David Lee Roth shrugged off criticisms about his voice, saying he’d “never had any delusions” about his singing abilities. The former Van Halen singer, who’s currently opening for Kiss, addressed comments shared on videos from his recent Las Vegas residency.
“I’ve never had any delusions about my voice,” Roth told the Star Tribune in a new interview. “It sounds like four miles of flat road with knobby tires. Mom used to say that; in fact she said it last week. … However, some people’s definition of perfect vocals might be pristine and pretty like Adam Lambert. My definition of absolutely the best vocal in the last 20 years is [Biz Markie’s 1989 hit ‘Just a Friend’]: ‘Girl, you got what I need! And you say he’s just a friend.’”
In a number of recent interviews, Roth has alluded to the idea that Van Halen won’t return after attempts to plan a 2019 tour collapsed. He still has positive things to say about the band’s past, however.
“Van Halen was like a sea anemone: It’s born looking exactly the same way it does as it passes into the hereafter,” he argued. “If you listen to tracks from our club days in 1973, Van Halen, once I joined the band, sounded exactly like we did the first day together at Ed’s mom’s house as we did on the first record as we did on ‘Jump.’”
Roth noted that “there was a 20-year phase where one-in-five males went dressed as me on Halloween. All their girlfriends went dressed as Stevie Nicks. It’s a songbook that’s more famous and more memorized than ‘My Country ‘Tis the Purple Mountains.’”