Are Van Halen fans about to get a new album, and maybe a tour? Ever since David Lee Roth dropped an oblique hint about a mysterious “great Van Halen project” in an episode of The Roth Show two months ago, fans have been on alert for news. A couple of recent news items have been stirring up rumors and speculation.
On July 10, a picture of Eddie Van Halen and mastering engineer Howie Weinberg – who worked on the last Van Halen album (“A Different Kind of Truth”) – was posted on the Facebook page of Howie Weinberg Mastering Studio. The caption simply reads: “Eddie Van Halen came by to visit Howie at his studio.” Since the band isn't known for keeping fans in the loop, theories are ranging from whether a new album is imminent to it being just a casual visit between two pals.
Further fueling hopes and guessing games is David Lee Roth's return from Japan to Los Angeles two days ago. Celebrity photo and video agency X17 caught up with the singer at LAX and got a look at his latest tattoos, but nothing about a new Van Halen album or any other projects. Roth told X17 that this was his 18th trip back from Japan and that “it was the last one for a while.”
As he unbuttoned his shirt to show off the latest work done by famous tattoo artist Horiyoshi III, Roth spoke about what he did in Japan: “This took about 150 hours to put together, which was sort of the beginning of the trip [to Japan, in 2012]. And then we go to language school, I've been a sword student, a jujitsu student.”
While fans wait to learn whether the guitarist's visit to a mastering engineer and the return of the singer mean a new album or other good news, they can still listen to plenty of classic Van Halen on the radio. According to a study by FiveThirtyEight.com, Van Halen comes in second on their list of the top 25 most frequently played classic rock artists, beating out the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and The Beatles. Led Zeppelin came in first place.