JOHN 5 Doesn't Know Why DAVID LEE ROTH Hasn't Released His 'Absolutely Wonderful' Song About VAN HALEN
November 8, 2021
A year ago, David Lee Roth included five previously unreleased songs in The Roth Project, an 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 tracks "Giddy-Up!", "Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill", "Alligator Pants", "Lo-Rez Sunset" and "Manda Bala" were recorded several years ago at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.
Asked in a new interview with Darren Paltrowitz — host of the "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" — if he gets a "notice" every time one of the previously unreleased songs from his Roth sessions is officially made available, John 5 said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't get a notice, which is funny. I just find out on Blabbermouth or something. But there's a song that I just can't wait for Dave to release. It's called 'Nothing Could Have Stopped Us' and it's about VAN HALEN. It's my favorite song that I've ever done with Dave, and it is beautiful. I don't know why he's not releasing that one yet. And I just can't wait for people to hear that one. 'Cause it's about VAN HALEN. It's just absolutely wonderful. I just am really looking forward to him releasing that one."
John 5 went on to talk about the recording sessions for the unreleased Roth record, saying: "We had a great time. We had a blast — a lot of laughs, a lot of fun. I'm just so happy that I had that cool working vibe with Dave that we can just jump into the studio anytime and knock out some songs. And I'm very lucky 'cause not a lot of people get a chance to do that with Dave.
He added: "We were all in there together — I remember we were just all in there together. And that's how it was. We were all just doing it together — kind of like the old days, and he wanted to do it like that. And it really was a lot of fun. We had so much fun doing it. And it's one of my fondest memories."
This past August, John 5 told AL.com that the rest of the unreleased Roth record is in the same vein as the songs that have come out, which have a singer/songwriter sound. "[Dave] wanted to do this kind of a more California sessions type of thing," the guitarist explained. "And he's such an artist, I was, like, 'Whatever you want to do, I'm there for you.' So it is that kind of vibe. But there's a lot of multi tracks and different acoustic parts that all work together. It's kind of orchestrated, if you will."
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 seven years ago, with John 5 unveiling a snippet of the album during an interview with Masters Of Shred back in May 2019.
Two years ago, 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. "You know, just great, great songs."