Love him or hate him, David Lee Roth has never been anything less than eminently quotable — and his recent interview with the Toronto Sun found Diamond Dave in fine form, riffing on everything from Van Halen‘s longevity in the face of changing trends to the short list of things he’d need to save your life in an emergency.

Roth sprinkled a few reflective moments throughout the interview, admitting that he doesn’t take the Van Halen reunion for granted. “It is indeed a privilege and a gift to be able to have this job as opposed to a lot of the jobs the state offers,” he quipped, going on to say that “Everybody has had at least one or two medical near- misses or at least one or two dental tragedies. Sometimes that’s all it takes — you get your teeth knocked out a couple of times and you start to realize you’re mortal. That illumination alone can rebind a band.”

Dave went on to discuss the fact that the band went into the vaults and dug out old demos to create some of the songs on its new album, ‘A Different Kind of Truth.’ “I retooled all of the verses and melodies,” he said. “I retooled all of the lyrics. So there is a body of new that meets halfway there, that I think makes very colorful sense. The idea that it was in a vault — well, are you talking about a head of lettuce or fine wine, sir?”

He also addressed Van Halen’s choice of opening acts for the tour, which has confused some fans. “We picked Kool and the Gang to open for us because Kool and the Gang and Van Halen are the sounds of an entire continent at recreation,” explained Roth. “We’ve come to represent that — although you’re more likely to hear Kool and the Gang at a bar mitzvah than me, even though I’m a brother.”

And of course, he also wandered a little off topic, at one point delving into a discussion of his training as an EMT. “I’m tactically certified,” boasted Roth. “Do you know how to feed 100 people breakfast? I do. Do you know the best way to get a fire going if you’ve got somebody wet and freezing? Get to the commissary — Fritos are so full of fat. You light a Frito, you’re going to be amazed … If something bad happens to you, I can pretty much unf— the situation until the right people show up.”

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