David Lee Roth Talks Van Halen Future -
Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has spoken openly and rather frankly to Rolling Stone on the future of the hard-rock giants and his desire for bassist Michael Anthony to return to the fold to complete the classic line-up.
"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
"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."
Roth speaks at length about his frustration with Van Halen's failure to tour worldwide, 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 rescheduled Japanese shows planned for June, although Roth, who is currently living Tokyo, is keen on more dates.
"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
Read more with Rolling Stone here.