“It felt like something we’d been working towards for a long time”: Wolfgang Van Halen talks joining Van Halen at 15
“It forced me to mature very quickly at a young age. At 15, I couldn’t be a regular 15-year-old,” Wolfgang said recently.
Image: Michael Buckner/Billboard via Getty Images
Speaking to 97.9 GRD‘s Tommy Carroll [via Blabbermouth], the Mammoth WVH frontman says about performing with his late father’s band at the age of 15, “It was sure nerve-racking, but we had rehearsed so much, for years at that point, that it felt right; it felt like something we’d been working towards for a long time.”
Did the backing vocals recorded by former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony – who Wolfgang replaced – help him with his own vocal style, too? “Yeah, I’m sure,” he says. “Doing that for a long time was certainly quite the workout. So I’m definitely sure about that.”
And he said on the Everblack podcast last month that there were “a lot of positives and negatives” to playing with Van Halen at such a young age.
“I think it really forced me to mature very quickly at a young age,” he explained. “I think at 15, I couldn’t be a regular 15-year-old. So in a certain way, I couldn’t be a regular teenager anymore once that happened, and I experienced a lot of stuff, I think, that most kids that age wouldn’t really normally experience.”
“But that’s my story and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. It’s what has led me to where I’ve gone my entire life. It was a really important thing to be there and to support my dad, and that’s all that was really on my mind. And being able to play with my family for that long is something I’ll never forget.”
Wolfgang also said last month that he won’t be covering any more Van Halen songs going forward, because he’s his “own person” and his “own musician”.
“I’d much rather fail on my own than succeed heartlessly by playing Panama,” he explained.
You can listen to Wolfgang’s interview with Carroll here: