Interview with Eric Jayk of Wildstreet

With more and more musicians claiming to have embraced clean living, the (in)famous phrase “Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” seems ridiculously outdated. Then you come across Wildstreet‘s videos to “Tennessee Cocaine” or “Three Way Ride” and suddenly the doors to the world of rock’n’roll debauchery open again, your fantasies alive and well. Everybody wants to have fun... it never goes out of style, argues Wildstreet‘s frontman Eric Jayk – and be sure this New York City, US-based five-piece surely knows how to party. They also know how to play – seconds into their newest single “Born To Be” it’s obvious that Wildstreet retained that raw, straight-in-your-face sound they started with in the mid-2000s. But the single’s release was just an excuse to get Eric to talk music, lifestyle and image… and more!

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Alexandra Mrozowska: Other bands who started out when you did – in the mid-2000s – either are long gone now or way more radio-friendly. Is your approach towards making music still the same as it was when Wildstreet debuted?

Eric Jayk: Yes, out approach is the same in one sense. The songwriting comes first – the production is second. A great song can be produced to be anything you want it to be. That’s an opinion based on experience, both with Wildstreet and outside. Basically, our first album Wildstreet (2009) was intentionally over-produced. It was epically done paying tribute to Mutt Lange: recording guitars one string at a time, sessions of layers of handclaps and backup vocals. It was not a “band” record… Wildstreet II: Faster… Louder! was the exact opposite! It was intentionally minimalistic in production. I played all the lead guitars and did every other instrument I could on Wildstreet – yet nothing on the second album. I think “Born To Be” and all our recent singles highlight the charisma and intensity of the band live while giving the song the song-minded production to make competitive and kick-ass hard rock. I am very happy with the direction of Wildstreet III. With that said, writing this record over the course of 10 years, I’m ready to move on. But these songs are new to our fans and we will be touring at least another year or two playing our WS I, II, and III songs, and meanwhile we can figure out what’s next!

AM: So why does it take so long to release Wildstreet III?

EJ: The delay in releasing the full record is because I don’t wanna release it without a label’s support. We need one in order to continue and make a living at this. I believe in my guys and believe it will happen. A leap of faith, so to speak.

AM: It’s interesting that Wildstreet is actually one of just a few mid-2000s Glam Metal acts who come from the land of the genre’s origin…

EJ: Honestly, we’re the last of the few that existed when we started… Sex Slaves, Dirty Penny, Vains Of Jenna, The Last Vegas, Dirty Pearls to name a few of old school ones. However, Black Tora is still rockin’ and so are we! Cheers to that! 

AM: Speaking of your homeland, you have much experience playing at the both sides of the pond actually. Is there any difference between the European and American audiences and their response to your music?

EJ: I’m happy we have fans all over the world! There is this band from Riga, Latvia called The Bloody Heels. I played a show with them in Latvia with another band I was in (writing/playing/producing). The show was December 2014, they knew Wildstreet and watched our videos. Riga is far, man… So, these kids from Latvia knew my music and we’re stoked on it. That’s when I knew Wildstreet had done so much more than I had ever thought. Our fan reach was real and worldwide. That’s why without a label and an international booking agent, we are taking our tour worldwide. #KingsOfWorldTour dates are on our website. Now to answer your question, I love everyone who rocks out to our music: there is no discrimination, no elitist BS… we just wanna rock and give you the best night of your lives! 

AM: You’ve got a point – especially with more surprising venues and cities announced in your tour schedule, like Mexico or Colombia…

EJ: I can’t wait for the Colombia/Mexico shows! They’re gonna be great. We made it happen, now we just gotta kill it! 

AM: On the selected dates of the tour, you’re going to perform alongside the likes of Crashdïet, Löve Razër and Pröwess. But if you could go on tour with just any band of any generation, who would it be and why? 

EJ: If I could go on tour with Guns N’ Roses that would be beyond… which not absolutely unrealistic considering they’re alive and rockin’. There are so many bands I really, really like right now. Check out Wildstreet’s official Spotify Playlist ‘This Rocks’… many of them are on there! Notable mentions: Hardcore Superstar, Exxocet, Nazty Guns, Backyard Babies, The Cruel Intentions, LA Cobra, Mr. Myst, Mach 22, Crashdïet, The Darkness, The Damned Things, Trench Dogs… and more!

AM: Apart from the scheduled dates, what are the band’s other plans?

EJ: Working on Argentina/Brazil and Moscow/St.Petersburg for the fall & UK in March 2021 is already confirmed! If you want us, send us a message to and we’ll make it happen! 

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AM: Between the new generation embracing Rock music and the late Boomers/early Xers nostalgia, what age groups can you see at a typical Wildstreet show? 

EJ: It varies.. our analytics say those 20-35-year-olds are streaming us most, watching our videos and paying attention on social networks! 

AM: Sounds like my generation – so attention, dear fellow Millenials who haven’t streamed the new three Wildstreet singles yet. Out of these three, “Born To Be” is probably the most remarkable in terms of lyrics,whereas the other two – the music videos to them especially – give us a peek into the rock’n’roll debauchery…

EJ: Let’s just say “Born To Be” is autobiographical. And well, everybody wants to have fun… it never goes out or style or isn’t “cool”. When we play in your city, you always know where to find the best party! 

AM: That’s so ’80s, isn’t it? And as the ’80s were all about image, it’s hard to omit this topic too…

EJ: I haven’t thought about my image for years. Like since I was, like, 19. Let me say this a different way… Before Jimmie (Marlowe, guitarist of Wildstreet) and I first met in 2004/2005 and he was auditioning for Wildstreet, he didn’t know what to think. Jimmie said: “Before I met EJ, I saw the photos and I thought… dude, this guy just must be a poseur… but then I met Eric and realized that wasn’t right at all.. Eric was Eric and didn’t try to be anything or anyone else.”

AM: Personally I can’t help but hear a lot of early Mötley Crüe and Hanoi Rocks’ influence in your music. Any other inspirations? And speaking of the Crüe, what do you think about their (un)expected return?

EJ: Absolutely… Def Leppard & Mötley Crüe, could there be anything better? Well, maybe GN’R/Aerosmith also playing, but still… Honestly, “Born To Be” was more influenced by ’90s Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails and Stoner Rock then anything glam. But I can say that Crüe and Michael Monroe are both serious influences on me to this day. At our show last night I was discussing this with the bartender and I think one’s earliest musical heroes affect one’s musical tastes for their entire lives! 

AM: Amen to that! Anything you’d like to add in the end?

EJ: Thank you and all our fans for continuing to support Wildstreet! We love you all! Please listen & save our new single ‘Born To Be’ on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer or wherever… Please follow Wildstreet on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. And use this link for advance tickets to our tour dates.

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