David Lee Roth And Elite DJ Armin Van Buuren

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March 31, 2019 at 10:27 am Quote #60360



Mar 30, 2019, 09:47pm
The Music Summit: Van Halen Frontman David Lee Roth And Elite DJ Armin Van Buuren Let Loose
Steve Baltin

Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth (L) and world elite DJ Armin Van Buuren (R), who surprised the world tonight with a performance at Ultra Music Fest in Miami. Sander Rendeman

To understand the massive significance of iconic Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth and Armin Van Buuren, consistently one of the world’s top five DJs according to the prestigious DJ Mag top 100 poll, sitting down together, just ask Roth.

“Think about it, this is like Malta — FORBES, Armin, Roth,” Roth says as everyone cracks up. Okay, maybe this isn’t quite Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meeting in 1945, but in music circles the pairing of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Van Halen lead singer and Van Buuren is truly gigantic

The two teamed tonight for a surprise performance of Van Halen’s “Jump” at Ultra in Miami. A week earlier I met with them both on a Friday afternoon at Jim Henson Studios (formerly A&M, where Joni Mitchell’s Blue, among other landmark albums, was recorded) for their only joint in-person interview (they did one other phone interview).

To keep the Ultra appearance a complete surprise both myself and the other journalist were asked to say nothing about the interview. As a journalist it’s not easy to sit on any interview with DLR because there is nothing quite like talking to Roth. Only Roth could invoke the Malta conference and spanking a girlfriend tied up with licorice ropes in the same conversation and make it all flow together seamlessly.

Here is my conversation with Roth and Van Buuren where they talk about their pairing, their unlikely friendship, Roth’s love for dance music, Van Buuren’s appreciation for “Jump” and so much more. It starts with Roth just diving in because that is just how it goes with the fast-talking DLR.

David Lee Roth: I’ve never done anything for guys. I do it for girls. Think I wear socks like this for guys? The music matches perfectly. Clarification for those who might not suspect: but my life is one little expanse of cherry and Maplewood hard floor, whether it’s Kendo practice or stretching or whatever the latest choreography blocking is for the show. For most of us who’ve spent so many years, you’re gonna spend probably six hours for every one hour on stage stretching and rehabilitating whatever your injury is. I’m on my seventh trip to the garage as far as back operations and all the rest of that. And when someone asks you, “What does Madison Square Garden look like backstage? You say, ‘It’s a triangle.” They’re gonna say, “Ten minutes.” You’re gonna go, “Cool.”

Steve Baltin: Isn’t that every backstage for both of you?

Roth: I call it ashes to ashes and back to the parking lot. I’ve smoked pot in some of the biggest stadium parking lots.

Baltin: What is the best stadium parking lot in America to smoke pot?

Roth: (Cracks up) Okay, well, that’s a good question. It depends on what season and it’s congruent with tailgating parties, there are tailgating cultures. I come from Indiana, an hour and a half north of the Kentucky border. So the tailgating is every bit as important as the actual sporting event. In fact, some people may spend more time tailgating. This is also the part of the country where halftime and the marching band may be more important that the actual sporting event too. I don’t think it has anything to do with the quality of the weed or the strength of the booze, I think it has to do with the human interaction. It has to do with the more we are digitally inclined the more these events like Ultra or my concerts [are important]. it’s about folks getting together in large groups more than ever — Coachella, Insomniac, Ultra.

Baltin: So obviously you are together because you will be performing together at Ultra.

Armin Van Buuren: I’m thrilled. I’m a music lover so I know a little bit of the legacy that’s going on in this room, particularly with David obviously and the music that’s been coming through these MS-10′s probably. So it’s kind of a big deal. I was six when the original came out so I know the legacy. And I’m 42 now and I’m aware a lot of the fans that are gonna hear this performance, and they don’t know anything that’s gonna happen, it’s opening up the world to a time that was very different, but the message of “Jump” is still very relevant today I think. It’s a great way to share such a massive song with a younger crowd, as well.

Baltin: I am sure it is invigorating for both of you as Dave, you get to play to a hundred thousand fans, many of whom have not seen you before. And Armin, you get to be the one who introduces him.

Van Buuren: I told a few people who have to know this is going to happen, including Adam [Russakoff] from Ultra, he is a veteran, he doesn’t get impressed easily anymore. But when I mentioned that David was possibly gonna show up he gasped. Actually, if I would have known before I started the remix this could have been the potential impact where I would sitting here talking to you, with him, about this song, I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish the remix.

Roth: Only adventures that I regret are the ones I didn’t go on. And the subtext of the lyrics of “Jump” are stop aiming and jump. Test it with both big toes, there is no shallow end here. It’s way beyond simply athletic admonishing and that’s why it’s lasted lyrically for so long. The song itself is structured more like Broadway. So it doesn’t suffer, it benefits from new translation. You could play it on a ukulele or Armin can open up the heavens and, “Okay, turn on the red sea.”

Baltin: So, Dave, how has the song changed for you with different interpretations? And Armin, how did the song change for you doing the remix?

Van Buuren: What I feel when I play what they call EDM, I think it’s still a dirty word, I just call it dance music. But what I represent from that particular sound, cause I come from a different world within electronic music, the trance world. When that harder sound kicked in and I saw it working with such massive crowds, I understand why it works. My interpretation of the meaning of the lyrics is it’s jumping into the deep. Just go do it and jump. That’s kind of the energy I feel with electronic music in general. What I like about it is the rebellious character. It’s not necessarily made for radio. I think the reason why house music was born back in the ’80s, and this is purely my view, is that house music was born because people were fed up with songs. They were fed up with structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus. And even though it’s great and it lasted what’s ironic about dance music is that we’ve come full circle now. Cause the exact thing we went against, namely songs, dance music is now combined with. But, with one exception, the simplicity, the impact, is what makes you want to dance to it.

