Wolf Van Halen once went to his father, rock legend Eddie Van Halen, for his opinion about joining another rock band.
“That was a funny thing. I was hanging out in New Jersey with my friends from Sevendust while they were recording ‘Black Out the Sun’ and I got a call from Mark Tremonti,” Wolf said in a recent interview. “They didn’t have a bass player and heard that I was in New Jersey and they were in New York. He asked ‘Hey, do you wanna come on tour?’ I [hung] up and called my dad and I was like ‘Hey pop, is it cool if I do this?’ He was like ‘Yeah, go do it. It will be a good time.’”
Tremonti is, of course, the lead guitarist and vocalist of his eponymous band. He previously joined the lineups of Creed and Alter Bridge before becoming a solo act. The band was still in its infancy when Tremonti reached out to Wolf to fill in. The main reason he asked for his father’s permission was because he was working with Van Halen at the time.
“So I did and hopped into a friend’s pickup truck, loaded all my stuff in the back,” Wolf continued. “Then I think I showed up at their practice space in New York at like midnight. We played through the whole set. I had listened to the album but I didn’t know how to play any of it. So Mark just sat there and taught me everything. I did the best I could.”
Wolf’s best must have been pretty good; he joined the band as their full-time bassist in 2013. At the same time, Wolf was still the bassist for Van Halen. Interestingly, he filled this role in 2006, when he was only fifteen. Granted, he grew up surrounded by music royalty. He learned from both his guitar-playing father and his drummer uncle, Alex. He remained a part of Van Halen until his father’s tragic passing in 2020.
Wolfgang Van Halen Opens Up About Similarities With Late Father
After Eddie’s death, Wolf began touring alongside Guns ‘N’ Roses. He also fronts his own band Mammoth WVH, whose single “Distance” is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. As for how he performs, Wolf said that he’s aware of how his stage persona mirrors his late father.
“I just go up there and be myself,” Wolf explained. “There’s been a handful of moments though, where I’ve done something, and then I realize like, ‘Oh s—, dad used to do that all the time on stage.’ And I realized maybe the way he moved or the way he smiled when he played something, I was like, ‘Oh, f—, he would do that all the time.’ And it’s like, I couldn’t even control it. It just happens. It’s pretty funny.”
Additionally, Wolf thinks rock isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, adding that “there’s a lot of life for it left to be lived.”