Wolfgang Van Halen has yet to release a single song from his long-in-the-works debut solo album, but he’s already bracing himself for the reaction it might elicit from the rock community.
“Being who I am, I think people at least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is nice,” he wrote on Instagram this week. “But on the other hand, if it’s not exactly what they want to hear or if I don’t sound ‘Van Halen-y’ enough for them they’ll hate me and won’t give me the time of day. I’m fully prepared for a wave of hate when my music releases because it won’t be what people think it’ll be. I’m not trying to be my father; I’m trying to be me.”
Wolfgang replaced Michael Anthony as Van Halen’s bassist in 2007 when he was just 16 years old. He’s also toured and recorded with Creed/Alter Bridge Mark Tremonti and he’s been recording a solo album since at least 2015. Eddie Van Halen has described the music as “AC/DC meets Van Halen meets aggressive pop” and there were reports in 2018 that the album was done, but it never surfaced.
“I’m working on it!” Wolfgang explained in a Tweet on July 7th. “The state of the world has really thrown a wrench into how I saw this releasing (given that no touring is able to happen until this all blows over) but I have a few ideas that I’m really excited about, so stay tuned!!”
Van Halen, meanwhile, hasn’t played a show since the conclusion of their 2015 summer tour. David Lee Roth began playing solo shows earlier this year and he’s strongly hinted that the band isn’t coming back.
“I don’t know that Eddie [Van Halen] is ever really going to rally for the rigors of the road again,” he told the New York Times this week. “I don’t even want to say I’ve waited — I’ve supported for five years. Because what I do is physical as well as musical and spiritual — you can’t take five years off from the ring. But I did. And I do not regret a second of it. He’s a bandmate. We had a colleague down. And he’s down now for enough time that I don’t know that he’s going to be coming back out on the road. You want to hear the classics? You’re talking to him.”