In a new interview with Steve Baltin of Forbes, Wolfgang Van Halen was asked how he dealt with all the negativity he was subjected to online after it was announced he was stepping in for Michael Anthony on VAN HALEN's reunion tour with David Lee Roth. He responded: "I don't think it was a personal thing. I think it was their love for Michael Anthony, it had nothing to do with me as a person. It's just that they would have much rather seen him without realizing the back story of how [the reunion] probably wouldn't have happened without me because dad [VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen] felt incredibly uninspired and, especially when he was sober, he had a monumental anxiety issue and having me there made him more comfortable and creative. Now that people are starting to learn the truth behind everything so many people understand and actually apologized directly to me on Twitter, like, 'Hey, man, I hated you before, but I realize that I actually never really knew you. I just hated you for a reason outside of your control and I just wanted to apologize. I feel terrible.' That's a really big thing for people to do, especially on the Internet. So I've been really touched by how kind people have been that may have been rude to me in the past. It all rolled off my back anyways. But it takes a big person to admit when they're wrong. And these people are certainly doing that in droves and I can't believe it."
After Baltin pointed out that Eddie Van Halen made it clear in a 2009 interview that the only way that tour was happening was because he was so happy to tour with his son, Wolfgang said: "Yeah, it was incredibly important to him and I don't think people really took his words to heart, I don't think they really believed it. They wanted to look to the negative. In this day and age it's always about the cynical reaction and everything, so the true meaning behind what he was saying never really resonated."
Earlier this week, Wolfgang revealed that his father had contemplated a "kitchen-sink" VAN HALEN tour that would have included Anthony, as well as vocal turns from both Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. There was even talk about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with the band on one poorly received album, 1998's "Van Halen III".
In early 2019, a rumor surfaced that the classic VAN HALEN lineup would reunite that summer for a run of stadium shows. This would have been the first time that Michael, Eddie, David and Alex Van Halen performed together since 1984.
The rumors originally started with Roth, who hinted to Vulture that VAN HALEN would be playing stadiums with Anthony back in the lineup.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", featured Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in VAN HALEN's 2004 tour, which featured Hagar.
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
Wolfgang played every instrument and sang each and every note on the debut album from his solo band MAMMOTH WVH, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2021 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records. The disc's first single, "Distance", was released this past Monday (November 16). Wolfgang wrote the song while his late father battled cancer, "imagining what my life would be without him, and how terribly I'd miss him," as Wolfgang explained in a statement.