ock n roll never gets out of your system. As a publication, we've just just returned from a lengthy hiatus that lasted for much of 2019. The band WILDSTREET endured a period of silence themselves from 2012 to 2016. Boasting a glorious sleaze metal sound, the New York City based band emerge onto the rock scene in 2006 with the release of their self-titled debut album and didn't blink in the four years that came after performing at all of the right festivals such as ROCKLAHOMA (the band has played their for five years straight), SXSW and M3 FESTIVAL and sharing stages with the likes of TWISTED SISTER, CRASH DIET, KIX and LA GUNS. In speaking with the band's front man ERIC JAYK, the reasons for WILDSTREET's two and a half year absence seems irrelevant now. WILDSTREET has been all about looking to the future since their triumphant return to rock n roll in 2016 at the GRAMERCY THEATER with a brand new line up. In December of 2017 WILDSTREET released their comeback single RAISE HELL and began working on their eagerly awaited album WILDSTREET III in earnest in 2018. That album is due to be released sometime in 2020 and to whet the appetites of their enthusiastic fan base WILDSTREET has released some rather strong singles in the past few months such as the raucous TENNESSEE COCAINE and the driving THREE WAY RIDE. Next month the band will issue another single - BORN TO BE - while hitting the road for a tour that will take them up and down the East Cost and to Columbia and to Mexico for some dates with CRASH DIET.
ROCKWIRED had the chance to speak with ERIC JAYK of WILDSTREET over the phone. Here is how the interview went.
I know that you guys had been working on the album WILDSTREET III for a while now and in the meantime we've got some great singles such as your current one THREE WAY RIDE. Will you guys still be releasing the album or will you just be sticking with single releases?
We totally plan on releasing the album. It's really important to us right now to generate as much buzz as possible and to prolong the release a little bit. I've had to reacquaint myself with our fans many of whom had believed that we had broken up so we've had to get everybody in gear and remind the fans of who WILDSTREET is.
And right now you guys have just announced some tour dates that are going to take you up and down the East Coast and in countries like Columbia and Mexico. Are there any particular dates that have you excited?
Well yeah. I'm excited about every single show that we ever play. It is the reason why I do what I do. It's my whole life. It's going to be really cool to go to Columbia and rock with CRASH DIET in Mexico City and Guadalajara. I'm also equally excited about getting over to the UK. Last year we had plans to go to the UK after a week spent in Germany but some things went down and it didn't happen. So I was really happy when we got added to the CALL OF THE WILD festival and were able to get some shows booked in the UK for this year. I'm just as excited about that and there is much more that will coming in 2020. I think 2020 is going to be the best year for WILDSTREET ever. We're still in the beginning of 2020 and I'm 99.999% sure that this is going to be the best year for us.
CHECK OUT THE MUSiC VIDEO FOR TENNESSEE COCAINE!!!
Who all did you guys work with in putting WILDSTREET III together? Who helped you behind the recording console?
The record has been done for almost a year already and it has been produced by a friend of mine, this incredible guitar player named KYLE PAAS. The guitarist JIMMIE MARLOWE and I have been doing demos since he first left WILDSTREET back in 2010 or 2011. We wrote so many songs that we went through and picked seven songs that were the best representation of where we want to go as a band. Some of them are a little more similar to the stuff that we had done earlier on like the song TENNESSEE COCAINE which is a great rock song. I think TENNESSEE COCAINE rocks but there are some other songs that are coming soon that will be a little different and more unexpected. I think fans are really going to want to roll with us and evolve with WILDSTREET. So KYLE PAAS produced the record and then JON KAPLAN mixed the record. He also mixed the second half of our first album back in 2009. He did such a good job with the mixes that we used him for this album. HOWIE WEINBERG mastered this album and he is just the best.
Since you guys formed over a decade ago, it seems like the band has had two different lives since then. It's been made clear that the band never went away but there was a definite hiatus. Bring to the beginning of the band, the circumstances that made you take a step back and what brought you back into the fold.
