Video Interview with Ted Templeman

“I’ve worked with such legendary guitar players as Allan Holdsworth, Ronnie Montrose, Eric Clapton, Lowell George and Steve Vai, but none of them come close to having Ed’s [Eddie Van Halen’s] fantastic combination of chops and musicianship. I rank him along with Charlie Parker and Art Tatum as one of the three greatest musicians of my lifetime. Unfortunately, I don’t think Ed puts himself in that class.”

-Ted Templeman

Ted Templeman met Van Halen in 1977 and went on to produce their first five albums at Sunset Sound Studio in Los Angeles, 1984 at 5150 Studios, and later produced For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge at 5150.

Watch Stuart Holt from the Most Interesting Person Project conducted a short interview with Ted on matador tv.

  • 5150

    “I don’t think Ed puts himself in that class.”

    I think Eddie knows how much he has influenced music. He is just a humble guy. Why do you think he was so nervous during that Nuno encounter? When Nuno pointed out who EVH was, what did Eddie say?

    Thiw was a great interview. Do I wish TT was producing this new VH record? IDK, I trust Eddie and his decisions. He has given us great music whether it’s Dave, Sam, or Gary. He has never let me down!!

  • Roth_Leaps_83


    I hope Ted writes a book. We are never going to get an inside look at how the band recorded all those great songs during the early years from either Dave or Eddie, so Ted is our only hope to relive those memories.

  • Dopie

    Am I the only person who finds it very hard to believe that the break in Unchained was a spontaneous thing? Of course it wasn’t.

  • Valen

    Ted Templeman is a legend

  • Mr. Big Stuff

    Is there more to this interview than the clip posted here? Instead of shots of the interviewer walking through the building, pointing at stuff, etc., I’d rather hear more stories from Ted.

  • Atomic Pete

    That was cool! I’d really like to hear a more in depth
    interview with TT. I always hoped they would do one
    of those “VH1 Classic Album” shows featuring =VH= One
    or 1984. There are some really cool episodes with Metallica and U2 among others for those who aren’t familiar with them.

  • Atomic Pete

    @ Dopie

    Eddie has said years ago in Guitar Player that it was
    “kinda planned”.What Ted said may have been spontaneous
    and they just built something around it.Who knows.
    Either way it’s still awesome.

  • MidnightPhil


    That was my initial thought as well. From what I’ve seen and heard, Dave seems like the kind of guy who likes to have everything planned out in advance. But now I’m kind of wondering if Unchained might’ve been an exception to the rule; Ted made it sound like it was improvised. If it wasn’t, then either Ted’s wrong or he’s covering for Dave 30 years after the fact! 🙂

  • David A Toluca Lake

    Two things.

    Donn Landee the engineer was considered the fifth member of Van Halen, not Templeman.

    For those who don’t think Ted Templeman produced “Jump”, who do you think was up at 5150 when Dave did the vocals???? Yes, Ed and Donn recorded the synth track alone at night but not the vocals and the rest of the band.

  • alexandre

    Top Jimmy, at that time I read Ted was already workin with Dave when Van Halen started to record 5150. But Dave said that Ted choose work with him instead VH… who knows the true history?

  • anythingleftinthatbottle

    If I had the means to do so and had the only website(VHND) that (I believe) is sanctioned by the VH camp. I believe that I would attempt to get an interview with him. I would ask someone (A fan) off this thread to come up with a list of GOOD questions, and not the kind these idiot critic types from magazines would ask, and I would present him with them and see what happens. And, video his answers. I don’t think a man like him would be against painting a picture for us all. I would. It’s not that we would only like to hear about Van Halen but about him as well.

    It’s like someone on here said. He is a 5th member of this band. No doubt about it. Just like a sound guy is a member of a band when they play live. I have always said that. VHND… Let me know, I would respectfully love to interview Ted.

  • Bjorn

    Nowadays they all quad track rythm guitars and compress the hell out of everything. Those original VH records were single tracked and sound heavy as hell. Some of the best sounding albums of all time, all thanks to this man. Bring him back!

  • dan slaughter

    Ted has a great track record and he was a big important part of the first 6 Van Halen records. Sammy credits him for saving the day in January of ’91 and making F.U.C.K. one of VH’s best records. He was there in ’73 with Montrose and produced Sammy’s most successful solo record VOA. I agree that he would have been an inspired choice to produce the new record. Would love if TT wrote a book someday…..tells about Eddie sneaking in late at night to re-record solos for the tunes on Fair Warning or how much friction there was making Diver Down(he stole Eddie’s original riff and used it for Dancing In The Streets!!). Hope he and Donn Landee get to work with the brothers or Sammy and Mike again someday…’s a salute to Ted Templeman.

  • johnny beane

    That was awesome!
    Great to see Ted in the studio!
    Thanks for posting!

