David Lee Roth Confirms New Van Halen Songs Are Old

Van Halen accept they can't write music like they used to, says singer so they're keeping "safe, mature" distance.

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Van Halen singer David Lee Roth has confirmed reports the band's new album consists of old material.

"A Different Kind Of Truth", released next week, marks Van Halen's first release since 1998 and the first with founding member Roth since 1984.

Speculation began mounting after former singer Sammy Hagar suggested Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen were reworking old demos for the album. Now the Roth has provided more details.

He tells the LA Times: "It's material that Eddie and I generated in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely or ironically, wink-wink try to hail back to it, but keep a safe, mature distance from it."

The band's reasoning, says the singer, is they know they're not the men they used to be. "Are there second chances?" he asks. "I'm tending to 'no'. We've managed to stretch our adolescence like a chiclet to the moon, and maintained the respectful dignities along the way that got us on that turnpike up in the first place."

Addressing Van Halen's celebrated public and private brawls, Roth says: "We accused each other of betrayal and thievery and lies and treachery and it was all true. We were all guilty. Dig up the past and it's going to get all over everybody. And, man, do we have a past."

But he has a defence: "Nobody well-adjusted ever got my job, much less kept it this long."

Meanwhile, former VH bassist Michael Anthony says he has no plans to pursue the band for his share of royalties from the new album.

The tracks were written at a time when the band credited all four members with co-writing credits, meaning Anthony, who was sacked in 2006 by Eddie Van Halen, could have a legitimate claim for proceeds.

But he tells Planet Rock: "I don't want to do anything. I just let it be. It'll be nice to hear some of those old songs again that I haven't played in a long time."

Anthony is a member of supergroup Chickenfoot with ex-VH singer Sammy Hagar.

Thanks for the report to RockNewsDesk.com.