It's a long story. It started with me and my rhythm guitar player who was living in San Diego at the time and I was in this - not the greatest but kind of okay - punk-y rock band in the East Village. JIMMIE answered my ad on CRAIGSLIST. After I had asked him to send me his picture like four times, we had finally met up and he and I had played a gig or two with that old band that I was in and we just weren't feeling it. So we changed what we were doing and I had written some songs with some friends of mine and JIMMIE and I started writing some songs. Eventually the two of us and our producers at the time recorded our first four songs for the first WILDSTREET record. We finished those four songs and then decided that we wanted to make a full EP so we wrote some more songs. The rest of the record was self-produced and half of it was mixed by JON KAPLAN. At that time, were playing some gigs with some hired guys and then we found our first band mate and we played some big shows with them and then we signed with this label called RETROSPECT RECORDS. They put us on tour for two and half months. We toured coast to coast and released that first record properly and gained a lot of fans and made a lot of friends and played ROCKLAHOMA for the first time. As a band, we've played ROCKLAHOMA six times so they've had us back five years in a row. In 2013 we took a break. It was like a three year hiatus. My old band mates had moved on and are currently doing great things but now I've found some people that I am really happy to be playing music with and that is LOCK who plays drums, JOHNNY D who plays bass and DOMINICK, my guitar player. So JIMMIE and I decided to put WILDSTREET back together and we played a show called THE RESURRECTION at the GRAMERCY THEATER in New York. That was our first step into who we are right now.
CHECK OUT THE MUSiC ViDEO FOR THREE WAY RiDE!!!
And talk about the members of this current lineup. Who are they and what is it that each of them brings to the table that makes the endeavor worthwhile?
Well I got to say that my drummer and my guitar player are like twenty one and twenty two years old. Their energy and excitement about the music is really what keeps me and JIMMIE excited about the music. When JOHNNY and I first met, we instantly got along. He was starting a project of his own called NASTY THINGS and he asked me to play bass so I played bass with his band and when it came time to get WILDSTREET off the ground again, he was my first choice for playing bass. Everybody gets along. That is the one thing that is different about us now as opposed to the old days. Even when stuff was really stressful and really tense when we were touring Europe, no member of the band was ever fighting with another band member and that is a huge thing. They are all great musicians. They are all incredible personalities on stage and they help define what WILDSTREET is now and not the band that we were in 2009.
From the forthcoming album, what songs off of it stand out for you the most and why?
They're just great songs. Some of the songs, like THREE WAY RIDE - our last single - was written almost immediately after EASY DOES IT. Like maybe even a month or two. It just got shelved because of everything that was going on. We played it and we listened to it and we were like, 'Okay! This song has to be on the record!" I really love that song so I'm glad that we made that decision. Then there is a song like MOTHER which no one has heard yet and it is the song on the record that I am the most proud of because it is totally different than anything we've ever done. I'm not going to give away any of it but it was totally fresh and was a totally new way of writing and of approaching a song for this band. I think it kind of shows people what they can expect to hear from us in the future.
Describe the songwriting process within this band. How does that get accomplished?
Up to this point there have been a few people writing songs. Me and JIMMIE write a good portion of them. Some friends of mine and I co-wrote some of the songs too. I like writing with people who aren't in the band sometimes because it gives a unique perspective on what WILDSTREET is. It helps us to see our music in a different way. A song is a piece of art in itself but a great band playing a great song makes all of the difference.
Once this album is released, what would you like for someone to come away with after they hear it?
I want their jaws to drop. I think it's a really cool record. BORN TO BE which is going to be our next single is also unique because JIMMIE and I originally wrote it for WILDSTREET and this was probably around 2012 or 2013. Around that time WILDSTREET went on hiatus and during that hiatus I started another band that was WILDSTREET-esque but with electronics. We had this really modern sound. The band wad was called RAVE LA KILL and we used BORN TO BE for that band. Because the song was originally written for WILDSTREET, JIMMIE and I thought it was appropriate to release the song as WILDSTREET but this version is totally different than the version that RAVE LA KILL did. It's interesting to hear the two songs next to each other. They both sound good but one is definitely WILDSTREET. So with this forthcoming album, I really want to blow people away.
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