"With Van Halen, I learned a lot of how I didn’t want things to be with Mammoth": Wolfgang Van Halen on the lessons he took away from playing in his dad's band

Wolfgang and Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

Wolfgang Van Halen has spoken about how his time with Van Halen taught him what not to do when it came to launching his own band, Mammoth WVH

In conversation with Rolling Stone's Brian Hiatt, the multi-instrumentalist admits that, with his own band, Wolfgang was determined to avoid the inter-personal conflicts which often made life in Van Halen uncomfortable for all involved.

With Van Halen, I learned a lot of how I didn’t want things to be with Mammoth," he admits. "Why do we need to be walking around on eggshells? Why is there a problem all the time? Like, why can’t we just get along and play music? Don’t we all love music enough to put our bullshit aside and actually have a good time having this be our livelihood? Shouldn’t it be easier than this?"

"That was one of the main things with Mammoth, was to build this healthy core of people on the inside," he continues. "That can’t be swayed and that can weather any storm, throughout anything we need to."

Elsewhere in the interview, Mammoth WVH's leader discusses playing three Van Halen songs over the course of the Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts in London and Los Angeles, and describes the act of playing songs written by his late father as "liberating", but reaffirms his intention to steer clear of leaning on Van Halen's catalogue with his own band.

"I have no reason or desire to play any Van Halen music while I’m building my own career," he reiterates. "Like my dad said when he was growing tired of doing covers with Van Halen. He was like, 'I’d rather bomb with my own music than succeed with somebody else’s.' That really hits home with me." 

Mammoth WVH's second album, Mammoth II, was released on August 4. 

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