Skip to main content

David Lee Roth Confirms Van Halen Are Working on New Album

During his recent chat with Jim Florentine of That Metal Show, David Lee Roth confirmed that Van Halen are indeed working on their next studio album.

That's the good news. The bad news, if any, is that the album is more than a year away from being completed and released. Roth says the process will take about 18 months.

"I was up at Edward's house, maybe three days ago — just before I came here to the city — and we're starting to put music together," Roth told Florentine on Ozzy's Boneyard. "Not to give away exactly what the package will be, it's gonna be about 18 months, I think."

Roth continued:

"We start way, way, way in advance, 'cause we are eminently art-centric, which is a really fancy way of saying we really do generate all the artwork, the graphics, etc. We don't hire out and have somebody design a bunch of album covers for us and then choose. We start from scratch ourselves. Same thing with the merchandise. If you buy a T-shirt, that was designed, literally, in my living room.

"So if you really want to generate the ideas from scratch and bring them all the way to the finish, you're gonna have to learn a few other languages, and you're gonna have to speak those over a lot of extra phone calls. And that's usually the break point for most artists."

"We're writing. I write lyrics routinely. It's a perishable skill. And the band plays together routinely, at least three times a week. They're up at Ed's place, routinely."

You can hear the entire 28-minute interview below.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.