From The Daily Telegraph:
By Kathy McCabe interviews David Lee Roth
Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth likes to talk. Kathy McCabe goes along for the wild ride.
KM: You are finally playing in Australia after coming close a couple of times in recent years.
DLR: You’re going to have to ask the rhythm section about that one. Kathy, I myself am a traveller. And let me carry with that an explanation that all those who wander are not necessarily lost. I’m calling you from Tokyo, in fact.
KM: OK, getting back to the point, is the concert in Australia part of your quest to get Van Halen out of America and touring the world again?
DLR: Clearly. The Van Halens, I think, are just now starting to value that which once was, which was the capacity to experience other worlds, other communities, particularly when you are a stranger in a stranger land. I find that so refreshing. And you gotta be prepared to be a beginner, you gotta be prepared to not have your cheesburger and fries, you gotta be prepared for a lot.
In the days back when, we would come off the road after a full year out, I would walk straight though to the international terminal and head for an adventure. I have earned the stars and scars. Kathy, we were shooting some film the other day and I said to the make-up lady in Japanese: ‘You see there are eight lines on my forehead? Each one is named after an ex-girlfriend’. And she points to the third and says and “Which one is this, Dave?” “That’s Stacey from Dallas.”
KM: Do you have any particularly good or bad memories of Australia?
DLR: My godfather was Roger Shipton and he was in government, he was in Melbourne. He was the one who taught me at an early age that when Americans say “Whenever you’re in town come by and stay at my place,” that Australians will. He and his family stayed at my house in Pasadena, I have a tomb with a view in California.
KM: Are you aware of the movie Stone that the festival you are playing in Sydney is based on?
DLR: I’ve read the work up on it; I’ve seen part of it through the YouTube etc. It has not reached the American shores through rock’n’roll; it reached the shores through cinephiles like Tarantino and Rodriguez and the post-baby boomers who have had the internet at their fingers.
I was not so lucky. I have one regret in showbiz – I didn’t have the f … kin’ internet. I had to wait to get to New York to buy dance music, I had to wait to get to Texas to meet Stacey and buy country music. I had no idea what was going on in our backyard, until I was actually there. There’s no bitterness about Van Halen’s political ups and downs, there’s no bitterness about “Gee, we could have made that record better”. My bitterness is “Man, if I’d had that instrument to learn from, what we could have done?”
KM: Is there still that fire in the belly when you walk on stage?
DLR: That fire starts down around little Elvis long before it reaches the belly. Yeah, I named my dick. Actually I think it was Stacey who did. You think I’m kidding?
My fire starts long before we even start to rehearse let alone get to the stage. I collect music, like, by weight. There are still three Tower Record stores here, four floors of actual CDs, you can hold them in your hands like belt buckles. If I cup my hands I can pile CDs all the way up to my chin. I myself have four or five things I really love to listen to and I am able to investigate deeply into that here. I listen constantly and I sing and dance constantly. I chose this apartment because it has a cool wooden floor and with the right socks you can get a four-foot slide.
Stone Music Festival, ANZ Stadium; April 20 (Van Halen, Jimmy Barnes, Kings Of Chaos, The Living End and more) and April 21 (Billy Joel, Icehouse, Guy Sebastian, Lifehouse and more), ticketek.com.au, stonemusicfest.com.
Also, here’s some quotes from Roth’s recent interview with theage.com.au:
He alludes to the acrimony that has mired Van Halen. ”They [the brothers] have approached their life from a much more traditional standpoint. They have families, they celebrate birthdays, they sleep regular hours more often than not; I’m truly a wanderer.”
Roth says Australian audiences can expect a playlist reflecting the band’s heavy metal roots, its flamboyant pop tunes and tracks from the band’s critically lauded 2012 album, A Different Kind of Truth.
”We are one of the few acts that could open for a Jimmy Buffett on one night and play with Metallica on the other and still move with alarming credibility.”
Roth remains unmarried and lives in Tokyo where he learns Japanese, sword play and Japanese fine arts.
”What I do have is groupies who are on their first and second divorces,” he said. ”They email me in advance and describe exactly what they are going to be wearing.
”Yes, I do have issues.”