Wolfgang Van Halen’s TODAY show appearance this morning was a bittersweet one.
This was Wolfgang’s first television interview since Eddie Van Halen passed away. After his emotional interview concluded, however, host Carson Daley announced that Wolfgang’s new single “Distance”, dedicated to his father, is now number one on iTunes.
“The breaking news that I wanted to share this morning [is that] if you look on the iTunes chart – not the alternative rock chart, not even the rock chart, but the overall chart – you’ll see Chris Stapleton at three, Billy Eilish at two and you’ll see Wolf Van Halen and Mammoth WVH at number one. It’s the number one song,” said Daley at the end of the interview courtesy of TODAY’s YouTube channel.
Here’s what Wolfgang posted to Twitter following the news:
#1 on @iTunes. Not just rock, but overall. I’m speechless.— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) November 17, 2020
The response to Distance has been mind-blowing and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you.
Know that the weight of this moment is not lost on me.
Wish you were here for this, Pop. pic.twitter.com/MTcHoEl0DV
Valerie Bertinelli shared the good news as well on her Twitter page:
WHAT!? ?— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) November 17, 2020
Congratulations my sweet boy ?? @WolfVanHalen pic.twitter.com/5S7P5EU9Eh
Before discussing the new single, Daley began the interview by asking how Wolfgang was holding up after the loss of his father.
“It’s really tough,” said Wolfgang, who noted the support he was receiving from his girlfriend and mother Valerie Bertenelli. “Some days are better than others. My wonderful girlfriend Andraia has been just the best. My mother especially. Some days it’s just really hard to get out of bed.”
Daley asked Wolfgang about the raw, emotional lyrics on “Distance”, which address the pain of losing a loved one.
“What grabs me about the song Wolf is the lyric,” said Daley. “You start the song out with the phrase, ‘I’m so happy. I’m so happy, Dad, that you’re in a better place.’ Then you pivot immediately to: ‘I’m so nervous. I’m so nervous because I don’t know how to live this life without you.’ Man, those lyrics are so raw and so honest.”
“It was tough. [There was] lot of crying,” replied Wolfgang. “While he was this icon to so many people he was still my Dad and he was incredibly loving and he was my best friend in many ways.”
Daley, who said the Mammoth WVH full-length album will come out this spring, asked Wolfgang what Van Halen fans should expect to hear.
“What I do hope is that people go into it with an open mind and not expect to hear Van Halen Two,” said Wolfgang. “While Van Halen is my last name I’m not trying to be my Dad. My Dad was my Dad and it’s really important to be myself.”
Daley finished by asking what Wolfgang would want his later father to hear from him if he were listening.
“That I’m gonna keep going…’cuz I know that’s what he wanted…just to keep going,” said Wolfgang.