Wolfgang Van Halen took to Instagram on Monday to answer questions from fans regarding his upcoming Mammoth WVH album and more.
The Q&A – done through Instagram Stories – mostly addressed Wolfgang’s upcoming album but there were a few other topics covered. Wolf’s mom Valerie and her many cats also joined in on the fun.
Below are the highlights from the Q&A:
Do you try to encompass several genres? Or do you not think in those terms?
I didn’t really think in those terms, I just wrote music that I wanted to hear!
What was the hardest aspect of recording this album for you?
Finding myself as my own artist/finding my own sound, and writing lyrics I could be proud of.
Hi Wolf!!!! What about the album art?
Got it all figured out and I couldn’t be happier with it!
Where did you record it? At home?
The bulk of it was recorded at 5150 (my father’s studio). Some drum tracks at @nrgrecording. Some vocals/guitar at my home studio (415 Studios). The rest of the vocals and guitar solos/overdubs at Studio Barbarosa (@elvisliberace’s studio).
Will it be available on vinyl?
Yes! Just not 100% sure when.
How long have you been working on this album? Can’t wait to hear it.
First idea I wrote for the project was waaaay back in 2013. The demo title was “Mammoth I”. Started recording Jan 2015, and working between schedules, finished in July 2018. Thank You!
Are you using any two-handed tapping in your solos?
Yes. I have a demo written for the future that has a solo that is exclusively tapping just for fun.
Did any song seem to just “write itself”? Did any styles surprise you?
I actually have a song called “Epiphany” on the album that was the demo title I kept because the song came out of nowhere and seemed to just write itself!
Did you record to tape or to Pro Tools?
Recorded to tape for that crispy audio, then dumped to Pro Tools for editing convenience.
Will the BASS be heard?
What is your favorite instrument used on the record?
I played the original Frankenstein on 2 songs.
Does “415 Studio” have a meaning like 5150 did? 🙂
Yep, my studio’s name “415 Studios” is an obvious nod to 5150. It’s the CA penal code for “disturbance”.
It’s the first of many albums to come?
Yes. @MAMMOTHWVH is what I plan on doing with my life.
How many guitar solos?
8. All of my solos are written for the song and never really an opportunity to “wank.” It’s more of a question of “does this serve the song well” instead of “how can I fit a solo on this song?”
Did I hear correctly that you played all the instruments and vocals yourself?
Yes you did hear that correctly!
How do you feel this album holds up compared to other works you have done?
I’ve never worked on anything so hard in my life, and it’s what I’m most proud of. Everything I’ve done before was a collaborative effort, whereas @mammothwvh is all me. I put all of myself into it.
Most rewarding part of making the album?
Actually finishing it and being able to sit with my dad and listen to it with him.
How long have you been playing drums?
Since I was 10, so almost 20 years. Holy SHIT I’m old.
Why Gretsch instead of Ludwig?
Because it is very important for me to carve my own path and not sound like what has come before with my family.
It’s not for the album but how do you keep yourself motivated?
Even when I struggle with motivation (which I do daily) when it comes to music I never lose it because of the faith and pride my father had in me. It keeps me going when I can’t.
Best memory of your music career?
The Tokyo Dome show was pretty incredible, but overall just being able to share the stage with my father as many times as I was able was a dream and I’ll treasure the memories forever.
What’s your favourite VH album?
Fair Warning/1984 & F.U.C.K./Balance.
How did your mom feel about you playing music as a profession?
Valerie: I was scared shitless but [to Wolfgang] you’re talented so you really have no other choice!
What’s your mom’s favorite song?
Valerie: All of them. But if I really had to pick I would say “Mammoth” and “Think It Over”. I love them.
How many cats does your mom have?