Nuno Bettencourt Recalls Grabbing Eddie Van Halen’s DNA By Kissing Him

Nuno Bettencourt recently sat down with Total Guitar for a chat and reflected on a moment with Eddie Van Halen, recalling how a kiss from the late guitar player inspired him.

During a detailed discussion about creating the ‘Rise’ solo, Bettencourt shared that while recording, he was persistently interrupted by calls and messages from Gary Cherone. Initially annoyed and focused on his recording, Nuno was persuaded to check on the persistent disturbance. To his surprise, he was greeted not by an inconvenience but by Van Halen. He recalled their conversation, saying:

“There were lots of big hugs and big kisses. I was asking about what he was up to, and he told me, ‘Keep it between us for now, but Van Halen wants to go out the way we came in – we’re reaching out to all the original guys for a big tour!’ I thought it sounded incredible, and he was so excited. Then he went to his car and started blasting some music out the window, telling us that it was his son Wolfie, who had played all the instruments on this debut album.”

Inspiration Behind The ‘Rise’ Solo

Detailing how this interaction had an influence on his music, particularly the ‘Rise’ solo, he continued:

“It’s crazy – the Rise’ solo was anointed by whatever DNA I grabbed from Edward that day. Whatever kiss he gave me on the lips, I definitely went back into the studio and brought it with me. You can’t get more inspired than Edward showing up. He changed the world, yet was always very loving and very giving.”

Missed Opportunities And The Success Of ‘Rise’

Regretfully, Bettencourt never got the chance to play the solo for Eddie. Although Van Halen expressed interest in hearing the album, Nuno, wanting to present a finished product, postponed the opportunity. He reflected on this missed chance with a sense of loss, hoping Van Halen would be proud of what he achieved.

‘Rise,’ the first single from Extreme’s sixth studio album ‘Six,’ released on June 9, 2023, has attracted attention, especially for Bettencourt’s guitar solo. The song’s music video hit over 1 million views in its first week, sparking numerous analysis videos.

Listen to the song below.