Mammoth WVH’s Wolfgang Van Halen Shares His Stance on Cover Songs
Mammoth WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen has spoken in the past about his desire to keep his solo career and his time with Van Halen separate, clapping back at social media requests to perform Van Halen songs with his band. But how does he feel about performing covers in general? Wolfgang shed some light on how he views playing covers and when he might consider covering songs during an appearance on the Audacy Check In with interviewer Jason Bailey.
When asked if he would ever consider playing a Van Halen song live, he answered “Nah,” before Bailey rephrased the question about playing covers in general regardless of the band. “If I ever were to cover a thing, it maybe would be like a YouTube video thing,” said Van Halen. “I’ve got a YouTube channel, maybe it would be fun at some point, when I have more free time, to cover songs for fun and put them up there.”
That said, Van Halen adds, “On an official album, probably not. I think I have too much of a desire to prove myself and just figure out my own creative process without trying to take from somebody else.”
He then offered some insight on his father Eddie Van Halen’s view of covers, commenting, “I know dad, he never wanted to play any of those covers, unless you fully transform it into your own thing, which I think they did with ‘You Really Got Me’ and stuff like that.”
He then concluded, “But overall, I’d rather have covers just be like a fun thing instead of a ‘record’ thing. I mean, live on the last tour, or a couple of tours ago, we played ‘Them Bones’ by Alice In Chains and that was just a really fun time. Would I record that? Nah, it’s just fun.”
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While on the first Mammoth WVH tour cycle, Wolfgang was adamant about not playing Van Halen covers. In a 2020 interview with SiriusXM host Eddie Trunk, Van Halen commented when asked about cover songs, “Absolutely not. If I do, I’d want it to be, like, really fucking different. I wouldn’t wanna just sit there and play ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.’ I’d wanna do a cool acoustic cover of ‘Little Guitars’ or some shit — something different. I refuse to tread the same ground as my dad. I need to forge my own path.”
Wolfgang did perform “Panama” last year, but in a special situation where Mammoth WVH wasn’t involved. He joined Dave Grohl, The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins and drummer Josh Freese onstage at the Los Angeles’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert to perform the track. The same foursome had also performed Van Halen’s “On Fire” and “Hot for Teacher” at the London-based Taylor Hawkins tribute concert earlier in the month.
While you shouldn’t expect any Wolfgang Van Halen covers, at least on album, the musician does have a new record en route and a brand new single that arrived this morning. Take a listen to “Another Celebration at the End of the World,” and get ready for the second Mammoth WVH album, titled Mammoth II, due Aug. 4. You can also look for Mammoth WVH on tour over the next year. Get your tickets here.