VAN HALEN members Eddie Van Halen (guitar) and Alex Van Halen (drums) spoke to Australian radio station Triple M (web site) ahead of their headlining appearance at Stone Music Festival at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on April 20. The band's only show Down Under, it will be VAN HALEN's first Australian appearance since 1998, and first with singer David Lee Roth. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.Triple M: Eddie, is it true your dad gave you a shot of vodka and a cigarette when you were 12-years-old to help combat nerves? Eddie: "Yes, to help calm my nerves. Worked for him and worked for me for a lot of years, but those days are over now. I quit smoking and quit drinking about five or six years ago. There goes the neighbourhood!" Triple M: Alex, you are an ordained minister? Alex: "I don't promote it but I don't deny it. I'm in a rock band so you have to take everything with a grain of salt." Triple M: VAN HALEN are actually the band KISS without makeup? Alex: "I think we're much better looking." Triple M: Is it good to have Diamond Dave back in the band? Alex: "It's like you walk into the studio and we haven't been together for a while and there's this overwhelming sense of 'coming home.' That's the best way I can describe it." "All the time we were apart was if it hadn't existed and we picked up the fisti-cuffs right away. It's like a pair of jeans that just fit right." On having Eddie's son Wolfgang in the band for the past seven years, after repalcing original bassist Michael Anthony in 2006: Eddie: "Of course, it's exciting, and he keeps us young." Alex: "It's good to have a different perspective on the music we recorded 35 years ago. We're really happy the music has stood the test time and I think having a different generation involved with it gives us a different perspective." The Stone Music Festival was inspired by a cult '70s biker film named "Stone". Released in 1974, the exploitation movie starred Ken Shorter as an undercover cop assigned to discover who is murdering members of an outlaw biker gang named the Gravediggers.
VAN HALEN will close out the annual Rock USA festival, scheduled for July 17 through July 20 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Interview (audio):