Wolfgang Van Halen has released his debut single, Distance, which pays tribute to his father, Eddie Van Halen, and signals the launch of new band Mammoth WVH.
The hard-rock ballad – on which Wolfgang plays all instruments and sings – is described as an open letter to his father, and one of Eddie’s favorites.
Home-camera footage of Wolfgang and Eddie features throughout the track’s video, documenting their time together from early years through to tours with Van Halen. The video ends with a heartfelt voicemail from Eddie.
Wolfgang had been planning to release music from Mammoth WVH for some time, but his plans were put on hold when his father informed him his cancer had returned.
He continued writing during this period, and it was at this point Distance was born.
“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,” explains Wolfgang.
“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.”
Distance is available now – a portion of the proceeds will go to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a cause that provides musical instruments to underfunded schools, and one that Eddie Van Halen supported throughout his lifetime.
Mammoth WVH’s debut album will be released via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records in 2021.
Mammoth was the original name of Eddie’s band, before they officially changed the moniker to Van Halen in 1974.