Eddie Van Halen was a Meshuggah fan, according to son Wolfgang: “He said, ‘The drummer better be paid the most!’”

Photos of Van Halen and Meshuggah performing live
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images | Aldara Zarraoa/WireImage)

Eddie Van Halen was an admirer of Swedish tech-metal luminaries Meshuggah, according to his son Wolfgang.

Wolfgang, who leads the hard rock project Mammoth WVH, revealed the late Van Halen guitarist’s fandom during an interview in the new issue of Prog.

“My dad approved of them,” the 33-year-old said of Meshuggah.

He added that Eddie was particularly impressed by the complexity of drummer Tomas Haake’s performances.

“I remember his joke when I showed him the video to [signature song] Bleed. He said, ‘The drummer better be paid the most! He’s working way harder than anybody else in the band!’”

Wolfgang also spoke about how he got his uncle Patrick – brother of Wolfgang’s mother, actress and TV personality Valerie Bertinelli – into Meshuggah.

“Late ’22, we took a break from recording [2023 Mammoth WVH album] Mammoth II because Meshuggah were in town at the [Hollywood] Palladium,” he said.

“We luckily got this cool balcony spot and I got to bring my Uncle Patrick, who was not a fan at all. Every time I played him Meshuggah, he’d be like, ‘I don’t get it.’

“When I brought him to the show, he understood. After seeing it, he was like, ‘Holy shit! I get it now!’”

Wolfgang has long been an avid Meshuggah fan, having been won over by the song Stengah from the band’s 2002 album Nothing.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist previously expressed his love for the collective in a 2022 interview with Amoeba Music.

“As a drummer first, I tend to intake music in a more rhythmic manner,” he said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).

“I’m all about rhythm, and Meshuggah is rhythm. It’s like dinosaurs fighting.”

Wolfgang also named Nothing as his favourite Meshuggah album.

“It’s where they really started getting sort of groovy and sludgy with their sound,” he explained.

“A lot of people like the one before, [1998’s] Chaosphere. An amazing album too. It’s more thrashy, but I really like their groovy sort of sludgy aspects, and this one [Nothing] is all sludge and groove."

Read the full interview with Wolfgang Van Halen in the new issue of Prog, which also explores how Jethro Tull conquered the US and the backstory of Devin Townsend’s classic Infinity album.

Order your copy now and get it delivered directly to your door.

Prog 149

(Image credit: Future)
Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.