Wolfgang Van Halen said he took allegations of having mimed along to pre-recorded bass tracks as a compliment.
But in a recent interview with the Telegraph, Van Halen discussed the fact that he played all the instruments on his upcoming Mammoth WVH debut album, saying: “It was never an intentional thing; I just wanted to see if I could do it. Maybe subconsciously I feel I have to prove myself. People who really hate me have said I wasn’t even playing bass in Van Halen.”
He continued: “They like to make up that we were piping the bass sound in and I was just miming along, which is so funny to me. Over the years, I’ve taken that as the biggest compliment. That means it’s good enough that they didn’t believe I was actually doing it! But, I’m playing everything here, so they can’t really argue with that.”
Looking back, Van Halen described his dad as a “secondary parent” as a result of his mental and emotional health issues. “I think I was forced to mature way earlier than people are normally asked to,” he reflected. “As wonderful a father as he was, he had a lot of demons. They would come out every now and then. It’s why my parents split.”
He also said he’d enjoyed a good deal of quality time with Eddie from his 2017 cancer diagnosis up until his health “nosedived” at the end of 2019. “When you grow up you always know, ‘One day I’ll have to take care of the parent,’ but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon,” he said. “While it was happening I was like, ‘OK, it’ll happen later,’ but little did I know I was already in the middle of it.”