Roth: Some of your best dance music, like Chic, start right with those chorus melodies and everything else is secondary to it. So that you can trance off, you don’t have misdirection or some kind of a distraction. I’ll go back to the beginning for dance music. That’s the floor at a youth club or junior high school (laughs). I’m gonna go across and ask so and so to dance. That’s like the Atlantic Ocean. “I gotta go cross the Atlantic Ocean. It’s every bit as daunting and frigid, especially if I get turned down cause then I have to act cool while I swim backwards.”

Baltin: Did you ever get turned down?

Roth: As a kid, are you kidding? Now if you get turned down you gotta swim backwards through that Atlantic Ocean trying to look cool. So it’s a combination of the chase — “Hi, my name is Dave.” “Hi, my name is Sue,” and off we go, Biblically speaking. So we don’t want to be distracted. However, once we realize, like all romantic comedies, two fools together makes genius…Thank you, Armin and it’s every song that Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell ever wrote. You’re up and you’re higher. But, “Wait a minute, I’m gonna ask her, ‘Are you from around here?’ So stop singing.” I’m over simplifying, but that is a component of it.

Baltin: So Dave got turned down. How about you?

Van Buuren: Oh, many times. I got turned down more than I was loved back.

Baltin: What was the song that pumped you up to go ask a girl to dance? Call it musical courage?

Roth: It’s not a song. For me, it’s Al Green and every classic tune. Interestingly enough the fellow who wrote a lot of Al Green’s tunes is Drake’s uncle. If you were feeling festive back then it was Sly And The Family Stone. It was Larry Graham, the bass player, is also Drake’s uncle. True that. And there is music in that tree that extends today.

Van Buuren: That’s crazy, I didn’t even know that.

Baltin: Talk about those performance elements in your training you are excited to bring to Ultra.

Roth: Do you want to go first cause I can speak at length? (Everyone cracks up)

Van Buuren: We decided to make the impact because it’s such a new and radical thing for me. I’m stepping into uncharted territory I think for a DJ in general to do something like this. So we’re gonna kick off the set with it. I’m gonna see how it’s gonna float. And obviously I don’t need to tell David what to do, he is a legend in his own. I think he can manage. I think he has a little bit of experience.

Roth: My forte is being able to connect great minds in the incandescent spirit with great big ideas. When I think of going and doing a show I think about you and I think about connecting the audience. Sometimes we talk about who is the audience, and all musicians, at least in rock and roll, if they’re being honest, they imagine a specific audience over and over again. For most guitar players it’s an audience of fellows, tough guy thing, it’s like hammering a nail to watch somebody play guitar. It’s very tangible, very visual. Singing, that’s ethereal. Who knows where the idea comes from. Who even knows how the sound is made or where it continues or whatever. So my audience from the time I was seven looks a lot like her (points to publicist), all the way to the back. And that informs everything I do — lyrically, physically, sartorially, etc. And that’s something that hasn’t been carefully tended to, perhaps, in your neighborhood, in your community. You can only go so far with a mouse head. You can go far, but there’s gottta be some personality, it’s character. And it’s in the tone.

Baltin: So what comes from this?

Roth: In an interesting way, and in an ironic way, this has nothing to do with Van Halen. I’m way beyond simply what we’re doing with songs here. My interest is in the neighborhood and the whole community here. This is the future for me. It’s as natural as red licorice sticks. I used to have a girlfriend who had me tie her up in long red licorice ropes and spank her. And that’s part of your community too (everybody busts up).

Van Buuren: I didn’t really think about this moment. When I got the stems for this all that mattered was I liked the song and I wanted to do something with it. It may sound very simplistic but it is what it is. “I like the song, I have an idea for it, I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna send it to David. I don’t know if it reaches him, I hope.” And it did. That’s what the situation is now.It’s not a beautiful answer.

Roth: Now that is a beautiful answer because everything on our end of the business starts with, “Okay, we gotta have a meeting, let’s make a plan, this is a business, Armin.”

Van Buuren: A lot of young people forget, it starts with passion that you have for a song and an idea that you have for it. I think it’s f**king cool I’m sitting here talking to you guys.

Roth: Likewise, think about it, this is like Malta — FORBES, Armin, Roth (everybody cracks up).

Van Buuren: Sometimes I hear artists, colleagues of mine, go back behind plans. And obviously you write music from your heart, but you don’t think about that. It’s just looking back at it that you go like, “Yeah, that may have had something to do with my previous relationship or me being a father. Maybe not. I can’t remember.” And that’s the same thing how this remix came about. You sit in a studio, you vibe away. You go for lunch, you come back and you go, “Wow, what I’ve done before lunch was freaking awesome. I’m just gonna send it. I hope he likes it. If he doesn’t bad luck for me. If he does who knows what’s gonna happen.”

Roth: I said the same thing. In the space of a second call him right back and tell him I got some ideas for live, this is gonna be huge. You’re gonna get sick of winning. Wait a minute, strike that one (cracks up). No really, there was no real thought to it, it was visceral and we’ll figure it out when we get there.

Van Buuren: Exactly, we just do it. We’ll do our best and if the crowd likes it who knows where we’ll end up, right, David?

Roth: The ingredients are amazing, let’s get to the kitchen.

March 31, 2019 at 10:28 am Quote #60361



March 30, 2019 9:30PM ET
David Lee Roth and Armin van Buuren on Why They Remixed ‘Jump’

Van Halen frontman made a surprise appearance during trance DJ’s Ultra Music Fest headlining set
By Kory Grow

Van Halen’s David Lee Roth and Armin Van Buuren discuss why they remixed “Jump,” which they premiered at Ultra Music Festival.
Sander Reneman

You haven’t truly lived until you’ve been on the business end of a David Lee Roth zinger. “Can you do a drum sound, like in dance music? Everybody has their own version,” he asks mere seconds into our phone call. After a few oomph-oomph-oomphs, he cuts me short. “All right, I can already tell your ethnicity,” he says with a laugh. The singer or, as he puts it, “the patron saint of midnight when everybody’s guilty” explains that he is, in fact, a dance-music aficionado. “It’s the reason Eddie Van Halen and I have had so much friction over these decades,” he says. “It’s the only music I listen to.”

