The task of producing "A Different Kind Of Truth" - Van Halen’s first album with David Lee Roth in almost three decades - fell into John Shanks’ hands.
Shanks is an experienced music man with a long production resume, including work with Keith Urban, Chris Isaak, Celine Dion, Sheryl Crow, Santana, Fleetwood Mac and Bon Jovi, to name just a few.
In a new interview with Guitar World, Shanks explained how he landed the gig with Van Halen.
“I was working in my room, Studio C, and David Lee Roth was across the hall working on solo stuff,” says John. “He stays in the studio. He’s always in there doing something. It’s like a boxer — he’s always training. He’s always writing and trying stuff and experimenting. He’s always creating. It’s just staying ready. So he comes in the studio and he’s working on a project. I don’t know what it was specifically. I introduced myself one day and we chatted a bit and became social. He’s very bright and communicative, and we would talk about his dogs, photography, songs, and the current state of pop music.”
“I’d met Eddie a couple of times [through a mutual colleague],” continued Shanks. “I got a call, I’m sure through Dave talking to Eddie, because I think collectively they come up with, ‘Let’s try this guy,’ or ‘Let’s have a conversation with John.’ I know they talked to a couple of other people too. Anyway, Eddie called. I went up to the house and met with Alex, Dave, Eddie and Wolf, and they talked about scheduling and what they wanted to do. Somehow we worked it out so we recorded at Henson.”
“Dave felt comfortable at Henson, I certainly knew the room, I think Eddie wanted to try it, and collectively, that’s what we ended up doing,” John says of the group’s decision to record there, outside of their traditional approach at Eddie’s 5150 home studio. “That’s how it started. Eddie wanted to mix it at his house and work on it there [with engineer Ross Hogarth]. I’m sure they worked on it up there a bit more, but they have their process and you respect their process and doing whatever they need to do to get it there.”
Read more at Guitar World here.
Van Halen’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” is currently sitting at #50 on the Billboard 200 albums chart; to date, the album has sold 332,000 copies in the US since its February 7 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
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