Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times spoke to VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth and producer John Shanks about the making of the the band’s new album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, which will arrive on February 7 via Interscope.
On going back and excavating pieces of unrecorded songs, lyrics from old notebooks and half-pursued concepts to build the new VAN HALEN album:
Roth: “It’s material that Eddie [Van Halen, guitar] 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 [but] keep a safe, mature distance from it.”
On sifting through archival material with Eddie Van Halen, looking for the nuggets that could be mined for the new VAN HALEN album:
Shanks: “Some of it was recorded in Dave‘s basement when these guys were kids, and, sitting there next to Eddie, it was pretty cool just to go through that journey. And then when the sessions started just seeing how Eddie and Alex play together — there’s such a synchronicity in their feel and rhythm and their playing. There were times, honestly, I was just moved by it, not just as a musician but as a human being. The nuances of the way they communicate is staggering.”
On the state of Eddie Van Halen, a rehab veteran who has also lost a third of his tongue to cancer and undergone hip replacement:
Roth: “He’s doing really well. He’s lucid, he’s sober, he’s playing. 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.”
On the magical legacy of VAN HALEN and the urgent need to live up to it with the new album and tour:
Roth: “Are there second chances? 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.”
Read the entire article from the Los Angeles Times.