Jump to content

Wolfgang (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wolfgang, L–R, T–B: Mon Legaspi, Basti Artadi, Manuel Legarda, Francis Aquino
Wolfgang, L–R, T–B: Mon Legaspi, Basti Artadi, Manuel Legarda, Francis Aquino
Background information
OriginManila, Philippines
Years active1992–2002, 2007–present
  • Basti Artadi
  • Manuel Legarda
  • Francis Aquino
Past members
  • Leslie Gemora
  • Mon Legaspi

Wolfgang is a Filipino rock band formed in January 1992 in Manila. The group 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 lineup split in 2002. Wolfgang reformed in 2007 with a new drummer.


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 in Spain.[2] Gemora was inspired to form a band upon frequenting shows by the rock group Razorback. He invited Legarda to join him and eventually, the two found Basti Artadi singing with his band, Sin City.[2] Upon Legarda's invitation, Artadi joined the duo. In their first few months, the group went through a number of bass players. They eventually met Mon Legaspi, who became their permanent bassist. They initially dubbed themselves the Wolfpack[3] and later adopted the name Wolfgang, upon the suggestion of David Aguirre, one of the guitarists of Razorback.[4] They began to play live gigs at Weekends Live! at the Atrium and the now-defunct Kalye Bar in Makati.[5] Their first big break came when they were invited to perform on Channel 29's RJ Junior Jam.[citation needed]

Debut album[edit]

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.[6] The band signed with Tone Def, the rock label of local independent Ivory Records. They released their first album, the eponymous Wolfgang, in 1995. The group flexed their artistic skills making the record, with Artadi responsible for the cover art, rendering caricatures of himself and the other band members amidst earthy symbols, beer bottles, and cigarettes, and Legarda using an electric fan to simulate an effect he had in mind for the song "Cast of Clowns".[4] Wolfgang went Platinum in less than a year and got regular airplay on DWLA 105.9 and DWNU 107.5.[citation needed]

At the 1995 NU107 Rock Awards, Manuel Legarda won the Guitarist of the Year award (tied with Mike Villegas of Rizal Underground).[7]


On June 15, 1996, Wolfgang left Tone Def and signed with a major label, Epic Records, under Sony Music Entertainment Philippines (SMEP).[8]

The band won many awards at the 1996 NU107 Rock Awards, where Artadi won Vocalist of the Year, Gemora took the Drummer of the Year award, Legaspi won Bassist of the Year, and the band won Artist of the Year and Listener's Choice Award.[9]

Semenelin was released in the United States in an all-English language edition in March 1997, as two songs were originally recorded in Filipino.


The band's next album, Wurm, was issued on December 12, 1997.[10] It reached Platinum status (40,000 albums sold).[11] The lower sales figure, however, did nothing to diminish the standard set by Wurm, which was nominated at the 1998 NU107 Rock Awards for Album of the Year.[12] That year also saw Artadi winning his second Vocalist of the Year award, Gemora winning his second Drummer of the Year title. Wolfgang also took honors for Listener's Choice and Artist of the Year.[13]

Wurm, which was recorded entirely in English, was released in early 1998 in Japan, and Wolfgang performed several shows in Osaka and Tokyo to promote the album.[14]

Serve in Silence[edit]

Wolfgang's fourth album, Serve in Silence, was released locally on March 21, 1999.[15] Though another critical and commercial success, it did not, however, see international release.[6]

The band won four awards at the 1999 NU Rock Awards, and the record tied for first place in the Album of the Year category with Sandwich's Grip Stand Throw. Serve in Silence also won Best Album Packaging, and Artadi was again honored as Vocalist of the Year, his third overall win in that category. Wolfgang additionally scored the Artist of the Year and Listener's Choice awards.[16]

Black Mantra[edit]

Wolfgang's fifth record, Black Mantra, a double album, was released on August 4, 2001, prior to their breakup in 2002. The album also contained singles that became certified hits, including "Bow Unto Thee" and "Idlip". The track "No Falter" was used in the 2001 movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.[17] In 2002, the band released a music video for their next single, "Meckam", directed by Raymond Red.[18][19]

Years prior to hiatus[edit]

