Guitar Wolf Interview
Although 2016 has taken its toll on the pop-culture world, it has been a promising year for Japan’s legendary Jet Rock n’ Roller trio, Guitar Wolf. In May, they released their 12th studio album, T-Rex from a Tiny Space Yojouhan, through Ki/oon Records.
In late summer they embarked on a huge North American Tour that took them across the States and into Canada. Now Guitar Wolf has set their sights on Europe and will be blessing us with the Yojouhan Strikes Back Tour 2016 tour that has the trio ripping across the continent and over the channel through cities.
They will be in Paris on October 6 at Petit Bain, London on October 7 at the Dome, Utrecht on October 8 at DB’s, Harlem on October 9 at the Patronat, and many more. Guitar Wolf will also playing two festivals during their tour.
They will be performing at the Luff- Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival on October 22 and at the renowned Funtastic Dracula Festival on October 29 in Benidorm, Spain alongside veteran rock n’ rollers the Mummies, the Phantom Surfers, and the up and coming Virginia based garage punks, the Ar-Kaics.
But before Guitar Wolf launches on their Yojouhan Strikes Back Tour, their dynamic frontman Seiji, aka Guitar Wolf, agreed to sit down with Heatwave and prepare us for what will surely be an a string of iconic gigs.
During our conversation Seiji talked about his involvement in Fabian Huebner’s Fonotune: An Electrifying Tale, due out in 2017, playing in his noise band Jet Himiko and Guitar Wolf at the upcoming Luff- Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival, Guitar Wolf’s possible diabolical plans to celebrate their 30 year anniversary in 2017, and more!
So sit back and check out what he has to say, and then by all means be sure to find yourself at one of their shows as they come ripping through your town!
Heatwave: Guitar Wolf just completed a North American tour. How did it go and where was your favorite place to play?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia… There are a lot of towns I really like, but if I have to choose one, Memphis is the one. It’s where we started in the US. Memphis is our US-hometown. People in Memphis always welcome us as their home band.
Heatwave: The Yojouhan Strikes Back Tour starts October 6, at Paris’ Petit Bain. Is there a particular place you are looking forward to playing in Europe?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: There are a lot of favorite towns in Europe as well – Madrid, Manchester, Berlin, Scandinavian cities etc., but I love Paris and London. I’m always excited to play in London, the town where punk rock was born.
Heatwave: This tour is in support of the new album, T-Rex from a Tiny Space Yojouhan, which came out on May 11, 2016. What has the reception been like for the new album?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: We created the best jet sound ever. It’s too loud to play on the radio or the devices.
Heatwave: What’s the influence behind the T-Rex theme for T-Rex from a Tiny Space Yojouhan.
Guitar Wolf Seiji: I’m from the countryside of Japan. When I moved to Tokyo, I was truly shocked by the city’s massive power. I didn’t have anything at all, but unexplainable confidence. I lived in a tiny flat back then. I was groaning every night, “I’ll be big someday.”
The energy was strong like a T-Rex. The song tells that ‘T-Rex’ will grow big to break the roof and emerge in front of everyone’s eyes someday.
Heatwave: On October 19, Guitar Wolf will be playing the Luff 2016—Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival in Switzerland. How did you involved with the show and are you planning to catch any the films at the festival?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: Actually, the offer came to my other noise band, Jet Himiko. We found Guitar Wolf would be on the road at the same time period, so I decided to be there as Guitar Wolf, as well.
I will play two sets in two different bands. Come out to see us. I’d love to watch the films at the festival, for sure. I’m looking forward to exploring what sort of sensibility is there.
Heatwave: On October 29, Guitar Wolf will be performing at the Funtastic Dracula Festival in Benidorm, Spain alongside fellow rock n’ roll alumni – the Mummies and the Phantom Surfers. Do you have any special Halloween themed tricks up your sleeve for this festival?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: This tour itself is themed on Halloween. You’ll find out when you come to the show. T-REX is coming soon, with Ninja!!!
Heatwave: You will be making an appearance as a rock star named Blitz in Director Fabian Huebner’s Fonotune, an Electrifying Tale coming out in 2017. How did you get involved with the film and what can you tell readers about it?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: In the story, humans are totally controlled by Social Network. People who abandoned their social life come to visit a rocker who lives in a far corner of the earth.
The rocker is me. I haven’t seen the completed work yet. I’m looking forward so much to watching the final work.
Heatwave: 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Guitar Wolfs formation. Do you have any plans to celebrate this milestone?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: We would love to have Guitar Wolf Rock Festival, by bringing the bands from all over the world, but the plan is still in the air.
Heatwave: Guitar Wolf has a very distinctive rocker style. How important is having style to you in rock n’ roll?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: Having your own original style is all. Your style is like your venom you have. In order to find your venom inside you, you fall in love and get dumped. You fight, ride the motorcycle, and live your own life.
If you have your own style, even though you do the same thing as other people, things would be your originals. It’s not easy to get it at all. You just keep struggling and trying. I’m still struggling everyday.
Heatwave: After this European tour is over, what’s next for Guitar Wolf?
Guitar Wolf Seiji: Exchanging the messages with the Space.
-Nick Kuzmack (Nix Beat)