Named in tribute to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wolfgang Van Halen is the only child of the late musician Eddie Van Halen. Wolfgang first joined his father's band Van Halen as their bassist in 2007, and started work on his debut solo album about a dozen years later. He released "Distance" on November 16, 2020 as his first single under his Mammoth WVH moniker after losing his dad to throat and lung cancer.
"Mammoth" has significance in Van Halen lore: That was the name of the band before David Lee Roth joined.
This song, which finds Wolfgang trying to imagine what life without his dad would be like, was one of Eddie Van Halen's favorites from his son's recording sessions. Wolfgang explained that "'Distance" was going to be held for a later time, but with the passing of his father it seemed appropriate to release it as his first single.
"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," he said. "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"
Wolfgang recorded the song with producer Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Slash, Alter Bridge) at Van Halen's 5150 Studios in California.
Wolfgang inherited many of his father's musical talents. He plays every instrument on the track, including a virtuoso guitar solo, and provides vocals.
All proceeds from the sale of the single are going to one of Eddie Van Halen's favorite charities, The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which donates musical instruments to schools.
The music video for "Distance" features a montage of clips of Eddie and Wolfgang throughout the years taken from old home movies featuring the Van Halen family.