Wolfgang (band)

Wolfgang is a Filipino rock band formed in January 1992 in Manila, Philippines. Wolfgang is notable for being the only Filipino rock band to release albums in both Japan and the United States and for realizing Platinum record sales in their home country.[1] After ten years, the original line-up broke up in 2002. Wolfgang reformed in 2007 with a different roster.

From left to right, top to bottom, Mon Legaspi, Basti Artadi, Manuel Legarda and Francis Aquino
From left to right, top to bottom, Mon Legaspi, Basti Artadi, Manuel Legarda and Francis Aquino
Background information
OriginManila, Philippines
Years active1992–2002, 2007–present
Associated acts
MembersBasti Artadi
Manuel Legarda
Francis Aquino
Mon Legaspi
Past membersLeslie "Wolf" Gemora


Vocalist Basti Artadi (born Sebastian Artadi) and drummer Wolf Gemora (born Leslie Gemora) began their musical careers with other local bands, while guitarist Manuel Legarda returned to the Philippines from living abroad in Spain. Gemora was inspired to form a band upon frequenting shows of another notable Filipino group, Razorback. He invited Legarda to join him and eventually the two found Basti Artadi singing with his former band, Sin City. Upon Legarda's invitation, Artadi joined the duo. In the first few months of inception, the group went through a number of bass players. They eventually met Mon Legaspi (who was recommended by Rizal Underground bassist, Angelo Villegas) who became their permanent bassist. They first dubbed themselves the "Wolfpack".[2] They later adopted the name for the band, "Wolfgang", upon the suggestion of David Aguirre, one of the guitarists of Razorback.[3]

As much as music in the Philippines was and is greatly influenced by western artists, Wolfgang took their cue from Alice in Chains, Metallica, Soundgarden, Santana, Pearl Jam, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Free, and their heroes Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd and Aerosmith, among others. They began to play live gigs at Weekends Live! at the Atrium and the now-defunct Kalye Bar in Makati City. Their first big break came playing on Channel 29's RJ Junior Jam.

Debut albumEdit

Wolfgang submitted demos of two original compositions, "Darkness Fell" and "Left Alone", to local radio stations DWRT 99.5 and DWLA 105.9 in 1994, 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. The band flexed their artistic skills recording the album, with Basti Artadi responsible for the cover art, rendering caricatures of himself and the other band members amidst earthy symbols, beer bottles and cigarettes, and Manuel Legarda using an electric fan to simulate an effect he had in mind for the song Cast of Clowns.[3] Wolfgang went Platinum in less than a year. Their songs experienced regular airplay in both DWLA 105.9 and DWNU 107.5.

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.


In 1996, Wolfgang left Tone Def and signed with a major label, Epic Records under 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 Basti Artadi won Vocalist of the Year, Wolf Gemora took the Drummer of the Year award, Mon Legaspi took the Bassist 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 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, Gemora winning his second Drummer of the Year award, and Mon Legaspi also winning his second Bassist 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 Osaka and Tokyo to promote the album.

Serve in SilenceEdit

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.

Black MantraEdit

Wolfgang's fifth album, Black Mantra, a double-CD set, was released in August 2001 prior to their breakup in 2002. The album also contained singles that became certified hits; songs like "Bow Unto Thee", "Idlip" and "Meckam".

Years prior to hiatusEdit

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 and the University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors or the UPSA, 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 Australia and Tower Records stores in the U.S. 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.

Post-hiatus activitiesEdit

After the band broke up in 2002, bassist Mon Legaspi took over bass guitar duties from Carlos Balcells of The Dawn. Legaspi stayed with The Dawn from 2003 until 2005. Wolf Gemora, for his part, was part of the southern California-based rock quartet, called Lokomotiv, while Basti Artadi became the vocalist for a San Francisco-based group called Kitaan; he later sang for Lokomotiv, actually cutting the band's debut album, Rock N' Roll Death Toll. He left Lokomotiv shortly thereafter, and was replaced by Ryan Hudson. Artadi later worked as a coordinator for the corporate operations department of Gap in San Francisco.[4] Manuel Legarda formed the band DRT with former Gnash vocalist Jay Ortega, Blue Rats' drummer Miguel Ortigas and bassist Paolo Pacia. Manuel Legarda has since left DRT, and has been replaced by Daniel Crilosogo of the band DC Aftershock. Manuel is now in the process of mixing the next Wolfgang album. Lokomotiv eventually dissolved in 2007. Wolf Gemora is presently in the band, 3 Headed Dog with ex-Razorback guitarist David Aguirre and Lokomotiv bassist Danny Gonzalez. They are based in southern California and they toured the Philippines in January 2011. Wolf Gemora has also started an independent record label called Coda Entertainment in 2012. 3 Headed Dog embarked on another tour of the Philippines in January 2014 promoting their debut album, "Maynilad".

Reunion and new albumEdit

With members of Razorback and Wolfgang used to jamming onstage as the Flaming Hemorrhoids,[5] it was not a surprise when on January 6 and January 12, 2007, various members of both groups 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, Miguel Ortigas and Manuel Legarda. Wolf Gemora and David Aguirre, however, were unable to join, as their commitments at the time were with Lokomotiv.[6]

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! Philippines music portal.[citation needed] The first single Deathsquad hit the airwaves via local rock radio station NU 107 on April 16, 2007. The new album is unique in 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, he has been quoted saying that "Wolfgang never did break up," and circumstances simply led to the band members going along different paths. However, they "always left the door open so that if ever the opportunity arose and we could get some work together, then sure why not?"[7]


After a six-year hiatus, Wolfgang in December 2008 released their 7th studio album entitled Villains. They began working on the album in 2007, and most of the interaction between band members was done through e-mail.[8] Wolf Gemora had stated that he would not play the drums for the songs included in this album because he was busy with his band, Lokomotiv.[9]

On December 10, 2008, the band launched Villains at "The Black Christmas Project", a live performance at Eastwood City Central Plaza.[2] It is also featured their latest drummer Francis Aquino.

On March 19, 2009, they followed up with another live performance at the Music Museum entitled "Two Sides Live" along with Razorback. The band started off with an electric set then segued into an acoustic set midway with Tirso Ripoll on guitars and finished with yet another electric set. As a bonus to fans, the band also played seldom or never-before-heard-live songs like "I...," "A New Mother Nature" and "Cathedral Of Space."

Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang UgatEdit

On August 2012, the band released their new single and music video, "Sandata", via Myx and New Media Factory. It is part of their 7th album "Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang Ugat". The album is released in installments, while the first part is "Unang Kabanata" and first done entirely in Tagalog.[10]

2016 Band UpdatesEdit

Wolfgang vocalist Basti Artadi talks about his facial paralysis on Rappler news, he was quoted saying “ I didn’t want it to be a distraction from music while I was performing but as my condition gets worse it appears that it is becoming inevitable, and I guess it’s time to address it”. Artadi was diagnosed in 2009 with a tumor in his head; the tumor is located on the nerves that control the right side of his face, which is causing the paralysis. Doctors had told him that his condition could cause him to not be able to talk or sing, due to the facial muscles that are not working. This is the reason why he keeps on singing while he still can. He will undergo a procedure called “facial sling”, which is said to temporarily help the situation. He was quoted saying, “"I thank God every day because I'm lucky that this thing still left me with the ability to sing, what would have really sucked is if it took 100% of motion from the get go. So we move on and we do the best we can with what we have. Thanks and I'll see you around town!" [11]

Band membersEdit

Current members
  • Basti Artadi - vocals (1992–2002, 2007–present)
  • Manuel Legarda - guitars (1992–2002, 2007–present)
  • Mon Legaspi - bass (1992–2002, 2007–present)
  • Francis Aquino - drums (2007–present)
Former members
  • Wolf Gemora - drums (1992–2002)


Title Date of release (Philippines) Record label
Wolfgang 1995 Ivory Music (Formerly Ivory Records)
Semenelin 1996 Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Wurm 1997
Serve In Silence March 1999
Acoustica 2000
Black Mantra August 2001
Villains December 2008 Semenelin Music
Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang Ugat - Unang Kabanata August 2012 Semenelin Music

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Giving Body Category Nominated Work Results
1995 NU Rock Awards Guitarists of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Won
1996 NU Rock Awards Artist of the Year N/A Won
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
Bassist of the Year (for Mon Legaspi) Won
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Won
Listener's Choice N/A Won
1998 NU Rock Awards Artist of the Year N/A Won
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Won
Listener's Choice N/A Won
1999 NU Rock Awards Album of the Year (shared with Sandwich) "Serve in Silence" Won
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
Listener's Choice N/A Won
2000 Awit Awards Best Rock Recording "Atomica" Won[12]
NU Rock Awards Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
2001 NU Rock Awards Guitarist of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Won[13]
Artist of the Year N/A Nominated
Song Of the Year "No Falter" Nominated
Album of the Year Acoustica Nominated
Best Album Packaging Acoustica Nominated
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Nominated
Bassist of the Year (for Mon Legaspi) Nominated
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Nominated

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ De Mesa, Karl R. "Cry Havoc... The Sons of Anarchy are Back". Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  2. ^ a b Caruncho, Eric S. (2008-12-07). "Black with a Vengeance". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  3. ^ a b Wolfgang: Wolfgang, Liner notes, 2001
  4. ^ Joelle Jacinto (January 11, 2007). "WOLFGANG AND RAZORBACK ARE ALIVE: THE REUNION CONCERT 2007". Pulse.ph. Archived from the original on 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2007-01-24.
  5. ^ "Rock N' Roll Death Toll by Lokomotiv". FHM.com.ph. 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-24.
  6. ^ "THE WOLFGANG AND RAZORBACK REUNION CONCERT 2007". Pulse.ph. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-01-24.
  7. ^ Jim Ayson (August 9, 2008). "Wolfgang's Sixth: "Villains" due on December 2008". PhilMusic.com. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  8. ^ "Wolfgang's "Villain" Basti Artadi Interview". odysseylive.net. October 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
  9. ^ "Wolf Gemora: A couple of questions". odysseylive.net. November 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
  10. ^ http://www.radiorepublic.ph/news/wolfgang-unleashes-sandata
  11. ^ "Wolfgang vocalist Basti Artadi opens up about tumor, facial paralysis". Rappler. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "13th Awit Awards Results". Archived from the original on 2006-03-02. Retrieved 2006-05-08.
  13. ^ "RockAwards 2001: And the winners are..." Archived from the original on 2006-03-25. Retrieved 2006-05-08.
Preceded by
"The Jerks"
The Jerks
NU Rock Awards
Album of the Year
"Serve In Silence"
together with Grip Stand Throw

Succeeded by