Being In Van Halen Was ‘Intimidating’ Says Gary Cherone
When Extreme singer Gary Cherone joined Van Halen in 1996, most people assumed it would be a marriage made in hell. And y’know what? It was!
After a failed reunion with David Lee Roth, Van Halen made just one album with Cherone: the ill-fated Van Halen III. Cherone discussed his tortured time in Van halen in a recent interview with KNAC.
Q: What did you learn or take away from your experience, with regards to being in Van Halen?
Cherone: Well, looking back on the three years I spent with Van Halen I guess, if I had to do it all over again I think I would have preferred to tour with them and then put out a record… it would have been a better idea to establish myself first and then hit the studio with the band. At the time it may have looked odd on paper but it actually worked live! I made a concerted effort to do the old Van Halen tunes that Sammy was not doing. I wanted to do the deep cuts… as a live act we did songs their fans had not heard in years! I don’t, however, think we made a great record. I think there were some great ideas and some little gems but it was not a great record. I had fun but at times it was like being a stranger in a strange land.
Q: How intimidating was it to be in the band?
Cherone: It was very intimidating. Most of the time the criticism just rolled off my back, but if I had a bad night or my throat hurt… sometimes it would get to me but what are you gonna do? I will say, each night when we came into town I would hear the radio DJs take their shots at me and the band, but at the end of most of the shows the same DJs would be backstage and almost apologise to me or at the very least admit that the show was way better than they had originally thought.
Read the full interview here.