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Wolfgang Van Halen Talks About Carrying On With Band After Eddie Retires

Wolfgang Van Halen
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

While Eddie and Alex Van Halen may be pushing 60 (currently 57 and 58-years-old respectively), it seems like the band’s legacy will carry on long after the brothers are finished. Eddie’s song, Wolfgang Van Halen, who’s been the band’s bass player since 2007, says he’ll keep playing the new and old songs the legendary rock band is famous for.

“It kind of falls on my shoulders,” the Van Halen bassist tells Esquire. He adds that the band has demos of material cut over the last three years, plenty to fill future albums. “I thought it would be really fun if dad and I just sat down and started jamming and see if we came up with something together, instead of him writing something and me putting my spin on it.”

Eddie Van Halen also partook in the interview with his 21-year-old son, who’s been the band’s bassist since he was 15-years-old. Wolfie says they’ve rehearsed almost daily since then, aside from the two long tour stretches. So far he’s only added bits and pieces to the new music, which he categorizes as a total collaboration.

On the road Wolfgang has plenty of responsibilities to attend to. “I kind of come up with the set lists. When we’ve got a song that we haven’t done, it’s like, we should probably run through this before the show and figure out like the count of it. Because dad, for some reason, counts in odds. He’ll land on three instead of four.”

“He still, to this day, does not know the lyrics to ‘Beautiful Girls.’ You know how we go, ‘Top of the world, beautiful girls’? He has it written down on his pedal board. On the last tour I used to have to go [mouths lyrics]. You were at sound check yesterday when we were practicing ‘Full Bug’ and he was like, ‘I don’t know when to stop!’ So I had to go over there and was just like, ‘Now!’

According to their website, Van Halen is currently on the road in Canada. The tour will last through Sept. 17 in Wichita, Kan.

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