Explorer1 Music Group CEO Paul Woolnough and Wolfgang Van Halen.
by Gary Graf
Wolfgang Van Halen is one step closer to his long-awaited solo album.
The singer and multi-instrumentalist -- the 28-year-old son of Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli who's a member of Van Halen and former member of Tremonti -- has signed an exclusive deal with Explorer1 Music Group for an album he's in "the final stages" of recording with producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette at Van Halen's 5150 Studios in California. The announcement calls the set "a collection of diverse material...original songs ranging from haunting ballads to stomping rock classics, on which (Van Halen) recorded all the instruments and vocals himself."
No title, release date or other details have been announced.
Van Halen started out playing drums when he was nine years old, then picked up guitar at age 12. "My dad taught me power chords and I just took it from there," Van Halen told Billboard a few years back. "Same with drumming; My dad just taught me a straightforward, 'Black in Black'-like AC/DC drum beat and I just kind of took it from there. Then I picked up bass when I was 15."
Van Halen came on board his father and uncle's band for its 2007-2008 reunion tour and appears on the albums A Different Kind of Truth and Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. He was part of Creed/Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti's band during the mid 2000s, playing on the albums Cauterize and Dust, and the idea of making his own music was always part of Van Halen's agenda.
"I've always loved the whole Dave Grohl story of how he started Foo Fighters and just did a whole demo album by himself. I'd love to do that," Van Halen said. "I feel like I can play drums, bass, guitar, kinda sing, I guess. I can kinda decide whatever I want to do. I feel like it's just kind of open-ended. I definitely would like to be a drummer in a band at some point. There's no limit, really."
In the announcement, Van Halen notes that, "It's been a long time coming and I can't wait for everyone to hear what I've been working on." Explorer1 Music Group CEO Paul Woolnough says, "While I knew it was going to be something special, when I was first invited to the studio, nothing prepared me for the quality, uniqueness and maturity of the songs that blasted out of the monitors. It's an absolute honor to be working with Wolfgang and his team and being part of the next chapter in the Van Halen family legacy."