The first photo of the four members of VAN HALEN and their new partners at the Interscope label can be seen below.
Why did VAN HALEN back out of a deal with Columbia Records and sign with Interscope at the last minute? According to The Hollywood Reporter, singer David Lee Roth was the deciding factor. Roth, who has separate management, legal representation and accountants from the rest of the group, apparently wanted to sign with a label based on the West Coast. A source said, "He was never on board (with Columbia). 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."
In stepped Interscope and its parent company Universal Music "at the 11th hour." While Columbia's main operation is located in New York, Interscope is based in Los Angeles and presented the band with "a global plan that included extensive marketing, merchandising, touring and, of course, recordings."
The rest of VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Wolfgang Van Halen wanted to keep Roth happy as well. He rejoined the group in 2007 after 23 years apart.
The deal was finalized this week and marks the first time VAN HALEN has recorded away from Warner Bros. Records, which signed the group in 1977.
The new VAN HALEN album, its first with Roth since "1984" was released on the last day of 1983, will reportedly come out in 2012, possibly in February.
Although it's been strongly hinted that the group will make a "special announcement" on November 30 at the Grammy Awards nominations concert, a source told Rolling Stone magazine that the band's appearance was not happening. Reps for the Grammy Awards have not commented.
Captured at an undisclosed venue in Los Angeles, are (left to right) Alex Van Halen; Wolfgang Van Halen; Eddie Van Halen; Jimmy Iovine, Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records; Irving Azoff, Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and Chairman and CEO of the Front Line Management Group; Steve Berman, Vice Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Records; David Lee Roth; and Jim Urie, President and CEO, Universal Music Group Distribution.
Photo credit: Robert Yager