Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s unearthed interview was shared by Metal Hammer yesterday.

In the conversation, Eddie Van Halen has shared what he really thinks about blues legend Eric Clapton. Here’s the statement:

“I used to love the way he played. He was real smooth and a lot of feeling. Every review I ever read of the album or my playing, it’s always Blackmore, Beck and Page influences. But I never really sat down and copped their licks like I did Clapton.

I guess a lot of people think I sound like Beck or Blackmore because I do use the bar and they do also, so it kinda gets the same kinda sound. The only thing Blackmore got me hooked on was the whammy bar.

Because I never really liked the way he played that weird staccato stuff. But I feel a lot of my licks are different than theirs. Like the wide stretch things I do, I try and make it sound a little bit different.”

He also revealed how he was influenced by Ritchie Blackmore, and said:

“Since the last five or six years I really haven’t been into any one guitarist. I like everybody. I’ve listened to Blackmore and [Jeff] Beck and especially [Beck’s album] Wired, I like some of that stuff.

Before that I just never really got into him. I didn’t like him with Beck, Bogert & Appice. But the main guitarist I’d say that influenced me to play the most was Clapton.

Click here for the entire interview via Louder Sound.