Wolfgang Van Halen Calls Backing Tracks ‘Lame as Hell’ + a ‘Copout’
If you've heard Mammoth WVH's self-titled debut album, you likely already know that Wolfgang Van Halen not only sings on the album, but he plays every instrument as well. He's taken that integrity to the stage with his band too, and has revealed just how he feels about backing tracks.
"I think it’s a copout to use tracks, unless it’s like, for a keyboard part that you can’t necessarily get,” the rocker told Ultimate Classic Rock.
“But when I hear about certain bands these days, where it’s like, you have lead vocals and lead guitars pumping through the tracks, I think that’s lame as hell. I think you should just stay home and listen to shit on Spotify if they’re going to play to tracks like that," he continued.
"It feels really badass to be like, we don’t have to fuckin’ sit there with tracks. We’re just straight-up doing it. I think it’s important. It’s certainly not perfect all of the time. That’s the point of live performance. It ebbs and flows."
Van Halen recruited guitarists Jon Jourdan and Frank Sidoris — who plays for Slash's band with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators — former Falling in Reverse bassist Ronnie Ficarro and Tremonti drummer Garrett Whitlock to perform live with him as Mammoth WVH.
The group are currently on tour opening for Guns N' Roses, and frontman Axl Rose has offered them praise, calling "Don't Back Down" a "straight fuckin' rock and roll" song, according to Duff McKagan.
"I thought that was the biggest compliment I could have heard. It still feels like a dream," Van Halen admitted.
Aside from their trek with GN'R, they have several headlining concerts and festival performances booked for 2021 as well. Check out the full list of dates on the Mammoth WVH website.