So it comes as no surprise that Roth made a surprise appearance during Dutch trance Svengali Armin van Buuren’s headlining set at the Ultra Music Festival tonight in Miami, where the duo performed a remix of Van Halen’s biggest hit, “Jump.” But when Roth (“Call me ‘David Lee’”) and van Buuren got together to speak with Rolling Stone from an L.A. recording studio about a week before the performance for an unwieldy and often hilarious conversation, they kept mum on how it would sound and how they’d present it.

“‘Jump’ is 128 beats a minute, 126 depending on which printing plant did your vinyl back then,” Roth says. “What’s the new track?”

“It’s 130,” van Buuren offers. “I sped it up a little bit so it matches the tempo of the rest of the songs in my set.”

“It matches the general blood pressure and adrenaline, serotonin, alcoholic, indelicate house blend that is happening about 100 meters north of [Ultra's] tent city,” Roth rejoins.

Roth originally co-wrote and recorded the infectiously upbeat hit in 1983 for the album 1984. Seeing news footage of a suicidal man threatening to leap from a nearby building, he figured someone in the crowd must be thinking, “Go ahead and jump,” and he refocused the lyrics to be about love as he wrote them in the backseat of his Mercury convertible. The song was originally released as a single just before Christmas in 1983, a couple of weeks before the band put out its diamond-selling 1984 album. It eventually spent five weeks at Number One in the U.S. and nearly half a year on the American charts alone; it also topped the charts in Italy and Canada.

“I’m sure that a lot of the kids I’m gonna play for are probably not even familiar with the original and how big of a track it was when it was released,” van Buuren says. “Plus, it was an easy one to pick because I ask my crowd to jump, and the song has a deeper meaning, and I hope the kids get it when they hear the song, when they start to invest some time in the history of the song.”

“It’s visceral,” Roth says. “It’s sort of like when your dog knows you’re drunk. In your gut, you know exactly what it’s about, and the [song's] deeper meaning is being able to do something when you’re a little bit unsure. You know you wanna do it, but that’s the reason we teach our kids ballet lessons, music lessons. We have them get into doing dog shows and 4-H Clubs, so you can do pretty good even though you’re kind of scared.”

The remix came together when a friend of van Buuren’s offered to send him the song’s recording stems. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, hell yeah,’” the producer says. “I knew the song already as a kid. I think I was 6 years old when the track was a Number One hit everywhere. I was just eager to have the stems, because I always thought, ‘What if you could have the energy of that song from 1982 and transfer it to 2019?’” He sent it to Roth a few weeks ago, and the singer loved it.

“Just the fact that David is open for such a thing is quite huge to me,” van Buuren says.

“I agree with all of that,” Roth says. “It’s the first step toward world peace if we can do it.”

Rolling Stone: So Armin, how did David Lee get involved with the performance?
Armin van Buuren: I just sent it [to the Van Halen camp] and didn’t hear anything for two, three weeks. And then all of a sudden, I got a call from Raymond van Vliet from Cloud 9 [Music], and he couldn’t even breathe. He’s like, “They love it, and they possibly even want to come to your show.” I’m like, “What?” “David is a massive dance-music fan.” I’m like, “You’re kidding me. really?” I thought that was so cool, so that’s how we came together.

David Lee Roth: Let’s go back a bit. I go back to the day when the key to your hotel room came with a little plastic tag that had your number on it. And it was a big ritual for when we would land in my rock band to play in New York City, because I would make sure to give one of the road managers my key to go upstairs and make sure to change the 60-minute cassette tape and flip it, because I was recording WKTU, Stereo 92.

Van Buuren: Do you still have those tapes?

Roth: I have a couple of them. You bet. I know you’re saying, “Why not 90-minute tapes?” Well, because they would jam somewhere around Dayton, Ohio. I was an expert at this. I’d get back from being in the studio or wherever we would play and there would be three 60-minute tapes recorded on both sides, and that would have to do me for up to six months, depending on where we were recording. It goes back a long way.

So you already knew Armin van Buuren’s music?
Roth: Of course. I know all or most of his work. You wanna really go back? Van Halen’s based as much on European music hall, old-school Vaudevillian [entertainment as rock]. That’s where Freddie Mercury and Bowie came from. If you look under the hood, you’re gonna find a European engine in Van Halen. It adds up perfectly.

Van Buuren: I actually think it’s funny there’s so much Dutch DNA in this song, as well. And a Dutch guy mixed it. It’s van Buuren and Van Halen. I thought that was pretty hilarious.

Roth: Well, my God is a fierce and vengeful, Old Testament God, but he also created Borscht Belt comedians.

David, can you describe what the remix sounds like to you, since our readers might not go to Ultra?
Roth: You want us to describe sound? I wanna tell you about the time I sat with my guitar player while I was in New York, laying on a hardwood floor with a headset, discussing the color blue [on a monitor]. And I said to him, “What do you think? Is the color I’m looking at right?” He says, “A little bit less.” I said, “How about this?” He says, “Too much.” I realized 20 minutes later he doesn’t have anything in front of him. You really want us to discuss sound?

Just give me an idea of what Armin did to the song.
Roth: Sure, it’s like the first time you drove past the pyramids. Remember that feeling?

I haven’t had that experience in my life yet.
Roth: We’ll give you the “Stevie Wonder version,” so to speak.

Van Buuren: I didn’t change the song too much. We recreated the Oberheim synth that was in the original. I just completely replayed it with respect to the original obviously. And the original track is not in time, so I had to spend a lot of time putting all of the original stems onto a click.

