Sammy Hagar Feels ‘Responsibility’ to Perform Van Halen Songs

Sammy Hagar says he’s performing more Van Halen songs in concert with current band the Circle out of a sense of duty.

The group, which also features old bandmate Michael Anthony, is gearing up to release the new album Crazy Times! – and Hagar admits his latest material might be the darkest he’s ever recorded.

“These are crazy times we’re in after the last couple of years, that’s what it’s about,” Hagar tells the News-Herald. “It’s a little dark, a dark kind of Sammy album, but I like that. I don’t mind being serious.” He identified the track “Father Time” as “maybe the most personal song I’ve ever written,” adding: “I felt like I really nailed how I was feeling and how I’m viewing things.”

Hagar says the Circle has grown into the idea of “playing a lot more Van Halen now that there’s nobody to play it,” following the 2020 death of Eddie Van Halen. “I’m shocked that no matter what Van Halen song we play, no matter how deep the cut, [audiences] are like it’s a No. 1 single. We can do [1995 deep cut] ‘Amsterdam’ and they’re singing along like it was on the radio all the time.”

He argued: “When people love that music that much and we’re the guys who did it and we’re still around, then, yeah, we have that responsibility to play it for them.”

Crazy Times! – the Circle’s second album of original music, after 2019’s Space Between – is set for release on Sept. 30. Their Crazy Times tour, also starring George Thorogood, resumes on Aug. 23 and runs until Sept. 10.

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