WOLFGANG VAN HALEN: 'Social Media Is Just This Pile Of Negativity And Awful, Awful Things'
June 28, 2023
n a new interview with Baltimore's 98 Rock radio station, Wolfgang Van Halen, the ex-bassist of VAN HALEN and son of the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, once again spoke about the impact that online trolls have had on his mental health and his relationship with social media in general. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Social media is just this pile of negativity and just awful, awful things. But the thing that bothers me more than just people straight-up being mean — 'cause that's sort of the status quo; you kind of phase that out — is just people being dumb and getting things wrong that are worth correcting. And so if I have the opportunity to do that while also being funny, I go for it because it's fun.
"If you notice, when I'm not on tour, I'm not on social media as much," he noted. "I think it's a part of the job, unfortunately, in this day and age. It's something you do kind of need to at least be semi in. But I have gravitated further and further away from it over the years. You begin to realize how much of a little bubble it is and not how much of an overall example of everything in the world is. I think more and more, as time has gone on, more of the terminally online, so to speak, are kind of there while everybody else is kind of living their life."
Last year, Wolfgang told Guitar World magazine that he is "a very different person" now from what he was like when he first launched what became his MAMMOTH WVH project in 2015. Wolfgang revealed that these changes stemmed from his mental health struggles, including depression and anxiety, and are often heightened by the backlash he receives on social media.
"I don't think my emotional and mental well-being have been any lower," he confessed. "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, explaining that the feeling of loneliness is more widespread than some realize:
"When it comes to people who feel the same way I do, dealing with depression and anxiety, you never really are alone," he said. "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 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.
MAMMOTH WVH's debut album was released via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.
Featuring Wolfgang on vocals and all instruments, "Mammoth WVH" was met with positive reviews and topped Billboard's Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Rock Albums charts.
In November 2020, Wolfgang confirmed that he asked his father for permission to use the MAMMOTH WVH band name for his solo project. MAMMOTH WVH is a nod to family history — Eddie and Alex Van Halen's band was called MAMMOTH when singer David Lee Roth first joined it in 1974.
Last November, MAMMOTH WVH released a digital deluxe edition of the debut album via EX1 Records. The new digital deluxe features the bonus track from the Japanese version of the album, "Talk & Walk", as well as two previously unreleased tracks, "As Long As You're Not You" and "Goodbye".
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