Roth: Can I say something about why it’s not in a specific time or in the grid? It’s because we approached celebration as a seasonal thing, not just like for Christmas but for all winter. So it’s what you call “Russian dragon.” Your drummer is either rushin’ or draggin’. And this leads to … OK, now I’m being pretentious and presumptuous here. How many guys in my job does it take to put in a light bulb? One. We wait for the world to revolve around ‘em.

Van Buuren: So I made something initially for my DJ set, ’cause I thought it would be cool to premiere it at Ultra. So at this point, it wasn’t necessarily produced as a radio song. It’s made for a crowd going crazy, 18-to-22-year-olds dancing their socks off to a song they don’t even know was originally made in 1982.

Roth: What time do you go on, is that 9 o’clock?

Van Buuren: 9:20.

Roth: You could write 9:15 on a T-shirt and all of our colleagues would know what that means, right? Doesn’t matter if it’s Jason Aldean or Armin here or myself. Doesn’t matter if it’s Ariana Grande. By the way, Kory, you’re in the business. Which part is “Grande”?

The one right before “venti.”
Roth: Órale! If Gaga calls, I’m taken, OK?

Armin, did your brother Eller play guitar on this “Jump”?
Van Buuren: No. I wish he did. He’s an amazing guitar player.

Roth: Out of curiosity, what kind of guitar does he play?

Van Buuren: Well, he wouldn’t be able to talk if he was sitting in this chair, because he has so much respect for where you’re coming from. He knows all the Steve Vai and Joe Satriani albums back and forth.

Roth: The top secret to all of that kind of music is that we took an international approach very early on. We didn’t discuss it, but let’s start with the órale, like, Latino influence. One of our most famous songs, and we’re a power trio with a singer, is “Jamie’s Crying.” Today, I can tell you that’s Ricky Ricardo, r-r-rumba. [Sings part of the song]. That’s not exactly heavy metal, unless we were playing for the “lowriders,” in which case, Armin, you’ve got to change your evil ways, ese [laughs]. But that [Mexican feel] is the middle part of “Dance the Night Away,” OK?

David, what do you remember about when you heard the music to “Jump” the first time?
Roth: My background in music is classic in many regards, and not just orchestral; same for the Van Halen brothers. One of the posters I had on the wall was Lenny Bernstein, and it went way beyond orchestra and into Broadway. In this case West Side Story, which begat like-minded theater like Damn Yankees. In Damn Yankees, the key song is, “You Gotta Have Heart.” I learned that song word-for-word probably when I was five or six years old. “Jump” is the answer to that.

What do you mean?
Roth: I’m a wiseacre. You want me to have heart? What’s my first step? Well, first you gotta get past spending all your time aiming, test the deep end with both big toes. Sometimes there’s no shallow end. And now I sound like the Devil in Damn Yankees, right? “Test it with both feet, Dave. You can swim.” Even in terms of many of the Van Halen pieces, you think of it as Broadway; the talking part in the middle of “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” is like the breakdown in West Side Story. “Now I know Tony like I know me … But the playground is Jets territory. [Sings] When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way.”

And again, these are secret ingredients that we would bring into our music, and it gives them a translational quality that defies genre. You can play it on a ukulele. I’ve heard, for example, “Bohemian Rhapsody” played by Jake Shimabukuro on ukulele; it will slug you in the heart, guaranteed. Want tears in your eyes for the next scene? Listen to that. And I’ve hard it played by 150-piece orchestras and cause elation. It’s all up to the translation. We tried in Van Halen to create that kind of music, and perhaps in this case we have.

What about when you heard the synth sound for the first time? That was pretty different at the time for your band.
Roth: For me, it was not. It sounded like Shalamar [laughs]. Really. Take a listen to “Dead Giveaway” by Shalamar at or about the same time period. Dance floors are like a mulching machine. They really eat up the material and really compel a competitive quality that’s probably closer to what happens in classic music. Popular music, everybody gets along. One world, one love.

In an orchestra, about once a year [they] go, “Hey, I’m second chair. I challenge you.” And we both play the same song. Whoever plays it better gets first chair, and it’s competitive, and you win. There’s an urgency and a changeover quickly in dance music. In most of the genres, that doesn’t really happen so much.

When did dance music become the main music you listened to?
Roth: My pop was just graduated from medical school and was starting his practice, and we moved to Altadena, California. And that became part of the busing program. So the very first record I ever bought was a one-dollar single of Major Lance singing “Monkey Time.” All my first girlfriends were black and Spanish-speaking. A couple of them, you can still look at on old YouTube rewinds of Soul Train. And I own two lowriders to this day. That’s for goin’ to the 7-Eleven. Ask Armin the next question.

Armin, are there any other Van Halen songs you’d like to remix or work with?
Van Buuren: Well, this song has the tempo, which is very tempting. Actually, I don’t do many remixes, to be honest. Especially touching a song like this is very delicate. And that’s why I first sent it to the band before anything else, because I didn’t want to step on any toes. I know the legacy of the songs. Touching a song like this is kind of scary, because you know how many fans love the original.

Roth: Armin, if I may …

Van Buuren: It’s such a big song.

Roth: They made the same sound when they changed Batman’s costume. [Van Buuren laughs.]

You get used to it.
Roth: Clearly.

Van Buuren: It’s kind of like getting a Rembrandt or Van Gogh painting. You add colors to it; you wouldn’t do that. Fortunately, the original painting is still there, so it’s not damaged. But if they want to see the new version they have to come to Ultra and see it.

Roth: See, I would take the painting and I would get with the Adobe Photoshop and I would blast that fucker starting with the blues until your retinas burst. I’m gonna work through that palette and it’s gonna take me four fucking days and I’m not even gonna be done with the facial tones, pal [laughs]. Sorry, it’s an art thing.

Are there any other songs, Dave, from your catalog that you would want to remix?
Roth: They’re all eminently remixable, but there are so many different genres of “the groove.” And whether it’s dubstep, chill, trance and on and on, and yeah, judge, I admit it. I knows the difference.

