Grammy Nomination Helped Wolfgang Van Halen Start Writing Again
Wolfgang Van Halen said his recent Grammy nomination helped him start writing new music after he’d lost motivation during 2020.
His debut Mammoth WVH single “Distance” – a tribute to late father Eddie Van Halen – is nominated in the Best Rock Song category for 2021, with the winner to be revealed next month.
In a recent interview with Spin, Van Halen said he hadn’t expected the honor of being shortlisted. “I certainly would never plan for a Grammy nomination,” he explained, “but we’re gonna figure it out because [my manager] said we’ve got to be there. You never know when it’s gonna come up again.”
Looking back on the first year of the COVID-19 alert, during which Eddie passed at the age of 65, Van Halen said: “I found myself in a creative rut ever since the pandemic and Pop. Like early on in the pandemic, like March, April, I was like, ‘Ooh, I’m gonna write so much.’ And I think I wrote about five ideas that I was happy with. And then just stopped. And then just depression took over, and then it became the worst year of my life.”
He continued: “Honestly, in a really funny way, [inspiration] sort of came back after the Grammy nomination. When I got nominated, I was just like, ‘That’s a huge thing of respect that it’s a rock song and it’s for my songwriting.’ So it gave me a little kick in my step. I’ve actually been writing a bit more and have come up with a couple of ideas. Elvis [Mike Baskette, producer] is coming up here this month so that hopefully next year, whenever we can carve out some time, we can get the train rolling on Mammoth Two.”
Van Halen noted that “Mammoth Two” was just a working title, adding that was “what I’ve been referring to it as, considering there’ll probably be some ideas… left over from the first album. So I think thematically it’ll be very similar in a way.”