‘I loved the vocal harmonies’: Wolfgang Van Halen’s childhood musical passion? You won’t believe it

You might have expected the youthful Wolfgang Van Halen, scion of the hard-rock guitar god Eddie Van Halen, to have been into some kind of horns-throwing metal group.

Instead, he says, he always loved the vocal harmonies of Blink-182.

Of course, studying those records came in handy, too, seeing as Wolfie would one day take over as bassist and background vocalist in his dad’s band, replacing long-time member Michael Anthony for last year’s reunion record with David Lee Roth.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: The insertion of Eddie Van Halen's son into the lineup of Van Halen didn't sit well with some fans, but the Wolfgang has learned to take that in stride.]

Wolfgang tells NoiseCreep that he was, in fact, part of an elementary school youth choir, but got kicked out in the fifth grade. He says he learned everything he knows about harmonies “from listening and picking apart” those Blink-182 albums.

The band saw its greatest successes between 1997-2001, beginning with the million-selling Dude Ranch. 1999′s Enema of the State, which included the hits “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again,” would go multi-platinum, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard album charts. 2001′s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket went to No. 1, as well.

Blind-182, which eventually sold some 35 million records, was founded by vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus and vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge. Early drummer Scott Raynor was eventually replaced by Travis Barker, and the group’s most popular lineup was set. When DeLonge split in 2005, the group went on hiatus until 2009. Their reunion disc Neighborhoods followed in 2011.

“I loved the idea that they had two lead singers, and the vocal harmonies they use,” Wolfgang Van Halen told NoiseCreep. “I also started playing drums first, and Travis Barker is amazing. I would play along to all of the Blink-182 records. The other thing I loved about the band was that it was a trio like Muse or The Police. Three people getting it done. I love it.”

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