If you’re talking remix, I’m an extremist, and I would head for Korea. We’re in Henson Studios in the heart of Tinseltown. Pharrell is walking these halls and John Mayer is recording and rehearsing across the hallway; he lives here now in the studio. The Grateful Dead’s been very, very good to him. God bless them. But no, there’s a whole lot of Shakespeare going on here, musically and theatrically. And when you say, “remix,” that could be 15 different haircuts before happy hour. Yes, yes, yes. You want me to say it 15 times?

Would you want to do something with “Panama”?
Roth [to van Buuren]: Oh, he’s trying to beg the question. They do that on CNN all the time. He just gave you the answer [laughs]. And yes, we’re thinking of doing “Panama,” we’ll get it right over to you [laughs].

Van Buuren: Exactly!

Roth: “Panama” is a groove. That has a four-on-the-floor [beat]. Yes, some of it has a supersonic boogie, but if you know how to swing and jitterbug, and if you know anything about Frankie Manning and his Lindy hoppers, then you could catch up with that, too. Go look at the jitterbug scene in Hellzapoppin. If you’re young and spry, let’s try it.

How are you going to present “Jump” at Ultra Fest?
Roth: It ain’t poetry, if I gotta explain it to you, Kory. C’mon, you want me to roll it, smoke it, and get the cancer for you, too? Come on.

March 31, 2019 at 10:28 am Quote #60362

March 31, 2019 at 7:40 pm Quote #60363

April 1, 2019 at 10:21 am Quote #60369


So he talks over himself singing? That’s annoyingly awful. And when he does sing, it only shows how much better he sounds back then.

On the plus side, between this and his podcast, it looks like he’s doing stuff again.

Stay Frosty

April 5, 2019 at 12:03 am Quote #60389



David Lee Roth Talks Dance Music, Performing with Armin van Buuren on Ultra’s Main Stage [Interview]
Van Halen’s David Lee Roth makes the jump into dance music.
Cameron Sunkel
2019-04-04 16:23:20-04:00

With 170,000 festival goers in attendance, and an estimated 30 million live stream viewers, Ultra Music Festival’s influence as one of the most prolific live platforms in dance music is undeniable. Year after year, Ultra has kept artists in somewhat of a risk-taking mood as dance music’s biggest names strive to create unforgettable moments and connect with their global audiences.

On Saturday, Armin van Buuren took his set into uncharted territory when he invited Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth to join him onstage. The historic moment captivated the main stage audience, as the two performed a remix of Van Halen’s “Jump” which Roth calls an “an all time favorite perennial sports song.”

Though the appearance was met with surprise, in many ways Roth’s foray into the EDM world felt like a long time coming. The frontman has not exactly been shy about his love for dance music over the years. Even bandmate Eddie Van Halen once famously stated to Billboard “there are four people in this band, and three of us like rock and roll…one of us likes dance music.”

Needless to say, Roth’s appreciation for dance music has not been a secret among his peers. We spoke with David Lee Roth at Ultra Music Festival ahead of his appearance with van Buuren to learn more about how the idea to perform “Jump” on the main stage originated, and where the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s love for dance music comes from. When I first sat down, Roth, beaming with excitement, insisted we jump right in…

David Lee Roth: I couldn’t possibly be better, or so I thought, until we landed in Miami. Boom-ch-boom-ch-boom-ch-boom-ch. Put that in print, translate it into 82 languages, and you’ll get what’s in front of the stage (everyone laughs).

EDM: You’ll hear plenty of that today. Now, you’ve got a collaboration with Armin van Buuren we’re going to hear tonight. Tell us a little about how this came about, and your inspiration for the song.

Roth: “Jump” started at 126 or 128 BPM depending on which vinyl pressing plant dealt you your cards. Armin increased it two beats per minute and also really restructured the song. The song itself comes from classic songwriting. Beyond “Jump” (as in) athletics, guess we’re all going to physically jump, the subtext of that story is what makes it the all-time perennial favorite sports song. During the Olympics, they always have a vote and that song always wins because its about going ahead and testing the deep end with both toes. Try it one time, one time. All my best adventures and worst injuries started with “eh, might as well.”

EDM: What was it about this particular opportunity with Armin that made you want to jump in?

Roth: Anybody of any real consequence on the left-hand side of the Billboard charts is getting remixes. Why is no one performing them? You can hear the regular single cut, but where can you go to hear the remix performed? It’s only a matter of minutes before [Lady] Gaga shows up on this stage (laughs). We’ll be the first, and yes, there’ll be many more to follow, but it’s such a clearly evident pattern, and what a great way to roll! Besides, half of my colleagues are pretending not to lip-sync anyway. What Armin did with these vocals using all those wonderful apps and patches that he applied to that kind of a sound, I love it. If you can interact with that, it’s kind of an improvisation, and a great way to present and interact with remixes rather than just the classic studio song.

EDM: You’ve been very vocal in the past about your love of dance music. Where does that come from?

Roth: Dance music started for me way back when I was seven years old and I was in the class play. I had my first tutors for music, dancing, singing, everything. In my family music came by way of ultra-classic extremist training. My two mentors in music were Peter and Pearl Zukovsky, who played first and second clarinet in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I didn’t know I was going to be in Rock and Roll, but I did know it was going to be in something involving rhythm and movement. Up through the time, the first time I asked a pretty girl to dance it was Motown, the second time it was “Super Fly,” the third time it was “Saturday Night Fever.” I could do this all night…

EDM: Did that appreciation for dance music influence how you wrote music with Van Halen throughout your career?

Roth: Clearly. I approached the Van Halen’s early on when they couldn’t get a single club gig outside of high school, and explained to them it’s because there are no women in your audience. This compelled the question “Why not?” It’s because you couldn’t dance to their material. I went through the busing program and today, I have a surgically implanted disco beat. Want to hear it? Alright, I’m joking (laughs). We were a power trio, but it was incumbent upon us to do five forty-five minute sets a night at local bars. This was before Cerwin-Vega made bass bins affordable to club and restaurant owners and you’d hire your cousin with a milk crate and some records to come in and do the jockeying for you. That being the case, we started learning material that you could dance to and would change from audience to audience. It wasn’t just one type of audience. We played to three different kinds of Spanish speaking audiences Tejano, Lowrider, and everyone who was going to UCLA. That’s three different kinds of music right there, loco!

