Official: Van Halen Signs With Interscope Records

Van Halen with IAG execs 2011
Robert Yager

As THR reported, the band leaves behind a 35 year history with Warner Music for the Universal label.

It’s official: Van Halen has signed with Interscope Records.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news last week that the band would leave its longtime label home, Warner Music, after 35 years in favor of Universal Music Group's Interscope.

It had been rumored -- and reported -- that the band was joining the Columbia Records roster. In fact, an insider told THR that the contract for the Sony deal was drawn up and approved but hadn’t been signed when Universal 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 chairman Jimmy Iovine, who, said 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.

Now, the photographic proof (see above) as band members Alex Van HalenWolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth are pictured with Iovine, Irving Azoff, executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment and chairman and CEO of the?Front Line Management Group, Berman, and Jim Urie, president and CEO, Universal Music Group Distribution on Thursday, Nov. 17 in Los Angeles. The photo was distributed to members of the media with a subject line “A Sneak Peek of Van Halen.”

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.