WOLFGANG VAN HALEN says he could “fall asleep listening to MESHUGGAH” as it “relaxes” him so much
Speaking with Primordial Radio, MAMMOTH WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen discussed his absolute love for a certain Swedish extreme metal band. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I could fall asleep listening to MESHUGGAH; it relaxes me so much.
“If you’re familiar with MESHUGGAH, you probably know the song ‘Bleed’.
“MESHUGGAH is just one of my favorite bands,” he continued. “They are unbelievably heavy — there’s nothing heavier than them — but you get lulled into their rhythm. As a drummer first, I just am in love with rhythmic music, and there’s nothing more rhythmic than MESHUGGAH.
“After hearing [‘Bleed’], you probably couldn’t fall asleep to that, but, man, I could, ’cause I love it,” he added.
Last Fall, Wolfgang expressed his love for the band to TellUs Rock, saying that he listens to the group’s music when he’s not writing, recording and performing. “I love MESHUGGAH,” he said. “I tend to listen to, at least recently, more heavier music. Like all the new stuff that’s come out. ANIMALS AS LEADERS had a new album come out this year, and so did MESHUGGAH. But MESHUGGAH is one of my favorite bands. [They’re] nothing like MAMMOTH.”
When asked what kind of material he draws musical inspiration from for MAMMOTH WVH, Wolfgang said: “On the next album, there actually is some MESHUGGAH-inspired songs — just through the lens of MAMMOTH, though. So it’s not as super heavy.”
MWVH will release its sophomore album, “Mammoth II”, on August 4 via BMG. The 10-track record was recorded at the legendary 5150 studio and was produced by Wolfgang‘s friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette.
For those who don’t know, MESHUGGAH emerged in the late 1980s. Formed in Umeå in 1987, the band initially consisted of Jens Kidman on vocals, Fredrik Thordendal and Marten Hagstrom on guitars, Peter Nordin on bass, and Tomas Haake on drums. They quickly gained attention for their unique and complex musical style, which would go on to influence countless bands in the metal genre.
In the early years, the band released a series of demos, showcasing their intricate and technical sound. It wasn’t until 1991 that they released their debut album, “Contradictions Collapse,” which introduced their distinctive mix of thrash metal and progressive elements. However, it was their second album, “Destroy Erase Improve” (1995), that truly solidified their reputation as pioneers of extreme metal.
Their music is characterized by intricate polyrhythms, dissonant guitar riffs, and unconventional time signatures. Their innovative approach to songwriting, often incorporating complex mathematical patterns, pushed the boundaries of metal and challenged traditional musical conventions.
With albums like “Chaosphere” (1998) and “Nothing” (2002), the band continued to refine their unique sound, captivating fans and critics alike. The release of “Catch Thirtythree” (2005), a single continuous track divided into parts, further demonstrated their ambition and willingness to experiment.
One of their most significant achievements came with the release of their album “obZen” in 2008. It received widespread acclaim for its technical prowess and progressive song structures, earning the band a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance.
MESHUGGAH‘s influence on the metal scene cannot be overstated. Their complex rhythms and precise musicianship have inspired countless musicians and bands, establishing them as a pillar of the progressive metal genre. Their impact can be heard in various subgenres, including djent, math metal, and technical metal.
Over the years, the group has continued to release critically acclaimed albums, such as “Koloss” (2012) and “The Violent Sleep of Reason” (2016), solidifying their status as one of the most influential and respected metal bands of their generation.
With their technical prowess, boundary-pushing compositions, and relentless dedication to their craft, MESHUGGAH has left an indelible mark on the metal world. They have consistently challenged the status quo and pushed the limits of what is possible within the genre, earning them a devoted and passionate fanbase worldwide.