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.[6] At the 2000 NU107 Rock Awards, all four musicians scored nominations in their respective categories, and Artadi won his fourth title.[20] In late 2000, Wolfgang released a live concert album, Acoustica, on which previously recorded songs were played in an acoustic manner. It included guest artists David Aguirre of Razorback, Radha Cuadrado, and UP Singing Ambassadors. The record reached Gold status. In 2001, the band announced an upcoming US tour.[21]

On April 1, 2001, Volume, a compilation of material culled from the band's first four studio albums, was released in Australia and in Tower Records stores in the US. Artadi's participation in a side project with members of labelmate Razorback culminated in the release on July 14, 2001, of an acoustic rock album titled Brain Salad,[22] which was reissued on vinyl in 2022.[23]

Post-hiatus activities[edit]

After Wolfgang broke up in 2002, Legaspi took over bass duties from Carlos Balcells of The Dawn, staying with the band from 2003 until 2005.[24] Gemora was part of the southern California-based rock quartet Lokomotiv, while Artadi became the vocalist for a San Francisco-based group called Kitaan.[25] He later sang for Lokomotiv on their debut album, Rock N' Roll Death Toll. He left the group shortly after and was replaced by Ryan Hudson.[26][27][28] Artadi later worked as a coordinator for the corporate operations department of Gap in San Francisco.[29] Legarda formed the band DRT with former Gnash vocalist Jay Ortega, Blue Rats drummer Miguel Ortigas, and bassist Paolo Pacia.[30] Legarda has since left the group and been replaced by Daniel Crilosogo of DC Aftershock.[citation needed] Lokomotiv dissolved in 2007.[31] Gemora went on to play in the band 3 Headed Dog with ex-Razorback guitarist David Aguirre and Lokomotiv bassist Danny Gonzalez.[32][33]

Reunion and new album[edit]

With members of Razorback and Wolfgang used to jamming onstage as the Flaming Hemorrhoids,[34] it was not a surprise when in January 2007, 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, as well as Francis Aquino, who would go on to become Wolfgang's new drummer.[35] Wolf Gemora and David Aguirre, however, were unable to join, as their commitments at the time were with Lokomotiv.[36]

During the gig, Wolfgang played an all-new song and Artadi made a comment about working on a fresh album.[37] The first single from this record, "Deathsquad", hit the airwaves via local rock radio station NU 107 on April 16, 2007.[37] The new album was unique in that digital technology was used for the band members to exchange recorded parts online, since most of them were based overseas.[37] In an interview with Yahoo! Philippines, Artadi was quoted as 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?"[38]


After a six-year hiatus, in December 2008, Wolfgang released their seventh studio album, titled Villains.[39] The record didn't include any input from longtime drummer Gemora, who was busy with Lokomotiv.[40] Instead, he was replaced by Francis Aquino.

On December 10, 2008, the band launched Villains at The Black Christmas Project, a live performance at Eastwood City Central Plaza.[3]

Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang Ugat[edit]

In August 2012, the band released a new single and music video, "Sandata", from the EP Ang Bagong Dugo Sa Lumang Ugat - Unang Kabanata, released the same year. This was their first album sung entirely in Tagalog.[41]

Artadi's health condition[edit]

In 2009, Basti Artadi was diagnosed with a tumor in his head, located on the nerves that control the right side of his face, leading to partial paralysis. He was told by doctors that his condition could cause him to not be able to talk or sing. To date, Artadi has been able to continue in his musical activities despite the tumor.[42] In May 2017, Artadi returned to performing after having a facial tumor operation.[43]

Death of Mon Legaspi[edit]

Mon Legaspi, the band's longtime bassist, who had also played with the bands The Dawn and Kontra, died of cardiac arrest on October 3, 2022.[44][45]

Band members[edit]


  • Basti Artadi – vocals (1992–2002, 2007–present)
  • Manuel Legarda – guitars (1992–2002, 2007–present)
  • Francis Aquino – drums (2007–present)


  • Mon Legaspi – bass (1992–2002, 2007–2022); died 2022
  • Leslie "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 nominations[edit]

