For bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, who started his music career playing in sold-out arenas with his father’s band, joining Tremonti was a learning experience. He went back to smaller venues, reversing the trajectory of most rock stars.
“I think it’s great for him,” Mark Tremonti tells Loud Guitars in the video below. “You learn a lot, playing in these venues. It’s very different, though it’s just as fun and fulfilling as doing the arena shows.”
Wolfgang took over for Michael Anthony when the founding bassist split with Van Halen before the first reunion tour with David Lee Roth in 2006. He then played a major role in developing Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth, the group’s first full-length studio effort with Roth since 1984.
Tremonti, as a member of Creed, had toured with Van Halen before, as an opening act. When putting together his own solo band, he actually had hoped to bring Wolfgang on board — but the younger Van Halen was busy with dear old dad. Fate intervened when his original bassist left for personal reasons, even as Van Halen’s tour came to a sudden halt after Eddie Van Halen was stricken with diverticulitis.
With Wolfgang on board, Tremonti says his relationship with Eddie Van Halen has grown, as well.
“It’s only recently that we’ve really gotten to know him,” Tremonti adds. “Now that his son is in the band, he’s come out to see us play. We did a show in Kansas City where he came out, and we were sound-checking and there we about 40 people there, with Eddie standing behind them. If they only knew!”
Wolfgang and the rest of Van Halen recently returned to the road with a date in Australia. They’ll play a string of dates in Japan this June.