Last Thursday, rumors started to spread that Van Halen was signing a new recording deal with Interscope Records. While there’s always a need to be cautious regarding Van Halen talk, the signing seems likely since the band’s “surprise” appearance at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live show is about two weeks away. Well, now The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Van Halen’s new recording contract could be finalized by next week.
In addition to revealing exactly how the reunited classic rock band came to talk with Interscope, inside sources also gave The Hollywood Reporter an inside scoop as to what happened with Columbia Records. Apparently, as was reported previous, a contract was indeed drawn up by Sony (who owns Columbia) and Van Halen were close to signing. However, singer David Lee Roth (who has a separate management, legal and accounting team from his Van Halen band mates) was supposedly never on board with the deal and derailed the talks. One source claims that Roth was adamant about being on a West Coast label. Thus, when Universal Music Group (who owns Interscope Records) came into the picture with a deal, Van Halen switched. In addition to being on the West Coast, Interscope and UMG reportedly presented the band with a global plan that included extensive marketing, merchandising, touring and recordings. And it would appear that they liked what they were presented with.
At the moment, neither Van Halen nor Interscope have commented on the news. Whether Roth made such a big stink over being on a West Coast label isn’t actually known for sure, but also wouldn’t totally surprise us. It seems like such a minor detail that a rock star like Roth would fight over, and since the new album is relying on it being the first with him in 27 years, it’s understandable that the band would want to keep the singer happy. Then again, Eddie Van Halen is pretty well known about being a stickler over minor details as well.