DAVID LEE ROTH: ‘I Don’t Know That VAN HALEN Ever Really Fit In’

Darryl Sterdan of the QMI Agency spoke to VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth ahead of the February 7 release of the band’s much-anticipated new album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”.

Regarding VAN HALEN‘s decision to get KOOL AND THE GANG to support them on their upcoming North American tour, Roth said, “We picked KOOL AND THE GANG to open for us because KOOL AND THE GANG and VAN HALEN are the sounds of an entire continent at recreation. We’ve come to represent that — although you’re more likely to hear KOOL AND THE GANG at a bar mitzvah than me, even though I’m a brother. You go to a Hasidic Jewish bar mitzvah and they’ll play ‘Ladies’ Night’ by KOOL. Me, they’ll let in — ‘But he doesn’t sing; he runs with the devil!'”

On the topic of VAN HALEN being considered eternally unhip, Roth said, “We were never cool. Even when we were happening, even when we were the flavor of the week the first time, we weren’t cool. John Travolta and ‘Saturday Night Fever’ were cool. And across the street, the SEX PISTOLS and THE CLASH were cool. We were just kind of an island. I don’t know that VAN HALEN ever really fit in. And it was not a conscious act. Many times we’re trying to imitate other people; it just comes out looking and sounding like us. And today we’re still not cool. We’re somewhere between KATY PERRY and MUSE. Somewhere between KINGS OF LEON and MAROON 5. Welcome to our island. Abandon all hope.”

Roth also made it clear that he and his bandmates aren’t taking their reunion for ganted. “Everybody values their privilege,” he said. “And it is indeed a privilege and a gift to be able to have this job as opposed to a lot of the jobs the state offers. Everybody has had at least one or two medical near- misses or at least one or two dental tragedies. Sometimes that’s all it takes — you get your teeth knocked out a couple of times and you start to realize you’re mortal. That illumination alone can rebind a band.”

The singer acknowledged that much of VAN HALEN‘s new album is made up of material pulled from the band’s archives, explaining, “I retooled all of the verses and melodies. I retooled all of the lyrics. So there is a body of new that meets halfway there, that I think makes very colourful sense. The idea that it was in a vault — well, are you talking about a head of lettuce or fine wine, sir?”

Read the entire interview from QMI Agency.