Why Wolfgang Van Halen Doesn’t Cover Van Halen at His Shows
Wolfgang Van Halen addressed the accusation that he hates his dad’s band Van Halen but that’s not why he doesn’t cover any of their songs at his Mammoth WVH shows.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the son of late guitar icon Eddie was at pains to explain that there was a small possibility it could happen in the future, but that doesn't mean it's a certainty.
“People are like, ‘Oh, don’t mention Van Halen. He hates Van Halen!’” Wolf said. “It’s like, ‘It’s my fucking name! Why would I hate it? It’s my dad! I love my dad! I was in the fucking band! I don’t hate it at all. ... All I’ve ever said is I don’t want to play Van Halen music at Mammoth shows. I’d rather bomb with my own stuff than gain attention for playing Dad’s.”
He recalled covering Alice in Chain's classic “Them Bones,” noting that "before playing it, I would kind of tiptoe into it and be like, ‘OK, we’re gonna do a cover right now.’ And everybody in there [whispered,] ‘Van Halen!’ And I was like, ‘And I’m not gonna play a Van Halen song,’ and you’d hear people go like, ‘Aww.’ … I’d be like, ‘What, you don’t think I love Van Halen?’
“I would always say that expecting to hear Van Halen at a Mammoth show is like expecting to hear Nirvana at a Foo Fighters concert. And getting pissed off that they didn’t play Nirvana!” He allowed that had happened on a handful of occasions, but added, “I think my point still stands! Don’t expect Van Halen from a Mammoth concert.” Van Halen insisted he was “not opening the door” with his comments.
"If anything, the door is cracked very slightly," he said. "Just because you should never say never. But also don’t take what I’m saying right now to go ‘Oh, man, they’re gonna play Van Halen!’ I would say like if I happen to play one Van Halen song at one show in the next 15 years, don’t come back to me like an asshole and go, ‘Well, you said you hated Van Halen!’”