There is a new interview with Eddie Van Halen in the April 2009 issue of Hustler magazine. Here are some of the highlights where Eddie talks about Van Halen’s 2007-2008 tour:
(Photo by Matthew Bruck)
What was it like the first time you guys played after all those years ?
It was amazing. At first, obviously, Dave doubted that a 15-16 year old could do it. He said, “How’s a 15-year-old kid going to be able to handle standing in front of that many people? Will he be able to sing ? Does he have chops?” That all went out the window after the first rehearsal. (Laughs.) The best thing of all this is that we have all grown. In the old days we yelled and screamed at each other not because we didn’t like each other; it was more about the passion. We were always arguing about what the album cover should look like or what it should be called, shit like that, you know? It was our passion for the music, not anger towards each other.
Dave had slightly different ideas than Alex and I did. That led him to pursue a solo career. You know how the press can be. They turned it into a mudslinging thing that really never occurred. At least not to the extent that was reported. Where it actually started, nobody knows. Probably some journalist who took something out of context.
What was the best part of the tour?
The best part for me obviously was playing and being onstage with my son and my brother, and of course being back with Dave. It was a fucking blast. Like family playtime. I think the press made a lot bigger to-do about Dave leaving the band than it was. Okay, how do I say this without offending the womenfolk? It’s like any relationship. Everybody has to experiment. Maybe he didn’t want to be married that long. He wanted to try something else. When he realized the marriage was actually good, and maybe missed it a bit, we got back together.
Did Wolfgang actually pick the set list?
Yeah he put it together and we really dug it. But he got a little ticked off halfway through the tour when nobody wanted to change it. I was on his side because it would have been nice to change it up a little. We just didn’t have a long enough break in the tour to rehearse and work upother tunes. It took me a while to re-learn the ones we did play ’cause I hadn’t played ’em for so many years. I mean, some songs, from the first and second record, I wrote in high school. So it goes way back for me.
Where there any songs that you didn’t play that you wished you could have?
Some new stuff would’ve been nice. But again, everything was in high gear as soon as we decided to do a tour that it would’ve taken time to write, record, mix, master, etc. We wouldn’t have been on tour in 2007-2008. Overall, it was very exciting to play those classics, and I believe that’s what the fans wanted to hear, anyway.
Is there going to be a CD/DVD from the tour ?
We did film and record 7 shows, but we kind of thought, why give people what they just saw? We have it. Maybe later. We just didn’t feel like the timing was right. Why give them exactly what they just saw? Somewhere in the future I’m sure it’ll surface. Maybe, if and when we decide to put everything we have out. Including things like me playing guitar at the 6th grade talent show. There’s all kinds of cool and funny shit we could put out. Who knows, really, when there are so many other things to do first. Like put out some new tunes.