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Wolfgang

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There are two artists with this name: One is a hard rock/metal band from the Philippines; the other a “robot pop star” from Brooklyn. As the Philippine band came along first, this article begins with them.

WOLFGANG [1]

The Philippines music scene is not a very conducive environment for metal/hard rock music, dominated as it is by solo artists performing sugary love songs and easy listening tunes. Wolfgang, however, has defied the odds to become one of the country’s most popular and best-selling acts, its name synonymous with hard-driving riffs and precision group interplay.

Wolfgang formed around 1994. Vocalist Basti Artadi (born Sebastian), bassist Mon Legaspi (born Ramon), and drummer Wolf Gemora (born Leslie) started in other local bands and guitarist Manuel Legarda returned to the Philippines from living in Spain. As much music in the Philippines is greatly influenced by Western sources, Wolfgang took their cue from Metallica, Soundgarden, and Led Zeppelin, among others.

Wolfgang submitted demos of two original compositions, “Darkness Fell” and “Left Alone,” to local radio stations, which generated many listener requests. The band signed with Def Tone, a label of local independent Ivory Records. Wolfgang released its first album, Wolfgang, in 1995, at a time when a rock craze, which started the previous year, was underway in the country.

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.

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