Award-winning producer/songwriter/guitarist John Shanks recently spoke to GuitarWorld.com about his latest accomplishment: producing VAN HALEN's "A Different Kind Of Truth" album.
When asked how he got involved with the project, Shanks said, "I was working in my room, Studio C, and David Lee Roth was across the hall working on solo stuff. He stays in the studio. He's always in there doing something. It's like a boxer — he's always training. He's always writing and trying stuff and experimenting. He's always creating. It's just staying ready. So he comes in the studio and he's working on a project. I don't know what it was specifically. I introduced myself one day and we chatted a bit and became social. He's very bright and communicative, and we would talk about his dogs, photography, songs, and the current state of pop music.
"I'd met Eddie [Van Halen] a couple of times [through a mutual colleague]. I got a call, I'm sure through Dave talking to Eddie, because I think collectively they come up with, 'Let's try this guy,' or 'Let's have a conversation with John.' I know they talked to a couple of other people, too. Anyway, Eddie called. I went up to the house and met with Alex [Van Halen], Dave, Eddie and Wolf [Van Halen], and they talked about scheduling and what they wanted to do. Somehow we worked it out so we recorded at Henson.
"Dave felt comfortable at Henson. I certainly knew the room, I think Eddie wanted to try it, and collectively, that's what we ended up doing. That's how it started. Eddie wanted to mix it at his house and work on it there [with engineer Ross Hogarth]. I'm sure they worked on it up there a bit more, but they have their process and you respect their process and doing whatever they need to do to get it there."
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"A Different Kind Of Truth" has sold 332,000 copies in the United States since its February 7 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is the band's first full-length offering with original singer David Lee Roth since "1984" was released in January 1984.
Roth exited the group in 1985, a year after its "1984" album was released.