Of course, rumors and speculation about a new Van Halen record have been swirling around the web for a while now. But with a new recording deal with Interscope Records pretty much a sure thing now, it would appear that a new Van Halen album (their first with David Lee Roth in 27 years) could come out in 2012. But how “new” with the album actually be? Well, according to Sammy Hagar, not new at all.
In an exclusive with Rolling Stone, the one-time Van Halen singer says that he heard through various sources that the new album with Roth will consist of old outtakes, saying the following:
“I heard this record is old outtakes from the old days. I mean, stuff from before I even joined the band. I heard this five years ago though. Michael Anthony was curious if his background vocals would wind up on the album. I don’t think it’s a bad idea. It’s kind of interesting. Bob Seger did it, and so did the Rolling Stones. I think it’s an interesting thing to do in your old age if you can’t come up with fresh, good stuff – or you can’t get along. Because from what I heard, they aren’t working with new material. Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all.”
Now obviously we’re at first a little skeptical about Hagar’s claim for numerous reason. While Wolfgang (Eddie’s son and the band’s new bassist) supposedly shared the album with numerous active hard rock bands, we still believe that Hagar is the last person who would know what’s happening in the Van Halen camp. Plus, he wasn’t even aware that Van Halen signed with Interscope when talking with Rolling Stone (though in his defense, they were originally in talks with Columbia/ Sony before Interscope came into the picture). With that said, though, it wouldn’t be too hard to believe that Diamond Dave and Eddie couldn’t actually work together on new songs in the studio. They may have toured together in 2007, but it’s not like there haven’t been rumors of conflict during the recording sessions.
We may never know for sure whether the new album is simply made up of outtakes or not, but we will likely find out how good the material is sooner than later. In addition to their “surprise” appearance at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live show on November 30, the fan site Van Halen News Desk is claiming that the recent picture featuring Van Halen and Interscope/UMG execs was snapped at the Roxy Club in LA where they were shooting a music video. Like any Van Halen update, though, let’s not jump to conclusions right away.