You don’t even have to be of a certain age to know how important a part Eddie Van Halen played in the world of rock music. His guitar playing is up there with the greats – it may even be considered the greatest – and his death in 2020 at the still relatively young age of 65 ripped a huge hole in the hearts of many around the world.
Certainly, some of those people to be affected by Eddie’s death are Greg Hoy & the Boys, and their latest song, ‘Demons At Night’, the title track of their EP, tows the line between an ode to and satire of Van Halen style metal. I’m sure Eddie would have loved it.
The song has all the ingredients of what makes Van Halen who they are, particularly in their 1980s heyday: fiercely technical guitar solos, and driving drums pulling it all together – all the while appearing absolutely effortless. On the lyrical side of things, Greg Hoy brings to the fore his signature sense of fun, outlining those thoughts that fill the mind when you’re unable to sleep – then disappear as soon as dawn breaks.
The guitar solo, clearly influenced by Van Halen, is just as commanding as Eddie’s own, and it’s seen in full effect in the accompanying video. Hoy and his boys – Nate Fink on guitar, and David Richman behind the drums – are resplendent in leathers and feathers, strutting their stuff around the stage, head-banging with high hair to die for. Clip art tour vans journey along amp stacks, while the live action was shot by music and press photographer, Rockin Ryan Stephen Richardson. Richardson even let Greg Hoy & The Boys his ride around in “Vanama”, his Van Halen-inspired van, and it also features in the video.
Greg wrote ‘Demons At Night’ after Eddie Van Halen’s death in 2020, and the song and video feel like a fitting tribute. The clip ends with a self-deprecating laugh and the sense that although much has changed since the 80s, Greg Hoy & the Boys are still having fun.