Out today (June 11th) is Wolfgang Van Halen‘s debut album, the self-titled set billed to his band Mammoth WVH. The 14-track collection features the son of the late-Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli, handling all the writing, performing, and production duties.
Mammoth WVH will serve as the opening act for Guns’ N Roses on their summer tour, which kicks off on July 31st in Hershey, Pennsylvania at Hersheypark Stadium and winds down over two nights — October 2nd and 3rd — at Hollywood, Florida’s Hard Rock Live Arena.
Wolfgang spoke about the new album, telling People.com, “It’s as personal as can be. Songwriting is a really therapeutic thing for me, so I was working out a lot of stuff with these songs. Most of my lyrics are written at something or someone. It’s almost like an amalgamation of . . . You know how you always win arguments in the shower? It’s like that. It’s like anybody who’s ever done me wrong or used me, or lied to me, amalgamate into this one being that I write lyrics at.”
He went on to explain that he understands that his reputation comes with its own baggage: “A lot of people have, understandably, preconceived notions about what this must be. Like, ‘Oh, he’s the son, it must sound exactly like it.’ But I’ve done everything I can to be my own person. And I think it really shows on the album.”
When we last caught up with him, we asked Wolfgang how he’s processing his new solo career in light of losing his father, the legendary Eddie Van Halen, back in October: “It’s a giant cacophony of many different emotions kind of swirling, given the situation, obviously. But the response to ‘Distance’ is something that I never could have seen. Insane. ‘Cant believe it. It’s weird. Y’know, I’ve been doing this since I was 15, but in a way it is, it’s brand new and I feel like a baby again (laughs) in this, ’cause I’ve never done this before. It’s so many firsts and a lot of discomforts and anxiety, but also — I’m really excited. Especially given the response to ‘Distance,’ I’m exited for everyone to hear the rest of the music.”
Although he continues to be trolled and mercilessly blasted on social media — primarily due to replacing Michael Anthony on bass in Van Halen, Wolfgang told us that he’ll never let naysayers stop him: “Yes, at first it’s definitely intimidating as a 16-year-old to have the world hating on you, but I just kind of do my thing, because I know that I can do it. And when people tell me that I can’t, when I know I’m doing it, it just — it almost makes me feel better.”