Wolfgang Van Halen: Eddie Van Halen “cried when he heard” Distance, Mammoth WVH’s first solo single

He has also spoken about his pleasant surprise at its positive reception at large.

Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen perform alongside David Lee Roth

Image: C Flanigan / Getty

Wolfgang Van Halen has opened up about his father’s reaction upon hearing the song that would become his solo band’s first single, Distance.

Speaking on HardDrive Radio, Wolfgang was asked about his family’s reaction to hearing the song for the first time, which was written as Eddie Van Halen battled cancer. He responded: “It moved everyone I showed it to. I remember when I showed it to dad for the first time, maybe it was out of pride or also just the song in general, he cried when he heard it. And I don’t think he was aware of the significance of it for me; he just understood it as a song about loss.”

He also revealed he was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to the track upon its official release in November 2020. The video for the song, which consists of home footage of Eddie and Wolfgang, now has almost four million views. Noting how the incredibly personal song resonated with the Van Halen fanbase at large, Wolfgang said: “I think it allowed a sense of closure for many people, in a way, which was something I wasn’t expecting.

“It was just kind of a thing for me to put out there and be, like, ‘Hey, this is for dad.’ But to see not only such a huge amount of people get closure for my father’s life, in a way, but to have so many people relate to it in general with a loss of their own, because this year has just been so awful.

“I tend to write my lyrics from a perspective where it’s, like, I may be drawing from a personal experience, but I like to write it in a way where somebody can derive their own meaning from it,” he added. “And it was nice to see that happen to a certain extent, because I think anybody can relate to a monumental loss in their life.”

You can hear Wolfgang discuss the track on HardDrive Radio below.

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