  • spaceman

    With everything new for Edward,new wife, new Cd, new tour,Now sober, Eddie has a new lease on life really don’t want old producers in the studio, old sounding Van Halen music, I want a new sound from the boys new approach to their methodology unlike Sammy who keeps comparing themselves to Led Zeppelin #Note even Robert Plant doesn’t want to sound like Zeppelin Because he is past that in his lifestyle and The Foot have to be original,with Satch a great Guitarist in his own right.and MA a bass player who is a brick away from breaking out to greatness need to focus on their own methodology their own sound. Your not Zep or Van Halen or Van Hager your Chickenfoot!

  • DES

    I’d love to hear an interview w/ Ted regarding the entire VH years + EEAS sessions.
    Plus i’d love to have Mike release a in depth book about his life in VH

  • Chris S Halen

    @ steve Ted has said some tales of Van Halen’s recording process in various yet limited interviews he has done over the years.

    My favourite is durning the making VH’s Fair Warning album where DLR was preparing to do his vocal tracks. DLR went on a health kick for a couple of weeks (no smoking, drinking & drugs!) just prior to recording his vocal tracks. On the day of recording Ted didn’t see Dave walk in the vocal booth yet just proceeded to begin the recording. To Ted’s horror Dave sounded nothing like DAVE!! Ted thought it was someone else in the booth!! lol Ted then told one of the VH crew to go out and get some booze & smokes for Dave to indulge in. The whole point to this was Ted loved and wanted Dave’s unique, original, bluesy, growling, roar vocal tone/sound. It’s the perfect opposite to Eddie’s revolutionary guitar sound & of course playing!! CLASSIC!!!!

  • http://u holmes

    Come “Ted”, give a break… You act like you cannot remember some of the greatest music history (VH and Doobies). What kind of history teacher would he have made? I know, Mr Hand. 🙂

  • Jay Krieger

    Always cool stuff poppin’ outta nowhere!
    That’s what makes this the ONLY site worthwhile as we
    -Continue To Wait.

  • Tooey

    Shawn,What the fuck are you talking about? FUCK has the worst drum sound? The drum sound from FUCK was the best ever recorded in Van Halen History I just hope they use that sound in the Upcoming album with Dave.

  • Panama Red

    I would love to shake Templeman’s hand and tell him how grateful I am, (along with many, many other fans), of his work w/ VH. I love how he didn’t allow many overdubs and he helped VH keep a raw and dirty sound on those classic VH albums he produced. He didn’t over do it with the production and the result was spectacular.
    I would also like to read or see an in depth interview with Ted Templeman. This interview was only a couple of minutes long and it barely scratched the surface. I never see interviews with Templeman, I want to hear more.

    I remember hearing that it was Templeman’s voice on “Unchained” but I never thought it was a spontaneous thing that happened in the studio. I didn’t think it sounded off the cuff, it sounded like it was planned to be put in the song. I love “Unchained” but that was always my least favorite part of that song because I thought it was kind of a cheesy break in an otherwise kick ass song. “Hey, hey, hey! One Break Coming UUUPPP!”
    I know some people would disagree with me about it being a little bit of a cheesy thing, my Brother being one of those people. But since Ted Templeman said it was unrehearsed and an ad-lib by Dave, now I think it’s pretty funny and I think I’ll appreciate it more 😉

    I think it would have been more fitting to play “Unchained” in this video instead of “Jump.” That seemed like a no-brainer…oh well.

    The talk of Tom Morello reminded me of something I read here once a while back. A vhnd reader posted something Morello said. I can’t remember the exact quote by Tom Morello but it was something like – If Earth ever went to war with an alien planet and the fate of the universe relied on us battling it out with each planet’s best bands, he would be confident that Van Halen would be our champion.
    I thought that was a pretty cool thing 😀
    I was hooked on RAGE when they first released their debut album back when I was in highschool. I love to get all pumped up with RAGE!!! Love that band!

    Hey Midnight Phil, when are we gonna get to see your next Van Halen video dude? I enjoyed your last one and I thought we would have seen the one about the next era by now. I hope to see it soon. You made me laugh about the Cherone/VH3 comment you made at the end of your last vid.

  • BB

    Grandpa, I’ve been looking for you! Anyone else shocked at where Ted Templeman’s at in his life now. Wow. Time certainly stops for noone.


  • Atomic Pete

    I read a story where Ed was in the studio playing a
    mandolin. Ted asked Ed to do something and Ed turned to him
    and shouted “f#ck you!” and then proceeded to smash the mandolin to bits. He then said “Nah, just kidding Ted”. Apparently Ed just wanted to get the sound of smashing a mandolin on tape.
    Probably a million crazy stories like that.

  • Panama Red

    @ Tooey – Shawn’s gotta be getting F.U.C.K. confused with 5150. If he’s not, then I don’t know what he’s talking about.
    Alex’s drums sounded great on F.U.C.K. and we all know Alex’s electronic synth drums on 5150 is everyone’s least favorite.

