The long-awaited debut album from Wolfgang Van Halen, Mammoth WVH, now has a scheduled release date! The self-titled album will be available worldwide on June 11th via EX1 Records/ Explorer1 Music Group.
The album will include 13 tracks, plus a bonus song, “Distance,” the first Mammoth WVH release, which saw viral success late last year with a moving video filled with home-movie footage of Wolfgang’s late dad, Eddie Van Halen. The younger Van Halen played every instrument on the album, creating a highly convincing full-band sound, but put together a touring line-up for live shows, which will debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight!
The album will be available on many different formats here. You can also pre-order Mammoth WVH in various configurations – including exclusive color vinyl as well as limited autographed copies via the band’s online store. Fans that pre-order the album digitally will receive instant downloads of the chart-topping single “Distance” and the Howard Stern premiered track “You’re To Blame.” Both tracks will be available via all global digital streaming partners as well.
Writing all of the songs and performing all of the instrumentation and vocals for the debut album, Wolfgang Van Halen set out to establish his own musical identity. From the rocking opening guitar riff on album opener “Mr. Ed” to the driving bass and drums on album closer “Stone,” Mammoth WVH showcases the various musical influences that have inspired Wolfgang. Songs like “Resolve,” “The Big Picture” and “Think It Over” are all sonically different from each other but unique to what Mammoth WVH is. The current single “Distance” – the song written as a tribute to his father and guitar icon Eddie Van Halen – is another side of Mammoth WVH and is currently #3 at Active Rock Radio.
The emotional video has been viewed 4 million times on YouTube and can be seen below. The song was not originally intended to be on the debut album, but due to the overwhelming response, it has been added as a bonus track. All of Wolfgang’s proceeds from “Distance” are being donated to Mr. Holland’s Opus.
Mammoth WVH tracklisting:
1. Mr. Ed
2. Horribly Right
4. Don’t Back Down
6. You’ll Be The One
9. The Big Picture
10. Think It Over
11. You’re To Blame
14. Distance (Bonus Track)
Wolf Discusses Some Tracks:
In a new interview today with Rolling Stone, Wolf states, “I just get in there and play. What my dad always said is the reason the rhythm section is so tight is, it’s me. Normally with a great rhythm section, they’re really tight because they know exactly what each other are doing. When it comes to drums, and bass, I know exactly what I did with each part so I can kind of react with it, and it goes hand in hand.”
The album opens with a track called “Mr. Ed,” another nod to Wolfgang’s dad. “That was just the demo title,” Wolfgang says, “because I open it with a harmonic tap and I tap in the solo, and it reminded me of dad, so I jokingly called it that.”
The album’s poppiest track, “Think It Over,” which draws on Wolfgang’s fondness for Jimmy Eat World, was Eddie Van Halen’s favorite. “It’s just a straight-up pop-rock song,” Van Halen says. “But dad just loved the energy of the song. It made him happy.”
Another standout, “Don’t Back Down,” has a heavy, glam-tinged, stadium-rock groove that lands somewhere between Gary Glitter and a now-unmentionable artist’s “Beautiful People,” but Van Halen originally had a specific influence in mind: “The demo title for that one was ‘Sabbath.’ The whole vibe of the song was just ‘sports arena.’ Just hands in the air fucking yelling for your team, going nuts.”
For the most part, Van Halen emphasized the songs, not his multi-instrumental prowess, but he lets loose on one track, “Feel.” “There’s kind of a drum solo-y thing on there, and the bass goes pretty crazy,” he says.
On that track and a couple of others, Van Halen played one of the most valuable guitars in the world: his father’s original, self-modified Frankenstein. “My dad was there when we took it out,” he says. “That guitar is obviously priceless. Ed picks it up and starts playing it, says ‘It feels about what I remember.’ And he kind of tossed it onto the couch. And all of us in the room were like, ‘Ooooh.’ To him, it’s just like this piece of trash he put together for a couple of hundred bucks, but to everyone else, it’s the most iconic guitar in the history of music. So to see him do that was such a funny thing.”
Two TV Appearances!
To coincide with the album announcement, Mammoth WVH will be making their performance television debut for late night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this evening (Feb 11th) and on NBC News’ TODAY on the morning of February 19th. The band comprised of Wolfgang Van Halen (guitars/vocals), Ronnie Ficarro (bass/vocals), Jon Jourdan (guitars/vocals), Frank Sidoris (guitars) and Garret Whitlock (drums) will perform “Distance” on each show. The band will debut the song this evening on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and then play an exclusive acoustic arrangement of the track in the 8:00AM EST hour of NBC News’ TODAY on February 19th.