David Lee Roth: There's No Stagecraft In Today's Bands

David Lee Roth's flamboyant persona both onstage and offstage is a key ingredient in the formula for success that was Van Halen in the mid-1980s.

David Lee Roth: There's No Stagecraft In Today's Bands
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David Lee Roth isn't exactly a subtle front man and his flamboyant persona both onstage and offstage is a key ingredient in the formula for success that was Van Halen in the mid-1980s. Yet, Diamond Dave sees the balance between style and substance as something missing in today's young pretenders, something which he lamented to a New York Post journal in a recent interview: "These days, I see too much cheerleading and not enough stagecraft, and what I'm seeing isn't worth cheering for. The questions I want to ask most of my colleagues are: Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio? Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?" Dave was keen to explain why so many women still turn up at Van Halen's shows as the band members reach their mid 50s: "We've always paid a lot of attention to women. Do you think I'd wear yellow-anything for guys? Do you think I move anything below elbow level in honor of my bros? Come on! Every night is ladies night and that feeling is right." What's more, the front man also suggested that his ongoing "frenemy" status with guitarist Eddie Van Halen has cooled somewhat since the band's reformation: "We're doing a lot of tunes that don't usually get out of the deck and Edward is more lucid now than any time in my memory. I'm his biggest fan. I still remember the first time I saw him playing in a backyard party in Pasadena in high school. He was great then and he's great now. We've come full circle." The full interview is available from NYPost.com. Think Diamond Dave is being harsh on new bands, or is he preaching the gospel to your ears? Let us know in the comments section.

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    GrungeHippie26
    If only people would stop complaining about modern music and actually do something about it. Hows about you get off your lazy ass and change it if you don't like it. Start a band, or an honest record label, do something. This isn't so much a response to any musicians who say that, but the fans who just sit back and say "Ya, that's right!" but won't do anything about it.
    Ibeanez
    Are you six of one or a half-dozen of the pre-recorded other? Do you throw the baby or are you out like the pre-recorded bathwater? Do you not cry or are you over the pre-recorded spilled milk?"
    Ich 666
    remotenightowl wrote: He speaks truth, I see a lot of light rigs, but nothing that provides a theater atmosphere. Great examples of stage shows would be Muse, Iron Maiden, 30 seconds to mars, and AC/DC, while a bunch of other bands, like Sabaton and Dragonforce, just go out with a backdrop of their recent album cover.
    I dont see a problem with that, the question is, if bands like that NEED a big show with tons of effects, which IMO they dont. A good band should kick ass in front of ANY backdrop.
    Dysbassist
    All of my favorite shows have been really small. I'd rather actually get to interact with the band than watch a musical light show.
    Minivirus2
    There are three types of stage performances: - Those who have a huge stage production - Those who are focused simply on the live music - Those which suck I have no issue with either of the first two, but I listen mainly to metal and when I go to a show, I don't need gyrating front men or flash effects, I'm there for the music/live expereience. So long as the musics good, I couldn't care less if the band stood in one spot the entire show.
    remotenightowl
    He speaks truth, I see a lot of light rigs, but nothing that provides a theater atmosphere. Great examples of stage shows would be Muse, Iron Maiden, 30 seconds to mars, and AC/DC, while a bunch of other bands, like Sabaton and Dragonforce, just go out with a backdrop of their recent album cover.
    henboyrules
    Dave is a little out there, but he's right. Stage presence is becoming less and less common because of the lack of confidence in new singers because of the popular "rock" music out there. there hasn't been a great front man since the 80s or so, and it makes it seem like being a front man is a thing of the past
    butlerc777
    Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?
    OUCH. I'm not a huge Van Halen fan, but I have a ton of respect for them and Dave's opinion. Seems like he would be a cool guy to hang around.
    Panasonic3
    lots of up and coming bands can't afford to have crazy light shows and stuff like that. but what they can do is have super intense stage presence, rock the **** out and bang their heads, own every note of their song like it was the easiest, and just basically be a boss on stage.
    TJ1991 wrote: So by stagecraft me means thrusting one's crotch at audiences because apparently women like it? Yes, I'm sure ALL women like such things. Frankly the less there is of that the better.
    apparently the women at the van halen shows like it enough...
    mastodude13
    GBcommander wrote / quote | Go see Tool. Best live show I've ever been to.
    Absolutely yes. Greatest thing I've ever seen. My friend hated tool but he came anyway, and a week later he decided he was getting tattos with tool lyrics. But really, the only thing that matters is the music. Some music calls for trippy lights and stuff but it shouldnt be necessary.
    inhatredofme
    There are still front men out there that take control of the stage and command attention but you definitely see it more from metal bands than from rock bands
    cptcomet
    There's tonnes of great live bands. Literally tonnes. I don't see how you can just denounce every band in the business.
    Suckerpunchme!
    "Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio?" Funny he brings this up since he can't sing half the shit he originally recorded in the studio. I love the cop out of pointing the microphone to the crowd when you know you can't hit the notes anymore. Go see Sammy. He hits every ****ing note he's ever recorded and at age 65! Most of the young bands can't even hit the notes they recorded on their most recent album.
    Reddaz
    Do you float like a butterfly or sting like a pre-recorded bee?"
    Ah so he's seen Motley Crue on tour recently then? Best frontman I've seen in a while is Michael Starr from Steel Panther...who just happened to start his career as a VH tribute singer. Generally if I wanted to watch a mental moving frontmen, I'd watch a Hardcore band
    whywefight
    alestorm666 wrote: Evangelion 00 wrote: I don't even care about this article, but i do agree with it. I'm more interested and amused by the comment Like40Ninjaz wrote: He needs to see Avenged Sevenfold live. Which got -10 so far, I think its awesome. Should be -100000 Don't really see the need in either comment tbh. Avenged are a really good band, but they've never exactly been very charismatic. Still, don't see why what you said is gettin so much hate. A load of typical ''MAN, A7X SUKZ BRO'' bullshit going on.
    a response to all the A7X fangirls that are constantly "A7X foREVer BRAH BEST BAND OF ALL TIME". A7X is alright, but their fans make them seem like theyre the best thing to happen to music since Beethoven or something, and A7X is way too derivative from other superior bands for this to be true.
    AcdcTXfan
    Can you even do the whole song from beginning to end? Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio?
    Most of you will probably disagree with me because you have a biased hate towards Nickelback, but when they play live, Chad sounds exactly like he does on the album and never misses a note. And they're definitely not the only one. Then there's Dave who isn't exactly what he used to be, so I'd like to know exactly who Dave is referring to.
    JPScralatchtica
    A great band does not need a flashy show. It is about the music. If they wish to add a visual aspect to the show, great, but it is not the focus.
    barden1069
    I, for one, go to music shows for the music , not to watch the members run around in stupid costumes. But hey, that might just be me.
    TJ1991
    So by stagecraft me means thrusting one's crotch at audiences because apparently women like it? Yes, I'm sure ALL women like such things. Frankly the less there is of that the better.
    rhs5110
    Everynight is ladies night kinda seems like a gay place to be then
    captainsnazz
    I'm sick of all these old guys slagging off anything more recent than 1990. It's just the standard "DAMN KIDS THESE DAYS GET OFF MY LAWN" bullshit.
    Evangelion 00
    I don't even care about this article, but i do agree with it. I'm more interested and amused by the comment
    Like40Ninjaz wrote: He needs to see Avenged Sevenfold live.
    Which got -10 so far, I think its awesome. Should be -100000
    bitchfist
    henboyrules wrote: Dave is a little out there, but he's right. Stage presence is becoming less and less common because of the lack of confidence in new singers because of the popular "rock" music out there. there hasn't been a great front man since the 80s or so, and it makes it seem like being a front man is a thing of the past
    this is indeed an interesting thought. contemporary rock bands aren't exactly "larger then life" anymore. and i wouldn't call justin beiber or any douchy solo acts front men so.... who do we got?