EDM: Christian Gehrig portrays you in a scene in the new Motley Crue biopic The Dirt on Netflix. Have you seen the movie and if so, what did you think?

Roth: I haven’t seen the movie, but I saw a picture of the guy who plays me and he looks like a stud, appropriately (everyone laughs).

EDM: You’ve also recently launched a tattoo preservation company called Ink The Original. Tell us a little about what made you launch this company.

Roth: My sisters have what they call “good Dave, and bad Dave.” Bad Dave came from my mom. My mom would be reading the paper and you would come in looking to put your picture on the refrigerator. She wouldn’t even look. She’d just say “is it worth me getting the magnet?” At that point, you’d reconsider your work. If you made the mistake of just re-approaching again saying “I’m ready now” she’d say “Let me see your brushes.” If you didn’t clean your brushes and put the paper away, because we lived in student housing at the time and every dollar counted, and if you didn’t show the proper respect for the tools and everybody who came before you and taught you how to do it, then she wouldn’t look at the picture. There would be no magnet in my future. So when I first showed my mom my Japanese tuxedo [tattoo] her first comment was “What do you do when you go to the beach?”

EDM: Did your time spent in Japan influence you in any way when it came to creating this company?

Roth: Anytime you change your context as an artist completely, and by that I mean even something like buying dental floss in Japan if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s an adventure. It will reform you as a human being in ways you can’t possibly predict. All the great journeys have destinations which none of us can expect to land on. Those are frequently the best and the worst. At this point in time, I’m not going to change my habits. I can’t just say I’ll write differently, speak differently, dance differently. I have to change the context and know I’ll come out the other side a little different. Maybe better, maybe worse, frequently parallel. If you take yourself out of the bubble and put yourself somewhere you’re completely unfamiliar with, and very intimidated by, I suggest you start with the Orange City. If you make that, I’ll show you around Tokyo.

EDM: What can fans of David Lee Roth expect next?

Roth: We are launching The Roth Show. We’re doing pod work now. All of the background music in our show, I wrote, including the bass and the drums. Give it a listen, it launches tonight.

Hear more from Diamond Dave himself about his first Ultra Music Festival experience on episode one of The Roth Show.

Follow David Lee Roth:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/DavidLeeRoth
Twitter: http://twitter.com/davidleeroth
Instagram: http://instagram.com/davidleeroth

April 5, 2019 at 11:05 am Quote #60390

April 5, 2019 at 3:53 pm Quote #60391



Photo by Bart Heemskert

Armin van Buuren and David Lee Roth of Van Halen Talk about Fusion of EDM and Rock [Interview]
Miguel Tost
April 5, 2019

There are many facets of music which is best explored through genres. For example, if you love an ensemble of guitars, bass, drums, and singing, then enter rock. But if you want the tempo to remain at 136 beats per minute with emphasis on melody and kick, trance is right for you. But what if these two seemingly distant genres clashed head to head in a collaborative effort?

Enter Armin van Buuren and Van Halen’s David Lee Roth. Although this has been attempted in the past, none are of highest profile than that of these two, respective legends. During Ultra Music Festival 2019, the two took to the main stage to unveil Armin van Buuren’s remix of Van Halen’s omega-classic song “Jump.” While van Buuren was behind the stage, Roth took the microphone in the way he has for decades and sang the lyrics that everyone and their mother know by heart.

Luckily, we were able to set an interview with the two superstars before that epic moment in cross-genre/Ultra history. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Hello and welcome Armin and David Lee! It’s incredible to sit with two legends of their respective fields. How are the two of you doing?

David Lee Roth: When worlds collide-ide-ide -ide. But in all seriousness, great!

Armin: And I’m doing fine!

Q: Considering that this is a music festival focused mostly on electronic dance music, is this you first Ultra, David Lee?

David Lee: This is not my first dance affair, by any stretch. But this is my first Ultra and my first Ultra in Miami performing. I have not performed at one of these and have maintained for many years that this is where you get to perform your remixes. Everybody on the left-hand side of the Billboard charts is getting a remix, but when you go to [Las] Vegas to see [Lady] Gaga, you get the regular record. Now is time to perform remixes which, excuse me, are inarguably better than the original because of the boom in the room.

Q: Armin, following what David Lee said, how did you get into the process of working on a remix that have brought you two here?

Armin: I’m lost for words, honestly! Seriosuly. I am lost for words. It’s an incredible honor sitting here with a legend. A couple of weeks ago, I sent my first version of the [Van Halen remix] mix. I always had an idea of doing something with this song. I got the stems via a friend and started working on the mix. And, of course, I think it’s important with a remix that you always send it to the artist first because you are touching their baby, you know? It took a while to hear back from David Lee. But after two and a half weeks, I got a phone call from my publisher who couldn’t breathe anymore and he said that he just heard from David Lee’s management, that they loved the mix and that there was a possibility that he might be interested in coming to Ultra to do a live performance. I just couldn’t believe [it].

Q: How long was the work and correspondence on the “Jump” remix?

Armin: I had the stems for about three months. But I was so busy with touring, I didn’t have time to really get around it. But I had a clear idea about what to do with it, but throwing a stone and seeing where it would end up. It’s such an iconic song that it needs to be heard by younger generations as well. It’s one of the song I grew up listening to. I just did my take on it, sent it to David Lee, and here we are!

Q: Here we are having a phenomenally bizarre, but meant to be interview, right?

