WOLFGANG VAN HALEN Says Next MAMMOTH WVH Album Will Include 'Some MESHUGGAH-Inspired Songs'
March 19, 2023
In an interview with TellUs Rock, conducted in November 2022 but just now uploaded to YouTube, former VAN HALEN bassist and current MAMMOTH WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen was asked what kind of music he listens to when he is not writing, recording and performing. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "MESHUGGAH. I love MESHUGGAH. I tend to listen to, at least recently, more heavier music. Like all the new stuff that's come out. ANIMALS AS LEADERS had a new album come out this year, and so did MESHUGGAH. But MESHUGGAH is one of my favorite bands. [They're] nothing like MAMMOTH."
When the interviewer asked what kind of stuff he draws musical inspiration from for MAMMOTH WVH, Wolfgang said: "On the next album, there actually is some MESHUGGAH-inspired songs — just through the lens of MAMMOTH, though. So it's not as super heavy."
Back in 2021, Wolfgang told RockSverige that he was fans of bands like GOJIRA and MASTODON. He said: "Oh, yeah. I love GOJIRA. And I'm crazy about MESHUGGAH. PERIPHERY, I'm friends with those guys and they're a phenomenal band."
Wolfgang, who played all instruments on the debut album from his MAMMOTH WVH project, was also asked if he can work out the MESHUGGAH song "Bleed" on drums. "Oh, yeah. I can play it," he said. "As a drummer, MESHUGGAH is just like my favorite because it's like a math problem, as a song. As a drummer, it's really fun to figure out the polyrhythmic stuff going on in each song. It's a treat, and I love it."
Wolfgang attended MESHUGGAH's October 2022 concert at the Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, California. The following day, he tweeted out a short video of the performance, and he captioned it simply: "MESHUGGAH is therapy".
Earlier this month, Wolfgang confirmed that he was "almost finished" recording the second MAMMOTH WVH album, which will be released via BMG. The effort will be the follow-up to "Mammoth WVH", which arrived in June 2021, some five years after the now-32-year-old musician began piecing together ideas for his solo career.
MAMMOTH WVH's debut album was issued via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.
Featuring Wolfgang on vocals and all instruments, "Mammoth WVH" was met with positive reviews and topped Billboard's Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Rock Albums charts.
MAMMOTH WVH's first single, "Distance", reached No. 1 on the MediaBase and BDS Active Rock Radio charts. A tribute to Wolfgang's father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the song was not originally intended to be on MAMMOTH WVH's debut album, but due to the overwhelming response to its accompanying video, which has been viewed over six million times on YouTube, it was added as a bonus track. All of Wolfgang's proceeds from "Distance" are being donated to Mr. Holland's Opus.
"Distance" is an open letter to Wolfgang's father, 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.
In November 2020, Wolfgang confirmed that he asked his father for permission to use the MAMMOTH WVH band name for his solo project. MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and Alex Van Halen's band was called MAMMOTH when singer David Lee Roth first joined it in 1974.
MAMMOTH WVH's touring lineup features Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Jon Jourdan on guitar and vocals, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass.
MAMMOTH WVH made its television debut in February 2021, performing "Distance" on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and running through an exclusive acoustic arrangement on "Today".
Last November, MAMMOTH WVH released a digital deluxe edition of the debut album via EX1 Records. The new digital deluxe features the bonus track from the Japanese version of the album, "Talk & Walk", as well as two previously unreleased tracks, "As Long As You're Not You" and "Goodbye".
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