Steven Wilson has said that he was “unaffected” by the death of Eddie Van Halen, and hit out at the late star’s “vile” guitar playing style.
“Honestly, it didn’t [affect me], because I was never a fan,” Wilson told FaceCulture of Van Halen’s death in a new interview.
“I know he’s an extraordinary musician, and it’s always sad when an extraordinary artist dies, [but] I was never a fan of the so-called shredder mentality. And I think in many ways, he was the father of that whole kind of movement.”
He added: “I never understood that ‘playing as fast as you can’ thing. And I know that wasn’t all he did — I know he was a more flexible musician than that — but I think that the legacy that he has, Eddie Van Halen, is in creating the shredder phenomenon, which is something so vile to me.
“That kind of idea that you play music almost like you’re playing an Olympic sport is kind of anathema to my kind of ideas on creativity and music.”
Van Halen’s son Wolfgang then responded to the comments in a tweet, revealing that he is a fan of Wilson’s music.
“Damn this bums me out hard,” he wrote. “Been a huge fan of his for years. ‘Deadwing’ is one of my favourite albums of all time.”
Van Halen went on to admit that the title of the piece about Wilson’s comments “is a little too clickbait-y, because what he said really wasn’t that rude”.
Damn this bums me out hard 😞 Been a huge fan of his for years. Deadwing is one of my favorite albums of all time.
Although… the title is a little too clickbait-y, because what he said really wasn’t that rude.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) February 1, 2021
Elsewhere, Wilson made use of deepfake technology in the disturbing new video for his latest single ‘Self’, which sees Wilson transform into various celebrities including Donald Trump, President Joe Biden, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Mark Zuckerberg.
“‘Self’ is about our new age of narcissism and self-obsession, one in which a human race that used to look out with curiosity at the world and the stars now spends much of its time gazing at a little screen to see themselves reflected back in the mirror of social media,” explained Wilson.
“In that sense, everyone now can take part in the notion of celebrity, and has the potential to share their life with an invisible mass of people they will never meet.”
Last week, a new mural of Eddie Van Halen was unveiled in Los Angeles to mark what would’ve been the late guitarist’s 66th birthday.