Eddie Van Halen recorded a solo for “What The Hell Was I Thinking?”, the long-awaited new project from guitarist Dweezil Zappa.
From The Huffington Post:
Mike Ragogna: You had another great project that you’ve been working on, and forgive me if I don’t know anymore about it than this, but it’s your “What The Hell Was I Thinking?” project, right?
Dweezil Zappa: Yeah, it’s a record that I started a while ago, and I just haven’t had a chance to really put it all together. I know I’m probably going to add some changes based on my own technical improvements to my playing. I guess the best way to describe the project is it’s an audio movie. I recorded a bunch of different music that all segues together, so it’s constantly morphing and turning. Each little segment has its own little audio environment, and then you have these cameo appearances by all these different guitar players who sort of start falling out of the speakers. So, it’s got about thirty different people on there so far, I’ll give you a list of some of the ones people would know: There’s Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Angus and Malcolm Young–who never played on anything other than an AC/DC record before–Yngwie Malmsteen, Warren DeMartini from RATT, Albert Lee, Brian Setzer, there are a ton of people like Jimmy Vaughn, Robin Ford, Joe Walsh. And the thing is, all these different people, they all have a very recognizable sound, and in the world of guitar playing, that’s a real challenge–to create your own sound to where when you hear just a couple of notes you actually know who it is.
The fun of it is that you’re actually hearing a lot of these people out of context, they’re playing on things they wouldn’t normally be playing over, and that was part of the fun of making this project happen. So, either people are playing on exactly what you would expect them to play over, or something you would never expect them to play over. The Van Halen thing is pretty funny because I put this section together where I asked Edward to play sort of a “greatest hits” from all his different guitar licks. We just took different licks from different solos from different records and made him play them all and string them together in one guitar solo. That was pretty fun because it was like having your own toy Eddie Van Halen–like, “I’ll make my Eddie Van Halen play this.”
Mike Ragogna: (laughs) Oh, to own a toy Eddie Van Halen. Is there a plan to release the project anytime soon?
Dweezil Zappa: Now I’m thinking about it in a lot of different forms. When I was first thinking about making it, I didn’t ever consider that it could be performed live. But now with the band that I have, I’m almost thinking, “Maybe, if I put this thing together in the right way, it actually could be performed live.” I don’t know if I could get all the guests to play all at once, but the piece of music, in the end, is a continuous piece of music that’s seventy-five minutes long with no break. So, it might make for an interesting presentation if it could be put together in a live situation. But, you know, I have to finish the record first (laughs).