Last fall, David Lee Roth included five previously unreleased songs in The Roth Project, an online comic narrated by the legendary VAN HALEN singer, with music from John 5 on guitar and bass, Greg Bissonette on drums, Brett Tuggle on keyboards, and Luis Conte on percussion. The tracks "Giddy-Up!", "Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill", "Alligator Pants", "Lo-Rez Sunset" and "Manda Bala" were recorded several years ago at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.
"People really like those songs, so I'm super happy about it," John 5 told AL.com in a new interview. "Because listen, you can't deny a good song and Dave writes good songs. He's written some of the most amazing songs of our lifetime, and Dave worked really hard on these lyrics. I'm not sure when it's going to come out or if it'll come out, but I hope it does.
"There's one I'll tell you about called 'Nothing Could Have Stopped Us', and it's unbelievable," he continued. "Being a VAN HALEN fan and a Dave Lee Roth fan, it's unbelievable because it's about Dave singing about VAN HALEN and what it was like. Really something special, so I really hope that comes out."
Asked if the rest of the unreleased David Lee Roth record in the same vein as the songs that have come out, which have a singer/songwriter sound, John 5 said: "He wanted to do this kind of a more California sessions type of thing. And he's such an artist, I was, like, 'Whatever you want to do, I'm there for you.' So it is that kind of vibe. But there's a lot of multi tracks and different acoustic parts that all work together. It's kind of orchestrated, if you will."
John 5 got his first big break playing on Roth's solo album, "DLR Band", before landing stints with Marilyn Manson and now Rob Zombie. His latest sessions with the iconic VAN HALEN frontman apparently took place at least seven years ago, with John 5 unveiling a snippet of the album during an interview with Masters Of Shred back in May 2019.
Two years ago, Roth was asked by Meltdown of the Detroit radio station WRIF if his LP with John 5 will be made available at some point. He responded: "It will. There's been a revision of things, and I can start making real plans and start marching into the future. And, of course, you'll start hearing that material. This is material that we wrote variously for me solo and for VAN HALEN, and it's quite a bank of stuff."
Roth, who was promoting his Las Vegas residency at the time, didn't offer a possible time frame for the release of the record, explaining that his priority was "getting out on the road first. Let's see the band, let's show ourselves off, let's travel all over the world."
Back in 2015, John 5 told Guitar Player magazine that the sessions for his latest Roth album were remarkably relaxed. "I would just go to his house and I'd write these songs with him, and he would say, 'Let's go into the studio,'" John 5 explained. "So he would go to Henson studio and record these songs. They came out… They're so good. They're so good. And we've got Gregg Bissonette playing drums on it, and I played the bass, and they're really great songs."
The guitarist said that Roth's vocals on the album sound "like nothing you've ever heard. It's old VAN HALEN — sounds like 'Could This Be Magic?' or anything like that. It's just that sound, that tone."
In a 2014 interview, John 5 described the LP as "11 of the greatest songs you'll ever hear, and it's just me and Dave, and we had Gregg Bissonette play drums on it. And it's unbelievable," he said. "You know, just great, great songs."
In March 2020, Roth postponed the final six shows of his Las Vegas residency due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Roth performed as the opening act for the February/March 2020 North American leg of KISS's "End Of The Road" farewell tour.