Tuesday, February 12, 2013

David Lee Roth hopes for classic Van Halen reunion



David Lee Roth has delivered a state of the Van Halen reunion address in a new interview with Rolling Stone, and among the items presented is Roth’s wish for bassist Michael Anthony’s return to the band.

“Ed has his own vision [for the band’s future], I'm assuming,” begins Roth. “We haven't really been able to speak about it and it's a disappointment, just as not having a chance for a reunion of the original band. Clearly, vocals are every bit as much a component of success as a rhythm section or a guitar solo, and there's an old expression saying, ‘They don't go home singing the lighting show, they don't go home singing the production.’ You're right, they sing my words and my melodies. And what we have at our fingertips is arguably one of the greatest high tenor voices ever – that was in Michael Anthony. In our tiny little corner of the universe, that voice is as identifiable as the high voice in Earth, Wind & Fire, as identifiable as the high voice in the Beach Boys. Van Halen is an indelicate house blend of both – that's intentionally. So I would always look forward to that reunion, and I would always look forward to writing a whole variety of material.”

“I would certainly look forward to working with Ed on some new material, but we have yet to do that,” Dave continued. “Almost all of the music that you hear on our most recent album [2012’s ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’] was written and demoed before the first album. And I would certainly look forward to writing a whole list of songs with Ed, but we haven't found the time to do that [laughs]. You hear the tone. I'm not sure what's in Ed's mind at this point. I'm gonna guess that his plans are to write with his son [Wolfgang], and I'm not sure where that actually leads. But truth be told, Edward and I haven't written a new song in 20 years … Wait, what am I saying? ‘Stay Frosty’ is brand new, and I wrote that whole song myself. I wrote the chord structure, played the guitar, the vocals, etc.”

Currently living in Tokyo, Roth rambles at length about his frustration with Van Halen’s failure to tour internationally, including playing festival shows around the globe.

Alex [Van Halen] and I have been begging to become part of that [circuit], and Glastonbury and Reading and Hyde Park,” explains the singer. “We keep being shuttled into the heavy metal world, and that's a very exclusive neighborhood, but here we are – we're back knocking on the doors begging for Bonnaroo and begging for Lollapalooza and Coachella, not even as an advancement of career, but there's a whole new audience who doesn't know and doesn't give a shit about Van Halen, and that's exactly the best audience to sharpen your spirit on. That will compel you to the very best that you have. I can't wait for those opportunities and wish us well. We've been asking for those shows since I've gotten back with the band six years ago, and I'll be very curious to see where we wind up come next season.”

Van Halen have three Japanese dates lined up for June, shows that were rescheduled from last fall following Eddie’s surgery for Diverticultis and the necessary recovery time.

“There's nothing on the ticket as far as travel, and that's a disappointment, frankly,” adds Roth. “How long have I been back with the gang? Maybe six years, we'll say and we have yet to travel to Europe, South America, Japan, anywhere outside of those basic 50 cities in the United States. And again that's been a disappointment. We have an audience and we have a potential future in many, many places, but our story is one of a whole lotta Shakespeare going on. And I don't know where the Van Halen future lies aside from the States. We'll always be able to play our hits – and keep in mind we have more hits than Beethoven, we have more hits than Tony Soprano – so getting onstage and playing that is glorious, and certainly getting onstage with the brothers will always be an excitement for me. But in terms of taking the music past where we found it, I'm not sure where that's going to go.”

Read more with David Lee Roth at Rolling Stone here.

Van Van Halen




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