During his December tour of Japan, Epi's own Will Jones a.k.a., Dr. Epiphone caught up with Seiji, lead guitarist and singer of the international phenomenon Guitar Wolf, Japan’s powerhouse rock band. Their new CD entitled “Love Rock” features blistering leads from Seiji’s Epiphone G-310.

EPI: Hey Seiji, nice to meet you!

SEIJI: Hi Will!

EPI: First of all, I noticed you rode in on a motorcycle… you know from hearing your music and seeing your pictures, I couldn’t imagine you coming in any other way. Very cool!

SEIJI: (Laughs)

EPI: The main thing I wanted to say is thank you for playing Epiphone guitars so loyally! I’m told that that’s all you play, and I think that's just so cool!

SEIJI: It is what I like and not expensive!

EPI: I saw a conceptual mock-up of the Guitar Wolf G-310 a few months ago, and I thought that was really cool! So, I’m happy to see it here in person with its owner.

SEIJI: I love it!

EPI: You said that Epiphones were inexpensive, what else do you like about them?

SEIJI: I hate high-end guitars. I play rough and break guitars all the time. I might have to replace guitars a lot. Plus, I like the weight. I like the Epiphone logo too. It’s cool. In the beginning, Epiphone was reachable for me, and I got so used to it, I won’t go anywhere else.

Seiji onstage with his signature G-310 model.

EPI: How long have you been doing the Guitar Wolf thing?

SEIJI: 15 years.

EPI: That’s a lot of rockin’! How’d you get started in your music and the band?

SEIJI: I thought that I would look really cool with the guitar so I could get some chicks.

EPI: Did it work?

SEIJI: (Laughs) that was my first motivation, but it turned out that I loved the music.

EPI: You still haven’t answered, did it work?

SEIJI: (Laughing) We try, but sometimes most of the audience is male!

EPI: Well, maybe they’ll bring their girlfriends!

SEIJI: (Laughs)

EPI: You have a lot of cool vinyl here at your headquarters. Who would you say are your top musical influences?

SEIJI: Link Wray, Johnny Thunder, Joan Jett, the Ramones and Elvis.

EPI: Rock on! I am a big Elvis fan too. He started all this mess you know! Are there any new acts you dig?

SEIJI: There are a lot of indies and underground bands that I like.

EPI: Your tour schedule takes you to the US next spring. How much of your time is spent on the road, as opposed to writing and recording?

SEIJI: In the past we have spent about one-third of the year playing live shows but with this new record, we will spend about half the time playing live. Some of our songs have been charting number one on American college radio so we are very anxious to do this new tour.

EPI: You will do well there!

SEIJI: We have played the US about fifteen or sixteen times in the past.

EPI: What’s your favorite city in the States?

SEIJI: Memphis!

EPI: Ah, Wakarimasu! (Japanese for: “I understand”)

SEIJI: Memphis is very memorable for us. It is where our first record came out. Sometimes in interviews in America, I tell people I’m from Memphis. I have very many friends at Sun Studio. The store there has a Guitar Wolf poster hanging up and Japanese tourists recognize us.

EPI: Ah yes, a lot of good mojo there. So when you go to Memphis, do you go by Graceland and take the tour?

SEIJI: Yes, Elvis’ plane is great! Motorcycles, planes and cars... He was so cool.

Seiji with his Signature G-310 and cool matching motorcycle!

EPI: Tell me some of the ideas you had for this new album, “Love Rock”.

SEIJI: My message is to love rock. Explode with loud sound.

EPI: Yes, I’ve listened to it, and I’ll say you guys aren’t shy.

SEIJI: (Laughs)

EPI: Good ballsy Rock and Roll! What gives you guys ideas for songs?

SEIJI: My motorbike…of course, girls, the vision of youth, outer space, the power of the universe... you know.

EPI: Sounds like straight ahead Rock and Roll to me! What advice would you give to guys and girls out there who love music and want to play guitar or want to start a band? What word would you give them on how to get started?

SEIJI: Love Rock! You gotta rock, rock, you gotta Love Rock! To me, our main ingredient is Rock!

EPI: I hear you….

SEIJI: The first thing really is looks. You have to show your presence, represent your existence. The second thing is guts. The third thing is action. On down to number five or six would be technique.

EPI: I totally understand. First you rock, and then you work on technique! It’s not Rock and Roll unless it’s fun, right?

SEIJI: Oh yeah!

EPI: Well again, I like to thank you for playing Epiphone so loyally over the years and that you are enjoying your new Guitar Wolf guitar and I look forward to seeing you guys when you come to Nashville! Thank you very much!

SEIJI: Thank you, Will.

EPI: Now show me your bike!

Seiji with Epiphone's Will Jones, AKA Dr. Epiphone!

To find out more about Guitar Wolf visit www.GuitarWolf.net.

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