Axl Rose Praises Wolfgang Van Halen’s ‘Don’t Back Down’
Wolfgang Van Halen recently received an impressive compliment from Axl Rose.
During their first-ever meeting, backstage at the Aug. 5 MetLife Stadium show where Mammoth WVH opened for Guns N' Roses, Rose praised one of the recent singles from Wolfgang's debut album.
"He told me that he really liked 'Don’t Back Down,' and that he really liked the video," Van Halen told UCR in an exclusive interview. "He gave me a hug. I couldn’t believe it. He was a really sweet guy."
The "Don't Back Down" video, which you can see below, features six different Wolfgangs performing, recording and humorously criticizing the song.
Not only did Rose compliment Van Halen in person, he also apparently talked up the song to his bandmate, bassist Duff McKagan. "The other day, Duff came to our dressing room and he’s a sweetheart as well," Van Halen said. "He was telling us how Axl said that 'Don’t Back Down' is just straight fuckin’ rock and roll and I thought that was the biggest compliment I could have heard. It still feels like a dream."
Prior to joining Guns N' Roses as the opening act on their current tour, Van Halen had never met Rose, but was welcomed in swiftly, getting invited to the soundboard area at their first tour stop last month in Hersey, Pa.
"It was amazing to see their whole show with the video and the lights," Van Halen said. "It’s been so long, I haven’t seen a live show in forever. There’s nothing like it."
Watch Mammoth WVH's Video for 'Don't Back Down'
Van Halen also noted that he was surprised at some of the material Guns N' Roses performed that evening, but in the best way possible. "Like, I can’t believe that they even played 'Slither,' the Velvet Revolver song," he said. "I thought that was bad ass. And that new song kicks ass too, that just came out, 'Absurd.' It was really cool to see."
Guns N' Roses and Mammoth WVH are scheduled to continue their current tour through the fall of 2021.
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