How Wolfgang sent Van Halen back in time
Wolfgang Van Halen tried to push dad Eddie back into his seventies state of mind before the band began working on recent album A Different Kind of Truth.
The young bassist believed his father, David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen could create material as good as their early work if they could be reminded how they used to think.
Wolfgang tells Guitar World: “I wanted to remind my dad of the mindset he was in when he wrote songs like Runnin’ With The Devil and Dance The Night Away.
“I thought recording those old songs would make it easier for Dad, Dave and Al to put their minds where they were back then, and get back to writing how they would have then.”
The band’s extensive collection of demos provided plenty of inspiration, says Wolfgang. “Some people have heard a few, but there’s no much more,” he explains. “When you walk into the studio there are endless shelves of recordings.
“I grabbed a bunch of random tapes and picked out a few songs I’d known and liked. We recorded the first demo of She’s The Woman in August 2009 and it felt really awesome – it felt like classic Van Halen, written today. Everything started falling together.”
And he’s critical of fans who don’t like the fact Van Halen reworked some old material for the new album. “At first we had a bunch of haters who were mad that we recorded new versions of songs they’d already heard,” he says.
“But they don’t understand that’s what almost every single musician does. They write music and some of it gets used and some of it doesn’t. Only the diehard fans have bootlegs of those demos.
“There’s a lot of new material on the album as well. It’s like all eras of Can Halen slammed into one record. The old songs don’t sound the same as the old versions – they sound like where we are now.”