Since reuniting with David Lee Roth in 2007, Van Halen has toured the U.S. countless times. They even finally got their act together to release a new album, A Different Kind Of Truth, last year (even though it’s made up of re-recorded demos). However, there’s still one thing that has left many fans disappointed: the fact that Eddie’s son Wolfgang was playing bass instead of Michael Anthony. Well as it turns out, David Lee Roth feels the same way.
Roth was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone about Van Halen’s upcoming dates in Tokyo and his time living in Japan. During the chat, Roth voiced his frustrations with the band’s lack of touring outside the States and that there are no plans as of yet to tour after the Japanese run. The singer then went into his disappointment over there not being a reunion of the original lineup, saying:
“… But Ed has his own vision, I’m assuming. 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’ve offered the fellows, come on out here to the land of the gods. And if you don’t want to make it that far we’ll make it halfway – Konishiki [his friend and former champion sumo wrestler] has said he’ll lend me his house in Hawaii, Let’s go woodshed. But so far there hasn’t been any response, so hope and faith are not actual tactics and strategies – they’re strippers from Albuquerque.”
In addition to Anthony’s absence and lack of touring/festival appearances, Roth says numerous times throughout the interview how disappointed he is that he and Van Halen haven’t actually sat down to record new music. He even goes so far as to say “Almost all of the music that you hear on our most recent album 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, 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.”
However, Roth reveals that he recently reunited with his former guitarist John 5 (now with Rob Zombie) to create what he describes as a “jukebox musical” inspired by The Book Of Mormon. When asked whether we can expect to see the autobiographical musical titled Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bar & Grill, Roth said “absolutely” and even revealed he offered it to Van Halen. “Again, I’ve offered it up to the Van Halens, but I seriously doubt there are going to be any takers there,” explained Roth. “As I’ve said, we haven’t written a new song since I left in 1984. Almost everything on that record [A Different Kind of Truth] is from before we recorded the first album or out or about somewhere in that time frame. 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. Therein that was remanded to the back side – well, it’s not a record anymore, side B, next to the last of whatever. It’s an update, thinking symmetrically – ‘Ice Cream Man,’ ‘Stay Frosty,’ I get it [laughs].”
Granted, it’s not surprising to hear that there is tension within the current Van Halen camp. And it’s been well known that most of what appears on A Different Kind Of Truth were leftovers from the band’s early days. Still, finally a current member of Van Halen (Roth nonetheless) admits that Michael Anthony should be a part of the reunion. While things seem to be falling apart for Van Halen, we doubt that the current reunion will be calling it quits anytime soon (then again, as the brief 1996 VMA reunion proves, Van Halen are never predictable).
Yesterday, it was revealed that Van Halen were postponing over 30 previously announced dates this Summer. An official explanation for the sudden change of plans has still not been given. However, according to TMZ, the reason is simple: they’re just burned out.
“They want to make sure their concerts are not a routine … they want every performance to be special,” an unidentified source tells TMZ. The same source claims that Van Halen’s current schedule was “too much, too fast” for them and that they need time to “re-charge their engines.” This comes shortly after Rolling Stoneheard from insiders that “The band is arguing like mad. They are fighting.” TMZ’s sources, though, say that reports of any feuds are “total B.S.”
Granted, Van Halen have been doing their fair share of touring in support of their latest album A Different Kind Of Truth. And it’s easy to get burnt out fast while on the road. However, it still seems fishy that Van Halen would postpone over half of their tour so suddenly and without any official reasoning given. Plus, it’s not like the Van Halen brothers and David Lee Roth have always gotten along in the first place. We could speculate multiple theories (maybe they are butting heads constantly, but just need a little time to cool off before getting back on the road?), but we’re sure more is going to develop soon.
Van Halen’s A Different Kind Of Truth tour earlier this year did pretty well for itself. That’s why it made sense for them to add another U.S. leg to their touring plans (with even more dates recently added). What doesn’t make sense, though, is most of those dates getting postponed.
