Metal Legend Felt ‘Responsibility’ After Van Halen Died


Nuno Bettencourt recently stated how the passing away of Eddie Van Halen gave him a “sense of responsibility and fire” to keep the spirit of old school of hard rock guitar alive. He also described the reaction Extreme’s yet-to-be-released song “Hurricane” provoked from Steve Vai and Tom Morello.

Nuno Bettencourt talks about the matter

Extreme has been making serious waves with singles leading up to the release of “Six”, their first studio album in 15 years, with the lead single “Rise” becoming a fan favorite almost immediately.

“Hell no did we expect that, and we are so thankful and grateful”, the guitarist tells MusicRadar in a new interview about how “Rise” earned over 2.7 million views on YouTube, after getting the first million over the first 10 days following its release.

“Six” has been long in the making — Nuno previously lamented over not showing Eddie Van Halen an early version of Rise before the guitar legend’s passing — but the comparatively lengthy writing & recording process never quenched the fires of passion that drove the record forwards.

Speaking about the philosophy behind the upcoming album and his main motivators during the writing & recording process, Nuno said:

“I think we hit a period on this album where I was like, ‘We’re good’. Doing the Generation Axe Tour inspired me a little bit, too, I have to say. Playing with all these amazing guitar players and heroes lit my fire a little bit again. Even as I was doing the album and Edward [Van Halen] coming to my house and almost listening to the album.

“He was outside at one point and I was like, ‘Oh my god I want to play him it back.’ And then he passed away and never had the chance. All those things. Even him passing away.

“It gave me this sense of responsibility and fire, like, ‘Fuck, man! There’s not a lot of people left in this generation of people who I work with.’

“There are a lot of great guitar players but not so much that we are in a band and write songs, and play the solo within a song, and got creative within the tone of a song, and I almost felt this responsibility to fucking carry that torch.

“I told the guys, ‘I wanna go for blood on this album, in the sense of I want to make it fun, and I want to make it fun with the guitar, so that there are things within the rhythm playing. To bring joy into it, to bring passion into it, is what I have always done in the past, and it comes from that Edward Van Halen school, and Brian May and Jimmy Page.”

And while Nuno didn’t get to share an early version of Rise with the late and great EVH, he did, however, offer Steve Vai and Tom Morello a sneak peek of “Hurricane”, which we mere mortals are yet to hear. Recalling the two virtuosos’ reactions, Nuno said:

“I got together with a bunch of my friends – Tom Morello and Steve Vai, and DB Weiss from Game Of Thrones – and we are sitting there in the studio, and I caught a couple of people f***ing tearing up during ‘Hurricane’.

“That’s what a producer does, meaning sometimes I am singing a few lyrics on there and it’s not the best vocal but, man, I was like, ‘Okay, I nailed that.’ Not technically, not pitch, but I was cracking. It was hard to sing because it was about my best friend who passed away.”