Wolfgang Van Halen sits for first interview since dad Eddie’s death

Wolfgang Van Halen joined Howard Stern Monday for a conversation about his father Eddie, Wolfgang’s first since Van Halen’s death in October.

“I’m awful,” Wolfgang, 29, told Stern of coping with the loss of his father, who lost his battle with throat cancer at the age of 65. “It’s terrible. Every day, man. Some days are better than others. The pain is still there always, but you just kind of figure out how to carry it a little better as time goes on. But it’s always gonna hurt.”

Wolfgang — who famously replaced original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony in 2006 at his dad’s behest — had an extra degree of closeness to his father after they started making music together. “That’s the gift and the curse of it,” Wolfgang said. “We had such a close connection and now, for the rest of my life, there’s no way I’ll never be able to think about him no matter what I do — which is good but also hurts a lot.”

That said, he has no interest in taking his father’s place in either the band that bears the family name or the pantheon of fleet-fingered guitar heroes.

“That’s f–king stupid,” Wolfgang said of rumors he would step into his father’s role in the band. “You can’t have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen. I’m not my dad. I’m not going to replace him,” he said.

“I’ve spent my life making sure I’m not like him and I’m my own person,” he added. “He’d be like, ‘What the f–k are you doing? Go do your own s–t!’”

“In my opinion, outside of maybe a tribute show at some point down the line and archival releases further down the line, [Van Halen]’s done,” Wolfgang, who premiered a song of his own, “Distance,” on the show, said. “I don’t have a dad anymore and I’m coming to terms with that,” he continued. “So, I think fans can come to the terms with the fact that we’re not going to have Van Halen anymore.

“The music is going to live on forever but you can’t continue without Eddie Van Halen.”

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