Should Billie Eilish Have Heard of Van Halen? - Rolling Stone
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Should Billie Eilish Have Heard of Van Halen?

Rolling Stone Music Now explores the ins and outs of a musical generation gap

billie eilish, van halen

Billie Eilish recently said she did not know Van Halen, but bassist Wolfgang Van Halen came to her defense online.

Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Globe Photos/Mediapunch/Shutterstock

In the latest episode of our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, Brittany Spanos, Rob Sheffield, and Andy Greene join host Brian Hiatt to discuss the unexpected intersection of two artists whose heyday is separated by decades, styles and a whole lot of other differences: Billie Eilish and Van Halen.

To hear the entire discussion, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

When Jimmy Kimmel recently asked Eilish about one of his favorite bands, she was baffled — understandably, given that Van Halen released its first album 23 years before her birth. The clip went viral, sparked an unfair pile-on from rock fans against Eilish, and then, in turn, questionably accurate attacks on Van Halen’s music from non-fans. But the episode digs into more interesting issues: What does this incident say about Eilish’s tastes, about the tricky art of classic rock legacy maintenance, and ever-widening musical generation gaps? Meanwhile, Sheffield argues that Eilish has more in common with David Lee Roth than their fans would think — starting with their facility with “the talking parts of songs.”

Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Ice Cube, Neil Young, the National, Questlove, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr. and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast live from SiriusXM’s studios on Volume, channel 106.

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