Michael Astley-Brown  of Total Guitar reports:

Wolfgang Van Halen has been very open about his desire to not simply replicate the style of his late father and beloved guitar hero, Eddie Van Halen. But while the songwriting on his forthcoming Mammoth WVH debut proves that Wolfgang is very much his own artist, he couldn’t resist digging out one of his dad’s old favorite guitars for a couple of key moments…

…When questioned whether he used any of his father’s equipment [on his forthcoming debut album Mammoth WVH] , Wolfgang responds, “Yeah, a handful of it. I played the original Frankenstein on the solo on Mammoth and on Feel.

You feel the history. It’s kind of terrifying holding it, just because arguably it is the most famous guitar in musical history. It’s definitely quite the thing to hold it.”

However, as it turns out, Eddie didn’t have quite the same reverence for the iconic axe.

“When we were pulling it out of its safe, Dad picked it up and he was just noodling with it for a second,” Wolfgang continues. “He’s like ‘Yeah, feels about the same’ and he tossed it onto the couch. Everyone just gasped when he did that. To Dad, it’s just a little piece of junk that he built himself, but to us it’s the most famous thing in the world…”

…Wolfgang’s [other] main guitars for the recording were a Gibson ES-335 – as seen in the video for Don’t Back Down – as well as an EVH Wolfgang Custom. But when it came to amps, he was conscious to differentiate his tone from his father’s.

“That was probably the one area that we made a collective effort to not replicate Pop,” he says.

“We did use a bunch of 5150s mostly, but there were also Marshalls – a red early-’70s 100 watt Superlead, and a ’72 Superlead metal-panel 1959 model. All the Marshall heads were modified with extra gain stages. We used a lot of cabinet variations, with Celestion G12H-30s, G12M-25s, and G12-EVHs just to contrast the sound.”

For the full interview, as well as an in-depth feature on Eddie Van Halen’s legacy and how he continues to shape the sound of guitar playing today, pick up a copy of Total Guitar from Magazines Direct.

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  • RobT on

    Nice to hear Wolf put a bit of history to his music. Even Paul Micheal Glaser wasn’t fond of the iconic, red, white striped object that he appeared with, but most of the fans loved it.

    • Dana on

      I would imagine holding his Dad’s original Frakenstein guitar is both frightening and powerful. It’s amazing how Eddie (RIP) was so blasé about it and its importance.

  • jeffrey heffernan on

    is this kids 15 mins up yet??

    • Dana on

      Awww 🙁 , I think he’s talented and his music is quite good.

    • Doug R. on

      This “kid’s” (30 years old) career is just getting started.

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