The former Van Halen singer also hailed Wolfgang for making music that didn’t sound like his dad’s and looked forward to the possibility of inviting the 29-year-old to guest with his band the Circle.
In the weeks following Eddie’s death, Wolfgang went public in defending the band and his family from speculation and rumors. He also released the first material from his upcoming solo debut, including the song “Distance,” a touching tribute to his relationship with his dad.
“I’ve been thinking about this a lot,” Hagar told Eddie Trunk on SiriusXM. “When he was first putting little snippets on his Instagram and stuff I was following him. And there were people getting in his shit about not sounding like Van Halen. And it kills me – I think he’s handling it so well. I can’t believe how grown up this kid is for his first time out there, to be on view and to be on [Howard] Stern[‘s show]. … I mean, he’s jumped right into the big time.”
He argued that Wolfgang’s recent activities were on a different level from stepping up to tour with Van Halen in 2007. “That ain’t jumping into the big time like being you … being Wolfie Van Halen now,” he said. “And I think he’s handling it really well. And for those people out there that want him to sound like his dad and follow his dad’s footsteps … What if Eddie would have followed his dad’s footsteps? He would have been a jazz player with a clarinet. So you don’t follow your father’s footsteps. I’m a firm believer in you don’t do that. And Wolfie shouldn’t do that.”
Hagar went on to describe Van Halen as “a talented little guy” who “plays every instrument great,” and who’s made the most of being in the company of Eddie and Alex Van Halen, Steve Lukather and other greats who hung out in Eddie’s 5150 Studios. ”I love him for it,” he explained. “I wish him the best. … I can’t wait till this COVID crap is over. I’d like Wolfie to do some shows with the Circle, or I’ll go see him anytime. I’m in full support, full support of Wolfie, man.”
Meanwhile, Wolfgang confirmed his solo band Mammoth WVH’s first live booking. They’re set to take the stage at the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento on Oct. 10 next year. Guitarist Frank Sidoris, bassist Ronnie Ficarro and drummer Garrett Whitlock will help the singer and guitarist recreate the material he recorded entirely by himself on his debut album, which is expected to arrive in early 2021.