WOLFGANG VAN HALEN Talks Success Of "Distance" Debut Single, EDDIE VAN HALEN Supporting His Music Career - "I Couldn't Be Happier To Be Fulfilling His Dream For Me"
November 21, 2020, 9 days ago
Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of guitar icon Eddie Van Halen, recently released his solo single debut, "Distance", which hit #1 on iTunes. He spoke with Steve Baltin at Forbes about the success of the song, his forthcoming solo album, and his father, who passed away on October 6th following a lomg battle with cancer. An excerpt is available below.
Baltin: How does the success of the song inspire you for the debut album?
Van Halen: "I think it's important to stay true to yourself. I make music that I want to hear. And the fact that people resonate with that is even more special because it's such a deep part of me. That's why I think it's just really special, this reaction because it's such a personal part of me that I'm sharing with everyone. And for everyone to welcome it this strongly is incredible. I showed a second song when I was on Howard Stern. I thought it'd be a fun exclusive little peak at what's to come in the future because this is just kind of an outlier in terms of the sound. And the fact that it keeps getting ripped and uploaded to YouTube constantly shows people are really excited about it. The fact that it keeps spreading shows people are excited about what's to come. I think that's a direct thing that's making me excited for people to hear the rest of the music because they're already so stoked about that other song they heard."
Baltin: How old were you when you realized how much your dad supported you and how has it influenced you going forward?
Van Halen: "It's part of what motivates me to this day and it's almost a big part of it. The reason that this whole thing has been so easy for me is even if I don't believe in myself, I've had a lot of struggles with depression and anxiety in my life, and self-esteem issues. But even when I don't believe in myself knowing how much my mother and my father believe in me is what keeps me moving along. And especially now that my dad is not here and knowing how proud he was of me and my music, it's been the main driving force that's kept me going through the whole situation. I knew that's what he wanted for me. And I couldn't be happier to be fulfilling his dream for me."
Read the complete interview here.
Having one of the most recognizable names in entertainment, Wolfgang Van Halen has been preparing to release music from his solo band Mammoth WVH for some time. That plan was altered when his father and guitar icon Eddie Van Halen called him and told him his cancer had returned. Wolfgang decided to put everything on hold to be with his father through his battle. During that time, Wolfgang was writing material for his upcoming solo album (available via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records in 2021) for which the first single “Distance” would be born. The song is available via all digital service providers here. An official music video can be found below.
“As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I’d miss him. While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life,” explains Wolfgang Van Halen.
Writing the song and performing all of the instrumentation and vocals for Mammoth WVH, “Distance” is an open letter to his father - one Wolfgang was fortunate to play for his dad and would become a favorite of Eddie’s - declaring “no matter what the distance is, I will be with you.”
The video for the song is 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.
“I never intended ‘Distance’ to be the very first piece of music people would hear from me, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release. This is for him. I love and miss you, Pop.”
An organization that is very close to the Van Halen family is the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Eddie was very supportive of the organization via numerous donations throughout his lifetime. Following in his father’s footsteps in another way, Wolfgang is donating his portion of all proceeds from “Distance” to the foundation.
"Our connection with Eddie grew out of his generous nature, his delight in seeing kids learn and play music, and ultimately understanding what’s important in life. Eddie lived out loud through his music, and I believe that he wanted to see that kind of expression ignite in the students. Music saved him and he loved giving back through what we do for kids through the power of music. Thank you, Eddie. We’ll never forget you." - Felice Mancini, the President and CEO of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.
About Mammoth WVH: First impressions last a lifetime. Wolfgang Van Halen has prepared a lifetime to make his first impression with his solo band Mammoth WVH. The songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist worked tirelessly on material that would become his debut album - scheduled for release in 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. Playing every instrument and singing each and every note, his music presents a personal and powerful perspective, balancing memorable hooks and tight technicality. As many times as audiences have experienced his talent alongside the likes of Tremonti, Clint Lowery, and of course, Van Halen, Wolfgang prepares to step into the spotlight with his own brand - Mammoth WVH - for the very first time now.
About The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation: The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF) was inspired by the acclaimed motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. The Foundation keeps music alive in our schools by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, and providing vital services to school districts nationwide, giving economically-disadvantaged youth access to the many benefits of music education, leading them to success in school, and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music. Over 24 years, more than 33,000 instruments have been donated to 1,579 schools across the country. Visit https://www.mhopus.org for more information.