“Writing is a great way to work through pain”: Wolfgang Van Halen on bonding with Dave Grohl over loss

“It was a really cool moment to share that sort of bond with Dave on how songwriting can heal you.”

[L-R] Wolfgang Van Halen and Dave Grohl

Credit: Getty Images

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Wolfgang Van Halen has discussed how Dave Grohl was able to help him with loss in a new interview with Total Guitar.

The Mammoth WVH frontman revealed that Foo Fighters‘ latest album But Here We Are, the first the band released since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins last year, was the new album he’s listened to the most this year.

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“It’s a really emotional experience,” he says of the record, “And I think being part of the Taylor Hawkins tribute shows made me personally invested in a way that I haven’t been before.”

Van Halen then described a “crazy” moment when Grohl sent him a text before the album’s release, sending him a video he recorded in his car while the track Distance, from Mammoth WVH’s first album, was playing. “He said he thought it was a beautiful song and that writing is a great way to work through pain,” Van Halen recalls. “He then sent me his song The Teacher, which he wrote about his mother. It was a really cool moment to share that sort of bond with Dave on how songwriting can heal you.”

Both Van Halen and Grohl have experienced loss and grief in recent years. The former wrote Distance, his debut solo track, about his dad, the late guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, who died in 2020. He said in a statement at the time, “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.”

Meanwhile, Grohl experienced the loss of his longtime bandmate and friend Hawkins in March 2022, before his mum Virginia died five months later.


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