Engineeer Ross Hogarth says whatever criticism Eddie Van Halen faced for replacing Michael Anthony with his son Wolfgang in 2007 was unmerited.
Hogarth recently appeared on the Anthony Merinelli Music YouTube channel to share stories from his experience as engineer on Van Halen’s last-ever studio album and first with David Lee Roth since 1984 – A Different Kind Of Truth. It was also the first without Van Halen’s original bassist Michael Anthony, who was replaced by Wolfgang. It was a decision Hogarth defended.
“I will say something direct and honest,” said Hogarth. “First off, everybody who knows Michael Anthony also knows he’s just an awesome guy, a beautiful cat. Somehow, there was all this animosity, but anyone who’s a father, and their kid plays music — one of Eddie’s greatest joys was to play music with his son. One of Wolf’s greatest joys was to play music with his dad, and now that his dad is gone, those moments would never have happened if Ed had just stayed with [Michael on bass].
“Everyone wants Michael Anthony with David Lee Roth, the original Van Halen,” added Hogarth. “But there was nothing more than, ‘I want to play music with my kid.’ Plain and simple. I’m not gonna get any further into the dynamics, but I will say that to be around that beautiful joy — Uncle Al, playing music with his nephew, and Ed getting music to play with his son. What happens [is] family harmonies; you can’t get that sound [without them]. When those guys played together, there was a certain glue that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Below is Anthony Marinelli’s entire interview with Hogarth. Hogarth reveals all the details about how he recorded Eddie’s Guitar Tone using two different microphones, how he created a two-channel version of Eddie’s mono sound, how Eddie created distortion, Eddie’s favorite EFX pedals, what it takes to get the best drum sound, and the love between two brothers that glued Van Halen together.