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Wolfgang Wolfgang is a Filipino heavy metal, hard rock and grunge band formed around 1992 in Manila, Philippines. Wolfgang is notable for being the only Filipino rock band to release albums in Japan and the United States and for breaking platinum record sales in the Philippines. [1] The quartet went on hiatus in 2002, but reunited in 2007.

The band is also known for dominating the NU107 Rock Awards from 1995 to 2001, where they almost won all categories & had the most number of categorial nomination.


Vocalist Basti Artadi (born Sebastian Artadi) and drummer Wolf Gemora (born Leslie Gemora) started in other local bands, while guitarist Manuel Legarda returned to the Philippines from living abroad in Spain. The three were inspired to form a band upon frequenting shows of another famous Filipino group, Razorback. They adopted the name for the band, "Wolfgang", upon the suggestion of David Aguirre, one of the guitarists of Razorback. [2]

As much as music in the Philippines was and is greatly influenced by western artists, Wolfgang took their cue from Metallica, Soundgarden, Carlos Santana, Pearl Jam, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Sepultura, and their heroes Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Aerosmith, among others. They began to play live gigs at the former Atrium and the defunct Kalye in Makati City. Bass players came and went until the arrival of Mon Legaspi (born Ramon Legaspi), which finally cemented the band's line-up. Their first big break came playing on Channel 29's RJ Junior Jam.

Debut album

Wolfgang submitted demos of two original compositions, "Darkness Fell" and "Left Alone", to local radio stations DWRT 99.5 and DWLA 105.9, which generated many listener requests. The band signed with Tone Def, the rock label of local independent Ivory Records. Wolfgang released its first album, the eponymous Wolfgang, in 1995. Basti Artadi was responsible for the cover art on the album, rendering caricatures of himself and the other band members amidst earthy symbols, beer bottles and cigarettes. Wolfgang went Platinum in less than a year.

At the 1995 NU107 Rock Awards, the country's premier rock awards show, Artadi was nominated for Vocalist of the Year, Gemora for Drummer of the Year, and Legarda for Guitarist of the Year. The band was nominated for Artist of the Year and Best Live Act. Legarda was named co-winner for Guitarist of the Year.


The band signed in 1996 with a major label, Epic of Sony Music Entertainment Philippines (SMEP). Wolfgang's first Epic release, Semenelin, reached at least double-platinum status (approximately 80,000 albums sold -- Wolfgang would not allow SMEP to release precise figures, but does allow it to state if the album reached gold or platinum status). Wolfgang had become one of the most popular bands in the Philippines.

Semenelin was named Album of the Year at the 1996 NU107 Rock Awards, where Artadi won Vocalist of the Year, Gemora took the Drummer of the Year award, and the band was named Artist of the Year and Best Live Performer.

Semenelin was released in the United States in an all-English version in March of 1997, with two songs originally performed in Filipino re-recorded in English. The other tracks on Semenelin were originally recorded in English.


Wurm was released in late 1997. It reached platinum status (40,000 albums sold). The lower sales figure achieved when compared to Semenelin can perhaps be attributed in part to the downswing of the rock movement, which had started several years earlier. This, however, did nothing to diminish the standard set by Wurm, which was nominated at the 1998 NU107 Rock Awards for Album of the Year, which also saw Artadi winning his second Vocalist of the Year award, and Gemora winning his second Drummer of the Year award. Wolfgang also took honors for Listener's Choice and Artist of the Year.

Wurm, which was recorded entirely in English, was released in early 1998 in Japan, the world's second-largest market for recorded music, and Wolfgang performed several shows in Japan to promote the album.

Serve in Silence

Wolfgang's fourth album, Serve in Silence, was released locally in March 1999, and saw a return to the style purveyed in 1996's Semenelin. Though another critical and commercial success, it did not, however, see international release.

Serve in Silence was nominated for Album of the Year at the 1999 NU107 Rock Awards, as well as for Best Album Packaging. Wolfgang was nominated for Artist/Band of the Year, and all four band members were nominated for individual awards: Basti Artadi for Vocalist of the Year, Manuel Legarda for Guitarist of the Year, Mon Legaspi for Bassist of the Year, and Wolf Gemora for Drummer of the Year. In addition, Wolfgang was nominated for Producer of the Year.

Serve in Silence tied for first place for Album of the Year, and Basti Artadi won again for Vocalist of the Year, his third overall win in this category. Wolfgang also won the Listener's Choice award.

Serve in Silence's carrier single "Atomica" had a music video which was hailed as one of the greatest Filipino rock music videos of all time.Template:Fact

Black Mantra

Wolfgang's fifth and final album, Black Mantra, a double-CD set, was released in August 2001 prior to their breakup in 2002. Its carrier single, "No Falter", was released earlier due to its inclusion in the Final Fantasy soundtrack.Template:Fact The album also contained singles that became certified hits; songs like "Bow Unto Thee", "Idlip" and "Meckam".

Later years

In February 2000, the live album Soundcheck: The Live Recordings, featuring Wolfgang and three other rock bands signed to Sony Music Entertainment Philippines, was released. For the 2000 NU107 Rock Awards, Basti Artadi was nominated once again for Vocalist of the Year, Wolf Gemora for Drummer of the Year, Mon Legaspi for Bassist of the Year, and Manuel Legarda for Guitarist of the Year. Basti Artadi won yet again for Vocalist of the Year, the fourth time he has received this honor.

In late 2000, Wolfgang released a live concert album, Acoustica, on which previously recorded songs were played in an acoustic manner. Several guest artists, including guitarist David Aguirre of Razorback, also participated. The album reached gold status.

In April 2001, in conjunction with U.S.-based music retailer Tower Records, Volume, a compilation of Wolfgang material culled from all four of its studio albums, including its first Ivory Records set, was released in Tower Records stores in the U.S. and Australia. Vocalist Basti Artadi's participation in a side project with members of labelmate Razorback culminated in a release in August 2001 of an acoustic rock album entitled, Brain Salad.


On January 6 and January 12, 2007, various members of Wolfgang and Razorback got together for a reunion concert at the Music Museum. On hand were Basti Artadi, Tirso Ripoll, Louie Talan, Kevin Roy, Mon Legaspi, Brian Velasco and Manuel Legarda. Wolf Gemora and David Aguirre, however, were unable to join this gig, as their commitments for the moment lie with Lokomotiv. [2] During the gig, the band played an all new song and Basti made a comment about recording a new album. Later, the new album was then promoted at Yahoo! Philipines music portal.Template:Fact The first single Deathsquad hit the airwaves via local rock radio station NU107 on April 16, 2007. The new album is unique that digital technology will be used for the band members to exchange recorded parts online since most of them are based overseas. In an interview with Basti released on Yahoo! Philippines music portal, Basti has been quoted saying that "Wolfgang never did break up," and circumstances simply led to the band members going in different paths. However, they "always left the door open that if ever the opportunity arose that we could get some work together, then sure why not?"Template:Fact

See also

External links


  1. ^ Cry Havoc... the Sons of Anarchy are Back. De Mesa, Karl R. Retrieved on 2009-3-18.
  2. a b c Wolfgang: Wolfgang, Liner notes, 2001
  3. ^ "THE WOLFGANG AND RAZORBACK REUNION CONCERT 2007", Pulse.ph, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
  4. ^ Joelle Jacinto. "WOLFGANG AND RAZORBACK ARE ALIVE: THE REUNION CONCERT 2007", Pulse.ph, January 11, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
  5. ^ "Rock N’ Roll Death Toll by Lokomotiv", FHM.com.ph, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-01-24.

Original Source

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