Eddie Van Halen's Son Wolfgang 'Prepared for Wave of Hate' When He Releases Debut Solo Album
As Wolfgang Van Halen gears up to release his debut solo album, he's also bracing himself for the inevitable comparisons to his father, Eddie Van Halen.
After being asked a question on his Instagram Story about whether he views his father's legacy as a "gift or a curse," Wolfgang, 29, responded on his social media accounts saying he feels "it's really equally both."
"Being who I am, I think people at the least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is very nice," he wrote. "But on the other hand if it's not exactly what they want to hear or if I don't try to 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," he continued. "I'm not trying to be my father, I'm trying to be me."
In the caption of the post, Wolfgang (whose mother is TV star Valerie Bertinelli) wrote that his response "seemed to resonate with many" so he "figured" he would make it a post.
"Thanks for being cool, y’all," he concluded. "Excited to get this music out."
When a fan responded to the post on Twitter asking if he has an "estimate" on when the album will be out, Wolfgang said, "Not really, but I'm working on it. I promise!"
He previously tweeted on July 7 that the coronavirus pandemic changed his original release plans.
"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!!" he wrote.
In 2007, when he was just 16 years old, Wolfgang replaced Michael Anthony Sobolewski as Van Halen's bassist. He has also toured and recorded with Creed/Alter Bridge's Mark Tremonti and has been recording a solo album since at least 2015.
In a 2015 interview with Guitar World, Eddie, 65, described his son's music as "AC/DC meets Van Halen meets aggressive pop."
"The riffs are catchy," he said. "It's a little of everything and sounds like a freight train coming at you. I've never heard anything quite like it. It's so powerful that I'm jealous."
"There is no music like that out there anymore — it's really sad," he continued. "What happened to rock 'n' roll? That's why I can't wait for the world to hear what Wolf's working on ... I think that people who hear it are either not going to believe it or they're finally going to go, 'This kid is the real deal.'"
Van Halen, meanwhile, hasn't played a tour since 2015. In a New York Times interview published earlier this week, lead singer David Lee Roth suggested that the band has no plans to come back.
"I don't know that Eddie [Van Halen] is ever really going to rally for the rigors of the road again," Roth said. "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."