David Lee Roth has launched The Roth Project, a new online comic narrated by the legendary VAN HALEN singer, with music from John 5 on guitar and bass, Greg Bissonette on drums, Brett Tuggle on keyboards, and Luis Conte on percussion. The 17-chapter comic also includes five songs Roth co-wrote with John 5 and recorded several years ago at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California: "Giddy Up", "Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill", "Alligator Pants", "Lo-Rez Sunset" and "Manda Bala".
"This immersive interactive comic is a high resolution visual & audio story that is best experienced on a fast computer/device and a fast internet connection," reads a description on the web site. "Put on your headphones. Open your mind."
01. How About A Little Fire Scarecrow?
03. Nobody's Dying In My Helecopter Tonight...
04. Bad News Waiting To Be Delivered
05. Christmas Early
06. Pink Mist
07. The Missionary's Daughter
08. Bad Mojo Heat And Serve
09. No Dude, Seriously, Fuck You
10. Tiger Step, Between Walls
13. A Secret Empire
14. The Dark Ocean Society
15. Knock Knock
16. All Pastel And Watercolory
17. Let's Talk
The full version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill" is available for streaming below.
John 5 got his first big break playing on Roth's solo album, "DLR Band", before landing stints with Marilyn Manson and now Rob Zombie. His latest sessions with the iconic VAN HALEN frontman apparently took place at least six years ago, with John 5 unveiling a snippet of the album during an interview with Masters Of Shred back in May 2019.
Last year, Roth was asked by Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF if his LP with John 5 will be made available at some point. He responded: "It will. There's been a revision of things, and I can start making real plans and start marching into the future. And, of course, you'll start hearing that material. This is material that we wrote variously for me solo and for VAN HALEN, and it's quite a bank of stuff."
Roth, who was promoting his Las Vegas residency at the time, didn't offer a possible time frame for the release of the record, explaining that his priority was "getting out on the road first. Let's see the band, let's show ourselves off, let's travel all over the world."
Back in 2015, John 5 told Guitar Player magazine that the sessions for his latest Roth album were remarkably relaxed. "I would just go to his house and I'd write these songs with him, and he would say, 'Let's go into the studio,'" John 5 explained. "So he would go to Henson studio and record these songs. They came out… They're so good. They're so good. And we've got Gregg Bissonette playing drums on it, and I played the bass, and they're really great songs."
The guitarist said that Roth's vocals on the album sound "like nothing you've ever heard. It's old VAN HALEN — sounds like 'Could This Be Magic?' or anything like that. It's just that sound, that tone."
In a 2014 interview, John 5 described the LP as "11 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear, and it's just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it's unbelievable," he said. "There's a song called 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill'. And you know, just great, great songs."
This past March, Roth postponed the final six shows of his Las Vegas residency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Roth performed as the opening act for the February/March North American leg of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour.