In an unique interview, Wolfgang Van Halen opens up on being the late Eddie Van Halen’s son, his debut single and the launch of his new band
A 3-month-old Wolfgang perched on his father Eddie Van Halen’s lap as the rock legend performs the piano is one in every of the endearing clips from the music video of ‘Distance’, a single from the former’s forthcoming album. A tribute to his father who handed away in October due to most cancers, the album additionally marks the launch of Wolfgang’s band MammothWVH.
The Rock-ballad has visuals of Wolfgang’s childhood together with his father and ends with a voice message from Eddie Van Halen proclaiming how proud he was of his son and the way a lot he beloved him. “I found it from the 40 voice mails I had on my phone. This particular one showed how amazing a father he was, and the love he had for me,” says Wolfgang, connecting through Zoom from California, when requested why he selected to incorporate the audio clip into the video.
“He was like a best friend; he believed in me and was so proud of me. That love keeps me going to this day,” he provides.
The lyrics of ‘Distance’ — “I’m so happy, You’ve found a place, That’s better for you” — painting the anguish of a son. Wolfgang says he’s blissful that his father was in a position to hear all the songs. “‘Distance’ struck a chord with many,” he provides.
As a baby, Wolfgang would usually attempt his hand at his uncle Alex Van Halen’s drums; his 10th birthday reward was a drum package from his father. Though he moved on to enjoying bass, he confesses his fondness for drums. He additionally takes pleasure in naming his band Mammoth, which was the authentic title of Eddie Van Halen’s band.
High priest of Rock
- Eddie Van Halen’s contribution — the well-known guitar solo — to Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ that made it an everlasting hit is only a speck in his humongous physique of labor. Apart from making ‘two-handed tapping’ a way that the majority lead guitarists dream of emulating, EVH was a part of numbers that proceed to enthral. Some of his band’s all-time hits are ‘Jump’, ‘Eruption’, ‘Panama’, ‘When it’s love’, ‘Mean Street’ and extra.
- Eddie Lodewijk Van Halen was named after Ludwig Van Beethoven and Eddie named his son after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
“My dad would tell me the story how Van Halen was originally called Mammoth, and I thought it was such a great name,” he says. Wolfgang performed all devices and lent vocals for ‘Distance’. However, MammothWVH additionally counts Slash guitarist Frank Sidoris, Tremonti drummer Garrett Whitlock and bassist Ronnie Ficarro amongst its members; the band is probably going to carry out for the first time in 2021.
Bands and bonds
Wolfgang’s first publicity to the stage was as a toddler, when he ran on to the stage whereas his dad was performing. “My mother would take me to his shows, and I’d be standing at the side. She would let me run on stage. All I wanted was to just go and see my dad, but when I turned and looked at the thousands of people in the crowd, I realised I’m sharing him with all of them,” he smiles.
Wolfgang was 16 when he joined his father’s band as a bass guitarist. He held his personal amongst the band’s established members, a few of whom have been giants of Rock music, which included his uncle, Alex. “I’m naturally an anxious person. Nervousness was always there despite the long rehearsals we would have. There is that blood relation between the three of us… it kind of felt natural,” he says. Ask him how his dad was as a bandmate, Wolfgang says, “We were equals. If one of us made a mistake, the other one picked up the slack. We were a great support system.”
On being requested if he had inherited any of his dad’s mannerisms or traits whereas acting on stage, Wolfgang says, “If I’m found emulating him that would be by accident. It is important that I must be my own person, and not be a carbon copy of my dad.” Did he inherit any of his mom’s (the award-winning actor and celeb chef, Valerie Bertinelli) culinary expertise? “I’m a terrible chef but when it comes to acting I did pretty good in theatre in school. Cooking? No way,” he chuckles.
Respect for legacy
Though he misses the hype earlier than an album launch, Wolfgang feels social media interplay is simply nearly as good. “The positive feedback I get is amazing,” he says, including, “Once the pandemic is over, I would love to travel, including India. I’m super excited.”
He doesn’t intend to carry ahead Eddie Van Halen’s legacy by laying his fingers on his father’s unreleased music, as most of his followers appear to be suggesting. “There is a whole lot of process that needs to be respected. It can’t be done haphazardly and for a quick buck. It needs to be done finding the proper time and dedicate it to him,” Wolfgang insists.
Before parting methods, he shares his favorite piece of recommendation from his father. “One of the favourite things he told me was if you ever make a mistake, do it twice so the audience thinks you are meant to do it,” he laughs.