“He said, ‘The drummer better be paid the most!’”: Wolfgang Van Halen reveals that his father Eddie was a Meshuggah fan

Wolfgang last year said he could fall asleep listening to Bleed.

[L-R] Eddie Van Halen and Jens Kidman of Meshuggah

Credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images [L], Aldara Zarraoa/WireImage [R]

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We didn’t necessarily have Eddie Van Halen down as a Meshuggah fan, but it turns out the late guitarist enjoyed listening to the Swedish extreme metallers.

Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, tells Prog in a new interview that his dad “approved” of the band, and drummer Tomas Haake in particular. He says, “I remember his joke when I showed him the video to Bleed. He said, ‘The drummer better be paid the most! He’s working way harder than anybody else in the band!’”

It sounds as though this admiration for Meshuggah is something of a family affair, too, as Wolfgang discusses how he got his uncle Patrick, the brother of his mother, Valerie Bertinelli, into the band.

He explains, “Late ’22, we took a break from recording Mammoth II because Meshuggah were in town at the [Hollywood] Palladium. We luckily got this cool balcony spot and I got to bring my Uncle Patrick, who was not a fan at all. Every time I played him Meshuggah, he’d be like, ‘I don’t get it.’ When I brought him to the show, he understood. After seeing it, he was like, ‘Holy shit! I get it now!’”

Wolfgang himself has been a Meshuggah fan for a while, after hearing Stengah from their 2002 album Nothing. He told Amoeba Music in 2022, as transcribed by Blabbermouth, “As a drummer first, I tend to intake music in a more rhythmic manner. I’m all about rhythm, and Meshuggah is rhythm. It’s like dinosaurs fighting.”

He described Nothing as his favourite Meshuggah album, too. “It’s where they really started getting sort of groovy and sludgy with their sound,” he said. “A lot of people like the one before, Chaosphere. An amazing album too. It’s more thrashy, but I really like their groovy sort of sludgy aspects, and this one is all sludge and groove.”

Wolfgang revealed last year that he could fall asleep listening to the Swedish metal titans landmark track, Bleed. “They are unbelievably heavy – there’s nothing heavier than them. But you get lulled into their rhythm,” he said. And in October, he said that Meshuggah even featured on his wedding playlist.


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