Name: Ted Wohlsen
What is your job?
I am a recording engineer, and own my own recording studio, Empire State Recording Company in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I also sing for the NYHC band, Olde York.
What social causes are most important to you?
I guess animal shelters would be what I am connected to. Unlike people, animals have absolutely no choice or active say about how they are treated, and have zero options when they are treated poorly. So its up to us to speak and act for them. That isn’t to say that there aren’t people and human causes that are worthy of our help, of course there are, but animals truly are innocents.
What charitiy/ies do you support – and how?
Both Olde York, and my old band BiG MiSTAKE have done a lot of benefit shows that support various causes, one that is really important to me that Olde York has done a few shows for is the Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn. Another really good one, my friend Eric in CT runs is called To Hell and Back Pitbull Rescue.
Personally, I also support The North Shore Animal League. My dog Luna came from them, and I always go to them for vet appointments and meds for her and such cause even though it’s an hour away from where I live, all the profits they make go to helping more animals. All of these shelters are no-kill shelters too, which is important.
We also have done shows where people get a dollar off the door fee if they bring a canned good that gets donated to a local soup kitchen, or around Christmas, have people bring a small toy to donate to Toys For Tots for reduced admission.
We were also involved in Operation: United Forces Hardcore. They are a group that put out a compilation that Olde York and a bunch of other hardcore bands like Son of Skam, Caught In A Trap, Reason Enough, and Razorblade Handgrenade are on and sent them free to any of the troops over in Iraq that signed up and wanted to get one. I don’t care what your politics are or how you feel about the war in Iraq, I think everyone would pretty much agree that regardless of why they are there, the troops that are over there deserve our support cause they certainly didn’t ask to leave their families and go over there, and this was a nice, if small way of saying thanks to them for sacrificing so much. Incidentally, we played a show down in Delaware not long ago, and we met a guy who had been over there and received the disc, and he said that it was really cool that they were able to do that for them, and actually that is where he first heard our band. It was just nice to see it actually work, you know? If you go on their MySpace page and see some of the letters they have received from guys that are over there, it makes me really proud to have been involved in the project, even in just a small way.
Why do you have a passion for these in particular, is there a personal tie?
I am vegetarian and follow a Buddhist philosophy of life. As I said before, I feel that animals are true innocents that are not in anyway responsible for the wrong doing thrust upon them, so for my own conscience, if I can help minimize their suffering, then that is something I should do.
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
Yes, if you are thinking of getting a dog or a cat, then get a rescued animal. And definitely consider getting an older animal, not just a puppy, because the older an animal is the less chance it has of getting adopted. The more people that are willing to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter, makes that much more space for other animals to get rescued, because unfortunately, they don’t have unlimited resources or space. Also if you have a dog or cat, get it spayed or neutered. Even if you don’t let your pet out of doors, you never know what might happen, they could accidentally get out, and they will be happier and better behaved anyway.
And of course give money. Any of these places will be more then happy to accept a charitable donation!
How would you define social responsibility?
Doing your part and taking responsibility for what goes on in your community.
It doesn’t have to be huge, in fact I think a lot of us do stuff everyday without realizing it.
Ever stopped to pick up some trash that someone left on your block? Or kept an eye out if you see a stranger poking around your neighbor’s house while they were away? Just making some kind of effort to say “Hey I’m a part of this, and I know that things won’t get better without me being involved.”
We are supposed to be looking out for each other, nobody else is going to, its up to us.
Quick list of tattoos/mention artists if you’d like:
Celtic knotted band with snake’s head swallowing itself (The Worm Oroborus) around my calf, done by Steve Inker, East Hartford, CT (this is my first tattoo)
Tribal scorpion design surrounded by Japanese style waves, done by Richie Clark at Tribalife Tattoos, Liverpool, England
My son’s name “NOAH” in gothic lettering on my chest, done by Rich Fie, R&D Tattoos, Queens, NY
“Olde” and “York” in script on my wrists, done by Rich Fie, R&D Tattoos, Queens, NY
Koi Fish on upper left arm, done by Rich Fie, R&D Tattoos, Queens, NY