Wolfgang Van Halen has announced the first concert of his solo band, MAMMOTH WVH. The quartet, which features Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass, will perform at next year's edition of the Aftershock festival. MAMMOTH WVH will play the final night of the event, which is scheduled to take place October 7-10, 2021 in Sacramento, California.
Also scheduled to appear at Aftershock are METALLICA, MASTODON, SOCIAL DISTORTION, LIMP BIZKIT, THE OFFSPRING, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, RANCID, SEETHER, RISE AGAINST and PENNYWISE, among many others.
Wolfgang tweeted the news of his band's participation: writing, "See you at @AFTERSHOCKSAC with @MammothWVH in 2021!"
Wolfgang played every instrument and sang each and every note on the debut album from MAMMOTH WVH, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The disc's first single, "Distance", was released on November 16. Wolfgang wrote the song while his late father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, battled cancer, "imagining what my life would be without him, and how terribly I'd miss him," as Wolfgang explained in a statement.
Last week, Wolfgang confirmed that he asked his father for permission to use the MAMMOTH WVH band name for his solo project. MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and Alex Van Halen's band was called MAMMOTH when singer David Lee Roth first joined it in 1974.
"Yeah, I was a little nervous to ask him, but I wanted his permission," Wolfgang admitted in a new interview with "Elliot In The Morning". "Not that I needed it, but I wanted it. And I kind of asked him. I was, like, 'Hey, pop, is that cool if I use MAMMOTH?' He was, like, 'Absolutely. That's awesome.' He was super stoked about it. 'Why would you be worried about asking me?' [But] I'm a naturally anxious person, so I don't know why [I just felt like I wanted to ask him]. That's just kind of how I felt."
Asked if the rest of MAMMOTH WVH's LP will be musically similar to "Distance", Wolfgang told "Elliot In The Morning": "Well, 'Distance', within itself, is kind of a standalone single; it's not actually gonna be on the album. I wanted this to kind of be a separate release just for dad. But next year, when the album comes out, I think a lot of people will see that while 'Distance' might be an outlier in terms of the core sound, that flavor can definitely be heard. But I think what's fun about about the album is there's kind of something for everybody on it; there's all different kinds of sounds. But it's not haphazard in its diverseness of different songs; it's kind of all collective and it feels right. I guess everyone will just have to see when the album is out."
Wolfgang discussed the MAMMOTH WVH band lineup during a November 18 appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". He said: "We've got Frank. My good brother Garrett Whitlock, who I played with in TREMONTI; we were the rhythm section for a good long while. And God, he hits hard, and that's really important to me. And an amazing guy too, which is even more important, 'cause they're family — you've gotta live with them moving forward. And Ronnie Ficarro, a bass player; he played with FALLING IN REVERSE and a band called I AM GHOST. He's a tremendous player and a great guy too. So I'm really stoked about it. The second we started playing in 2018, we just immediately jelled. Even dad was, like, 'Fuck yeah! You guys got this.'"
Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band's 2007 reunion tour with singer David Lee Roth, replacing Michael Anthony.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) November 23, 2020
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