The following breaking news is sure to come as a welcome Holiday gift for Van Halen fans around the world who’ve been dying to know if the band is planning on releasing new music or touring in the near future.
Sources tell the Van Halen News Desk that the band is very eager to tour, and that they want to tour behind new material. Eddie Van Halen has been very busy during most of 2010 writing music. Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen often join Eddie in the 5150 studio and the three of them have been hard at work jamming and recording demos. The three Van Halens have been sending the music to David Lee Roth, who’s adding the lyrics. Two of our sources have heard some of the early versions of the tracks (without vocals) and were very pleased. The music is said to sound like straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll and “very Van Halen.”
After talking to several producers, the band has chosen GRAMMY award winner producer/songwriter/musician John Shanks (whom Clive Davis calls “the father of that guitar-driven kind of pop sound”). In January, 2011, David, Eddie, Alex & Wolfgang will head into the studio to begin recording with the much sought-after producer. The band is hopeful that the recording sessions will lead to a full studio album that would be completed and available sometime next year.
Interestingly, the band is planning on recording in John Shank’s Henson Studio as well as Van Halen’s 5150 Studios, making next month the first time Van Halen will record anywhere outside of their own studio since it was built, in 1983. (Except for when Hagar recorded some in his vocals in Canada during the Balance sessions).
We are excited to learn that the band is re-exploring Eddie’s extensive library of unreleased songs and riffs, even reaching back to their early unreleased demos for added inspiration. The band is retooling and tweaking some of this mostly-unheard, incredible music, which have completely new lyrics from Roth. Eddie is even considering developing a song or two from the material that he wrote for The Wild Life movie score in the mid 1980’s.
Although this news is not coming straight from the band or their publicist, we can tell you with certainty that it isn’t just another rumor that will turn out to be false, as most rumors do. These are indeed Van Halen’s current goals. We at the Van Halen News Desk have several reliable sources close to, or within the Van Halen camp, who give us solid Van Halen updates whenever they make any major plans. Our relationships with these contacts were established during the years of our publishing the official Van Halen fan magazine, “The Inside”, and through our associations while running VHND.com and VanHalenStore.com.
We want to clarify that, while this news sounds very promising for fans, NOTHING is set in stone as far as a definite album or tour. The band is hoping to have a new album and tour, but only time will tell if it all comes to fruition. There is no timetable for anything yet.
Despite their grand plans, it is very unlikely that there will be any confirmation from Van Halen themselves about any of this. The band has a definite policy of not talking until their plans are 100% solid and everything is in place. They don’t want to announce any plans that might not pan out, so as to not disappoint fans.
A source close to David Lee Roth tells us that he’s been getting in top physical shape for the potential tour and has been writings tons of lyrics.
We also have another source who’s spent some time with Eddie Van Halen recently. Ed seems to be doing better than ever these days. He’s been completely sober for over 2 1/2 years. He has surrounding himself with positive, encouraging people, among them his wife Janie, bandmates Alex and Wolfgang, and friend and business partner, Matt Bruck. His schedule is early to bed, early to rise, and he’s keeping very focused on staying sober, writing new music and running his EVH brand. We are really happy to hear he’s in a wonderful place these days.
More about Van Halen producer John Shanks:
John Shanks is one of the hottest and most influential producers working today. On top of that, he is a hit songwriter and accomplished guitar player. John has produced and/or written 43 #1 singles, 119 Top 5 singles, 67 #1 albums, 172 Top 10 albums, and over 60 million records sold in the genres of Rock, Pop and Country music. He is also a six time GRAMMY nominee including a win for Producer of the Year in 2005. “John’s records have become the sound of Top Forty Radio,” Clive Davis told Rolling Stone. “He’s the father of that guitar-driven kind of pop sound.”
John Shanks has worked with Miley Cyrus, Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Santana, Rod Stewart, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morissette, Hilary Duff, Train’s Pat Monahan, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, Pink, Liz Phair, Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, and many more.
The TRUTH about the Van Halen rumors:
And now for the die-hard fans, the Van Halen News Desk will tackle all the currently widespread rumors and either shoot them down or confirm them as true.
Rumor: Van Halen are working towards finishing recording of a new studio album with David Lee Roth and a single is slated for release before the end of this year.
FALSE. The band starts recording in January.
Rumor: The band will tour extensively in 2011, taking in North America, and likely European and Australian dates.
FALSE. Although a 2011 tour may occur, no such tour is currently planned.
Rumor: Numerous reports about new music coming from the band are true. There is new music recorded with the expectation of an all-new studio album featuring David Lee Roth to be released in 2011. What is not known right now is the time frame for this.
Mostly TRUE. The band has written lots of new music and hopes to complete an album, but a nothing is definite right now.
Rumor: DLR’s vocals are being recorded away from the 5150 studio.
Misleading. This is true, but only in regards to the early demos, not the final recordings. This is what many bands do before entering the studio. The final vocals haven’t even been recorded yet. The entire band will reconvene in the studio in January.
Rumor: Eddie has recorded most of the bass parts for the album.
FALSE. Eddie might have recorded some of the bass parts for the early demos when Wolfie wasn’t around, as he often did when Michael Anthony was in the band. Wolfgang has been recording demos all year, and he’ll be playing all the bass parts on the finished tracks.
Rumor: There is a deal in place between Warner Bros. and the band for a new album.
FALSE. If a new album is released, there is no deal in place yet with anyone.
Rumor: Van Halen has chosen Ross Hogarth to produce new music.
Mostly false. Hogarth is an engineer rather than a producer, and worked with them for a bit this year, but is not currently involved with Van Halen. The producer they chose is John Shanks.
Rumor: Chris Cornell from Soundgarden has recorded some background vocals on some of the new music.
Rumor: A spokeperson for Van Halen recently clarified that the band isn’t doing anything and that there will definitely be no new album or tour next year.
FALSE. A spokeperson for Van Halen did indeed shoot down the recent rumors of a planned tour and an album near completion. He was being honest in doing so, since there is currently neither a tour planned, nor an album near completion. However, he did say that the band is currently “working on stuff”, but gave no further details.
Rumor: The main reason that the band never released a DVD of the 2007-2008 tour was because the band members could not reach a financial agreement over the deal.
FALSE. The reason that it wasn’t released had nothing at all to do with finances. The band simply wasn’t happy enough with the footage.
Rumor: Warner Bros is preparing to release Blu-Ray editions of “Live Without a Net” and “Live Right Here Right Now.”
Unknown. We don’t know if this is true or not.
Rumor: Warner Bros is preparing to release re-masters of the four Sammy Hagar era Van Halen CDs.
Partially True. Rhino is talking about releasing remasters of the Sammy Hagar era albums, but nothing has been decided yet.
Stay tuned to VHND.com for the truth about Van Halen 2011!