WOLFGANG VAN HALEN On Supporting METALLICA During ‘M72’ Tour: ‘They’re Very, Very Wonderful People’

MAMMOTH WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen spoke to Matt Pinfield of 95.5 KLOS‘s “New & Approved” show about what it has been like to open for METALLICA on the latter band’s “M72” world tour. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s been crazy. We still have two more shows with them this year. And then we have a whole another year next year with them.

“It’s been such a pleasure and honor to be a part of such an insane tour,” he continued. “The crew is so kind so wonderful and the band, especially, they’ve been so supportive and kind. They come by the dressing room all the time just to kind of see, ‘What’s up? How is everything going?’ They’re very, very wonderful people. And just to be a part of the most insane, extravagant, hilarious stage in the coolest way — it’s just very odd to be in the middle of a stadium in the round. It’s crazy. But I think after about nine or 10 shows, we’re used to it now.”

Wolfgang added: “They’ve been so wonderful. I can’t speak of them all highly enough. They’re wonderful.”

This past July, Wolfgang told Pinfield that MAMMOTH WVH landed the opening slot on the METALLICA tour after seeds were likely planted when he met METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in London in September 2022.

“[Lars] was super kind, super nice,” Van Halen said. “We shook hands and talked for a little bit. I had no idea that that would lead him asking us to take part in the tour. I kind of can’t believe that we’ll be opening for them for the whole tour. I think we’re the only opener to be playing every building with them, which is really crazy. [I’m] very excited, very honored to be a part of it. They have a really crazy stage, so it’s definitely a first. But, yeah, very excited and honored to be a part of it.”

Speaking specifically about the “M72” tour’s in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed METALLICA Snake Pit to center stage, Wolfgang said: “Walking into the stadium [to play the first show in Amsterdam], it was just, like, ‘We’ve never done anything like this before.’ We were all just kind of shocked during even soundcheck. We were just, like, ‘This is really what we’re doing here?’ [Laughs] And then you do the show with the actual people there, and that’s when it’s just, like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is unreal.’ It’s the most extravagant form of a concert, of a stage I think I’ve ever played on. Absolutely crazy.”

MAMMOTH WVH played its first concert as the opening act for METALLICA on April 27 at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Not long before the Amsterdam show, Wolfgang was asked by the Rock 100.5 The KATT radio station if he was looking forward to sharing the stage with METALLICA. He responded: “It’s pretty wild. I don’t know if it’s so much ‘looking forward to’ as it is having a meltdown in my head figuring out how we’re gonna play in the round. ‘Cause I’ve never done that in my life. So that’s gonna be definitely a trip to try and figure out… You can’t really rehearse that until you just do that.”

Asked if he had met the METALLICA guys before, Wolfgang said: “I’ve met Lars and I’ve met James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals], and they were both very wonderful dudes, so it’s an honor for them to have asked us to take part in such a crazy tour. I don’t think I’ve ever known what I was doing two summers from now, but I know that now I am opening for METALLICA next summer, which that’s just kind of a crazy thing [to think about].”

Regarding how MAMMOTH WVH got the gig as the opening act for METALLICA, Wolfgang said: “It could have been in London when I played the Taylor Hawkins tribute show. Lars was there too. And I shook his hand and he was super nice. I don’t know — maybe he was, like, ‘Oh, Wolf has a band. Let’s check them out.’ And then he just decided to ask us to be a part of it, which is crazy.”

Wolfgang Van Halen is the ex-bassist of VAN HALEN and son of the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

MAMMOTH WVH released its sophomore album, “Mammoth II”, in August via BMG. Wolfgang once again wrote all of the songs and performed all of the instrumentation and vocals himself on the 10-track LP, which was recorded at the legendary 5150 studio and was produced by Wolfgang‘s friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette.


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