‘Take your thought and say it over and over’: David Lee Roth on Van Halen’s delicate balance of power

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As we bid farewell to Van Halen’s lengthy tour in support of A Different Kind of Truth, David Lee Roth provides some insight into the delicate balance of power the band has always had.

There are, he reminds in this Jay Mohr clip, three primary ways that arguments are settled in Van Halen.

“We use volume — like who yells the loudest,” Roth says, laughing. “We use proximity, which means who can stand the closest to the other guy and seem the most threatening; and we use repetition — which means take your thought and say it over and over and over again. Whoever gives up first, well, we don’t do that guy’s idea.”

Roth cautions that the brothers Van Halen — guitarist Eddie and drummer Alex — do not vote as a bloc. And that not much changed with the departure of bassist Michael Anthony, because he typically stayed way from any blow ups between the other three.

Anthony has since departed for Chickenfoot, with fellow Van Halen refugee Sammy Hagar. Roth, who helped start the band in the 1970s, had been back with Van Halen for a few years — but Truth was their first studio effort together since 1984. Eddie Van Halen’s song Wolfgang filled in on bass.

A Different Kind of Truth shot to No. 2 on the album charts, but the subsequent tour was halted by Eddie’s health problems last year. When he healed up, Van Halen resumed work, concluding with a July 24 show at Paso Robles, California.

Roth posted a thank-you video for fans featuring video clips from the tour and his web program “The Roth Show,” with a musical soundtrack that includes “Happy Trails” from Van Halen’s 1982 album Diver Down.

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