Wolfgang Van Halen Calls Dave Grohl One of His ‘Biggest Inspirations’ for Mammoth WVH
By now, most Mammoth WVH fans know that Wolfgang Van Halen played every instrument on his creative vehicle's debut, also called Mammoth WVH, which emerged in June.
For listeners who've been around awhile, that method might bring to mind another talented rocker who started solo and then expanded — Foo Fighters bandleader Dave Grohl.
The former Nirvana drummer tracked the first Foos album, 1995's Foo Fighters, all by himself, playing drums, bass, guitar — save for a single guitar solo — without assistance, except for the production personnel. Wolfgang Van Halen did the same thing with his album.
And wouldn't you know it, that's because the latter directly inspired the former, as the Mammoth WVH figurehead shared with Bass Player in an interview that emerged this week.
"One of the biggest inspirations was Dave Grohl," Van Halen responded when asked about his songwriting. "When he started the Foo Fighters, he did everything himself on their first album."
Wolf continued, "I wanted to have a go at that, I guess, and I've always admired bands like Nine Inch Nails, where the project emanates from one person and grows from there. That's kind of how I view it, even though it is still me. I view it more as a band than [a] solo project."
Van Halen worked closely with producer/mixer Michael Baskette on Mammoth WVH. Producer Barrett Jones helped Grohl with Foo Fighters, which was then mixed by Tom Rothrock And Rob Schnapf. Both performers then added live band members after the fact.
"I think the benefit of doing everything yourself," Van Halen explained, "is that when you're just one part of an album — like if you're just the guitar player or just the bass player — you tend to want to show off, so you can be like, 'That part is me!' But when you're playing everything, if you showed off on every instrument, it would just be a jumbled mess."
He added, "It becomes about creating cohesive songs and doing everything best for the song."
Mammoth WVH are currently rocking across the U.S. and will open for Scorpions in Europe next year. Foo Fighters will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this month.