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David Lee Roth: ‘There is Always Conflict’ in Van Halen

Van Halen
Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

David Lee Roth has been securely back in the Van Halen camp for over five years now, but he says that doesn’t mean the band members are done arguing with each other, as they’ve apparently done since the moment they formed: “The conflict was immediate and sustained from day one. Not a note of this symphony has changed.”

In a recent interview on the Opie and Anthony show, Roth explains, “There is always conflict. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. In our band, there is constant back and forth, and at the same time, I think everybody’s more than old enough now to really respect what we’ve been allowed to do. We’ve been allowed to do this job for how many summers in a row? It’s like we’ve never been kicked out of summer camp!”

Roth also explains that while he talks to drummer Alex Van Halen almost every day to plot out the band’s next moves — “I call it, ‘Coffee With Al’” — he and guitarist Edward Van Halen aren’t nearly so chatty. “I probably won’t speak with Edward for six to eight months at a time. And when we do get together — I’ve had girlfriends like this — it was new, it was exciting, it was fresh.”

When the hosts lightheartedly suggest that perhaps group therapy would be a way for the band to communicate better, Roth sums up his thoughts on the profession with his typical brand of humor and wit: “I think all you learn in therapy is how to lie to each other.”

Next: Top Van Halen Songs

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