During an appearance on the latest episode of the "WTF With Marc Maron" podcast, David Lee Roth spoke about his decision to leave VAN HALEN in 1985 to pursue a solo career.
"Why did it fracture? 'Cause all rock bands fracture," he explained. "It turns into diverse interests. People have the friction of time. And that friction is family; that friction is… sometimes it's partying, but I don't know if that's what really separated VAN HALEN.
"There were always creative differences," Roth continued. "We never got along. It was a beautiful, beautiful pairing of… You've seen cowboy movies where the guys are always sabotaging each other but they're working to somehow accomplish something. And I think you'll see that in a lot of popular bands. They may have gotten through it, but I don't know that we ever really grew up and became gentrified. Now, that may not be a good thing; a part of me remained 23 years old forever."
Roth reunited with VAN HALEN in 2007 after 23 years apart and released a comeback album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", in 2012.
"VAN HALEN's perfect, and I always sensed that perfect would get back together — perfect in its imperfections," David said. "Think of your most ruined jeans that barely are jeans. They're your favorite because of the holes in 'em… Your favorite part of your cowboy boots is the fucked up part… That kind of imperfection, we value that and we still have it — it's in the music, and it makes the music more popular than ever."
Asked if he could sit down with the Van Halen brothers today and have dinner, David said: "Nope. Not even close. Not even close. This is not a golf club. This is a little closer to 'The Wild Bunch'. There is a fury and an antagonism, and what comes out of that is, when it's good — oh, man."
VAN HALEN has been inactive since it completed its U.S. tour in October 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
The trek was VAN HALEN's first since an aborted North American run three years earlier in support of "A Different Kind Of Truth".
"We finished up here a couple of nights at the Hollywood Bowl," Roth said. "[They were] some of the best shows we've ever done. I remember walking off that deck twice in a row going, 'Oh, yeah. That was some of the best of my career.'
"In the last 3000 days that I've been back, we've performed 150 times, and it was something — something special, something unique."
Although the shows themselves were hugely successful, Roth admitted that he and the other members of VAN HALEN "were at each other all throughout the tour — constant. And then you assign yourself to the producer who will either take Eddie's side or my side — you're either a Dave guy or an Eddie guy," he said. "We're all mature enough to understand that we're all pirates here. Of course you're gonna betray me."
Roth went on to say that he will be seeing the Van Halen brothers "in a couple of weeks," but he didn't offer any information about a possible new tour or fresh music in the works.
Four years ago, VAN HALEN released "Tokyo Dome In Concert", its first-ever live collection featuring Roth, despite numerous pro-shot concerts from the band's original heyday being heavily booted for years.
Photo by Bart Heemskerk