Eddie Van Halen says the current album cycle with David Lee Roth isn’t a one-time gimmick. This is the future of Van Halen, and the band has a bright future. In an interview with Guitar World the legendary guitarist talks about what once held them back and what now keeps them looking forward.

“It feels more like a band and a family than it ever has, and not just because three-quarters of it is family,” Van Halen says in the current issue of the magazine. “Working with Dave has been very productive. We’re all very opinionated about things, but it’s all for the benefit of the music.”

Van Halen says he’s blessed to be out of a dark period, and working with his brother Alex and son Wolfgang. “I have a wonderful wife, wonderful friends and a son who doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs … What more could I ask for?”

When reflecting on the band’s past drama and lineup changes, Eddie says “It wasn’t really us, it was people around us. When you’re doing drugs, drinking and partying, you start believing the s–t people tell you. Those days are gone. We’ve gotten rid of peole who don’t belong here.”

While the second leg of the American tour was postponed, the band will pick up again this November in Japan. Eddie Van Halen says that when this cycle finishes, he fully expects to take a break and then pick up writing and recording the next album. “That’s what I hope to do. I’m pretty sure that’s what our intention is.” They’ve also hinted at more 2013 American tour dates.

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