In a new interview with Fresno, California's 105.1 The Blaze radio station, Wolfgang Van Halen was asked if he thinks it makes it easier or harder for him to get his music embraced with his connections in the industry and his famous last name. "I think it's a bit of both," he said (hear audio below). "It's a double-edged sword. Sometimes people will have their own ideas of what they think [my music] will be.
"There are plenty of examples of people who may have connections in the business," the 29-year-old musician continued. "For example, [pop superstar] Billie Eilish — she had family connections or something, but the reason that she stuck around is because she's cool and she's talented. And I think that's a big thing that, I guess, needs to be seen. If people end up liking my music and I stick around, then I guess it was good. But if I disappear in a year, then I guess it wasn't good enough. [Laughs]"
Wolfgang played every instrument and sang each and every note on the debut album from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The disc's first single, "Distance", was released last month. Wolfgang wrote the song while his late father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, battled cancer, "imagining what my life would be without him, and how terribly I'd miss him," as Wolfgang explained in a statement. The video for the track was created from a collection of family home movies through the years and offers an inside look in to one of music's most notable personalities. Chronicling the family through the years, the video ends with a touching voicemail left from Eddie to his son.
Wolfgang had been preparing to release music from MAMMOTH WVH for some time. That plan was altered when his father called him and told him his cancer had returned. Wolfgang decided to put everything on hold to be with his father through his battle.
MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and his brother Alex Van Halen called their band MAMMOTH when David Lee Roth first joined it in 1974
When Wolfgang hits the road in support of MAMMOTH WVH's debut album, he will be accompanied by guitarist Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS), drummer Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) and bassist Ronnie Ficarro. Wolfgang will handle lead vocals and guitar at the shows.
Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band's 2007 reunion tour with Roth, replacing Michael Anthony.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.