‘Van Halen will always be his priority’: Tremonti says Wolfgang isn’t leaving his dad’s band

Fans shouldn’t worry that Wolfgang Van Halen’s new spot in Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti’s solo band means an end to Van Halen. Tremtoni says he’d like Wolfgang to stay, and they’ll work around any future commitments with his father’s group.

“We’re talking about doing this arrangement for good,” Tremonti tells Metal Express Radio correspondent Mick Burgess. “Van Halen will always be his priority, whenever they are touring. When he’s not touring, he’ll be with us. He will write and play on the records and, if he is on tour with Van Halen, we will find somebody that he is comfortable with filling in his shoes.”

Wolfgang has been credited by his mother Valerie Bertinelli as being the only reason that dad Eddie Van Halen started touring again last year. The younger Van Halen’s departure, then, could very well have halted the band.

Wolfgang was originally asked to join Tremonti on a temporary basis after his bassist Brian Marshall bowed out.

“At the last minute, he couldn’t do it,” Tremonti says. “He’s got lots of stuff going on, a baby on the way and a lot of other personal stuff. Wolfgang Van Halen just so happened to be in town when we were rehearsing. He’s a friend of ours. He knew the record already, and already knew how to play it. We’d actually sat on his bus when he was in town with Van Halen and played some of it acoustically. He was one of the original guys we wanted to have on bass, but Van Halen went on a nine-month tour, so we couldn’t use him. But it worked out perfect.”

Tremonti had actually toured with Van Halen years ago, as a member of Creed. Back then, Wolfgang was just a kid hanging around backstage.

“Just a wee lad,” Tremonti says, chuckling. “I remember seeing him when he was just a little older than Austin, my son. Eddie came out to our show in Kansas City, and it means the world that he would trust us as a group to have his son be a part of this. Van Halen is a very tight-knit group. It means a lot that he trusts his son with us.”

Wolfgang took over for Michael Anthony as Van Halen reunited with original lead singer David Lee Roth. He was available for the Tremonti tour because Van Halen, after releasing the well-received A Different Kind of Truth and beginning a sold-out tour, has taken a break. Eddie Van Halen had to undergo surgery after a serious bout of diverticulitis.

Van Halen eventually cancelled all of its remaining North American dates, and postponed a series of shows in Japan originally set for November.

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