Feel

Album: Mammoth WVH (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Mammoth WVH is Wolfgang Van Halen's solo project; this song is part of his debut album. When he spoke with Songfacts, he told the story of the song: "'Feel' is lyrically rooted in my anxiety, where I always feel like something's wrong, or that I'm doing something wrong and that everything is my fault. Just constant anxiety stuff.

    But the track itself was really fun, because the bridge was a really fun moment to record. There's this guitar solo thing while the bass is going nuts underneath into a drum solo. It was a really fun one to record."
  • Anxiety isn't a topic you would hear discussed in a serious way in a Van Halen song, but Wolfgang wasn't trying to emulate Van Halen, the group he was a part of from 2007 until the end, when his father, Eddie Van Halen, had to shelf it because of health problems (he died in 2020). It was important for Wolfgang that he carve out his own musical identity, which he did with full support an encouragement from his father; Eddie listened to all his demos for the album.

    Van Halen songs, at least the ones sung by David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, were often about some combination of girls and fun. Wolfgang, though, used his lyrics in this song and others to express his concerns about mental health. According to Wolfgang, his father had a great deal of anxiety that manifested in a drinking problem. Wolf, determined to find a better way to manage his, expresses his concerns in his music.

    "Back in the day, it was like, 'Why are you sad? Cheer up!' And it's more a chemical thing than a 'Why don't you smile more?' kind of thing," he told Songfacts. "I think it was looked on more as a joke back in the day, and now it's being taken more seriously, as it should."
  • That thundering drum section was played by Wolfgang Van Halen, as was the bass and guitars. In fact, he played every instrument and did every vocal on the entire album, emulating Dave Grohl on the first Foo Fighters album. He recorded it at 5150 Studios, which was set up by his dad and is where Van Halen worked.

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