Year Award Giving Body Category Nominated Work Results
1995 NU Rock Awards Guitarist of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Won
1996 NU Rock Awards Artist of the Year 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 Won
1998 NU Rock Awards Artist of the Year Won[13]
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won[13]
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Won[13]
Listener's Choice Won[13]
Song of the Year "Sanctified", "Hell Looks", "I.O.U", "Emperor Worm" Nominated[12]
Album of the Year Wurm Nominated[12]
Best Album Packaging Wurm Nominated[12]
Producer of the Year (Dennis Cham for Wurm) Nominated[12]
Guitarist of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Nominated[12]
Bassist of the Year (for Mon Legaspi) Nominated[12]
1999 NU Rock Awards Album of the Year (shared with Sandwich) Serve in Silence Won
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
Best Album Packaging Service in Silence Won
Listener's Choice Won
2000 Awit Awards Best Rock Recording "Atomica" Won[46]
MTV Pilipinas Music Awards Favorite Group Video "Atomica" Nominated[47]
NU Rock Awards Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Won
Guitarist of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Nominated[48]
Bassist of the Year (for Mon Legaspi) Nominated[48]
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Nominated[48]
2001 7th Katha Awards Rock Vocal Performance "Center of the Sun" Won[49]
NU Rock Awards Guitarist of the Year (for Manuel Legarda) Won[50]
Artist of the Year Nominated[51]
Song of the Year "No Falter" Nominated[51]
Album of the Year Acoustica Nominated[51]
Best Album Packaging Acoustica Nominated[51]
Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Nominated[51]
Bassist of the Year (for Mon Legaspi) Nominated[51]
Drummer of the Year (for Wolf Gemora) Nominated[51]
2002 15th Awit Awards Best Rock Recording "No Falter" Won[52]
MTV Pilipinas Music Award Best Group "Meckam" Nominated[53]
8th Katha Awards Rock Vocal Performance "No Falter" & "Revolution Now" Nominated[54]
Best Rock Song "No Falter" & "Revolution Now" Nominated[54]
2009 NU Rock Awards Vocalist of the Year (for Basti Artadi) Nominated
Best Rock Group (for Francis Aquino) Nominated
2010 Asia Voice Indie Music Awards Best Rock Vocalist (for Basti Artadi) Nominated[55]
Best Rock Group Won[56]
2012 Yahoo OMG! Awards Band of the Year Nominated[57]
2013 Myx Music Awards 2013 Favorite Rock Video "Sandata" Nominated[58]


