Wolfgang Van Halen recently sat down with Guitar World for an interview and reflected on his guitar-playing style. The rocker said he intentionally chose to use semi-hollow guitars to sound differently than his late father, Eddie Van Halen.
While Wolf has always aimed to honor his father’s memory and legacy, he has also made moves to save himself from Eddie’s shadow. The frontman chose to form his own band rather than continue with Van Halen. He also created his own sound and tried to gain a place in the rock world with his own efforts without relying on his father’s legacy.
The singer has been playing a semi-hollow EVH guitar for some time. When asked how it affected his playing, Wolfgang replied by saying that he had started experimenting with different sounds back in 2015. He was trying to create his own tone, not to sound exactly like his father.
So, his choice of using a semi-hollow guitar was an intentional move to distance himself from Eddie’s playing. It gave him space to discover a fresh sound. Yet, he also enjoys the modern approach in his playing, as this mixture excites him and allows the guitarist to deliver a high performance.
Here is what the Mammoth WVH frontman said about using semi-hollow guitars:
“I guess it all comes down to how we approached the recording process way back in 2015, which is when I started doing the initial guitar tracking for the debut. There was a bunch of experimentation to try and figure out my tone. It was an intentional move to not sound exactly like my dad.
I wanted to be my own person with my own sound. That’s what drove me to semi-hollow guitars, embracing a different kind of vibe. But I also enjoy the modern approach, so basically, it’s the classic sound of a 335 or semi-hollow merged with what the brand is known for: high-performance, shreddy types of guitars.
The neck is super thin and wide, which is not something you’d normally find on a 335. They usually have fuckin’ baseball bats for necks, which is awesome if that’s what you’re into. When it comes to playing quick passages and stuff like that, this is an instrument that didn’t exist but now does! That’s another reason why I’m so excited about it.”
It seems like 2023 will be a busy year for Wolfgang, as he will release his second album with Mammoth WVH. The musician had previously said he intended to involve Eddie in his upcoming album. He wants to use his late father’s guitars during the recordings of the record by doing a solo with each.