Eddie Van Halen’s son continues to grapple with the loss of his father, who died last October from cancer at the age of 65.
"It's really tough," Wolfgang Van Halen told People magazine. "I guess I'm a good actor when it comes to pretending that everything is OK. But it's really not."
Van Halen, whose debut album with his solo project Mammoth WVH comes out Friday, says his late father provides him with the perseverance he needs.
"What really helps me keep going is my dad, because if I just gave up and stopped and crawled in a hole, which I feel like doing every day, I know he'd be really pissed off at me," he said. "He's the only thing that keeps me going."
The 30-year-old had to put his own musical ambitions aside while he took care of his ailing father. He says it was worth it.
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"Not a single regret," he said. "That stuff can wait. I put everything on hold with my album to spend every waking second with my dad."
Van Halen, whose mother is former "One Day at a Time" star Valerie Bertinelli, plans to continue the family tradition of making music, recording tracks at 5150 Studios, where his dad and his band Van Halen recorded some of their albums.
Wolfgang Van Halen talks about new music and his late father EddieFeb. 19, 202102:58
One of the songs on Mammoth WVH’s debut is “Distance,” which was made into a video with a sweet voicemail the elder Van Halen once left for his son. The track also features the line “No matter what the distance is, I will be with you.” He says that line is especially meaningful to him.
“It’s almost like a mantra for you when you lose someone that’s as important to you as a parent or really anyone that plays a large role in your life, and that’s kind of my mantra when I think about my dad,” he told TODAY in February.
Van Halen misses his father and knows he can carry on his legacy.
"I'm an extension of him and I'm just happy to be here to spread the good word of who he was and how he should be remembered," he told People. "I think he is like a Mozart of our generation. I think as far removed as we are from Mozart, and we still talk about him and know who he is, that's what he's going to be."