David Lee Roth Talks Recycled Music, Eddie Van Halen + More
The always quotable and entertaining David Lee Roth opened up about several topics pertaining to Van Halen‘s new album ‘A Different Kind of Truth,’ which drops on Feb. 7. It’s DLR’s first album with the band in two decades and he’s got a lot to say.
In a chat with the Los Angeles Times, Roth spoke candidly about the band’s decision to dip into the VH vaults and recycle old pieces of music and existing lyrics for the much-anticipated new album. He said, “It’s material that Eddie [Van Halen] and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely — or ironically, wink, wink — try to hail back to it, keep a safe, mature distance from it.”
Roth also commented on the current state and status of guitar god Eddie Van Halen, who has been through rehab, had a hip replaced and survived cancer, but not before losing a portion of his tongue to the disease. Through it all, the axe legend keeps on keeping on. “He’s doing really well,” Roth offered. “He’s lucid, he’s sober, he’s playing.”
The singer also offered his opinion, as only he can, about Eddie’s overall mindset, referencing the idea that true creative types carry an extra burden. He said, “You know, I don’t know if Ed has ever felt good. There’s a thin line between rage and great work. He really never enjoyed his fame or success, and that might be part of what compels him.”
Roth’s most vivid statement came when he mused about his latest stint with the band that put him on the map. The band’s legacy is certainly cemented courtesy of their catalog, but what about the here and the now? Can the essential Van Halen canon be added to with ‘A Different Kind of Truth?’ In Roth’s mind, it sure can.
“Are there second chances?,” he asked. “I don’t know, Mr. Faulkner, I’m tending to agree with you: No. We’ve managed to stretch our adolescence like a Chiclet to the moon and maintained the respectful dignities along the way that got us on that turnpike up in the first place. We love what we do for a living. Even in our wildest, most beer-soaked days, we never missed rehearsal.”
Chiclet to the moon? Just brilliant. It’s also refreshing that even as they near their 60s, the members of Van Halen are still consummate pros.