WOLFGANG VAN HALEN On Managing His Mental Health: 'I Get Nervous All The Time'

September 18, 2023

This Wednesday, September 20, Audacy is airing its annual "I'm Listening" mental health broadcast. The special show is hosted by Carson Daly, who is joined by Audacy's nationally syndicated country host Katie Neal and Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, psychologist, author, and scientist who founded the mental health nonprofit The AAKOMA Project. The program consists of celebrities, musicians and athletes talking about how they manage their mental health, alongside medical experts and representatives from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP),and live call-ins from listeners.

Among the musicians discussing his own mental health is former VAN HALEN bassist and current MAMMOTH WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen. In comments which were recorded earlier this year before MAMMOTH WVH embarked on a tour of Europe and North America as the support act for METALLICA, Wolfgang said in part: "I get nervous all the time. I'm nervous when I have no reason to be nervous. I have really bad anxiety. When it comes to playing shows, I've found that now that I've been doing it so much, it starts to ease up. But usually, the first few shows of a tour is when it's the worst, and then you sort of get into a groove. But yeah, when we open for METALLICA, I'm gonna be freaking out. That's a problem for a future Wolfie; this one has to worry about the stuff going on right now. Really, I just don't wanna mess up. I wanna be proud of what I'm doing, and if I mess up, I wouldn't be proud of it... I don't know if I'll ever be a hundred percent confident in anything, but I think the best thing to do is just to do your best and hold on to that feeling when you have it."

Tune in to Audacy's "I'm Listening" mental health broadcast on Wednesday, September 20 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time across more than 220 Audacy stations, on Audacy.com, and on the free Audacy app.

For more information about the initiative, please visit www.ImListening.org.

Last fall, Wolfgang opened up about his mental health struggles in an interview with Guitar World, saying: "I don't think my emotional and mental well-being have been any lower. It's a thing that is incredibly tough to fight… There's many times when I don't have the strength to do anything, and more than not, that seems to be the case. But you've got to find the things that give you life."

Wolfgang also offered his advice to those struggling with similar issues, saying: "When it comes to people who feel the same way I do, dealing with depression and anxiety, you never really are alone. Unfortunately, it's like we're all alone together, because so many of us feel this way."

He continued: "When it comes to dickheads on the Internet, that's always there. Everyone deals with it. Sure, it hurts a lot when it's directed toward you, but you've got to realize the place it's coming from. I like to pick my battles."

MAMMOTH WVH's sophomore album, "Mammoth II", was released in August 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.

MAMMOTH WVH recently announced a headline tour this fall in support of "Mammoth II". These dates come on the heels of the band's successful European tour that saw them opening for METALLICA, ALTER BRIDGE and DEF LEPPARD/MÖTLEY CRÜE. The headline tour will kick off November 4 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and run through December 9 when MAMMOTH WVH returns home to Los Angeles. The headline run will make stops in Chicago, Illinois (November 9); Sayreville, New Jersey (November 17); Dallas Texas (November 25); and Seattle, Washington (December 3),to name a few. The headline dates will feature Nita Strauss as direct support. These dates also come as MAMMOTH picks up their spot opening for METALLICA in the U.S. for their previously announced dates on November 3 in St. Louis and November 10 in Detroit.

Photo credit: Travis Shinn

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