The Tapes Archive podcast is taking Van Halen fans back to the summer of 1991 when the band was on top of the world.
Above is a never before published interview with Sammy Hagar which took place just prior to Van Halen’s concert at Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana on August 24th, 1991. Marc Allan of the Indianapolis Star conducted the interview over the phone.
At the time Van Halen was on the road promoting its number one album ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’, which had been released just a few months before (June 18th, 1991). Allan asked Hagar if the band had been looking forward to knocking the trending “dance divas and rap acts” off the top of the charts.
“I was looking so forward to it,” said Hagar. “There were times we’d sit back hearing what we were doing, knowing in our hearts that it was great, and that’s not an ego rap that’s, like, honest. We were real proud of this shit. And were just going, ‘blegh’. You know, you’re sitting there and you’re watching TV and all this stuff, and you’re going, ‘I can’t wait to blast them fuckers out with this shit’. [laughs]”
Hagar also talked about the overall concept of the songs on ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’.
“Lyrically, there is a concept to this album,” said Hagar. “Even the cheesy songs which people could say, ‘Oh, that’s just about pussy’. But a song like ‘Pound Cake’ where people might think it’s just a sexual thing, it is tied into a concept and whether someone agrees with it or not, or whatever, but the dream is over is basically the concept. And it’s not a negative, it’s like – the dream is over but dream another dream. Just stop believing in this old-time crap and the changes have to be made, and so forth….”
“…[the song] ‘Judgment Day’ is basically what I’m talking about. That isn’t my attitude, I think that’s the attitude of a lot of people in the world today,” Hagar continued. “Everyone’s putting it off, everyone’s just going for what they can do [thinking], ‘Oh, what’s in it for me?’ And all that consciousness has just gotta change, and it’s time to wake up…”
“…so a song like ‘Man On A Mission’ is about once you know what you want, and I’m talking sexually, like ‘Pound Cake’. It’s like I’m more attracted to a down-home, homegrown woman than I am to some designer style,” added Hagar. “To me, it’s more beautiful to see things kind of in the nets. I wanna know what I’m eating [laughs] you know what I mean? Like ‘Pound Cake’ is what I’m saying, it’s like a simple, you know what you’ve got. And so that’s the parallel there…”
“…’Man On A Mission’ is basically – once you see it, the pound cake, and you know it, and once you know what you want, then you’re a man on a mission. Then you’ve got a mission, you can go get it. Boom, done. Nothing can distract you. If you don’t know what you want, then you’re not a man on a mission, you’re a lost dog.” [laughs]
There’s a whole lot more Hagar discusses during the interview including his belief in UFOs, his experience being abducted by aliens, his father’s death, the secret song Van Halen will play in concert and more.
00:00 – Intro
00:43 – Start of Sammy Hagar interview
01:05 – His advice for Axl Rose
02:43 – What he expects for Van Halen’s latest record
03:58 – Why Van Halen fans trust them
04:51 – The secret to Van Halen
05:44 – The meaning behind the songs “Man on a Mission” and “Poundcake”
08:12 – The dream that’s over
09:02 – The guy who’s trying to build a house on the beach
10:15 – What an artist’s job is
15:38 – When he thinks Van Halen fans accepted him
18:12 – His prediction for when and if David Lee Roth would reunite with Van Halen
21:09 – His belief in UFOs
24:32 – His experience being abducted by a UFO
28:16 – Why he’s adamant that each man should take care of themselves but everyone needs compassion
29:58 – His father’s death
31:54 – What fans can expect at the Van Halen concert
32:40 – His Red Rocker clothing line
34:53 – The secret song they will be playing in concert
35:37 – Why they don’t play “Everybody Wants Some”
35:55 – If music is better or worse today