The chatter followed an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where the 17-year-old admitted she’d never heard of Van Halen. “Who?” Eilish responded, puzzled, after Kimmel asked if she could name of the band’s songs.
Naturally, after the segment aired, fans of both acts tweeted their feelings — from defenses of Eilish to attempts at peacemaking, to disbelief at the teenager’s lack of classic-rock knowledge.
Watch Billie Eilish on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’
Wolfgang Van Halen calmly put the matter to bed with his own classy tweet: “If you haven’t heard of @billieeilish, go check her out. She’s cool,” he wrote today. “If you haven’t heard of @VanHalen, go check them out. They’re cool too. Music is supposed to bring us together, not divide us. Listen to what you want and don’t shame others for not knowing what you like.”
Hilariously, while answering a question about pop competition earlier in the Kimmel interview, Eilish seemed to foreshadow the entire debate: “It’s weird,” she said. “It’s like the whole universe is trying to pit every artist against each other. It’s so weird.” Kimmel subsequently noted the obvious about his own generational taste: “If you asked me questions about 1943,” he said, “I probably wouldn’t know the answers either.”
It’s also worth noting that Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen rarely listens to music at all — from any decade. In 2015, Wolf’s dad told Billboard that he hadn’t purchased an album since Peter Gabriel‘s So in 1986. “It’s an odd thing, but I’ve been this way my whole life,” Eddie said. “I couldn’t make a contemporary record if I wanted to, because I don’t know what contemporary music sounds like.”
Think You Know Van Halen?