  • PCH

    @ Dopie,

    I agree that it is not “totally spontaneous”. I feel maybe the recording of him saying “C’mon Dave, gimme a break” was probablly spontaneous,and that they kicked back into the chorus after that, but I would bet they re-recorded Dave doing the lead up vocal rap, and inserted Ted’s voice. Still cool usage though.

  • treehousemusic

    omg, if Ted was to produce a Chickenfoot record, all of you praising him would turn on him in a second. lol.

  • freddiegirl

    Panama Red..the Morello quote can be found in Zloz’ awesome photo book, “Van Halen: A Visual History”. It’ one of my fav ever quotes about VH. I feel the same; if ever we had to have an intergalactic ‘Battle of the Bands’ I too would feel very confident putting early VH forward as our champion.. 🙂

  • Garrett

    Thanks, Ted. Thank you very much.

  • Al

    Why is everybody wishing Ted would produce the new album.The Dude couldnt even remember the song unchained.Shame on him!

  • MidnightPhil

    @Panama Red

    It should be up sometime in the second half of this week. Glad you liked part one! 🙂

  • Diamond Dean

    Ted Templeman , a true legend , we all shd be thankful for his guiding hand

  • Diamond Dean

    Why is anyone surprised how old Ted is ?????? gees he was around early seventies , do the maths. Gees 40yrs ago , he wld of been in his 20s or 30s then , yikes did u think he was going to be a young long haired dude???

    Hes produced a lot of albums , , its his job , do you people remember everything you do at yr job , especially from 30yrs ago.

    Hes an amazing person and we shd all be thankfull

  • Pieter

    I expected some big corporate rock monster, but give Mr. Templeman a white coat and you have my dentist 😛

  • DreamIsOver

    Ted was brought in to do the vocals with Sammy on F.U.C.K. as Sammy didn’t like Andy Johns due to his heavy drinking and the fact that he erased vocal takes on accident.

  • Brian

    Eddie is the King…. enough said!! Just hope he can give us one more. I have a feeling he isn’t done just yet.

  • Rhymes

    Oh my god! 🙂 – DreamIsOver I found that interesting man, I’ve never heard that before. Thank’s for chearing. 🙂

  • http://none Dirty Duck

    Ted Templeman….the last of the mohicans of rock producers.

    Was listening to the doobie’s last night.
    “South city midnight lady” is one of my favourite songs…..

  • Panama Red

    @ freddiegirl – Thanks for the info. I did not know that. I don’t have any Van Halen books except one that I bought many years ago which was basically a compilation of several interviews with EVH. I think it was put out by Guitar World. I don’t have any of the photo books or other stuff except for a lot of magazines I’ve kept featuring VH and interviews and stuff from the 90’s.
    I flipped through that Zloz photo book once in the check out line at Best Buy a long time ago and it was pretty damn cool. I made a split decision to not get it. I wish I would’ve gotten it now. I guess I’m more into reading about VH than looking at pictures of ‘em. But it was cool. But apparently there is some stuff to read in those books and I’m just forgetting because that’s where you said the Tom Morello quote was from.
    And I haven’t bought the other (non-photo) books about VH that are out there because I feel like I will probably already know most if not all of the stuff in ‘em. But I’m probably wrong about that, plus I have a shitty memory so it doesn’t really matter anyway ‘casue I’ve probably forgotten about a lot of stuff 😉
    But I do need to go to my storage unit and dig out all my VH stuff and have fun reading those old interviews again, and also find my old copy of Dave’s book. I gotta do that soon.

  • http://none Dirty Duck

    Panama red:

    Dave’s book should “always” be within arms length!
    Tsk…tsk! 😉

  • http://none Dirty Duck

    PS) P-Red:

    The visual history book is AMAZING. Own it…
    I never get sick of looking at the pictures.
    It was a glorious time….

  • FrankenFoot

    Can’t remember the song…can’t remember the album. For crying out loud, that shit was 30 years ago?

    Ted’s done a lot more than Van Halen in his career.

  • Wilkster5150

    It seemed to me Ted was being tongue-in-cheek about not remembering that it was Unchained. As for favorite drum sound, I gotta go with the greatest album ever, Women And Children First. Wish my kit sounded like that. Actually I wish it sounded like any of Al’s. Well, except 5150. I wouldnt mind if the drums on the new album sounded as great as they did on Me Wise Magic and CGTSNM.

  • Dan

    Very cool. Heard about Templeman forever, but never even saw a picture of him. Would have made sense to have him produce that latest VH album. Maybe their schdules just couldn’t line up.

  • anythingleftinthatbottle

    @diamonddean…Ya, I don’t remember things I did on my job 30 years ago, but then again, I wasn’t in a sound studio with Van FRICKIN Halen!

  • DreamIsOver

    Yeah Rhymes, Sammy talks about it in his new book. He also said Andy crashed his car into the wall of 5150. Andy worked close with Eddie and the two would get hammered all day.