Mammoth WVH’s debut album isn’t even out yet, but Wolfgang Van Halen is already talking about a follow-up.
The 13 songs on Mammoth WVH , which arrives on June 11, were completed about three years ago. Since then, Van Halen says he’s continued to work on new songs. “At least at the start of the pandemic, I wrote maybe five or six songs,” he tells UCR. “At a certain point, the weight of the world got to me.”
The songs on the upcoming debut emerged gradually. Wolfgang Van Halen wrote some of them during downtime in hotel rooms during the 2015 Van Halen tour. “Mammoth,” one of the earliest songs he wrote for the record, was an important milestone. ”I think that [helped] establish what the sound would be,” he says. “I see that song as kind of the core element of what the album and the band is trying to get across.”
His writing for the project was prolific – “close to 24 to 28 songs” were put to tape during the album sessions with producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette. “But as the process came closer and closer to the end, it was like, ‘Okay, let’s cut that one, we don’t need to finish that one,’” he recalls. “There’s a lot that’s kind of lying there. And I can’t wait to return to that, because there’s something there.”
Van Halen says he has “a bunch of ideas that I’m ready to go back into the studio with already.” He even has some ideas about how some of these new song sketches might meld with existing material that was left on the shelf.
“I think the next record will be very much an extension of the first, with the ideas that I plan on returning to that were written around the same time,” he notes. “So I think it will kind of echo that same vibe. But I’d like to bring it into a new space. I know there’s some ideas that I’ve got that I’ve come up with after that are definitely different that I think would mix it up and be really fun. I’m excited to explore that.”
And just like on the first album – which features Van Halen playing and singing every note himself – chances are pretty good he’ll continue that solo approach on the second record. “Selfishly, I have such a fun time in the studio, recording everything myself, that I think I’ll probably go down and do that,” he says. “I wouldn’t be against … doing the band collaboration … in the future, but I just have so much fun doing it [on my own].”