Wolfgang Van Halen

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Wolfgang Van Halen
Wolfgang Van Halen in 2014
Wolfgang Van Halen in 2014
Background information
Birth nameWolfgang William Van Halen
Also known asWolfie, Wolf
Born (1991-03-16) March 16, 1991 (age 29)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.[1]
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician
Instruments
  • Bass
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • drums
  • keyboards
Years active2004–present
Associated acts
Websitevan-halen.com

Wolfgang William Van Halen ([ˈʋɔlfɣɑŋ ˈwiliəm vɑnˈhaːlə], born March 16, 1991) is an American musician and the bassist for Van Halen, having replaced Michael Anthony in 2006. He is also the former bassist for the heavy metal band Tremonti. At 29 years old, he is currently the youngest member of Van Halen.

Personal life[edit]

Named in homage to the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he is the only child of Dutch-Indonesian American guitarist Eddie Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) and American actress Valerie Bertinelli, and the nephew of Dutch-Indonesian American drummer Alex Van Halen. Wolfgang has said that he did not know his father was a famous musician until he "started picking up CDs and saw his father's [Eddie's] picture on them".[2]

Following the completion of the 2007/2008 Van Halen tour, Wolfgang returned to school. Planning to graduate by the summer of 2009, he would graduate in 2010. Van Halen appears as the bassist for Van Halen in Guitar Hero: Van Halen, even replacing Anthony in the band's past incarnation.[3]

Career[edit]

Van Halen had an indirect effect on his father's career from the very beginning of his life. The instrumental "316" refers to his birthday. For a 13-year period ending in 2004, Eddie Van Halen collaborated with Peavey on a line of guitars, the Wolfgang series, named after his son.[4] In 2008, his father named a custom guitar after him, the Fender EVH Wolfgang.[5][6]

Wolfgang started his musical career as a drummer. He often watched his father rehearse, and at times would try to play his uncle Alex's drum kit, whereupon the latter would give him a few lessons. Wolfgang started playing drums at the age of nine, mostly self-taught with only few lessons from his uncle, and got his first drum set from his father as a present for his tenth birthday. Some time later he moved on to guitar and bass. He can also play keyboards and "figure things out by ear".[2] Wolfgang later began actively participating in Van Halen, the band. He also made guest appearances during some dates of Van Halen's 2004 tour, appearing during his father's extended guitar solo spot and playing "316" with him.

In late 2006, in an interview with Guitar World, Eddie Van Halen confirmed that his son would replace Michael Anthony as Van Halen's bassist.[7] Wolfgang first toured with Van Halen in his new capacity in 2007.[8] In August 2010, Van Halen announced that they would record a new album, with Wolfgang playing bass.

In early 2008, Van Halen appeared on the cover of the April issue of Guitar World with his father, in the magazine's first father-son issue.

He recorded his first album with Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth, in 2011. The album was released on February 7, 2012.[9]

On September 10, 2012, Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti announced that Van Halen would be filling in for Brian Marshall as bassist for the first tour of Tremonti's eponymous band.[10] Tremonti's first album, All I Was, was released on July 17 of that year. Van Halen became an official member of Tremonti in 2013, replacing previous bassist Brian Marshall.[11] He appears on the band's 2015 studio album Cauterize and its 2016 follow-up Dust.

In a February 2015 interview with the National Museum of American History, Eddie Van Halen indicated that Wolfgang is working on a solo album. On June 9, 2019 Van Halen appeared as a guest on his mother's Food Network television show and announced that he had completed his solo album.[12]

Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery revealed in a June 2019 post on Twitter that Wolfgang will play on his upcoming solo debut. "[Wolfgang] will be playing drums, maybe some bass," he says. "I'll do the rest. Just not good enough on the kit myself to pull it off in [the] studio." [13]

Musical style[edit]

Van Halen started playing the bass as his father started asking if he wanted to play with him. Van Halen first viewed bass as "an easier version of guitar, but as soon as I started playing it I realized how wrong that was", but stated that his experience with a guitar made it easier for him to deal with the instrument. His style was described by Eddie as a "rhythm bassist, like I'm a rhythm guitarist and a bassist put together." When he first began playing bass, his inspirations were Les Claypool of Primus and Justin Chancellor of Tool. He also enjoys Chris Wolstenholme of Muse, John Entwistle of The Who, Jack Bruce of Cream "and all of the classic players".[2]

Equipment[edit]

Most of Van Halen's basses are custom-built, and are based on his father's Frankenstrats and EVH Wolfgangs by Fender Master Builder and EVH engineer Chip Ellis. Two of them, one red and one blue, have Fender Jazz Bass shaped bodies and are loaded with active EMG pickups and electronics. These were used for the Van Halen 2007–2008 North American Tour. For the A Different Kind of Truth Tour in 2012, Ellis built Van Halen 3 more basses, another Jazz bass based on his father's black-and-white Frankenstrat, and two based on his father's EVH Wolfgang guitar. Both are satin black, while one has silver stripes and one has yellow stripes similar to his father's "Bumblebee" Frankenstrat. All three feature Fender N3 Noiseless pickups.

For amplification, he uses EVH 5150s and Fender Super Bassmans. He uses one Super Bassman on the clean channel to provide a clean low end, while another Super Bassman and the 5150, both on channel 2, provide an overdriven sound on top of the clean Bassman. For effects, Van Halen uses an MXR EVH signature Flanger and Phase 90, MXR Fullbore distortion, Strymon TimeLine delay, Electro-Harmonix POG, and Way Huge Pork Loin overdrive, and a Dunlop Cry Baby bass wah.

Discography[edit]

with Van Halen

with Tremonti

with Clint Lowery

Trivia[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Van Halen names son Wolfgang". Rome News-Tribune. Associated Press. 1991-03-18.
  2. ^ a b c "Interview: Wolfgang Van Halen Talks Bass, 'A Different Kind Of Truth' and More". Guitar World. July 30, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  3. ^ Eddie Van Halen considering New Tunes with David Lee Roth, 2009-02-02, www.spinner.com.
  4. ^ Mix Editors (2004-12-29). "Peavey Parts With Edward Van Halen". Mix.
  5. ^ "Eddie Van Halen launches the all-new EVH Wolfgang Guitar". International Business Times. 2008-12-16.
  6. ^ della Cava, Marco R. (2009-01-09). "This hand-crafted guitar is Eddie Van Halen's baby". USA Today.
  7. ^ Bradley, Simon (2006-12-12). "Van Halen: Anthony Out, Wolfgang In…". Music Radar.
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Brenda (2007-08-13). "Valerie Bertinelli a 'Proud Momma' at Van Halen Reunion". People.
  9. ^ "Van Halen Announce Album Release, Tour Dates". rollingstone.com. 2012-01-06.
  10. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (2012-09-12). "Wolfgang Van Halen Joins Mark Tremonti as Touring Bassist". Ultimate Classic Rock.
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (2013-03-06). "Wolfgang Van Halen Joins Tremonti, Says Van Halen Working on New Music". Billboard.
  12. ^ "You are being redirected..." www.alternativenation.net. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  13. ^ Trapp, Philip. "Wolfgang Van Halen to Perform on Sevendust Guitarist's Solo Album". Loudwire. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  14. ^ Hanson and Avidan, Arin and Dan (2020-10-16). "Obama covers the RED HOT HABANEROS - Super Mario Galaxy 2: Part 23". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-10-16.

External links[edit]