During a recent interview with Forbes, Van Halen singer David Lee Roth talked about the differences between Van Halen and other bands, or musicians.
In the conversation, he explained the reason of why Van Halen have two diamond albums and Elvis [Presley] doesn’t. Here’s the full of statement:
“When I was doing rock and roll and learning stage craft, we were imitating all the European acts, who were schooled from old British music hall and Vaudeville. All those Odeons and theaters were still open when I did my first tours. And all the old guys and everything, Alfred Lagarde in Holland, and he would comment and stuff. And he would comment, he was a critic as well as a supporter.
Old school, so that was very much in our DNA. I came from classic training, which was [George] Gershwin, [Leonard] Bernstein, classic music like this. That edge is in VAN HALEN music.
That dark minor key tone is in everything we ever made and that’s why we have two diamond albums [‘Van Halen’ and ‘1984’]. Elvis [Presley] doesn’t have two. He has one and it was Christmas tunes and he didn’t write them.
That darkness, that little shot of sea salt in the caramel is what makes it work, the John Lennon note. Not the [Paul] McCartney note. The reason I’m so funny is because I ain’t even vaguely happy. And that’s in your music all the time, from midrange down to here.”
“So how does that come across in your performance?”
“Over a period of time it transcends what you look like, unless you were David, unless you were Ziggy Stardust cause you had that specific haircut. But what we bring is classic. I don’t go perform, I don’t present.
The Van Halen’s and I come from a background where you had to win or you didn’t eat. You had to win your seat in the orchestra starting in sixth grade or you weren’t in the orchestra. “
Click here for the entire interview.