3 weeks prior to the official release of their debut EP on Reaper Records, NYC hardcore punk act THE WILDING INCIDENT team up with IDIOTEQ to talk instroduce their project, discuss the issue of police brutality and the melting pot of New York City.
New York’s WILDING INCIDENT features members of CROWN OF THORNZ, NAUSEA, WHITE MANDINGOS, and MAXIMUM PENALTY. The band will release their Prey For The Wolfpack EP on Reaper Records on cassette, vinyl and digital on April 27th. The self-produced release was recorded in Brooklyn over the last year, mixed bi-coastal, and hones a distinctive aesthetic as authentic as the city streets its was birthed on.
Wilding Incident is one of the New York Hardcore scene’s most revered new bands; with an aggressive finesse and artful flare that distills the very essence from which Hardcore was born.
It’s of no coincidence that Wilding Incident so adeptly captures Hardcore’s roots as the band is full of New York City’s music scene culture. Danny “Ezec” Singer (vocals) is the notorious frontman of Crown Of Thornz and Skarhead and Jimmy Williams (drums) carries a distinct veteran’s pedigree with his drumming and frontman roles in Nausea and Maximum Penalty respectively. Williams and Singer are complemented by White Mandingos co-founder Sacha Jenkins (guitar) and producer/engineer Noah Rubin (bass) who has worked with groups as diverse as Wu-Tang Clan and Das Oath. Since their 2014 debut at Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival, Wilding Incident has played with multiple generations of Hardcore stalwarts like the Cro-Mags, Bad Brains/The Regulators, Burn, H2O, Turnstile and Madball. Says In Effect Hardcore zine, “I got their frontman Ezec down as one of the top 5 guys in Hardcore.”
Lyrically, the band is politically charged, taking it’s name from the Central Park Jogger case, wherein five young men of color were sent to prison for a horrible crime they didn’t commit. The unfortunate happening was referred to as The Wilding Incident, and in the time since, the term “wilding” has been used to describe a gathering of seemingly “dangerous” youths.
Live photos by Lucas Henry Ezekiel Anderson.
Hey guys! Thanks so much for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. We’re very excited for your new EP. How are you? How does it feel to be on the verge of launching yet another new project?
We are super excited to share our music with as many people as possible. Feels so amazing to be in a band with my man from highschool—Ezec—reconnecting with the spirit that made us fast friends back then. Everyone in the band is excited about what we’re doing, and I think that translates in the music.
Could you tell us more about this new record? Can we expect some more recordings from you guys later this year?
Prey For The Wolfpack is straight-ahead hardcore with some contemporary twists and turns. Ezec’s voice is definitive and commanding, and what he’s singing about comes from a place of despair and frustration. It’s the blues on crystal meth!
How does WILDING INCIDENT relate to your other bands?
For me, I always like to make music that can connect to my experience and the things in life and in society that have a hand in where I can go and what I can or can’t do. Things are getting really crazy in America with the election and Donald Trump. Americans—both Trump supporters and all everybody else—are frustrated, scared, but more than anything else, severely misinformed. The WILDING INCIDENT offers a perspective that isn’t for everybody, but comes from a real, pure place. I’m not a fan of the message and sentiment behind SKREWDRIVER’s music, but I can recognize why some people are drawn to it. SONICALLY, there are some things in there that I can appreciate. “White Power” sounds like the RAMONES. Can’t front on the RAMONES. It’s also interesting to hear the perspective, to get a window into the minds of people were are different from me, people who actually don’t like me because of who I am. I’m not saying I pump SKREWDRIVER on the regular. I’m saying I understand why it exists and it can exist. Just stay over there and listen to that shit.
Do you do any gigs in conjunction with the release?
Lining up gigs as we speak! We’re playing the second day of BNB Bowl here in NYC which is going to be sick!
What is the band’s touring like for 2016? Any plans on visiting Europe?
Your name is inspired by the term “wilding” that police used during the Central Park Jogger case where 5 young men of color were sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. Can you tell us a bit about your view on that case?
I remember when the case went down and I remember having a very strong feeling about it. It was all over the newspapers and I remember feeling like all kids of color who were of that age were condemned. I remember women holding their pocketbooks when me and my friends would walk by. The Central Park 5—those kids were burned to a crisp by the media. Then years later we discover that they were all innocent—there’s DNA evidence and a jailhouse confession that proves this. How do you give back what was stolen from those young men who are now older men? No amount of money can replace what they lost. And of course, they didn’t financially get what they deserve for serving all of those years for something they didn’t do. In the end, the so-called Central Park Jogger case was a horrible tragedy both for the innocent woman who was senselessly raped and left for dead and a horrible tragedy for five innocent young men who were locked up and forgotten.
Do you think that abuse by police officers is limited to certain US cities, or is it spread wider than that?
I would never say that every police officer is out to hurt people. There are plenty of people who join the force in an effort to help. I just think the SYSTEM of policing is corrupt. A just system would be able to flush out the rotten apples in the bunch. Instead, those rotten apples continue to fall from the trees and land on our heads, either killing us or causing serious injury, both physical and emotional.
You’ve been in various bands for such a long time. Did any of you encounter such issues personally in the past?
I’ve been detained by the police for no reason before. It’s scary. But I’ve learned to try to stay cool because you’re dealing with cops who are scared—and a scared trigger finger is likes to squeeze
How has the law enforcement changed since your early days? Do you have thoughts on what goes on today, and how similar or different it is compared to what was happening then?
I think because every phone has a camera, we’re just seeing more of the brutality that has always existed. So the only thing that has changed is we’re seeing more of it—and we’re seeing more because it is ultimately amplified via social media.
Has the police any impact on today’s hardcore punk community in NYC? Have their methods of dealing with DIY shows and punk movement evolved over the years? Also, apart from the police, do you think public attitudes to punk movement and independent art in general have changed in NYC over the last 25-30 years?
I think you have more police officers who understand what punk is—many of them came up on the music and the culture. The NYC scene was a really mix, but there were a lot of working class kids at the shows. Some of those working class kids became cops. Punks aren’t scary to people these days because they’ve been around for a minute. So we’re not seeing the clashes between cops and punks like the ones that used to pop off on the Lower East Side back in the days. There’s more Disneyland in NYC these days then there are crackhouses.
What other issues do you expose in your lyrics on this new EP? What are your main impulses to write about this stuff?
Racism, police brutality, the American dream that has become and American Nightmare for some of us—this is just some of what we tackle with the music. It’s the blues on crystal meth.
Ok, so NYC has been an important element in your lives. What is this city in particular representing for you?
New York represents a cross-section of diverse ideas. Hardcore helped me to make friends with kids that I normally wouldn’t have known. I have grown tremendously because of these friendships and alliances. Only a city like New York can offer up this kind of change.
Please recommend some artists, projects, spots and other NYC related things which you feel deserve our attention. What’s cool about what independent is happening in New York right now?
ACHE and ACTIVATOR are two New York bands that people should be aware of. And I’m sure people know that the mighty BURN are back together and KILLING IT! Come to New York if you haven’t already. Have a slice of pizza. Just walk down the street and you’ll hear all kinds of music. The way people talk here is musical.
Haha, will do! Thanks a lot for your thoughts! Any final message for the readers of IDIOTEQ?
Thanks IDIOTEQ for giving us a platform to talk about or EP, Prey For The Wolfpack. Don’t be afraid to go to www.reaper-records.com and cop that heat on vinyl or cassette. Don’t forget the struggle, don’t forget the streets!