The Band That Van Halen Wanted To Sound Like

One of the most successful and popular rock bands in the world, Van Halen released iconic records, which became best-seller hits. They also put on unforgettable stage shows thanks to band members’ talents as musicians and showpeople. Despite various departures from the band, mostly because of personal problems and creative differences, the band preserved its commercial success and popularity during David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar’s eras.

Therefore it can be said that the Van Halen members, especially Eddie Van Halen, were very good at finding the right sound that inspired many young musicians. However, although most of their fans think that almost every rock band tried to sound and create like Van Halen after their breakthrough, the band’s original bassist Michael Anthony revealed a California-based hard rock band that Van Halen wished to sound like.

Van Halen Wished To Sound Like Montrose

Montrose is a California-based hard rock band that was founded in 1973. Its original lineup featured Ronnie Montrose as the guitarist, Sammy Hagar as the vocalist, Bill Church as the bassist, and Denny Carmassi as the drummer. The band’s self-titled debut studio album was released on October 17, 1973, and got very positive reviews from music critics and fans. Also, it was produced by Ted Templeman.

Ted Templeman was another band’s producer formed in the same year, Van Halen, and he produced Van Halen’s six studio albums which hit the charts and sold millions of records worldwide. Thus, Templeman gained great fame as a producer thanks to his successful collaborations with these two bands, which became prominent rock bands of the music industry.

During one of his previous interviews, Michael Anthony unveiled that all Van Halen members wanted Ted to help them create a sound like Montrose that was ‘bad and big.’ ‘Rock Candy,’ which was released on Montrose’s first album, took place on the top ten of his favorite songs lists. Anthony exclaimed how he could have known that one day he would play with their frontman Sammy Hagar.

Sammy Hagar joined Van Halen following David Lee Roth’s departure to focus on his solo career in 1985 after Eddie Van Halen admired Hagar’s vocal performance in Montrose records. In the Van Hagar era, Van Halen released best-seller albums, ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,’ and ‘Balance.’ Consequently, it seems like Van Halen sounded like Montrose, especially after recruiting their iconic lead singer.

In Michael Anthony’s words, he said:

“Our first producer, Ted Templeman, produced these guys, and I remember all of us in Van Halen telling Ted that we wanted to sound big and bad, just like them. Who would have known that one day I would end up playing in a band with Sammy Hagar, who was their lead singer? I still play this song with Sammy when we perform today. This is one of the great all-time rock songs.”

You can listen to the song below.