Van Halen has signed to Interscope Records, a source with knowledge of the talks tells Rolling Stone. The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter, which wrote that Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine was personally involved with the negotiations, and quoted an “insider” as saying, “He heard the band was available and wanted to work with them. It was decided at the eleventh hour.” The deal reportedly includes touring, merchandising, marketing and recording.
Rumors were swirling a few months ago that the band was going to sign with Columbia, but supposedly Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth didn’t want to sign with a label on the East Coast. “He was never on board [with Columbia],” the Hollywood Reporter‘s source said. “It was as complicated as anyone would imagine, when one side says black, the other says white. The label was pretty skeptical that things would work out.”
Van Halen haven’t released an album of new material since 1998’s ill-fated Van Halen III, which featured Extreme’s Gary Cherone on vocals. They reunited with Sammy Hagar in 2004 for a tour, but shortly afterwards parted ways with the Red Rocker and founding bassist Michael Anthony. They toured in 2007 and 2008 with David Lee Roth and Eddie’s son teenage son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. There have been numerous reports that the band was recording a new album over the past few years. It will be their first record with David Lee Roth since 1984.
On November 3rd, the Grammy Foundation posted a Tweet that strongly implied that Van Halen would perform at their nomination special on November 30th: “Who do you predict the reuniting band will be @GRAMMYnoms?. Does this hint make you wanna ‘Jump’ & ‘Dance The Night Away?'” However, a source tells Rolling Stone that the band will not appear at the event. A spokesperson for the Grammys did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
• Photos: Van Halen Through the Years