Wolfgang Van Halen, the son of late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, has released his debut solo single, “Distance.”
Wolfgang had been working on the material, which he has released under the moniker Mammoth WVH, for quite a while, but put the project on hold to be with his father when his cancer returned.
Wolfgang, who performs all instruments and sings on the track, says of “Distance,” which serves as a tribute to his father:
“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 the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life,”
The video for the song is composed entirely of footage from Wolfgang’s childhood, spanning from clips of him as a newborn to his more recent role as Van Halen’s bassist. It’s all beyond touching, and culminates with a voice message Eddie left his son — presumably during his final days — asking for a call back, that he simply wanted to hear his son’s voice and that he loves him. It’s difficult not to get teary hearing it.
I’m also struck by how much of a family man Eddie was. Especially in recent years, Van Halen didn’t tour much, allowing him to be at home.
“I never intended ‘Distance’ to be the very first piece of music people would hear from me, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release. This is for him. I love and miss you, Pop.”
Listen to “Distance” below.