In a brand new interview with Forbes, VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth was asked to name his performing role models. He responded: “When I was doing rock and roll and learning stagecraft, we were imitating all the European acts, who were schooled from old British music hall and Vaudeville. All those Odeons and theaters were still open when I did my first tours. And all the old guys and everything, Alfred Lagarde in Holland, and he would comment and stuff. And he would comment, he was a critic as well as a supporter. Old school, so that was very much in our DNA. I came from classic training, which was [George] Gershwin, [Leonard] Bernstein, classical music like this. That edge is in VAN HALEN music. That dark minor key tone is in everything we ever made and that’s why we have two diamond albums [‘Van Halen’ and ‘1984’]. Elvis [Presley] doesn’t have two. He has one and it was Christmas tunes and he didn’t write them. That darkness, that little shot of sea salt in the caramel is what makes it work, the John Lennon note. Not the [Paul] McCartney note. The reason I’m so funny is that I ain’t even vaguely happy. And that’s in your music all the time, from midrange down to here.”
Asked how that comes across in his performance, Roth said: “Over a period of time it transcends what you look like, unless you were David, unless you were Ziggy Stardust, ’cause you had that specific haircut. But what we bring is classic. I don’t go perform, I don’t present. The Van Halens [Eddie and Alex] and I come from a background where you had to win or you didn’t eat. You had to win your seat in the orchestra starting in sixth grade or you weren’t in the orchestra. And when I was in the marching band, you had to win first, second or third chair saxophone or you didn’t march. You didn’t get a uniform. And then we had to win every audition, then we had to win over the audience, then we had to win over the record company, then I had to sue the record company and win that. It comes from a different mindset of preparedness, ’cause when I step on stage, I don’t think about that at all. It’s all in the prep, thousands of hours so that you can go no mind and interact with the people. But all of my preparation comes from a determination that’s based on revenge and fear. My anxieties in terms of revenge and fear are very specific and tangible. I’m not complaining about the man, I’m not upset about injustice. I’m pissed at the wristwatch, it’s a little too fast, like ten years too fast. Can you dig? I’m pissed at the calendar. It should slow down a little bit, especially the good days. I’m pissed on those days off when I feel my age, 60 going on 90. Does that make sense?”
You can find the first part of the interview at this location.
Roth made a surprise appearance during Dutch producer Armin Van Buuren‘s headlining set at the Ultra Music Festival Saturday night (March 30) in Miami, where the duo performed a remix of the band’s biggest hit, “Jump”.
Roth recently launched Ink The Original, a skin-care line specifically made to preserve, protect, and highlight tattoos and keep them from fading.