MAMMOTH WVH, the solo project of Wolfgang Van Halen, played its first-ever concert last night (Tuesday, July 27) at Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below. A few photos are available on the web site of the Topeka radio station V100.
According to V100, “Wolf and the crew didn’t play any cover songs. No VAN HALEN, just straight up MAMMOTH WVH and it was phenomenal. So if you plan on catching a MAMMOTH WVH show in the future, don’t expect any VAN HALEN tunes. What you can expect though, is a touching tribute from father to son.”
Wolfgang took to his Twitter after the gig to write: “Show number 1 is officially in the books. Thanks so much for coming out and sharing this special night with us, folks. I won’t forget it”.
MAMMOTH WVH‘s tour as the support act for GUNS N’ ROSES will kick off on July 31 at Hersheypark Stadium and conclude in early October with a two-night run at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Florida.
MAMMOTH WVH‘s touring lineup features Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Jon Jourdan on guitar and vocals, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass.
MAMMOTH WVH‘s self-titled debut album was released on June 11 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.
Wolfgang, who joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with singer David Lee Roth, replacing Michael Anthony, recently told Raul Amador of Bass Musician Magazine about the fact that he played all the instruments on “Mammoth WVH”: “I think it’s gonna be a bit of a surprise for people who think that I only play bass. I started writing music on my own way back in 2013, after the second VAN HALEN tour. I taught myself Logic [recording software]. I knew enough to realize an idea on my own computer, so I would just kind of write. And then I got in the studio in 2015 with my producer, Elvis Baskette, and engineer, Jef Moll. And between the three of us, over the next couple of years, we tracked a bunch of songs. And then I went on tour again with VAN HALEN. And then I came back, and I’d written a bunch of songs on tour, and so we recorded even more. So we just kind of kept recording more and more songs until we ended up finishing in July of 2018. So, yeah, it took a while. [Laughs]”
Wolfgang also talked about his lyrical approach on the MAMMOTH WVH album, saying: “I think the lyrics were a new opportunity for me to kind of convey emotion past just performance-wise, so I’m sure I leaned a bit heavier in that respect. ‘Cause playing everything on my own — normally when you’re playing on something, you almost kind of wanna show off a little bit more, ’cause it’s, like, ‘This is my one opportunity, ’cause I’m just playing the bass or guitar’ or whatever. But when you’re playing everything, if you [went crazy] on every instrument, it would just be ridiculous. So the challenge and enjoyment I got out of it was trying to construct good songs, just for what would benefit the song. ‘Cause I feel like a lot of musicians go, like, ‘What can I do so I can point at that later and go, ‘Listen to me. See what I did?” But with this, it’s, like, what can I do for the betterment of the song in every aspect. So, yeah, that was a fun little thing to be able to do, with getting emotions across and playing and lyrics and vocals and stuff like that.”
Last November, 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 Roth first joined it in 1974.
Here it is! The first live performance of Mammoth WVH! Possible rock history!
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