A funny thing happened on the way to hosting a street art exhibit at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley, I ran into the member of Shepard Fairey’s street crew who installed the wheat dough posters of Fairey in the NoHo neighborhood of the LA Music Scene… Willem Wolfe.
Wolfe is the multi-talented son of rock icon Billy Idol who worked with Shepard Fairey and is part of his street crew that puts up Fairey’s wheat dough posters.
For months the LA music scene had wondered who was editing Fairey’s work and we guess the universe heard us and let us stumble upon the answer to the question.
Wolfe tells LA Music Scene that he’s been interested in street art since he was a teenager and has his own brand of street art to set up. One such piece is in NoHo and a photo of his work will be on display later this month at the San Fernando Valley Museum.
In addition to street art, Wolfe enjoys creating music. Wolfe’s music is more “Techno” than one would expect being the son of Billy Idol. When we listened to his music, an episode of the “Twilight Zone” came to mind.
The episode “Tell David” featured Sandra Dee and she ends up in a jail cell. In prison, futuristic music plays on the radio and that’s what Wolfe’s music reminded me of… futuristic.
In Wolfe’s “Rainy Day in LA” he mixes in a bit of jazz fusion with his “Techno” while his “Conga House” is more danceable and has a good dance beat. There is a bit of vocals in this song. In his “2 Way Street” you can see yourself racing down Sunset Blvd while enjoying the melodic nature of this track. “Flamingo” is an excursion into the psyche and is danced. Wolfe’s music can be found on Youtube.
Wolfe also appeared on Teachr and James Shen’s “Paint The Town” podcast and was very insightful about what Wolfe is. The LA music scene participated in the show “PTTP” in its early days. FYI Teachr is one of our favorite street artists and will also be featured at the San Fernando Valley Museum. Shen also has the “LA Street Art Gallery” Instagram account where he has been documenting and mapping LA street art since 2012. Wolfe is on episode 177 of the show PTTP.
Wolfe lives in Hollywood, California, and grew up there as well. His house has a recording studio where he produces his most interesting compositions.
Wolfe puts his interest in music and his interest in what’s going on around him at his parents’ feet; dancer Perri Lister and of course Idol. “They were artists, so being raised by them shaped my view of the world,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe labels his music as IDM (intelligent dance music) which was also influenced by a DJ who was staying at Lister at the time. When the DJ moved, he left his vinyl records there, which Wolfe carefully dove into and began experimenting with.
In describing his musical genre, Wolfe put it this way “my feelings and emotions put into a pattern that we call ‘house’.”
His dad took him to see a lot of movies and played baseball with him. He also received a copy of The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”, which is the first song he learned to play on a bass guitar.
Wolfe also added that “watching shows influenced me and made me believe that anything is possible…it’s up to you.”
As for how Fairey influenced his art, Wolfe added that in 2017, at his birthday party, he showed Fairey his work and the rest was wheat dough history. Fairey also designed an album cover for his father… “The Very Best of Idol”.
Regarding the use of vinyl, Wolfe says, “People want to buy vinyl and get away from the corporate aspect like streaming platforms. Companies don’t seem to care about people and are designed not to.
According to Wolfe, the corporate hold on music has destroyed LA radio.
“Companies made me less interested in selling my stuff on available music platforms,” says Wolfe. Among his favorite artists are Aphex Twins and since the late 1980s he has enjoyed the music of Joy Division and The Cure.
Yes, Wolfe has a favorite watering hole in Hollywood where he likes to hang out with friends, clear his head. It used to be the “Bronson Bar” where he DJed once a month but it closed, leaving La Poubelle Bistro.
Wolfe is currently working on music for an independent label called “Maison Fauna” which is located in North Carolina. The company’s genres are house, techno and garage.
In case the point was missed, Wolfe is appalled at what has happened in Hollywood as corporations buy up properties and destroy all of Hollywood history… So do we Wolfe, so do we.