David Lee: I look like the music sounds. This is what I call concrete poetry. His [Armin] music and mine as well sounds like the landing tower at Miami International Airport looks. All….consuming! Besides, I’m the Prince of Larceny at midnight when everybody’s guilty with this audience. Stop lying. [laughs]

Q: But as the Prince of Larceny, you have been a busy be the last year with your new skincare product for people with tattoos. Can you tell us a little bit about how it came about?

David Lee: Approximately 20 years ago, I caught Dengue Fever in the South Pacific and broke my two molars. I walked around without the two teeth in my upper side [of my mouth] for almost two years before I got it fixed. And I swore from that camping trip forward that I was going to remedy everything that I had gotten wrong. Because I am an expert in everything you can do wrong. Everything you shouldn’t do. Have you seen the free solo film with Alex Honnold where he solos El Capitán?

Q: I have.

David Lee: Every climb he did, I thought to myself, “Oh, I almost killed myself on that one. Oh, almost killed the team on that one.” [laughs] And this extends to going out in very harsh conditions and unforgiving environments. An event like Ultra Music Festival that is all day, fourteen hours in the sun, wearing a jacket and pants in the Mojave, getting lost somewhere in a fourth world nation as a means of recreation is the background for all our products that we make for people with tattoos. People with tattoos have very specific requirements for their skin. Especially, when they go through the time, the trouble, the expense and the pain. Tattoo consumers like myself will tell you that the pain is like a cat scratch. But the truth is it is like a cat scratch from a hungry, 300 pound Bengal tiger! [laughs] And we’re not even talking about people who get tattoos all the time. If you take that approach with hitting those weight stacks at the gym in your 20s, you’ll fool ‘em by about twelve summers when you get to my age! [laughs] If you wait at my age, you’ll look like a 60-something who goes to the gym a lot. So here I am to save your day early.

Q: What’s the name of this product and what can we expect from it in the future?

David Lee: Get after it with INK the Original! It glows! We’re not strippers, but we’re stripper friendly. But we don’t glow like strippers. It’s got a nice, smooth glow, it photographs beautifully, and it’s safe for the water. I have a business partner who lives close by who is a 5 in the morning surfer and his concerns of reef safety and what it’s doing to the water. What we’re doing to the environment is of paramount importance to us. We have a line of about 60 products coming out. Everything that can go in your backpack, including your backpack, is on its way. I have about 300 hours of Japanese intense [tattoos] and the first thing my mom said was, “I like the colors, but what do you do when you go outdoors?” If you’re wondering where the “a-ha” moment came from, it came from mom! We are taking this internationally. We’re almost at eight million dollars into the program and we are one hundred percent art centric. I sang and danced for every single penny, surrounded myself with 34 kindred, collegial spirits who are incandescent. We have offices in New York and Los Angeles and its time for me to give a little bit back. I’ve already made my fortune in rock n’ roll.

Q: That’s incredible! This is a great venture that has been sorely needed from one tattoo connoisseur to many more.
Jumping back into music, how would the two of you describe the crossing of rock and electronic dance music in respect to the way the other genres have mashed together?

Armin: My motto has been, “Don’t be the prisoner of your own style.” Whether it’s art, food, love, or music, your life is so much more rich if you dare to cross boundaries. And I know you may upset some people, but that’s what artists are here to do. We are here to upset people to make them think.

David Lee: “Go ahead and JUMP. You might as well.” That’s the little voice in the back that says you can do it even though you’re a little bit scared. All my best adventures started with those first four words. Might as well. [laughs]

Armin: That’s exactly the point. The lyrics sum up the reason.

Q: That’s true. It’s been a motivator for fans since the 80′s and it still carries.

Armin: Look what the Beatles did, right? When they introduced the Moog synthesizer on the White Album, you know what happened? Dance music was born because the synthesizer was considered a devilish instrument. You were not suppose to use a synthesizer in pop music because it was not considered to be a real instrument. The guitar was a real instrument! But a synthesizer was not. Look what we have now. We have a festival based around the synthesizer because electronic music came from the synthesizer.

Q: That’s true. Just like in rock how Emerson, Lake & Palmer made one of the earliest Moog synthesizer solos on a rock song. And they were way ahead of their time.

David Lee: The most classic sentence that you’re going to hear in your first of week of any formatted music school like Berkley or Julliard is “if it sounds good, it is good.”

Armin: Amen! [laughs]

Q: I cannot argue with such sound advice. But Armin, you’re not just here as an ambassador between electronic music and rock. You’re also here to once again headline A State of Trance at Ultra Music Festival. What separates this Miami edition from other years?

Armin: It’s the artists and of course the new location, which is going to be quite exciting. I’m very happy we have this lineup because we have artists that we haven’t seen before. We have Infected Mushroom and Vini Vici going back-to-back, Markus Schultz and Cosmic Gate is something to celebrate and I’m doing a two hour set myself. And, you know, it’s coming home for my fans because they get a little more from me than what they expect. I value my fans, trance is a sound that is close to my heart and will always be and my fans know this. I will always produce trance music, but my energy and my fuel for my creativity is doing stuff like working with David Lee. I’m so excited! I don’t feel as excited for performances as I do now I’m just ready to show people what it is all about. Life is short. You might as well…

David Lee: You start to travel. You bring home new ideas. Think about a chef who will travel throughout the far east. He’s going to grab a bag and try a little of this and mix it in with what he always makes. And his friends tell him, “Wow, pop, your spaghetti tastes a little better!” For us, as artists, to assume that you’re going to change is not what happens. Whether you’re a chef, an architect, a DJ, or a composer, you have to change your context, move to a new city, begin recording in a studio you are unfamiliar with, get a girlfriend who doesn’t speak English. That’ll reform you’re lyrics! [laughs]

Q: But what about your first exposures to each other’s genres? Armin with rock and David Lee with electronic?

