Wolfgang Van Halen has shared the latest single from Mammoth WVH’s upcoming album, Mammoth II, titled Take a Bow – notable for being the longest song he’s recorded so far, with some very special gear choices.
Namely, Take a Bow was put together with the help of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstein electric guitar, as well as one of the original Marshall amp head and cab combos that informed the sound of Van Halen’s early years.
It’s a song that Mammoth WVH fans have been patiently waiting for ever since the band’s leader revealed such historic equipment would have a cameo on Mammoth II during a conversation with Guitar Interactive earlier this year.
Brought out of the Van Halen gear vault for the track’s solo, the Frankenstein is wielded impeccably by its custodian for Take a Bow’s guitar solo, which crops up around the halfway mark during the seven-minute song.
Remarkably, its presence can not only be heard but felt. A handful of wailing bends announces its arrival, before some lithe pentatonic licks lure listeners in for the main fretboard firework show.
As you’d expect, Wolfgang further channels the tones and techniques of his late father by rifling through two-hand tapping licks aplenty, each passage increasing in urgency and technicality as the solo speeds along.
Understandably, Van Halen said he felt the solo turned out “really special”, and said it made him happy to “capture some of dad’s history on this song forever”.
“It was the last song we finished. It’s officially the longest song I’ve released to date, and I feel the guitar solo is really special,” he said of Take a Bow. “I played the solo on the original Frankenstein guitar and through Dad’s original Marshall head and one of the original cabinets.
“It’s straight up what he used on the earliest Van Halen records. It makes me happy to capture some of Dad’s history on this song forever.”
During his previous conversation with Guitar Interactive, Van Halen spoke of Take a Bow beyond the spotlight-stealing gear choices, describing the song as an “evolution”.
“That moment when I came up with it was like, ‘Okay, this is one of those evolutions,’” he reflected. “This was not on the first album, and this is a new side of myself that I think you start to unravel and see as time goes on.
“That’s a really special moment. I think it’s one of the more special things I’ve recorded with Mammoth. I’m very excited for people to hear it.”
On the gear front, it’s not the first time the Frankenstein has been used on a Mammoth WVH track – Wolfgang also recruited his father’s Holy Grail guitar for his first studio album – nor will it be the only guest gear to cameo on Mammoth II.
While documenting the album’s recording process, Wolfgang also shared pictures of the other guitars that would be making it on to the tracklist. That collection includes the radically modified Gibson SG from Dirty Movies and a Veilette Citron Shark baritone guitar.