What is the essence of a worthy heir? To ensure the continuity of a work that has become timeless? Or to break away from it completely and find his own way? In this game, it seems that Mammoth WVH didn't want to choose and that's good!
Because clearly, Eddy Van Halen's son was born in hard rock, and was bathed in his father's influences. But also clearly, Wolfgang Van Halen is not Eddy and doesn't want to get involved. And if he goes into music, it's because fate didn't really have an alternative path for him. And while everyone was waiting for him to turn around, he set off in a straight line, between an immense heritage and a fierce desire to show who he really is.
So on his first compositions, no stratospheric guitar solo as his father liked them. And if the two are obviously linked by the hard rock that literally flows in their veins, Wolfgang's influences are those of the 90's generation, fed by Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters. A melodic, sensitive and terribly efficient rock which is the inspiration of Mammoth WVH.
And it works! From the very first notes, this little multi-instrumentalist genius takes us on board in his powerful, sometimes melancholic universe where we can feel all his experience as a bass player for Tremonti. Because of course, if Mammoth WVH sings, he also switches with ease from guitar to bass, from keyboard to drums. There's no doubt that the world's stages will now have to reckon with this young rock prodigy, whose songs are as catchy as his composition is virtuoso. An heir, certainly, a complete artist, unquestionably!
"Wait till you hear this kid play bass, guitar and drums. He can do it all" said his father back in 2006, just before he hired him to replace bassist Michael Anthony in his band. At the time, Wolfgang endured the criticism stoically. If he can't change the fact that he is the 'son of', he can show his talent. And on bass, he did just that, recording with Van Halen on his final album. In 2013, another great artist trusted him. For several years, he accompanied the legend Tremonti on bass, both live and on recordings.
The solo project was announced in 2015 and it took Wolfgang Van Halen a while to mature. The name first. It will be Mammoth WVH, a blatant tribute to the name of his father's first band, flanked by his initials. Then the music, because for this first album, the artist composed and recorded all the instruments himself. And yes, that is what being a virtuoso is all about. And if many were waiting to be able to compare the young artist with the legend with delight, the disappointment was great. Because far from the Van Halen spirit, Mammoth WVH is a powerful rock, terribly catchy, which already unleashes the crowds live. Now in his thirties and with confidence, the young artist traces his path, taking his audience on board and no longer looking back at those who still dare to question his lineage.
It's the first time I've seen Mammoth WVH live, and it's pretty solid! The songs are catchy, the melodious choruses are taken up by the chorus and the desire is clearly there. It's a pleasure to see and really, we would have liked the set to last a little longer. An artist to follow!
He has a legendary name and he is well on his way to living up to it. Mammoth WVH never denies its origins but detaches itself from them to deliver its own version of rock. Irresistible tracks, melodic refrains, a sensitivity that appears on stage in all its splendour under the rumblings of a powerful music. A beautiful artist and a career to follow!
How do you manage when you're the son of a legend? Wolfgang Van Halen answers this question in the most beautiful way: by playing his own music, quite simply. [...] This first album of Mammoth WVH breathes seriousness and humility, which makes it particularly endearing. Wolfgang knows that the only way to make his way is to make the music he loves and never forget where he comes from.