had Anthony airbrushed out of album covers for the band’s website. He later replaced the original sleeves; but in 2009 they released their edition of the Guitar Hero game with Wolfie appearing instead of Anthony – playing on songs which had been written and recorded before he’d been born.

Anthony is now playing with Chickenfoot alongside fellow ex-VH member Sammy Hagar.

Meanwhile, Hogarth reveals he’s learned from experience to pick his fights carefully, and that’s why he didn’t kick off with DevilDriver when he was working on their debut album.

He explains: “That record had its highs and lows. We felt all along the bass player was not really going to cut it. Eventually he didn’t and they had to replace him.

“But Dez Fafara was very committed to having him, and because Dez is a very headstrong person I decided to go with the flow instead of fighting it.

“I’ve learned that at times when things are difficult, anything I resist will persist.”

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