This week, VAN HALEN play two nights at Madison Square Garden, and the New York Post caught up with David Lee Roth for an update on the band’s tour in support of A Different Kind Of Truth.
“We’re doing a lot of tunes that don’t usually get out of the deck and Edward is more lucid now than any time in my memory,” explains Roth. “I’m his biggest fan. I still remember the first time I saw him playing in a backyard party in Pasadena in high school. He was great then and he’s great now. We’ve come full circle.”
Asked what sets VAN HALEN apart from other bands, Dave says “We throw a sick party, and if you get invited, you gotta go. For starters, on this tour KOOL & THE GANG are opening our shows, and that’s full circle for us because we used to play ‘Hollywood Swinging’ in five-sets-a-night-beer-bars. And the first three songs on our new record are thunder-funk. What we’re giving is the best of the old and the new — think of it like watching ‘Dragnet’ on your iPad.”
Roth was asked how the pop world changed since VAN HALEN started in the 70s. “These days, I see too much cheerleading and not enough stagecraft, and what I’m seeing isn’t worth cheering for,” replies Roth. “The questions I want to ask most of my colleagues are: Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio? Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?”