Wolfgang Van Halen Thinks He’ll Always Struggle with ‘Distance’
Wolfgang Van Halen still finds it difficult to perform the song he wrote as a tribute to his late father, Eddie Van Halen.
“Distance” became the debut single from his band Mammoth WVH in 2020, and before Van Halen headed out on tour he admitted to concerns about playing it live. Since then, however, it’s become a staple of his shows and a fan favorite.
“It’s tough every time I play it,” Van Halen admitted to MetalTalk, “but you have to separate yourself from that – because it’s somebody’s first time seeing it every night. So you want to make sure that you do it as best as you can.”
He says “sometimes it’s more difficult than others but overall, I think it’s always going to be a thing that I need to prepare for before I do it well.”
Van Halen describes it as an honor to discover comments about how much “Distance” means to fans. “It’s tough to wrap your head around [the fact] that something you made is helping somebody,” Van Halen said. “It’s a very crazy feeling. I’m very, very thankful for even being around that sort of vibe.”
Sessions for Mammoth WVH’s second album are already underway, and he hopes to release it some time in 2023. Van Halen has once again recorded all the instruments himself. “In the studio, I do everything,” he said, comparing his approach to Nine Inch Nails. As with Trent Reznor's band, Mammoth WVH is “its own thing in the studio and then live, it’s separate. I think I’ve found a comfortable way how I record albums now, so I’m having a good time doing that.”
Van Halen expects to follow the LP with a string of dates that will continue through most of the coming year. He describes his touring band as “one big happy family. I’ve known these guys forever. … It’s nice. They’re just amazing dudes.”
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