After years of development, Wolfgang Van Halen has started up his solo career in earnest with the release of his debut single, "Distance," a ballad dedicated to his late-father Eddie Van Halen.
Wolfgang's solo album has been completed for some time, but the Van Halen bassist explained earlier this year that he was waiting to release any material until he would be able to tour in support of it.
His father's death last month of cancer profoundly changed his plans, however.
“As my pop continued to struggle with various health issues, I was imagining what my life would be like without him and how terribly I’d miss him," Wolfgang explained in a statement accompanying "Distance." "While the song is incredibly personal, I think anyone can relate to the idea of having a profound loss in their life. I never intended ‘Distance’ to be the very first piece of music people would hear from me, but I also thought my father would be here to celebrate its release. This is for him. I love and miss you, Pop.”
Eddie once described his son's solo music as being "like AC/DC meets Van Halen meets aggressive pop."
While Wolfgang suggests the acoustic guitar-driven "Distance" is a departure from the rest of the songs on his album, there are hints of what his dad was referring to, including a stunning vocal performance and a screaming lead guitar line in the bridge.
Proceeds from "Distance" will be donated to Eddie's favorite charity, Mr. Holand's Opus Foundation, which provides assistance to underfunded school music programs around the country.
Wolfgang wrote and performed all the music on the album.
Photo: Travis Shinn