Van Halen album 18 months away

Van Halen’s next album is underway – but won’t see the light of day for at least 18 months, says frontman David Lee Roth.

And he insists there’s a good reason the follow-up to 2012 comeback release A Different Kind Of Truth will take so long.

Roth tells Ozzy’s Boneyard (via Hennemusic): “I was up at Edward’s house three days ago, and we’re starting to put music together. We’re writing; I write lyrics routinely and the band plays together routinely, at least three times a week up at Ed’s place.”

The long run-in time isn’t caused by the music itself, says the singer, but by the fact the band remain so hands-on about every aspect of their output.

“We really do generate all the artwork,” he explains. “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. Stage design, lighting rig, putting the show together – it takes about a year and a half.

“Any idea you have is 85 phone calls. Anybody can go, ‘I got an idea: it’s a stage shaped like a square on top of a circle.’ My question never was, ‘Were you able to dream up a stage design?’ My question is, ‘Are you prepared to do the 87 phone calls that are about to follow to make sure it came out the way we decided?’

“Then there’s another 80 phone calls because we have to figure out how to take the fucking thing apart and put it in the trucks. And, and, and…

“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.”

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