Wolfgang Van Halen Says Vault Material Is ‘Not the Priority’
Wolfgang Van Halen said it will be “a while” before he goes through his father’s vault of unreleased material.
“I can’t put a timeline on it - not in the immediate future would we be going through it,” the Van Halen bassist told Howard Stern, dispelling rumors that he’d already begun the process of collecting unreleased music held in his father Eddie’s vault.
“It’d be a little shameless to do it right now,” Wolfgang noted. “It’d be milking Dad and everything, with ideas that probably aren’t out there for good reason. You put out the good shit.”
Even though Wolfgang is confident he’ll find “amazing” material in the vault once he decides to go through it all, he believes a quick release of music would be the last thing his father would want.
“My dad would be pissed off at me, really,” he explained. “He’d be like, ‘What the fuck are you doing? Go do your shit. What are you doing? Don’t go through my old shit. Go do your new shit.'”
While the bassist knows fans are “chomping at the bit” to hear his father’s unreleased work, Wolfgang insisted “that’s not the priority right now.” “I don’t want people to be sitting there with their watch,” he said. “Mark my words, there will be a time that we go through it. Just not right now.”
Wolfgang did unveil some music during his Stern appearance, premiering his solo single “The Distance,” a track dedicated to his late father.
As for persistent rumors that he’d be taking over for Eddie as Van Halen’s lead guitarist, Wolfgang was clear in his stance.
“That’s fucking stupid - you can’t have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen,” the rocker explained. “And I’m not my dad. I’m not going to replace him. I’ve spent my life making sure I’m not like him. I’m my own person.”
Wolfgang continued, addressing fans' desire for more Van Halen: "Some things just suck. And this is one of those things. Outside of maybe a tribute show at some point down the line and archival releases further down the line, it’s done. You can’t have [the band] without him. ... I don’t have a dad anymore, and I’m coming to terms with that and I’m trying to figure out how to deal with that. So, I think the fans can try and come to terms with and figure out how to deal with the fact that we’re not going to have Van Halen anymore. The music is going to live on forever, but you can’t continue without Eddie Van Halen."