The Story Of Mitch Malloy: Van Halen’s Lesser-Known Fourth Singer

Van Halen can be regarded as one of the most successful and popular metal bands in the world thanks to their iconic records and stage performances. Even though Van Halen had been through several line-up changes to find their frontman for years, the band was able to preserve its commercial success and popularity by hitting the charts and selling millions of records.

The band’s original frontman was David Lee Roth. Van Halen gained worldwide fame during Roth’s era, however, he decided to leave the band in 1985 to pursue a solo musical career. Van Halen fans got very disappointed about Roth’s decision so it was hard for them to accept the next frontman. Eddie Van Halen soon found another perfect fit for his band, Sammy Hagar. Eventually, Sammy also decided to leave Van Halen due to some personal conflicts he had with Eddie and Alex Van Halen.

Sammy Hagar’s Departure From Van Halen

In the beginning, Eddie Van Halen asked Scandal’s frontwoman Patty Smyth to join the band but she didn’t accept his offer to stay away from crazy parties in California. Then, after his car mechanic advised Eddie to recruit Sammy Hagar, he watched his performance in Montrose. The guitarist invited Hagar to an audition. Hagar’s performance was so successful that he was immediately hired as Van Halen’s lead singer.

During the Van Hagar era, the band released their hit albums, ‘5150,’ ‘OU812,’ ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,’ and ‘Balance.’ However, after a decade, Sammy Hagar had to leave the band due to personal problems and creative differences between him and Eddie Van Halen in 1996. Therefore, Alex and Eddie started to look for Van Halen’s new frontman once again.

Mitch Malloy Joined Van Halen’s Audition To Be Their Next Lead Singer

Mitch Malloy was one of the singers who joined Van Halen’s auditions and the jamming session with the other members went very well. Thus, he replaced Sammy Hagar as the new lead singer and recorded several demos but only two of them were leaked. Although Van Halen didn’t announce Malloy, the singer started working with the band.

However, Malloy’s time with Van Halen was quite brief since the band decided to work with their former lead singer David Lee Roth once again. In a previous interview he joined, Mitch mentioned that he realized he wasn’t going to be the new Van Halen frontman when he saw the band presenting an award on MTV Video Music Awards in 1996 along with Roth.

In Malloy’s words, he said:

He never did tell me though that they were gonna present with David Lee Roth. I was back in Nashville and turned on the TV to watch. They came out and Dave came out too. I was like ‘What? My jaw just dropped. I was like ‘Why are they with Dave?’

This’s not good for me. The whole world thought that Dave was back in the band and wanted Dave in the band. I wanted Dave back in the band. I mean I grew up on Van Halen with Dave in it. Those first albums were amazing. It did it what they are today. When I saw Dave come out with them, that was it for me. That was over.

It can be understood from Malloy’s statement that Van Halen’s presenting an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards with David Lee Roth changed everything for the signer. He was so shocked that he can’t still forget the moment when he saw Roth on the stage. Malloy realized that everyone would want to see David Lee Roth as their lead singer so it wasn’t possible for him to join Van Halen anymore. 

The band’s plans for a reunion with Roth sadly failed and they started working with Extreme singer Gary Cherone. Together with Cherone, they released their eleventh studio album, ‘Van Halen III,’ which was followe by a world tour.

You can check out the video and demo below.