Alex Van Halen Shares His Sammy Hagar And David Lee Roth Comparison
Alex Van Halen - LudwigDrumsHQ / Youtube
Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen shared his thoughts about David Lee Roth’s chemistry with the band and compared his time as Van Halen’s frontman versus the one who replaced him, Sammy Hagar.
In a recent interview with Modern Drummer, which was conducted before Eddie Van Halen’s death, Alex was asked on how important it was to have a producer in the studio.
The drummer responded: “Part of it was the conflict between the band and Dave. One of the things that made everything work was that we came from opposite ends of the spectrum. Dave was vaudeville. … Ed and I were coming from Cream, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath. So having that strange chemistry is what made it work, oddly enough. But you do need a mediator. Otherwise, we would never have gotten anything done.”
Alex continued: “If Dave came in with a song, I would respect how they heard it. And then it’s the old trick, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!’ And that means, ‘Okay, I’ll listen to you, but then I’m gonna make it mine. And by the end of the process it will sound nothing like what you hummed me.’”
He also pointed out that Hagar “has a great rhythmic sense and of course that voice. Dave was much more of a poet. Dave is creative – 90 percent of it is garbage, but that 10 percent is fucking worth it.” Alex also shared his fascination with Roth’s idiosyncrasies but pointed out that they also grew up together.