Wolf Van Halen Opens Up About Why He Doesn’t Play Van Halen Songs at His Concerts

by Chris Piner

Being more than the son of famed guitarist Eddie Van Halen, Wolf Van Halen is a musician himself. Between 2006 to 2020, Wolf would even perform beside his father as the bassist to Van Halen. But while Wolf has a tremendous love and respect for his father, the musician recently opened up about why he doesn’t like to perform Van Halen songs while touring with his own Mammoth WVH, a rock band founded by Wolf Van Halen. 

Spending some time to relax and enjoy his growing relationship with his fiancee, Wolf Van Halen is already preparing to embark on yet another tour. This time, it’s in Europe, which will be the artist’s first time.

Wolf Van Halen Doesn’t Hate Van Halen, Quite the Opposite

Discussing his late father and the theory around why he doesn’t want to play the band’s songs, Wolf Van Halen admitted, “I don’t have a problem. I feel like my stance on Van Halen has been telephoned so hard, as in the game telephone. People are like, ‘Oh, don’t mention Van Halen. He hates Van Halen!’ It’s like, ‘It’s my f**king name! Why would I hate it? It’s my dad! I love my dad!” He was sure to add, “I was in the f**king band! I don’t hate it at all.’”

Clearing up all the confusion and his decision, Wolf stated, “All I’ve ever said is I don’t want to play Van Halen music at Mammoth shows. I’d rather bomb with my own stuff than gain attention for playing dad’s. We covered [Alice in Chains’] ‘Them Bones.’ And before playing it, I would kind of tiptoe into it and be like, ‘OK, we’re gonna do a cover right now.’ And everybody in there is going [whispers] ‘Van Halen!’ And I was like, ‘And I’m not gonna play a Van Halen song,’  and you’d hear people go like, ‘Awwwww.’ And it kind of turned into a dialogue, and I’d be like, ‘What, you don’t think I love Van Halen?’ I would always say that expecting to hear Van Halen at a Mammoth show is like expecting to hear Nirvana at a Foo Fighters concert. And getting pissed off that they didn’t play Nirvana!”

Never Say Never

Again, showing how much the topic has plagued Wolf Van Halen over the years, he promised that not playing Van Halen songs doesn’t mean he hates the band. When asked if he would never play their songs, the frontman declared, “you should never say never. But also don’t take what I’m saying right now to go ‘Oh, man, they’re gonna play Van Halen!’ I would say like if I happen to play one Van Halen song at one show in the next 15 years, don’t come back to me like an a**hole and go, [dumb-guy voice] ‘Well, you said you hated Van Halen!’”