Wolfgang Names Three Huge Guitar Influences (Other Than Eddie Van Halen)
Wolfgang Van Halen's biggest guitar influence (his dad, Eddie Van Halen) is rather obvious. But what other guitarists, both while he was growing up and in the modern day, have left a measurable influence on the multi-instrumentalist and singer?
"Being around my father my whole life, obviously, I think just through osmosis and being near it, that will always be my true No. 1," Wolfgang prefaces, acknowledging how Eddie's influence is simply an inseparable part of who he is as a musician and for obvious reason.
Even as dad was fiddling about at home, Wolfgang was filling his ears with quite a lot of other musicians who caught his attention.
"As I grew up, I've been a fan of so many [guitarists]," he acknowledges, first singling out Paul Gilbert as "a big guitar player for me growing up."
Gilbert is a versatile guitarist who began his career as a noteworthy shredder in Racer X, later joining Mr. Big who, for right or wrong, were lumped into the hair metal/glam rock scene of the late '80s and also featured the supremely talented Billy Sheehan on bass. He's also enjoyed a prolific solo career.
Paul Gilbert, Guitar Solo (Live in 1991)
"I had a really, really strong Dream Theater phase growing up," Wolfgang continues, shouting out the New York progressive metal legends. "Mike Portnoy as a drummer and [John] Petrucci as a guitar player, I was really into," he says, also recognizing how the band's music shaped him as a drummer too.
In late October, Dream Theater announced they had reunited with the legendary Portnoy, so Wolfie must be pumped! The group is currently working on their 16th studio album, which will be their first with Portnoy since 2009's Black Clouds & Silver Linings.
Dream Theater, "The Dance of Eternity" (Live in 2000)
"But, for more modern guitar players, Aaron Marshall from Intervals. He is my No. 1 guy right now and he is very, very inspiring," Wolfgang asserts, reasoning, "I love his melodic sensibility and what he's able to accomplish in his melodic instrumental music. It's badass."
Formed in 2011, Intervals are one of today's leading instrumental prog metal bands. Their most recent album, Circadian, was released in 2020.
Intervals, "Vantablack" Guitar Playthrough
Listen to the full interview with Eddie Trunk below.
Wolfgang Van Halen Talks With Eddie Trunk
Wolfgang Van Halen Creates His Perfect Supergroup (No Van Halen Members Allowed!)
Last week, Loudwire spoke with Wolfgang Van Halen and asked him to pick musicians to form the perfect supergroup.
To make it interesting, we made a rule — no Van Halen members allowed!
Among those selected, Wolfgang hyped up the aforementioned Aaron Marshall of Intervals, proving just how much he really does love Marshall's guitar work.
He almost picked two members of Tool, but decided to keep it to just one and name another drummer (Porcupine Tree's Gavin Harrison) instead of Danny Carey. On bass, he opted for Tool's Justin Chancellor and, behind the mic, Wolf chose Karnivool's Ian Kenny.
That supergroup does seem like it would have a lot of creative chemistry and you can see what Wolfgang had to say about each of them in the video below.
15 Rock + Metal Bands Whose Guitarist Is the Only Original Member Left
Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp