The power trio of guitarist Seiji, bassist Billy, and drummer Toru formed about fifteen years ago. They have since played all over the world. Guitar Wolf's first album "Wolf Rock" was released in 1993 from an indie label, Goner Records, in the U.S. We soon bought imports of more records. Some of their best records were released soon after, Wolf Rock and Kung Fu Ramone. They were garage rock before it began a trend. They went on to inspire American bands like The Von Bondies and The D4.
At an in-store performance at a New York record store, the group started a fire, and impressed Matador Records. They were signed and tour America often. Their first Matador record in 1996 was Missile Me! Jet Generation in 1999 was another collection of high-octane punk-a-billy. They were featured in a few films included The Sore Losers (1996) and Wild Zero (2002). Much of their videos and history are included on the RED IDOL DVD. We got to talk to Guitar Wolf on their recent tour at the end of 2003. Their latest CD is called UFO Romantics. They are working on a new CD. ******
The Band:Guitar: Guitar Wolf (Seiji) Bass: Bass Wolf (Billy) Drums: Drum Wolf (Toru) SFB: You guys seem to have been around for fifteen years. When and where did you all meet? Seiji: Planet of the wolves
SFB: What made you decide to become musicians?
Seiji: We are destined to create busting sounds on the earth.
SFB: Have any of you had any musical training?
Seiji: The howling of wolves is our teacher.
SFB: What made you come up with the concept of being raised by wolves or were you in fact raised by wolves?
Seiji: Yes, of course. My grandmother was wolf. So I'm a quarter wolf.
SFB: I hear that you are in love with Joan Jett. Is that true? If so, have you ever met her?
Seiji: We met her in Tokyo this year (2003). We played with her as the support act.
SFB: Wild Zero is a great movie and one of our favorites now. Did you have any acting training or couching in preparation for your roles or did you just behave like you normally would in front of the camera?
Seiji: That was a documentary film. We are very happy that now everyone knows we are protecting the earth.
SFB: What are some of your musical interests and influences?
Seiji: Bruce Lee
SFB: Is it true that you prefer to play small venues instead of larger venues? If so, Why?
Seiji: We like both.
SFB: Have any of you ever eaten basashi (raw horse sushi)? We are all dying to try it but for some dumb reason its illegal here.
Seiji: Of course. I'm wolf.
SFB: The band broke up a while ago. What happened and what made you decide to give it a second try?
Seiji: NO. We didn't break up.
SFB: Do all of you have motorcycles? If so, what kind are they? Seiji:
I love motorcycles.
SFB: What is the ultimate motorcycle in your opinion?
Seiji: KAWASAKI 750RS a.k.a. ZII
SFB: How often do you tour and how many shows do you play on a typical tour?
Seiji: We spend 1/3 of a year for touring.
SFB: After your shows you seemed to be completely drained. What is going on in your head after a show?
Seiji: Give me beer.
SFB: Billy (Bass Wolf), you have a hell of a lot of tattoos. You're not Yakuza are you?
Seiji: No. No Yakuza.
SFB: At your shows you always wear leather. It seems like you all get pretty hot. I have a photo of you with a giant globs of sweat dropping from your in mid air. Has anyone of you collapsed from heat exhaustion at a show?
Seiji: No. We've never collapsed but it's quite hard to stay conscious.
SFB: When did you record UFO Romantics?
Seiji: 2 years ago.
SFB: Are you doing a new record?
SFB: Are all you songs recorded as live takes?
SFB: Is the new DVD Red Idol a good retrospective of your career so far?
Seiji: Our beloved friend-wolves helped us to make this DVD. I'm very pleased to have them in this DVD. Plenty of the live scenes. Great.
SFB: Who put together the new DVD?
Seiji: This is the best DVD. It has everything of us, scenes from our live shows, music videos and the footage from Wild Zero.
SFB: Do you guys get a lot of groupie action?
Seiji: The wolves are never short of foods.
SFB: In Japan, you play many big festivals like Fuji Rock Festival. Do you find it weird to play the USA where you play smaller clubs?
Seiji: No, but we like big festivals.
SFB: As Americans we can only understand what we glean from your actions and attitude that you project in your music and shows. Is it all about Rock 'n' Roll, sex, motorcycles and beer? Or are there other messages in your music that we are missing because of the language?
Seiji: Another message in our music is that you are missing UFO, Universe. Don't forget the days of Adolescence.
SFB: How did you get involved with the film The Sore Losers by John Michael McCarty?
Seiji: Memphis is our home in the US. A friend asked us to be a part of the film.
SFB: Are there any other Japanese bands that you would suggest that your fans listen to in America?
Seiji: Gasolin, Jet Boys, The 5,6,7,8's, Fire Starters, Gimmies