According to Pollstar.com, Van Halen have postponed over 30 previously announced shows this Summer. They note that dates following the band’s June 26 show in New Orleans have been completely removed from their website. With the newly added dates, the tour was supposed to run until September. Thus, shows in markets like Philadelphia, Baltimore, E. Rutherford, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Memphis, Spokane, Reno, Fresno, Wichita, Salt Lake City, El Paso, Milwaukee and more have been affected.
Making matters even more strange is that an no explanation behind the sudden change in plans has been given, only that future dates will be announced. So what is the cause of all these dates to suddenly get canned? Until further information is revealed you can check out a full rundown of dates that have been postponed after the jump. Read more »
Remember that awesome isolated vocal track of Van Halen’s “Running With the Devil” that captured David Lee Roth in all his raw glory a few years ago? Someone has finally put it to good use. Audio engineer Dave Rogge has fashioned a “Roth Scream Box” that’s self-explanatory, and also amazing. Hit the big glowing red button, get a snippet of Roth singing, yelling, or whistling at you. Rogge put together the box using the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping tools. If you’re handy enough, you can make your own, but he’ll eventually be selling his own via his Etsy shop.
Some fans have been up in arms about Van Halen reworking older demos and material for their new album A Different Kind Of Truth, while others couldn’t care less. Even we here at Metal Insider are still debating whether it really matters or not. And though the band has kept quiet about the accusations, we now have confirmation from Diamond Dave himself.
Recently, The Los Angeles Timesinterviewed David Lee Roth and producer John Shanks. In the piece, both commented on the album’s material, which they admit is made up of reworked or unreleased songs from the 70’s. “It’s material that Eddie 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,” commented Roth, who also said that they still tried to collaborate on the material rather than simply rerecord. Shanks added the following about the writing sessions and working with Eddie Van Halen on looking through the archives for “golden nuggets”:
“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.”
Thus, Roth and Shanks’ comments basically confirm what we knew all along. One of my biggest beefs with them using older material was that the band seemed to keep quiet about it, though admittedly they haven’t done that much press for the album anyway. So I’m a little more at ease that the band (well, at least Roth) is being open about reworking unreleased material.
While we’ll have to wait a little more than a week for A Different Kind Of Truth to hit stores, we can at least listen to more samples from the album. Van Halen have already released a handful of snippets of songs, and now even more have been posted. Actually, now samples from the entire album have been posted online (some on Van Halen’s YouTube account and others on VanHalenStore.com’s account). You can listen to samples (plus leaked full versions of two songs) of each track from A Different Kind Of Truth (at least until they’re taken down) in the order they appear on the album after the jump. Read more »
Nowadays, you know you’re getting closer and closer to the release of an album when bands start posting more songs or snippets online leading up to the big day. And that’s basically what Van Halen are doing, as late last night they posted another 90 second sample of song off of A Different Kind Of Truth. This time, it’s a snippet of “Stay Frosty,” which was featured in last night’s episode of CSIand can be heard in the video above. Though it starts off slow with a bluea guitar riff, the song cuts out right as Eddie’s heavy riffs come in. Luckily, though, CSI used the more rocking part of the song in the episode’s strip club scene (how perfect?). Our mini-review of the song? Its very reminiscent of “Ice Cream Man,” even down to the title.
However, yesterday’s sampling of “Blood And Fire” is still causing a stir around the web for the wrong reasons. Remember how we joked yesterday about how there was “no word” yet on whether the song shared similarities with an old demo? Well, turns out it does. Many hardcore fans noticed that “Blood And Fire” is essentially the same riff to an instrumental Eddie Van Halen recorded for the 1984 Cameron Crowe movie The Wild Life, which he also wrote the entire score for. Of course, this isn’t the first time Van Halen have been accused of reworking old demos or unreleased songs for A Different Kind Of Truth. But unlike the accusations with “Tattoo,” the similarities between “Blood And Fire” and the instrumental called “Ripley” are hard to miss.
Judge for yourself, and listen to both the “Blood And Fire” sample and “Ripley” after the jump. We’re sure it’s only a matter of time till fans discover what demo “Stay Frosty” resembles. But from where we stand, better to hear old Van Halen reworked with Diamond Dave than new stuff. Read more »
When Sammy Hagar stated this past November that the new Van Halen album was supposedly full outtakes from the early days, most fans shrugged it off. Now, though, it looks like the Red Rocker might not be so off his rocker.
