Wolfgang Van Halen is planning to track the solos to his next album with his dad's iconic guitars

Wolfgang Van Halen
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Wolfgang Van Halen's debut album set a very high standard, but one of the greatest things about it was a musician forging his identity as a songwriter while paying tribute to his father Eddie Van Halen, in subtle but meaningful ways. And it looks like he'll be going further on the follow-up.

We already know he used EVH's Frankenstein on the self-titled debut from Mammoth WVH, but in a interview with the UK's Total Guitar magazine (via the Guitar World website) he has revealed he's planning on using a selection of his late father's guitars to track the solos for the follow-up record.

"The only thing I have left to do is track the guitar solos," said Wolfgang. "So what I want to do is go through some of Pop’s notable guitars and do a solo with each of them. Guitars like the Frankenstein or the Shark, stuff like that.”

Wolfgang also went on to detail how the original Frankie feels to play. 

“Well, if anyone’s ever played the EVH Bumblebee reissue, it’s very similar to the Frankenstein profile," he said. "Dad was developing that neck at the same time, and hell, with the Frankenstein reissue it’s pretty much one-for-one. It’s very faithful to the original, which is obviously a lot older. 

To us, it’s quite literally the most famous guitar in the existence of music, where to him it was this little piece of junk he put together

“You can feel the history sort of emanating out of the Frankenstein," Wolfgang added. "Picking up that guitar is almost a religious experience, even if you’re not a religious person. You just kinda hold it and feel the history right there in your hands. 

“It’s funny, when I started recording with it back in 2015, we pulled it out and Dad picked it up, played it for a second and then sorta just tossed it on the couch. Everybody in the room gasped! Because to us, it’s quite literally the most famous guitar in the existence of music, where to him it was this little piece of junk he put together. So that divide in opinion over it was funny to see!”

While Wolfgang's debut showed an impressive range of songs, the musician is aiming to go even further with the follow-up.

“On the debut there was this width of what the project was – on the left you had songs like Distance and Circles, those softer vibes, and on the right you had tracks like Stone and The Big Picture," he reflected. "In the middle, there were songs like Mammoth or Epiphany and stuff like that. What I want to do with this album is widen what that breadth is. 

“Further left, for example, there’s a song that’s all on piano... so it has more of a softer vibe. But on the right, there’s some really heavy s**t in comparison to the debut! That’s what I find really exciting, it’s fun to stretch the definition of Mammoth on both sides.”

Read the full interview at Guitar World

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.