JOHN 5 On DAVID LEE ROTH's Decision To Retire: 'Thank You For The Music, The Memories'
October 5, 2021
John 5 says that he is grateful to David Lee Roth for the "great music" and "amazing memories."
Earlier this month, the legendary VAN HALEN singer announced that he was ending his career with his upcoming Las Vegas residency during the first weeks of January. "I am throwing in the shoes. I'm retiring," Roth told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "These are my last five shows."
John 5, who got his first big break playing on Roth's solo album, "DLR Band", before securing stints with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, spoke about David's decision to hang up his mic during a brand new interview with "The Jeremy White Podcast".
"He's been releasing songs that me and David had done every couple of months," John 5 said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "And then there's a song I really hope he releases. It's called 'Nothing Could Have Stopped Us', and it is absolutely my favorite David Lee Roth. And not just because we worked on it together, but it is so good and so sincere.
"These are our superheroes, and they are human, and a lot of 'em are starting to retire. And I think that's okay. They've given us so much great music and so many amazing memories. And if they wanna retire, they know. And I think it's good for certain artists to say, 'Oh, I'm gonna hang it up,' and things like that. And instead of us being upset and mad about it, I just feel, like, 'Thank you for the music, the memories.'"
Last fall, 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.
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."
Roth's series of shows at Mandalay Bay's House Of Blues in Las Vegas will kick off with a New Year's Eve performance, followed by four concerts in January 2022.
In March 2020, Roth postponed the final six shows of his Las Vegas residency due to the coronavirus pandemic that is spreading across the globe.
In February/March 2020, Roth performed as the opening act for the North American leg of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour.