“Dave said, ‘No, not doing it’”: Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang Van Halen once wrote a brand new Van Halen song, only for David Lee Roth to refuse to sing it

Van Halen in 2007
(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Classic Rock issue 317

(Image credit: Future)

Wolfgang Van Halen has revealed that Van Halen scrapped a song they were working on for their 2012 album A Different Kind Of Truth after David Lee Roth refused to sing on it.

In a brand new interview in the latest issue of Classic Rock, the Mammoth WVH frontman looks back on his time with his dad Eddie Van Halen’s band from 2007 to 2015 – a period he calls “a crash course in collaboration”.

Asked if there is any unreleased material from the A Different Kind Of Truth era, Wolfgang tells Classic Rock. “I remember the way we knew how to work with Dave. Al, Dad and I were working on a song at the time [before A Different Kind Of Truth]. We’d come up with something in the moment when we were jamming and it was really cool – we called it Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Panama as a joke, because it had a vibe of both of those songs put together.”

He adds that the three musicians agreed they had to pick the right time to present it to the singer. “We told the producer we were working with at the time, ‘When Dave comes to sing tonight, whatever you do, do not tell him that we wrote this. When we’re together tomorrow, we can come to him together and act, like, Hey listen to this…’

“But he didn’t listen to us. “He told Dave. ‘Hey, check this out…’ And Dave was, like, [abruptly] ‘No, not doing it. We were, like, ‘If you’d listened to us, it could have been another cool song on the album.’ The relationship between Van Halen and their singers was always complicated.”

In the same interview, Wolfgang also reveals that the death of his father in 2020 influenced Mammoth WVH’s upcoming second album, Mammoth II, more than it did their self-titled debut.

“There's more of me dealing with the illness that took my dad on the second album than there is on the first,” he says. “It’s an aggressive album, the lyrical content is angry but sad and depressing at the same time. It’s the fall-out from everything that happened.”

Mammoth II is out on August 4. Read the full interview with Wolfgang Van Halen in the new issue of Classic Rock, on sale now. Order it online and have it delivered straight to your door.

Wolfgang Van Halen

(Image credit: Future)
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