Interview: Wednesday 13
Wednesday 13 originally emerged during the late ‘90s as the frontman for Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, an overlooked horror-laced metal band that managed to issue five full-lengths between 1996 and 2001. The early 21st century saw the singer unite with Slipknot’s Joey Jordison in the Murderdolls, a group that issued a lone release, 2002’s Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls, before Wednesday 13 launched a solo career. Now in 2017, we have manifestly the strongest, heaviest and most individual album of his lengthy career, Condolences promises to push Wednesday 13 into heavy music’s upper echelons once again. With determined plans to tour relentlessly in support of the new record, the future is looking dark, dangerous and exhilarating. We recently spoke to Wednesday 13 about the new album, his love for horror, a possible Murderdolls reunion and much more.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat to us today, how it everything going for you right now in the World of Wednesday?
It's going very good man, I've been doing a bunch of press and speaking to some lovely people about the new album.
Congratulations on your new album by the way, it's titled 'Condolences' and I would go as far to say that it's possibly your best work to date, as well as being your most focused album of your career so far. Are you excited for people to hear this record?
Yeah man, I'm so excited. We've had this record finished for quite a while now, so to know that it's finally out there for people to listen to is very satisfying. We're really proud of this record and we worked really hard on it and we pretty much put everything we had into this album. I'm just really excited to get out there and start playing these new songs live.
What went into this album in terms of lyrical content and perhaps a theme for when you began recording it?
Musically I think we approached this album a little differently than what I've done and what the band has done in the past. I've covered a few subject matters more than once, like my zombie obsession which I've covered in detail through my previous records. I feel like I've done that many songs about werewolves and zombies and things like that, and this time around I wanted to do something a bit more real and go into the realm of actual horror and real life. In preparation for this album I was reading up on a lot of horror stories, serial killer stories and true crimes stories and I read some really terrible and gruesome things. That was enough to gather some ideas and from then on we sort of got together as a band and planned it out. These days with modern horror movies there isn't really anything that shocks me anymore, but when I was reading those books about serial killers that was pretty shocking to me. It was something I'd never really touched on before, so I guess you could say with Condolences we took on a bit more of a darker approach. There's a slightly more realistic feel to the music and the lyrics this time also, it's not just stuff that is made up, it's actual events and stories that have happened. So yeah, that's what I'm kind of all about, being strange and dark.
You were recently here in Australia for your Undead & Unplugged Tour in March. How did that go? Was it something a bit different for fans compared to what they're used to seeing?
It was great! It was just so cool to finally bring that tour to Australia. We did just 3 shows there, and it went way to quick, being there for just a short amount of time I didn't have a chance to do or see much apart from playing the shows and jumping back on the plane to head home. It's always great going to Australia and it's forced me to try and get back there pretty much every year since 2010. So hopefully we'll be back there sooner than later with this new release, it's probably looking more like 2018 at this stage but it will definitely happen.
Well we love having you here as you can probably tell. Has horror and music always been the two major passions and influences on your life since you can remember?
I definitely think so. I loved horror films as a kid growing up and I discovered rock and roll music around the same time and blending the two together was just like a perfect match. Both of those things have made me who I am today and they've created this personality that I carry with me. I'm not sure if I would be the same person that I am today if I didn't sit there as a kid and watch The Munsters growing up, you know?
Yeah, of course. You're always a busy man, creating new projects and shows that are always highly entertaining. Is there anything else that you're currently working on or is it all about the new album and touring with Wednesday 13 right now?
It's all about the new album and touring right now for sure. I don't have any extra time to do anything right now, so with this record coming out and getting ready for rehearsals so that we are ready to play the new material live, there's certainly no time for other things. So yeah, it is a busy time and I don't really have much room for my other projects or creating something new right now.
That's totally understandable. If you could create your own supergroup with you as the frontman, but the other members are taken from popular horror movies, who would you choose?
Alright, cool. If I was the front guy I would need a good drummer, I think Beetlejuice would be a good drummer, he seems a bit insane. He would be hyper and energetic. For bass I would have Michael Myers, he'd be the quiet one that just sits back and does his thing. Then I would have Freddy Krueger on guitar because he could do all the neat tricks like the guitar slides and some really cool shredding with those long razor fingers of his. I would probably get Leatherface as my second guitarist, I think that would be pretty fun.
Best band ever right there. What has been the highlight for you over the years? You've had an illustrious music career, is there a standout moment or definitive moment that you hold close?
Not just one moment. I'm really proud of everything I've done, whether it's in Murderdolls or the Wednesday 13 stuff. I've been able to do a lot of things and meet my rock and roll heroes, also getting to travel and play concerts all over the World. It's a big accomplishment that I'm extremely proud of. Growing up and idolizing Alice Cooper, Motley Crue and Twisted Sister and now those are all people that I know and they know my band which is very cool. Our fans have been a huge part of the journey as well, they're the best and they are always super supportive. I guess, getting myself on the map has been the most rewarding and the best thing, and just surviving in the music industry after all of these years and not letting the bullshit get to me.
Is there a chance of a possible Murderdolls reunion? Or do you think that part of your career will be left in the past?
I hope not. There's definitely been some talks behind the scenes and I know that Joey is interested in doing Murderdolls again. I've always said that I'm into the idea of getting the band back together when the time is right, we can work it out. It will happen in the future, after I'm done with touring for this new record we can sit down and have a chat and see what they want to do. But yeah, I would say it's not a matter of if but when it will happen. I know the fans want to see it and I think it would be cool to sort of go back and revisit Murderdolls and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't do it.
Well that's great news! Thank you so much for the chat today Wednesday and we look forward to seeing Condolences do well and hopefully you'll be back here again soon. Did you have any final words for your Australian fans reading this?
Firstly, I just want to thank all of the Australian fans. They're some of the nicest and most supportive fans in the World. We can't do it without you and this will be the heaviest and loudest Wednesday 13 album that you've ever heard so far. We hope you enjoy it. See you soon.
Condolences is out now via Nuclear Blast Records. Purchase on iTunes or stream on Spotify.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Watch the latest official music video for the track 'Condolences' below: