Wolfgang Van Halen will release his debut solo single, "Distance", on Monday, November 16. The song is taken from the VAN HALEN bassist's forthcoming solo album, which will be made available via Explorer1 Music Group. The disc was recorded with producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette at VAN HALEN's 5150 Studios in California.
With the passing of the song's inspiration, Wolfgang's father — the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen — it seemed appropriate to release now as the song was one of his father's favorites from the recording sessions.
"'Distance' is a song that was initially written for the debut album, but was going to be held for a later time," Wolfgang explained.
"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 this song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their own life."
He added: "I never anticipated 'Distance' would be the first song of mine that people would hear, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release along with me. This is for him."
To coincide with the "Distance" single release, Wolfgang will be a guest on SiriusXM's "The Howard Stern Show" on Monday.
When Wolfgang's LP was first announced back in February, a press release called the set "a collection of diverse material...original songs ranging from haunting ballads to stomping rock classics, on which [Van Halen] recorded all the instruments and vocals himself."
The 29-year-old had spent the last few years working on the effort, which he has repeatedly said will not feature any contributions from Eddie Van Halen.
When someone on Twitter asked Wolfgang what type of music he should expect on the record, he responded: "Rock. It may venture into some Pop-y places, and may venture into some Metal-y places, but it's centered in Rock. I view it as a Rock record." He also once again reiterated that Eddie will not be heard on the album. "No guest, no secret appearances, no input from other musicians," he said. "Just the ol' Wolfman yours truly… Like I cannot stress this enough. It's just me. This isn't me baiting you, and then all of the sudden Dave [Lee Roth] is singing a song, or Al [Van Halen] is drumming on one song, or Pop is doing a solo. It wouldn't be a solo album then. It's not a VH album, it's a WVH album. Expecting anything more is just setting yourself up for disappointment. So y'all should just that out of the way right now lol"
Wolfgang previously told a fan on Instagram that he sees his father's reputation as both a blessing and a curse when it comes to his own solo career. "Being who I am, I think people at the least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is very nice," he said. "But on the other hand, if it's not exactly what they want to hear or if I don't try to sound 'VAN HALEN-y' enough for them they'll hate me and won't give me the time of day. I'm fully prepared for a wave of hate when my music releases because it won't be what people think it'll be. I'm not trying to be my father, I'm trying to be me."
Wolfgang went on to reiterate the last point, adding in a separate message: "It's the main thing people are going to need to understand when they listen to my music. I'm not trying to be VAN HALEN."
Wolfgang has been posting photos and videos from the studio at his Instagram account since early 2015.
He told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that his ability to play different instruments gave him the freedom to do what he wanted on a solo project. "I mean, I feel like it's just kind of open-ended," he said. "I feel like since I can play drums, bass, guitar and kind of sing, I guess, I can kind of just decide whatever I want to do. I mean, I've always loved the whole Dave Grohl story of how he started FOO FIGHTERS — just did a whole demo album by himself."
His father described the project in 2015 as sounding like "AC/DC meets VAN HALEN meets aggressive pop," adding, "It's a little of everything and sounds like a freight train coming at you. I've never heard anything quite like it. It's so powerful that I'm jealous."
Wolfgang first performed live with VAN HALEN on the band's 2007-2008 world tour, which also marked the return of original singer David Lee Roth. He made his recording debut on the band's 2012 album "A Different Kind Of Truth".
Wolfgang has also toured as a member of ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti's solo band and played bass on TREMONTI's second album.