For the 5th anniversary of A Different Kind of Truth, we’re featuring this new, EXCELLENT (and unexpected!) interview with Van Halen producer John Shanks. This is possibly our favorite interview conducted by the “Dave & Dave Unchained” Van Halen podcast.
John Shanks rarely talks, and now sheds some light on the making of the record. This interview is precisely the kind of background we’ve been craving to hear about A Different Kind of Truth.
Shanks shares interesting tales from the studio process, along with some cool nuggets that should get fans pondering. Shanks recounts telling Eddie he wanted to hear “everything,” and then Eddie driving up in his Ferrari with a box full of DAT cassettes of unheard material to go through! Imagine sitting there all day, with Eddie, while combing through them. He’s one lucky guy! Then again, we’re all lucky to be able to hear what came from their efforts!
Shanks offers his thoughts about what Dave, Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang brought to the table. He even talks about how they chose the first single from the album, and how Shanks wanted the actual “Eruption” Marshall in the room while they worked!
Shanks even shares some old stories, like being a 19-year-old who got to attend Van Halen’s dress rehearsal for the 1983 US Festival show!
Listen below. The John Shanks interview starts at 42:50.
On Feb. 7, 2012, a miracle happened. Van Halen fans’ long time prayers were answered when the band dropped “A Different Kind of Truth,” its first album with original lead singer David Lee Roth in 28 years. This superior album was critically praised and fans were supportive, however, it never got the full push it deserved.
In celebration of the 5th anniversary of Van Halen’s 12th studio album, “Dave & Dave Unchained – A Van Halen Podcast” conducted an exclusive interview with the album’s producer John Shanks about
During the podcast, Shanks talks about shaking things up and getting the band to record at Henson Recording Studios.
“They were open to it,” says Shanks. “I wanted to get them out of Eddie’s studio . I think the studio needed some work. They rehearsed in there. It was sound they were used to. But once we got the drums right and the sounds right they felt pretty comfortable to continue in there.”
However, Shanks wasn’t just another top line producer behind the boards. He’s a hardcore Halen fan through and through.
“I remember sitting in my room doing my homework listening to that first album,” says Shanks. “When ‘Eruption’ came on, I remember putting my pencil down and shaking my head.”
In fact, Shanks even saw the band front row at the US Festival from the press pit.
“I pretended I was a photographer and stood there under Eddie. It was so LOUD but a great LOUD,” says Shanks. “They had a tent set up in the back with ponies, little people, strippers…They were literally on fire!”
Shanks even attended a rare rehearsal two days prior at the A&M Studios’ Charlie Chaplin soundstage, which is the same location where Henson Recording Studios is today.
“That was the first time I saw him (Eddie) – the myth – live,” says Shanks. “I remember he was smoking and drinking Schlitz. They were all amazing!”
Shanks has a massive track record of working with a wide array of artists (Santana, Melissa Etheridge, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Stevie Nicks, Sting), which prepped him for taking on the mighty VH.
“I’ve dealt with the divas, the rock stars…I was ready and I needed to be,” says Shanks. “I needed every bit of experience to take on this project. You are dealing with very creative, powerful presence in the room. You have to be on your toes!”
Listen to episode 11 of “Dave & Dave Unchained” to hear the entire 100-minute plus interview. Download the podcast for free on Spreaker or iTunes. Connect with the Daves on Twitter: @ddunchained, Facebook: Dave & Dave Unchained – A Van Halen podcast, Instagram: ddunchainedpodcast or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the “Dave & Dave Unchained” Podcast:
Van Halen fans, it has finally arrived – a podcast exclusively about The Mighty Van Halen. “Dave & Dave Unchained” focuses on everything in the world of VH, plus the solo careers of its members. This monthly show covers every era of the band through album discussions, exclusive interview segments and more.
The show is hosted by two friends named Dave – David J. Criblez, a music journalist for over 30 years, has interviewed every member of VH with the exception of Wolfgang and has contributed to ‘The Inside‘ Van Halen magazine and Van Halen News Desk; David A. Marcone is his college roommate who shares the same passion for the band. Together they have seen multiple Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth shows around the country for over 20 years including hanging with the band backstage and with Roth in clubs and even on his tour bus.