Wolfgang Van Halen, the ex-bassist of the band VAN HALEN and son of the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, will begin recording the second MAMMOTH WVH album on Tuesday, October 4. The effort will be the follow-up to "Mammoth WVH", which arrived in June 2021, some five years after the now-31-year-old musician began piecing together ideas for his solo career.
Wolfgang revealed the timeline for the recording sessions for the sophomore MAMMOTH WVH LP in an Instagram post on Monday (October 3). The multi-instrumentalist shared a few photos he took eight years ago of his father in their recording studio, and he included the following message: "On December 28th 2014, I was getting ready to start tracking what would become the first MAMMOTH album. I had been practicing drums in the studio when Pop came in, grabbed my bass and started jamming with me. It was so much fun. It's little moments like these I feel I took for granted. Moments that I can't have anymore.
"As I'm getting ready to start tracking the 2nd MAMMOTH album tomorrow (I've been in pre-production the past month) I can't stop thinking about this moment and how he won't be around for it this time. I'm still not used to it. I don't know when or if I'll ever get used to it.
"It'll be 2 years in 3 days and I don't feel any different. All of these emotions just kinda sitting in me at all times. Sometimes it's easier to carry, other times (like right now) it isn't. His pride is what keeps me going, but without him here it's easy to get lost. Easy to get stuck in my head. Easy to fall into that familiar cycle of doubt and self-loathing.
"Somehow, I've figured out how to keep going. Music is all I have left when it comes to feeling close to him anymore. But knowing he won't be here this time to laugh, jam and hang throughout the whole process is tough now that I've gotten here. All I can do is try my best and continue to be the son he was proud of.
"I just miss my dad."
This past March, Wolfgang said during an appearance on "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, that he was hoping to begin working on the follow-up to "Mammoth WVH" at some point in the not-too-distant future. "Basically, I certainly don't wanna take as long as it did," he explained. "I think throughout that first process, I was really just figuring out what it was and who I was as my own artist, finding my own sound and discovering who I was as a lead singer, as a songwriter. But when it comes to the next album, now that I've figured out what this is and who I am, within the context of it, I'm really excited to figure out how to condense that process to as an efficient of time as possible, so I can get an album done in a third of the time while it being twice as good. It's always a personal challenge."
In February, Wolfgang told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he had already gathered plenty of material for MAMMOTH WVH's sophomore effort. "I'm very ready to get back in the studio," he said. "We have some leftover tracks from the first album that I'd like to take another look at — maybe add stuff or maybe redo entirely — and then a bunch of new ideas to get into."
MAMMOTH WVH's debut album was released 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, 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.
Asked why he decided to play all the instruments on MAMMOTH WVH's first LP, Wolfgang said in a 2021 interview: "I just figured since I could play everything, I wanted to see if I could do it. [Laughs] Basically, I just wanted to see. And then, since I could — at least I think I could; I guess it's up to everybody else to decide — I had such a fun time in the studio that I'm looking forward to getting back in there and doing it [again]."
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".
On November 11, MAMMOTH WVH will release 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".