“We were all just kind of shocked during even soundcheck”: Wolfgang Van Halen on opening for Metallica on M72 tour

“We were just, like, ‘This is really what we’re doing here?’”

Metallica and Wolfgang Van Halen

Image: Jeff Kravitz / Roberto Ricciuti / Getty Images

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Mammoth WVH mastermind Wolfgang Van Halen has spoken about the “crazy” experience of opening for Metallica on their M72 world tour.

Speaking in a new interview with Matt Pinfield, Wolfgang recalls his initial meeting with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich and the way the man was “super kind, super nice”.

“We shook hands and talked for a little bit,” the rocker says. “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 honoured to be a part of it,” he adds. “We already just did Amsterdam, which was crazy. They have a really crazy stage, so it’s definitely a first. But, yeah, very excited and honoured to be a part of it.”

Reflecting on the first show he did with Metallica earlier this year, Wolfgang says, “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.”

In other news, Wolfgang has opened up about the “pressure” of joining Van Halen to support his father when he was just 16, as the band reunited in 2007.

“I was there to support my dad, but I was aware that I’d become the biggest enemy of every 40- to 50-year-old man out there in the world,” says Wolfie, who filled in for former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony at the time.

“It was something I didn’t know how to handle. That did a lot of damage to me.”

The guitarist also recently featured on the soundtrack for the new Barbie movie, along with Slash.

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