Monday, November 14, 2011

BILLBOARD REFLECTS ON VAN HALEN/INTERSCOPE DEAL:




Interesting story appeared late Friday on Billboard.com, after I broke news via Twitter that Van Halen had ditched plans to sign to Columbia and chose LA based Interscope Records instead. Read below for a little more inside information on the signing.
Here's my take - I was told the band wanted a "hipper" label - they got that - but they also wanted a LA based label to be closer to the action and the decisions that would need to be made over the next 6 months (with the album and tour etc..)
Read through the insider comments below and it seems that was indeed the case, but I was surprised to read that it was singer David Lee Roth that was making this demand, as it seems the plan is to have him front and centre for upcoming PR push.

This to me is an interesting point. The Van Halen camp want us to believe that the band is a united team....but I see this more as the Van Halen Brothers being acutely aware that they must keep DLR happy, as he is their only option to move forward and continue touring/recording...or at the heart of it...making money!
The band simply had to fulfil fan demands for the DLR partnership from 2008 to continue and (finally) record a new album after 13 years wait. Going back to Sammy Hagar certainly wasn't an option. I can't see how that will ever work again after Sammy's book and continued comments on the state of VH....plus the fact Sammy won't return without Michael Anthony.
And moving forward with a 4th lead singer, or a collaboration of various singers on one album (something we've continually heard Eddie would like to do), would cause such a revolt amongst fans (still burnt from the Gary Cherone album/tour) that any hope of making big bucks on tour would be wiped clean.

So David Lee Roth is the lynch pin in this scenario, and therefore holds all the power. Signing to Interscope is an interesting decision and I for one hope that it comes together nicely for the band. If Roth is to do the bulk of the press, one wonders if Eddie will be available at all? After all, there is a lot of questions fans and press have for him.
It will be interesting to see if this VH/DLR relationship is authentic and if there is genuine chemistry between the guys on record and on stage. I for one think that is crucial.
And one thing remains absolutely vital. This new studio record must absolutely 100% kick some serious ass. On a lighter note - as a die-hard Van Halen fan, it's nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's good to feel excited about new music coming our way.

From Billboard: Van Halen To Sign With Interscope / By Shirley Halperin, THR / www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/van-halen-to-sign-with-interscope-1005511802.story

"Iconic rock band Van Halen are set to sign with Interscope Records, says a source familiar with the negotiations. The deal is expected to be finalized next week, marking the first time in 35 years that the band will not release music through Warner Music, its longtime label home.
It had been rumored -- and reported -- that the band was joining the Columbia Records roster. In fact, an insider tells The Hollywood Reporter that the contract for the Sony deal was drawn up and approved but hadn't been signed when Universal Music stepped into the picture.
The signing was a group effort involving UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, UMG International COO Max Hole, Interscope Geffen A&M vice chairman Steve Berman and Interscope's Jimmy Iovine, who, says a source, "heard the band was available and wanted to work with them. It was decided at the 11th hour." What came next was a series of meetings that presented the band with a global plan that included extensive marketing, merchandising, touring and, of course, recordings.
So what derailed the Columbia deal? The usual rock band complications, says an insider. While the group reunited with original singer David Lee Roth in 2006, the Sony label could not come to terms with Roth, who has a separate management, legal and accounting team than the other three members, guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his son Wolfgang (who replaced bassist Michael Anthony) and drummer Alex Van Halen. The main issue for Roth? He was apparently adamant about being on a west coast label. "He was never on board [with Columbia]," says the source. "It was as complicated as anyone would imagine, when one side says black, the other says white. The label was pretty sceptical that things would work out."
It's expected that as frontman, Roth will have to carry much of the marketing burden and it seems the band members ultimately want their singer to be happy with the deal which is why they went with Universal's west coast-based Interscope.
A new album, their first studio effort since 1984, is believed to be nearly finished with the hope that it can be released in 2012. The band is expected to make a "special announcement" on Nov. 30 at the Grammy Awards nominations concert, which will air live on CBS from Los Angeles' Nokia Theater.
An Interscope rep had no comment."

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