    mschup27
    inhatredofme wrote: There are still front men out there that take control of the stage and command attention but you definitely see it more from metal bands than from rock bands
    Agreed. I've seen Lamb of God a handful of times, and Randy totally takes control of the stage and puts on a ****in great show. I would say the same of bands like Parkway Drive and Every Time I Die. Oh and I love Municipal Waste's frontman. But I think singers in rock bands nowadays are almost too self conscious. I don't know they just aren't as flamboyant as they were in the 70's and 80's. But ya Dave, if you want some stage presence, go see a metal or hardcore show, I can guarantee you will be entertained.
    crackerface
    I don't know what you guys do but I go to a live concert to listen to musicians play music they put their souls into and jump around like an idiot in the mosh pit, just my opinion. What pisses me off is people who watch an entire concert through their mobile, those people waste their ****ing money.
    alestorm666
    whywefight wrote: alestorm666 wrote: Evangelion 00 wrote: I don't even care about this article, but i do agree with it. I'm more interested and amused by the comment Like40Ninjaz wrote: He needs to see Avenged Sevenfold live. Which got -10 so far, I think its awesome. Should be -100000 Don't really see the need in either comment tbh. Avenged are a really good band, but they've never exactly been very charismatic. Still, don't see why what you said is gettin so much hate. A load of typical ''MAN, A7X SUKZ BRO'' bullshit going on. a response to all the A7X fangirls that are constantly "A7X foREVer BRAH BEST BAND OF ALL TIME". A7X is alright, but their fans make them seem like theyre the best thing to happen to music since Beethoven or something, and A7X is way too derivative from other superior bands for this to be true.
    I agree, some sections of their fans do take it too far, but it's like that with a lot of other bands, most of whom aren't even as good as A7X. At least they offer something quite different musically as opposed to pop-rock shit like All time low, a band with even worse fangirls.
    LedZepFan543
    Zeppelin didn't need big stages and fireworks like KISS does. Now you tell me which band has the better music. You either go see a band for the show or for the music, if its for the show then maybe go to a musical or something.
    Maestro1600
    barden1069 wrote: I, for one, go to music shows for the music, not to watch the members run around in stupid costumes. But hey, that might just be me.
    Now now, no need for patronising. (You do know what patronising means, don't you?) We ALL go to gigs for the music. But good music will always be enanced by charisma. Doesn't necessarily mean a big cheesy pyro show, but something that connects the performers to the audience. A lot of more recent artists don't seem to work on that side as much.
    6-String_Madman
    Can you do it onstage like you did it in the studio?
    I am not an Mp3 player or an iPod to do such.
    "Weve always paid a lot of attention to women... Come on! Every night is ladies night and that feeling is right."
    If all rock and metal artists are to follow Roth's example, what makes us different from the common mainstream rapper, Justin Bieber or Bulldog?
    Iommianity
    If the songs sound amazing, it means the musicians are into it, and that's all I really need. I can get into the music just fine without the bells and whistles. That said, anything extra is icing on the cake, and I do appreciate it, especially in the bigger venues.
    ThisBoy91
    TheFallout wrote: He needs to go an see Rammstein!
    Exactly what I was thinking. The atmosphere is immense.
    6-String_Madman
    There is still nothing like the "HUMAN" element of the performance as Lars Ulrich stated in one of his interviews.
    marcgambrell
    ne14t wrote: rhs5110 wrote: Everynight is ladies night kinda seems like a gay place to be then You may want to rethink this, is it really gay to be around a bunch of aroused women. To me that sounds like shooting fish in a barrel! Back on Topic... Diamond Dave needs to go see Steel Panther work there magic one night, might be totally jealous of them afterwards.
    Steel Panther is modeled on Diamond Dave in the 80's. Just watch the video for Yankee Rose.
    cRACk mONKEyTTU
    As some people have already said, Tool is definitely a band that will blow people away, and the funny thing is that they barely move at all on stage. If you're close enough, there's really cool subtle movements between them but they just let their music melt your face off. But I do give EVH his props, that mofo can play like no other in concert.
    Nightstalker616
    I just saw Behemoth...that was one great stage-show. They moved like professionals and played like professionals. After that I saw Cannibal Corpse and they just walked on stage and played in front of there backdrop...and it was awesome. I am mainly there for the music so i don't care about how they look on stage.
    Pippers
    LOL that was amazing. Good on Dave. I will be chuckling at this for days. Van Halen is BACK.