Guitar Wolf is a Japanese rock/punk band. Formed in 1987, the band are one of the Japanese punk bands most well known outside of Japan. The band uses the phrase "Jett Rock 'n' Roll" to describe their music, a unique sound incorporating elements of The Ramones, rockabilly, and other punk influences.
Guitar Wolf's original membership comprised Seiji (aka Guitar Wolf), Billy (aka Bass Wolf), and Narita (aka Drum Wolf). Narita left the band and was replaced by Toru in 1991.
Guitar Wolf played clubs and events around Tokyo, and recorded a track for a garage rock compilation Journey to the Mad Brain from Tokuma. After being included in a compilation entitled TVVA, Guitar Wolf released their first album in the US in 1993 on Goner Records.
The band toured the United States for the first time in 1993, subsequently releasing several records both in Japan and overseas. An in-store performance at a New York record store impressed Matador Records enough to offer them a contract and Missile Me was picked up for distribution in the US in 1996, supported by a 34 date US tour culminating in an appearance at Matador Nite at Austin's South by Southwest music festival.
Guitar Wolf then headed to Europe with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. In 1997, they signed to the Ki/oon, releasing Planet of the Wolves. This was followed by a tour of Japan, and then of the United States supporting the Cramps.
The band continues to tour and is on the road for at least four months a year, mostly overseas. Their exploits have become legendary, as have their interviews and live appearances. They have built up a huge fan base in countries all over the world, including numerous musicians. Guitar Wolf are well known for their crazy live shows. They often rely on elaborate stage productions and have been known to play non-stop through their entire set.
Billy/Bass Wolf died in Tokyo on March 31, 2005, from a heart attack at the age of thirty eight after coming off the last leg of their U.S. tour.
In September 2005, Guitar Wolf played their first show with their new bassist, U.G.
Jett Rock 'n' Roll describes Guitar Wolf’s musical style, a combination of punk, rock, heavy distortion, and screaming. The name is taken from the last name of musician Joan Jett, who Seiji considers his greatest influence and with whom he shares a birthday. Matador claims that Jet Generation album is the loudest CD in history. The band has their own line of Jett clothing.
Guitar Wolf starred in the cult movie, Wild Zero, directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi where they play themselves as they take on crazed fans, zombies, and an alien invasion. Guitar Wolf also appeared in the American movie Sore Losers, where they played aliens. A collection of Guitar Wolf's music videos and live performances were released under the title "Red Idol". Guitar Wolf also appears in the Puffy (aka Puffy AmiYumi) video for Teen Titans.