Van Halen Splits With Warner Bros.
Van Halen has left Warner Bros. after spending more than 23 years on the label, according to a label spokesperson, who describes the split as amicable. The news was also confirmed by Brad Starks, webmVan Halen has left Warner Bros. after spending more than 23 years on the label, according to a label spokesperson, who describes the split as amicable. The news was also confirmed by Brad Starks, webmaster for the band's official Web site. Through Starks, the members of Van Halen have revealed that their business relationship with Warner Bros. was severed a month ago, but have made it clear that the group was not dropped by the label.
According to Starks, the band decided against posting the information on their Web site at the time of the split because "they didn't think it was newsworthy."
The news may correlate with the re-registering of the "Van Halen" trademark by Van Halen's corporate entity E.L.V.H., Inc. on Dec. 4, 2001. Earlier this week it was announced that Don Engel, Van Halen's attorney for the last 15 years, is no longer employed by the band.
The group is still without a lead singer, following the 1999 departure of former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone. With Cherone, the group released only one album, 1998's "Van Halen 3." Although it debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, the set has to date sold just 511,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Its predecessor, 1995's "Balance," has sold more than 2 million units.
Last April, guitarist Eddie Van Halen confirmed that was undergoing treatment for cancer, but no updated information has been released on his health status.
Earlier that month, original lead vocalist David Lee Roth told fans he had written three new songs with Eddie Van Halen in July 2000, beyond which no progress has been made toward Roth's possible reunion with the rest of the band. Roth left Van Halen in 1985 and was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who served as lead vocalist until 1996. Roth returned to the fold for a brief, disastrous stint that year to record two new songs for a greatest hits album, but did not collaborate with the band further.
Van Halen joins a growing list of platinum selling artists -- including Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Tori Amos, Collective Soul, and David Bowie -- that have parted ways with their respective major labels in recent months.