Shortly after the video for Van Halen’s first single “Tattoo” made its way online, some fans started to claim that it sounded awfully similar to a song the band played often in the early days called “Down In Flames.” Not helping matters is that the “new” song Van Halen played during their Cafe Wha? press show last week “She’s The Woman” was originally recorded as a demo around 1976 (and produced by none other than Gene Simmons). We’ll have to wait and see if the band uses more leftovers on A Different Kind Of Truth when it comes out on February 7 via Interscope Records, but it would appear that songs aren’t the only thing being recycled.
Yesterday, the album cover (as seen above) for A Different Kind Of Truth was officially revealed, though it’s basically the same artwork used in recent promotion. However, as Blabbermouth discovered, Van Halen’s new cover has a striking resemblance to the Commodores’ artwork for Movin’ On, which came out in 1975 via Motown Records. You can check out both album covers back to back after the jump, but the similarities are pretty undeniable.
So how should we respond to both the recycling of album covers and leftover songs (the similarities between “Tattoo” and “Down In Flames” is up for debate, but there’s no argument about “She’s The Woman”)? Well some will obviously be more concerned than others, but one thing is for certain: this certainly adds a whole new meaning to the title A Different Kind Of Truth.
You can check out the two album covers back to back, as well as hear versions of both songs, after the jump. Read more »
That’s what Van Halen fan site Van Halen News Desk is saying. We already know that tickets will be going on sale for their upcoming tour on January 10th, and now the site says that’s also when the single will be unleashed. Allegedly, the cities and dates for the first leg of the tour will be announced on Tuesday, January 3rd. One week later, the single and video will hit the air as the tickets go on sale, and the album will come out on February 7.
There’s still little known about the album, which has allegedly been finished since last summer. Apparently, the footage of the band playing in the teaser trailer for the tour was filmed at the Roxy in Los Angeles and is taken from the first video, even though the songs in the trailer aren’t new. The image also came from the Van Halen News Desk, and is apparently the album cover. Regardless of whether the album, the first with David Lee Roth since 1984 (which ironically came out on the last day of 1983), is good or not, it’s nice to see the band finally got off their collective asses and made a record.
While it’s not the new album announcement that everyone’s waiting for, visitors to Van Halen’s website will find the above video, announcing that the band will be on tour next year, with the first tickets going on sale on January 10. It also gives you a chance to see what Van Halen looks like in 2012. Well, at least David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen. The footage was shot at the Roxy in Los Angeles back in November. If they’re touring, that means they’ll be touring behind a new album right? RIGHT?! We’ll have to wait to find out – maybe there will be an announcement when the tour dates are announced. Stay tuned…
In the beginning of November, it seemed like a sure bet that Van Halen was the “iconic group” making a special announcement at the Grammy Nomination Shows. Well, the show took place this past Wednesday, and Diamond Dave was nowhere to be found. Another disappointment for Van Halen fans. However, many sources are reporting The Beach Boys were actually the no-show who were supposed to announce their reunion. In fact, many are now claiming that The Grammys never even reached out to Van Halen.
If you’re like us, then you’re probably asking “Wait, what about the Grammys’ anything but subtle tweet?” Well according to Rolling Stone, The Recording Academy’s tweet intended to link to an article on Hitfix guessing Van Halen was the reunited band. In other words, The Grammys simply meant to retweet a gossip story (along with a few Van Halen song titles) merely to get people talking. Instead, though, everyone took the tweet as confirmation that Van Halen was the promised reunited band.
So here we are, with yet another Van Halen rumor squashed. While it’s easy to say that we all jumped to conclusions pretty fast, The Grammys didn’t necessarily help matters either with their tweet. But we guess the joke is on them, since not only did The Grammys annoy a crap load of Van Halen fans, but the big announcement from an “iconic reunited group” they promised never happened either. And while this goes to show that you have to take anything in regards to Van Halen news with a grain of salt, this picture makes it safe to assume that something is going down in the Van Halen camp. Then again, The Grammy tweet looked like a sure thing as well.