Wolfgang Van Halen told Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station that a lot of other artists have reached out to him to offer their words of support in the days following the release of "Distance", the first single from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH. "To the point where I can't even keep up with it," he said (hear audio below). "I've never had this — with just texts and social media. I used to be able to read everything, and now I can't. So much falls to the wayside that I might not even be aware who's reaching out to me. It's an outpouring of love like I've never seen before. It's incredible." He added: "I've never been able to go on my phone before and see an overwhelming amount of positive things said about me, which is pretty crazy."
Wolfgang also talked about how he deals with being at the receiving end of online criticism, explaining that it's always best to laugh it off.
"It's funny, 'cause you've gotta think about where those people are in their lives to be able to be so comfortable saying such horrible things that it's, like, 'Man, you know what? They're probably going through a lot right now. It's best to just let it roll off my back,'" he said.
Wolfgang had been preparing to release music from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH for some time. That plan was altered when his father and guitar icon Eddie Van Halen called him and told him his cancer had returned. Wolfgang decided to put everything on hold to be with his father through his battle. During that time, Wolfgang was writing material for his upcoming solo album, for which the first single "Distance" would be born.
Writing the song and performing all of the instrumentation and vocals for MAMMOTH WVH, "Distance" is an open letter to his father — one Wolfgang was fortunate to play for his dad and would become a favorite of Eddie's — declaring "no matter what the distance is, I will be with you." The video for the song is created from a collection of family home movies through the years and offers an inside look in to one of music's most notable personalities. Chronicling the family through the years, the video ends with a touching voicemail left from Eddie to his son.
Last week, "Distance" topped Billboard's Hot Hard Rock Songs chart. The track also entered the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart at No. 9 and the Hard Rock Digital Song Sales and Rock Digital Song Sales charts at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
MAMMOTH WVH's debut album is scheduled for release in 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.
Photo credit: Travis Shinn