Why Wolfgang Van Halen Won’t Play Van Halen Songs Live
Wolfgang previously shot down rumors of a band reunion in the aftermath of the legendary guitarist’s death last month. He began revealing details of his solo band Mammoth WVH this week, noting that his debut album will be out early next year.
Asked on Eddie Trunk’s SiriusXM radio show if he planned to play Van Halen songs as part of their live set, Wolfgang replied: “Absolutely not. If I do, I'd want it to be, like, really fucking different. I wouldn't wanna just sit there and play ‘Ain’t Talkin' 'Bout Love.’ I'd wanna do a cool acoustic cover of 'Little Guitars' or some shit – something different. I refuse to tread the same ground as my dad. I need to forge my own path.”
He added: “Van Halen fans, please don't take that and run with it. I'm not gonna put out a Van Halen cover album or anything. If I do happen to, it would be under that context. It would be different.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Van Halen was asked about his plans for playing his own songs live and mentioned that he may add a fifth member to the lineup because he felt using backing tracks would be “lame as shit.” That led to a question from a Twitter follower, who asked if his comment meant he'd never consider taking part in a Van Halen reunion with Eddie’s leads played back as part of the show.
“Playing to Dad’s isolated tracks would be dumb and a complete mockery of his legacy,” he replied. “I don’t want to play to his tracks. … I want to play with him.”
In his recent UCR interview, Wolfgang said Eddie never offered him songwriting advice. “I didn't really start writing on my own until after [Van Halen’s] Different Kind of Truth tour," he explained. "No, he let me fly, he wanted to see what I can do rather than try to paint the journey.”
He added that his proudest moment on the last Van Halen studio album was the song “Stay Frosty.” “Dave [Lee Roth] brought the idea in," he recalled. "It was just an acoustic thing, and I arranged it, came in and made it almost like 'Ice Cream Man 2.' I'm really proud of my performance on that song. … I think 'As Is' is a really cool song. I'm really proud of that one [too].”