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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos


Wilder's new single, bitemytongue, is out now!

Image: Supplied.

Last month, Southern California indie-rock duo Wilder. dropped their brand new single, bitemytongue, another high-energy rock track juxtaposing darker lyricism with upbeat sonics. To celebrate the release, the duo have shared their Top 5 Records From The Golden State with MILKY!

My original intention in writing this list was to write my top 5 truly favourite records of all time. I realised about halfway through that all of them are by bands from my home state of CA. I am not ashamed in the slightest. These bands play a huge role in how Wilder sounds the way it sounds - even if it’s subtle ;)

- Nick Sturz of Wilder

Without further adieu, here are Wilder's Top 5 Records From The Golden State...


This record was released 2 weeks after I was born, and being from Long Beach, CA, it was inevitable that I would grow up to the sound of gangster rap. The record was a debut intro for Snoop Dogg, and also featured west coast legends like the D.O.C, Daz, Kurupt, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Lady Of Rage, and others. This record is my favourite rap / hip-hop record of all time because of its originality, infectious instrumentals, and hard-as-nails lyrics. Even today, almost 30 years later, listening to it makes you feel like you’re taking a drive through the heart of South-Central LA, Compton, or Long Beach. I feel very proud to be from the same area that this iconic record - let alone genre - was born.


I grew up hearing tracks like Killing In The Name on KROQ in LA, or Guerrilla Radio while playing THPS - but it wasn’t until I was about 18 that I began to listen to RATM more thoroughly. My favourite aspects of this band are that they had the ferocity of a real hardcore band, and instrumentals that, to this day, cannot be properly imitated. The self-titled Rage record opens with Bombtrack which to me, seems to be Zack De La Rocha’s assertion of dominance as an MC, and establishing the foundation for the band’s message. The album ends with the track Freedom, which is about the unlawful incarceration of Leonard Peltier by the FBI, who was a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa, and also a member of the American Indian Movement. The track is also a cry for the liberation of native Americans as an entitle people group.


This band was the soundtrack to my youth, and probably the main reason why I play music today. This record is my favourite record by them. The relatable angst and idiocy of Dookie is something I related to as a kid, confused in my own skin and trying to navigate the awkwardness of my teenage / early adult years. “Sometimes I give myself the creeps, sometimes my mind plays tricks on me...” is something I’ve been able to empathise with my entire life - even now as I push 30. This record lives deep in my heart and I’ll cherish it forever.


I was introduced to the music of Bad Religion by a random mixed CD that was handed to me by some dude at the Huntington Beach pier back in 2003. The main thing that drew me into the band was Greg Graffin’s highly intellectual approach to writing lyrics. Every word seemed calculated; every idea carefully extrapolated. It was the first time I heard punk rock that made me think “oh shit! You can actually be a punk and still be smart!” This sentiment reached its pinnacle in my life when I bought their album Suffer at around the age 20. I was very involved in church at the time, but simultaneously, I began to feel a tug from inside that made me want to question everything in regard to my belief system. I was already familiar with Bad Religion’s work but listening to Suffer from front to back was the decisive blow that forever rocked the foundation of my faith. Songs like Delirium of Disorder brought me a strange peace as the thought of God began to slowly die.

“I am just an atom in an ectoplasmic sea

Without direction or a reason to exist

The anechoic nebula rotating in my brain

Has persuaded me contritely to persist

“Do What You Want” not only reminded me of all of the skateboarding and beach days

of my youth, but it also helped me feel comfort and pride in the fact that I was (and still

am) at times, a person who has a profound appreciation of chaos simply for the sake of


So do what you must, do all you can Break all the fucking rules and

Go to hell with Superman and Die like a champion, yeah hey!”


Stephen and I were on tour with our old band back in 2015 when I first was introduced to Bad Suns. Like every band on tour, you share music with each other. As each person takes their turn driving, they get their turn on the aux.

I remember hearing the back-to-back opening tracks Matthew James, We Move Like The Ocean, and Cardiac Arrest, and being in awe of how well produced the album was, as well as how insanely good the song writing was. I was even more tripped out by the fact that this band was younger than we were.

‘Language and Perspective’ was hands-down a game changer for the way I play drums, and the way we wrote music as a band. The hi-hat work is incredible, and the drum rhythms are crafted in a way that makes you want to bob your head. There are only a few records you’ll hear in your life that remain on repeat for years and years, and I must say this is 100% one of them.

bitemytongue is out now! Watch the visual below.


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