Armin: My father was a big lover of the early progressive synthesizer music. We had all those weird sounds coming from Jean Michael Jarre, Vangellis, and Isao Tomita. It was trance before the word was invented. He was a big fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and we rocked a myriad of artists including Chopin. I love him [my father] to bits because he knows so much about music and I grew up listening to what he showed me. That was a huge inspiration for me. Basically, we listen to everything from the Beatles to the [Rolling] Stone, you name it. My mother was massive fan of the 60s and 70s so all those songs were playing loud and in our living room. What you grow up listening to definitely inspires you for the rest of your life. That is your guideline. And of course, I had dance music to sort of go against it. When you’re in your puberty, you want to go and find something that your parents don’t like because it’s cool, right? That’s how I got into dance music.

Q: That’s how I got into a lot of my records. My mom showed me disco and my dad showed me a lot of classic rock. But I found electronic music as my own thing that my parents didn’t have.
But David Lee, as someone who has seen the music industry mutate two or three over decades, how would you say electronic music has influenced you to this day?

David Lee: Electronic music, for me, started all the way back with the synthesizer. It was even before that when someone said that the Rhodes wasn’t a real piano. The Fender Rhodes only sounds like the Fender Rhodes. [laughs] It doesn’t sound like a Steinway, it doesn’t sound like a Baldwin, and there was already friction that far back with Miles Davis in the 60s. It’s a familiar fight. It’s a familiar contest. But, I agree with Armin in that every succeeding generation thinks we hold the mortgage on popular culture now and forever ’til the last syllable of time. We all thought that side burn, big hair, and bell bottoms were going to be forever. They kind of are, but now they are worn by the audience instead of on the stage! [laughs] We used to think that big, blousy leisure suits were going to be forever. We used to think that punk rock was- but no. It’s a cycle of change. An iconoclast. It means to break the icon. You become an iconoclast first and if you’re lucky enough to make it to the top of the popularity heap, then you become the icon. Right now, Armin van Buuren is the iconoclast. Me? I am Pod God!

Make sure to check out Armin van Buuren and David Lee Roth performing the new remix to 80s classic rock song “Jump” and make sure to check out Roth new lines of products from INK the Original. http//inktheoriginal.com/

May 17, 2019 at 10:24 am Quote #60532


May 18, 2019 at 8:46 am Quote #60541



How did Dave get Ed to sign off on this??

More on it here:

VAN HALEN’s DAVID LEE ROTH And ARMIN VAN BUUREN Team Up On ‘Jump’ Remix: Single Out Now

May 17, 2019 0 Comments

VAN HALEN’s DAVID LEE ROTH And ARMIN VAN BUUREN Team Up On ‘Jump’ Remix: Single Out Now
It’s not every day that you see two very different legendary artists team up for a common cause, but today is one of those memorable days that dance music fans won’t soon forget — the renowned Dutch DJ and producer Armin Van Buuren has taken on the challenge of remixing VAN HALEN’s classic 1983 smash hit “Jump”, one of the most enduring and timeless singles in rock and roll history. Listen below.

Out today through Big Beat Records, Armin Van Buuren puts his signature, uplifting, progressive, trance spin on the iconic rock anthem, kicking off the remix by isolating frontman David Lee Roth’s classic verse and adding in arpeggiating synths and cowbell for good measure. Naturally, the remix explodes once it reaches the song’s classic chorus, and never lets go from there, steadily building until an unforgettable climax. Who would’ve thought “Jump” could get any more anthemic?!

Armin told Rolling Stone that the remix came together when a friend of his offered to send him the song’s recording stems. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, hell yeah,’” the producer said. “I knew the song already as a kid. I think I was 6 years old when the track was a No. 1 hit everywhere. I was just eager to have the stems, because I always thought, ‘What if you could have the energy of that song from 1982 and transfer it to 2019?’” He sent it to Roth a few weeks ago, and the singer loved it.

“Just the fact that David is open for such a thing is quite huge to me,” Van Buuren said.

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“I agree with all of that,” Roth added. “It’s the first step toward world peace if we can do it.”

Asked if there are any other songs from his catalog that he would want to remix, Roth said: “They’re all eminently remixable, but there are so many different genres of ‘the groove.’ And whether it’s dubstep, chill, trance and on and on, and yeah, judge, I admit it. I knows the difference.

“If you’re talking remix, I’m an extremist, and I would head for Korea. We’re in Henson Studios in the heart of Tinseltown. Pharrell is walking these halls and John Mayer is recording and rehearsing across the hallway; he lives here now in the studio. THE GRATEFUL DEAD’s been very, very good to him. God bless them. But no, there’s a whole lot of Shakespeare going on here, musically and theatrically. And when you say, ‘remix,’ that could be 15 different haircuts before happy hour. Yes, yes, yes. You want me to say it 15 times?”

“Jump” is still VAN HALEN’s most successful single to date, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 along with being ranked No. 15 on VH1′s “100 Greatest Songs Of The 1980s.” The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Museum also listed it as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll” and its music video was nominated for three MTV VMAs at the time, along with winning “Best Stage Performance.” Armin’s remix of “Jump” had its first listen when Roth came out during Armin’s Ultra Music Festival concert earlier this year for a performance fans still haven’t forgotten.

Stay Frosty

May 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm Quote #60543


David Lee Roth joined Van Buuren onstage to perform at KAOS at the Palms Casino Resort to celebrate the release of the duo’s remix to the classic Van Halen song.

May 18, 2019 at 6:51 pm Quote #60545


We need NEW VH music not dance remixes……

EDDIE’S fingers aren’t fingers they are muscle-powered pistons that hammer guitar strings to the fretboard with the force of a rivet gun”.

June 12, 2019 at 12:28 pm Quote #60612



Armin van Buuren – Pinkpop 2019
10 juni 2019

[jump to 7:25 in video]

July 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm Quote #60718



Dance Club Songs, Van Halen achieves its first top 10 as “Jump 2019,” remixed by Armin van Buuren, surges 14-10. The classic original (and Van Halen’s only other entry on the chart) peaked at No. 17 in 1984.


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