First appears in 1971 in Enkhuizen, West Friesland. Wolfling's Mum is quick to state: "That's no son of mine. That one just walked in with the music".
Brass band street parades and street organs followed by hordes of excited children were a common sight in those days.
Wolfling as a singer/mandoloncellist is best known for his loud and outrageous streetperformance. He flashes a big ugly grin when I tell him people call him “that Mad Irish Psychobilly-no make that Psycho”, and “The Alexei Sayle of Irish Music” - “I think you are a hobbit!”
But if you can catch him playing his original songs, you will see a different side of him altogether: somewhat shy and boyish, and playing very quiet, rather melancholic tunes.
Besides his voice and his mad grin, of course, his first instrument is the Mandoloncello/Liuto Cantabile, a 10 string giant mandolin/lute.
“In 1988, when I was 17, I simply ran away from home, ended up on the streets of Amsterdam, and started belting out some sort of crazy punkcrap on a cheap spanish guitar. It made me lots of money!"
He has been playing on the street ever since, although he no longer plays the guitar, because "one day I fell in love with a very old 10-string mandoloncello and taught myself to play music.”
Wolfling’s main claim to fame, however, came when he became the original lead singer for infamous Amsterdam punkrockers BREZHNEV, with whom he toured extensively and made several records from 1988 until 1996.
During his BREZHNEV period, he also started gleeful noise trio “DIE WOLFSKINDER” in which he played bassguitar, and did much of the singing. The style of Die Wolfskinder ranged from Sonic Youth-like trashy pop, laced with a touch of british folk, to heavy riff-laden rock a la Helmet.
Together with BREZHNEV’s bassplayer Motör(acoustic guitar), Wolfling (now on mandoloncello) coined the phrase “gangsta-folk duo” when forming the notorious Poncke Princen Kommando, named after a soldier in the Dutch East Indies who deserted during the “Policing Actions”, and joined a group of indonesian rebels. “Many dutch people viewed Poncke as a ‘murderous bastard and traitor to the dutch cause’, and we figured the name sounded cool,” says Wolfling, "One day, Poncke’s brother showed up at one of our concerts, and we had a few beers with him."
After Die Wolfskinder and PPK disbanded, and he left Brezhnev, Wolfling -once again on bass and vocals- went on to form DRöNE, a three piece rock/noise outfit that sounded somewhat like a grimier, noisier reincarnation of Die Wolfskinder. They made some name in the Amsterdam underground scene, but disappeared again in 2004.
Since then, the Wolfling has mainly been playing his mad irish folk/trash/punk on the streets and in bars, although sometimes he plays his original, quieter songs on bigger stages.
Also appeared in/as (list far from complete):
1988-1996: BREZHNEV (lead vocal)
1991-1991: Stepping Razor(bass guitar)
1994-1996: Die Wolfskinder (lead- and backing vocal, bass guitar)
1995-1996: Poncke Princen Kommando (mandoloncello, lead vocal)
1997-1998: Smart Bomb (rhythm guitar, backing vocal)
1999-2004: Dröne (bass guitar, lead vocal)
1986-present: as a solo artist under various names and on various instruments, most commonly known as Wolfling, sometimes as Heidi Ø, or Heidi Wolfling.