Van Halen To Unearth Older Songs For Tour

As Van Halen prepares to head out on the road for the first time with new singer Gary Cherone, discussions have turned to how deep the band plans to dig into its rather extensive song catalog.

Van Halen has been playing material from both its earlier incarnations during rehearsals, although the band says it will probably be avoiding its bigger hits in favor of unearthing lesser-known nuggets.

“We’ve been doing two or three off of every single album,” said bassist Michael Anthony, as the group spoke with MTV News last week about the upcoming tour. “We’ve been doing two or three off of every single album, kind of build up a big …”

“Make up your mind — two or three?” interrupted drummer Alex Van Halen.

“Not when I was there,” added guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

“Well, me and Mike were doing two or three,” Cherone said.

“It’s a lot of material to cover. ” Alex said. “For a number of reasons, for the last ten years or so, we didn’t do any of the
previous songs. Now is a great opportunity to bring those back.”

“We’re not going to play any hits,” Eddie said.

“We’ll just have to change them night to night,” Alex concluded. “Obviously we can’t do them all, but we’ll see what happens.” [500k QuickTime]

As we previously reported (see “Van Halen Maps Out U.S. Tour As Album Cracks Top Five” ), the band will kick off an eight-date tour in Houston on May 13. Van Halen will then head to Europe after their last stateside gig on May 24 in Philadelphia.

In related news, original Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth released two new songs, “Slam Dunk” and “King of the Hill,” to radio last week, but there’s no word yet on when Diamond Dave plans to offer up a new album.