On the anniversary of Van Halen III today, it’s a good time to highlight the recent talk former Van Halen singer Gary Cherone had with Sirius/XM’s ‘Trunk Nation’ host, Eddie Trunk. Gary spoke about his time singing for Van Halen, including a small update on his current relationship with the Van Halen brothers.
The interview led to some interesting responses from Cherone, most notable being that he has rekindled a friendship with Edward and Alex Van Halen. The complete interview has now been made available courtesy of PodcastOne, below.
Cherone was interviewed by host Eddie Trunk last month during the 2020 Monsters of Rock Cruise where his band Extreme was among the performers.
The following is the exchange between Trunk and Cherone regarding Van Halen:
TRUNK: “Clearly the [David Lee] Roth ship has sailed, clearly they’re never gonna work with Sammy [Hagar] again. The one guy that would play both eras of that material and sing it brilliantly and was in Van Halen is you,” said Trunk. [Cheers & applause]
CHERONE: “I’m in the batter’s box. Let me call Eddie right now.”
TRUNK: “Speaking of calling Eddie, are you in touch with him?”
CHERONE: “I keep in touch with him.”
TRUNK: “I’m not gonna put you on the spot and [ask you to] disclose anything that’s not public but is he OK?”
CHERONE: “He’s OK” [Applause]”
TRUNK: “That’s great to hear.”
CHERONE: “[The Van Halen camp is] a tight circle so it’s all about loyalty. You’re not gonna get a lot out of me right now.”
TRUNK: “So you guys still do have a relationship though hah?”
CHERONE: “Yea, we do. It’s been a few years now. We kinda rekindled [a friendship a few years ago]. Knowing those guys, knowing the brothers you’re either in the circle or you’re (not). When I left the band it wasn’t on bad blood or anything. We just got separated and hooked up again.”
TRUNK: “Was there a certain event that brought you guys back together again or [led to you] reconnecting at some point?”
CHERONE: “Just a call.”
TRUNK: “You called him or he called you?”
CHERONE: “I can’t give you that information…that’s off-mic!”
TRUNK: “This is just me talkin’. The last Van Halen record they made with Roth [2012’s ‘A Different Kind Of Truth’], three-quarters of it was material from 30 years ago. Man, they fire up that stuff that was left on the table with you [in the studio] and get you back out there [on tour]. Let’s go, man! [Cheers & applause]
CHERONE: “He’s starting rumors!”
TRUNK: “If Eddie is OK, the world needs Eddie Van Halen making music! But they need a singer.” [Cheers & applause]
CHERONE: “I’m cheap!”
TRUNK: “I’m beating the drum!”
Cherone, who was with Van Halen from 1996 to 1999, talked about the aborted follow-up album to ‘Van Halen III’ which was released 22 years ago today (March 17th, 1998). He added that the still unheard material sounded closer to the band’s classic sound than the songs heard on ‘Van Halen III’.
“It was more in the strike zone of Van Halen,” Cherone told Trunk. “We were comfortable. The stuff that we were coming out with, we were actually comfortable writing. It was in the strike zone of VH or the classic VH stuff. It was good.”
Van Halen “Without You” From ‘Van Halen III’:
Cherone didn’t say there are any plans for that follow-up album to be released nor did he say there are any plans on him rejoining the band.
Cherone also talked about his current relationship with fellow former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar saying they’re good friends. In fact, Cherone and his Extreme bandmate/guitarist Nuno Bettencourt will appear on Hagar’s AXS TV show “Rock & Roll Road Trip”. According to Cherone the episode had already been filmed and scheduled to run sometime this month (March). A current check of the AXS TV schedule shows no sight of a Cherone/Bettencourt episode but you can check for run dates on Axs.tv.
Cherone revealing his friendship with Hagar gave Trunk another chance to bring up Van Halen.
“You trade Van Halen war stories [with Sammy]?” asked Trunk.
“We do, we do [laughs],” Cherone responded.
“You don’t [wanna] say that too loud. You might not get that call for the reunion show [laughs],” said Trunk.
While Cherone wasn’t going on the record regarding any Van Halen activity with or without him he was able to confirm that his band Extreme has a new album that is nearing completion.
“I finished all my vocals,” Cherone explained. “There’s about 15, 16 tracks, probably not all of them are going to be on the record. It’s in [guitarist] Nuno [Bettencourt]’s hands – he’s a perfectionist. He’s tweaking it. … By the time it’s ready to be released, I’ll probably sing a few more lines. But it’s good. I think it’s the best stuff we’ve done in a long, long time.”
You can hear the entire interview including Enuff Z’Nuff singer/bassist Chip Z’Nuff telling his own personal Edward Van story to Cherone and Trunk below starting at the 36:00 mark. This comes courtesy of PodcastOne.