  1. ^ De Mesa, Karl R. "Cry Havoc... The Sons of Anarchy are Back". Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "How they formed..." wolfgang.ph.tripod.com. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  3. ^ a b Caruncho, Eric S. (December 7, 2008). "Black with a Vengeance". Inquirer.net. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Wolfgang: Wolfgang, Liner notes, 2001
  5. ^ de Leon, Yna (August 3, 2017). "5 Gig Places in the '90s that Shaped Filipino Music Today". Esquire Magazine PH. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  6. ^ a b c "Agimat: Profile – Wolfgang ..." agimat.net. May 9, 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  7. ^ "Sabato Nights". December 1, 1995. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  8. ^ "Wolfgang & Razorback: Rockin for a Reason". October 7, 1996. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  9. ^ "The Year of the Wolf". Barbara Marchadesch. November 19, 1996. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  10. ^ "Make Way for the Kings". December 13, 1997. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  11. ^ Randovan, Jill Tan (June 24, 2016). "If you love Wolfgang, help Basti". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "THE 1998 NU 107 ROCK AWARDS... And the nominees are..." philmusic.com. Philmusic. Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
  13. ^ a b c d e "NU Rock Awards '98 - And the Winners are..." philmusic.com. Jim Ayson. Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
  14. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 16, 1998. p. 15. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  15. ^ "Wolfgang launches "Serve in Silence" amidst midnight hoopla". philmusic.com. Philmusic. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved June 29, 2006.
  16. ^ "The 1999 NU107 Rock Awards". philmusic.com. Jesamyn M. Go. Archived from the original on February 20, 2003. Retrieved February 20, 2003.
  17. ^ "Wolfgang on Final Fantasy". mtvasia.com. September 5, 2006. Archived from the original on September 5, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  18. ^ "The Making of "Meckam"". mtvasia.com. Clara Enriquez. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  19. ^ "Wolfgang Picks Red to make new music video". June 17, 2002. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  20. ^ "NU Rock Awards 2000 on ABC". Manila Standard. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  21. ^ "Wolfgang: New Album Out, US Tour Announced". philmusic.com. Jim Ayson. Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved March 25, 2006.
  22. ^ "What Is a Brain Salad?". www.philstar.com. Karl R. de Mesa. Retrieved November 18, 2001.
  23. ^ "Discover hidden Pinoy rock gem in Brain Salad on vinyl". news.abs-cbn.com. Rick Olivares. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  24. ^ "Going from 'Heavy Metal' to 'New Wave' Proves No Problem for Mon Legaspi". onemusic.ph. OneMusicPH Team. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "Still sanctified, Basti Artadi returns". news.abs-cbn.com. TOTEL DE JESUS. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
  26. ^ "Basti Artadi: One last howl". philstar.com. Samantha Echavez. Retrieved October 21, 2006.
  27. ^ "With New Vocalist on Board, Lokomotiv Is Back to Rock". Sheryl Garcia. Archived from the original on January 25, 2007. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
  28. ^ "Lokomotiv: Life After Wolfgang". philmusic.com. Jim Ayson. Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2006.
  29. ^ Joelle Jacinto (January 11, 2007). "Wolfgang and Razorback Are Alive: The Reunion Concert 2007". Pulse.ph. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  30. ^ Atilano, Joseph R. (August 2, 2016). "My thoughts on Basti Artadi". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved June 27, 2024.
  31. ^ "web.archive.org". odysseylive.net. Miggy. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
  32. ^ "8 things you need to know about the 3 Headed Dog". sg.style.yahoo.com. Lou Albano. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  33. ^ "Why is there no Filipino-American music scene in Orange County?". ocweekly.com. LILLEDESHAN BOSE. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  34. ^ "Rock N' Roll Death Toll by Lokomotiv". FHM.com.ph. 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2006.
  35. ^ "A Look Back at Alive 2007: The houses of the holy". philstar.com. Mike Litton. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
  36. ^ "The Wolfgang and Razorback Reunion Concert 2007". Pulse.ph. 2006. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  37. ^ a b c "Wolfgang is back and working on a new studio album". philmusic.com. Jim Ayson. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
  38. ^ Jim Ayson (August 9, 2008). "Wolfgang's Sixth: "Villains" due on December 2008". PhilMusic.com. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
  39. ^ "Wolfgang's "Villain" Basti Artadi Interview". odysseylive.net. October 22, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  40. ^ "Wolf Gemora: A couple of questions". odysseylive.net. November 24, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  41. ^ "Radiorepublic.ph".
  42. ^ "Wolfgang vocalist Basti Artadi opens up about tumor, facial paralysis". Rappler. June 21, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  43. ^ "Basti Artadi returns to performing after facial tumor operation". /interaksyon.philstar.com. Interaksyon. May 9, 2017. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  44. ^ "Mon Legaspi, bassist for The Dawn and Wolfgang, dies". news.abs-cbn.com. October 4, 2022. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  45. ^ "Bassist Extraordinaire Mon Legaspi Passes Away". onemusic.ph. October 3, 2022. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  46. ^ "13th Awit Awards Results". Archived from the original on March 2, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  47. ^ "2000 MTV Pilipinas Music Award Nominees". April 15, 2000. Retrieved August 24, 2022.
  48. ^ a b c "Nominees for Rock Awards announced". Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 25, 2000. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  49. ^ "Cynthia Alexander is Katha's choice". www.philstar.com. Baby A. Gil. Retrieved September 20, 2002.
  50. ^ "RockAwards 2001: And the winners are..." Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved May 8, 2006.
  51. ^ a b c d e f g "NU107 Rock Awards 2001: The Official List of Nominees". Philmusic. Archived from the original on March 25, 2006. Retrieved November 13, 2001.
  52. ^ "Aiza tops Awit Awards". www.philstar.com. Baby A. Gil. Retrieved September 25, 2002.
  53. ^ "2002 MTV Pilipinas Music Award Nominees". May 15, 2002. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  54. ^ a b "The Katha nominees". philstar.com. Baby A. Gil. Retrieved October 23, 2002.
  55. ^ "Wolfgang nominado sa Asia Voice Indie Music Awards". philstar.com. PSN SHOWBIZ. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  56. ^ "20/20: Wolfgang's 20 great moments in 20 years". sg.style.yahoo.com. Tony Maghirang. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  57. ^ "Yahoo releases OMG Awards nominations". news.abs-cbn.com. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  58. ^ "2013 MYX Music Awards Signals Changing Of The Guard". ph.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 19, 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Jerks"
The Jerks
NU Rock Awards
Album of the Year
"Serve in Silence"
together with Grip Stand Throw

Succeeded by