60 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Pippers
    Good on Anthony for taking the high road when he has every right to take the low.
    metalhead2475
    If the old demos were never released, then I don't think it's a problem. And it's old 70's Van Halen demos, in my opinion the best Van Halen era
    Pagan_Poetry
    so they're giving us "new" songs that are actually old? Ladies and gentlemen, Van Halen are the Ultimate Guitar News of bands.
    amac535
    Good on Anthony for taking the high road when he has every right to take the low.
    It's that kind of emotional maturity and level headedness that got him kicked out of Van Halen in the first place
    Iamtdawg
    New van halen songs are old.....? I think pinnochio just said "my nose will grow"
    Xenophy
    from that picture he looks like he's about to sing come on eileen
    CronoMagus
    metalhead2475 wrote: If the old demos were never released, then I don't think it's a problem. And it's old 70's Van Halen demos, in my opinion the best Van Halen era
    Exactly. Even if they were released as B Sides or Japan Only, I would still say it's totally acceptable.
    Root Beer
    I heard: "We no longer have faith in our songwriting abilities, so we're just gonna release some old songs and CALL them new".
    HARTATTACK69
    Anthony should get something, it was kind of a spit in the face that they didn't even ask him to rejoin they just got Wolfgang
    Diki
    Fantastic album, solid chops, balls of fury who ever complains can go and suck them.
    Basti95
    Iamtdawg wrote: New van halen songs are old.....? I think pinnochio just said "my nose will grow"
    UG is feeling paradoxical
    Eirien
    ne14t wrote: Hmmmm demos from 75-77 I personally only like Van Halen's debut album so if it reminds me of that sound I might actually like it! And I certainly agree that if they haven't been released before it's not the end of the world, didn't Tupac release an album after he died?
    7 actually
    PatVanHalen5150
    Can't freaking wait. Just from the previews, 2 of these songs contain the heaviest stuff VH has ever done (As Is & Beats Workin')
    blooddrunk
    So what if its old? were people expecting them to all of asudden become a screamo band?
    Chronologo
    so if it's like this maybe the reunion will only last for this album??? I don't think they have enough Lee Roth era demos to remake for a next album. We'll see what happens
    PeenieMcGee303
    I'm not really a VH fan but what's the big deal? Soooo many bands do this. Just off the top of my head in the documentary "A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica" they talk about how some of the song ideas on the Black album are from 10 years prior.
    BOYERxBREAKDOWN
    Pagan_Poetry wrote: so they're giving us "new" songs that are actually old? Ladies and gentlemen, Van Halen are the Ultimate Guitar News of bands.
    I lol'd.
    matthijs97
    i just downloaded the leak because i couldn't wait anymore and i must say, it sounds really good!
    cool_hand_luc
    i dont understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of this... who cares where the songs came from! seriously everyone wants to just hear the best songs that they can make so if this is the way to find them let it be!
    kill it
    many older bands try to revisit their roots and can't. by recording old material van halen have a legit shot at recapturing that earlier magic. i'll reserve judgement until i've listened to the album a few times.
    Miyagi84
    Root Beer wrote: I heard: "We no longer have faith in our songwriting abilities, so we're just gonna release some old songs and CALL them new".
    Seriously thats what I heard! Just release it as an album of B-sides and rarities. At least they are being honest though and saying it's old stuff... even though they are still kinda saying it's new...
    1201ZJ
    At least he's honest about it. You have to respect that. And you've got to believe that even though they are most likely doing this for money, that they DO have the listener in mind. I mean, who would buy washed-up out of ideas Van Halen garbage over Washed-up using old shit from the good times that wasn't released Van Halen? Either way it isn't GREAT but it's better than what it could be. Also, to those saying "Anthony deserves money" and whatnot, I agree. But Maybe you should pay attention to the article...It clearly states he does not want any royalties from the album.
    AcdcTXfan
    If this album is kick ass, then it'll prove that they had unfinished business from their past. It's good that these tracks weren't just left behind forever, knowing the potential they have.
    Jyrgen
    [quote=UG]"A Different Kind Of Truth", released next week,[/quote] I lol'd a bit
    codyjt5150
    sammy hagar keeps ****in complaining. but a lot of songs from the van hagar era were also at least 5-10 years old. listen to some of the songs from the wild life movie from 1984. RIGHT NOW, A.F.U. NATURALLY WIRED, MINE ALL MINE?! "oh their new songs are just old demos". sammy stfu, you were good in vh and a couple chickenfoot songs were alright at best, but you're a ****in jealous idiot that needs to move on.
    CrawlingHorror
    After hearing the tracks off the new album thus far, I've concluded that there is a reason those demos stayed demos. This record is going to sound like bad 70's rock and little else. That makes the new album little more than a money grab.
    MoFly41
    I never thought much of Michael Anthony but he appears to be acting with class about this. Really a good attitude.
    MarkoakaNiggaK
    blooddrunk wrote: So what if its old? were people expecting them to all of asudden become a screamo band?
    +1 to that... we need more ''retro'' bands today. we came to a point when music doesn't have to sound nice to be apreciated but why giving up the nice structured sound for just ''post post post modern music'' that is everything but noncomerciall...
    ne14t
    Hmmmm demos from 75-77 I personally only like Van Halen's debut album so if it reminds me of that sound I might actually like it! And I certainly agree that if they haven't been released before it's not the end of the world, didn't Tupac release an album after he died?
    joee75
    Whiteboy_az wrote: I wish Eddie would get rid of the EVH amps and just go back to the Brown Sound
    All hale that...go back to the old Marshall Plexi and Kramer and give us that awesome sound..not the now sound...eeww
    thf24
    HARTATTACK69 wrote: Anthony should get something, it was kind of a spit in the face that they didn't even ask him to rejoin they just got Wolfgang
    I highly doubt that's all there was to it. I'm sure the possibility of asking him back was explored to some degree.
    Pac_man0123
    People act like this stuff is content they professionally wrote and recorded... I don't think any of these songs could have been released as they were on an album. I'd much rather them rework/refine old demos and riffs than try to write a bunch of new stuff.
    British_Steal
    what makes those first few albums so great was the fact they didnt have their heads up their asses at that time. they were just some kids playing rock music, then egos got int he way and theyve never beent eh same since.
    mjosephw52
    Xenophy wrote: from that picture he looks like he's about to sing come on eileen
    **Ellen.
    CinderellaFan14
    Excuse me? What is wrong with UG? The description for this news is "Van Halen accept they can't write music like they used to - so they're keeping safe, mature distance". There is NOTHING in here saying that!
    mathman51
    providing Michael Anthony is telling the truth about not pursuing royalties, thank God someone in that band is finally telling the truth. I was a true VH fan back in the beginning but when 1984 came out I thought that was me done. When they brought on Sammy I thought that was a solid move but when he departed and Old Eddie came back axing Anthony and putting his son in that was me done again lol. If this album is coming from that period and we get another And The Cradle Will Rock and Everybody Wants Some then I tip my hat to the lads and shame on me for doubting them...prove me wrong
    Superperfex
    This news is also old. It's fine though I enjoyed the previews, and it's still new to us, but maybe not for them