Interview: Wednesday 13
The masters of spook rock are back this September with their 8th album “Necrophaze”. Currently touring with STATIC-X and DOPE. This latest, full length offering from the ghouls of WEDNESDAY 13 will be available on September 27th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records. Heavily influenced by the real life night terror occurrences of Wednesday himself, historical serial killers, and a slew of 80’s horror films, the ideas behind "Necrophaze" are bizarrely familiar, frightening, and a hell of a lot of fun. Being a collector of both media and toys, WEDNESDAY 13 was inspired by a craving for variety to create dual album artwork for this release. The covers showcase either end of the horror spectrum with a “Creepshow” comic book vibe for the LP artwork, and the eeriness of something akin to John Carpenter’s “The Fog” adorning the CD. Wednesday took some time out of his busy day to have a chat with me, read our full chat below.
It’s been two years since your last album “Condolences” and we have your new album “Necrophaze” due for release on 27th September 2019, what can your fans expect from this new album?
I think they can always expect what we always deliver. We always give the fans a cool record or a cool theme with every release we do. I think with this one, it’s a little more of a homecoming so to say as appose to the past few records. This is the first record in a while that I’ve really just kind of zoned out on and really just went crazy with as far as production, art work, songs, everything. It’s the ultimate Wednesday 13 album. For people I have played the record for, journalists I’ve talked to so far, a lot of people say it feels like it’s a return for me. Whereas the other records were good, but this is more of a return home for Wednesday 13. I like to say Halloween; the little tag line was “the night he came home”. I’m coming home on September 27.
I was lucky enough to have a listen to the new album and I have to agree with you there. It’s a little different to your past few albums, but I freaking love it!
What was the bands inspiration and influence for the new album?
I don’t know if I can really speak for everybody. I think everybody that made this record, the last record and the record before different because I have been letting my band be involved as far as more of the writing process, especially with the last record and this record it was equal with working on everything. At the very beginning of Wednesday 13 I would bring in everything and do everything and over the past 8 to 9 years I’ve had a pretty solid line up. For everybody, there is such an influence from everybody. Our guitarist listens to what he listens to, I listen to soundtracks, our drummer listens to Van Halen and Mayhem, he’s such a big spectrum of music. Once we all get together, we kind of channel all our influences in, but also in the same respect we know that we are not trying to sound like any of these bands that we listen to but sometimes their influences come off in our music. But at the same time, it is always going to sound like Wednesday 13.
You definitely have a unique sound being Wednesday 13.
Thank you. It’s been a process where I may have started doing this 15 to 16 years ago, but I don’t feel like it’s been complete up until now.
This is the first Wednesday 13 album to feature guest collaborations, what made you decide to do this?
It wasn’t anything, it wasn’t that we thought we need to have this guest and this guest to make the record special or anything. It’s always cool to have a friend or another artist that you like as a guest on it. That’s something we’ve always dabbled with in the past and never did anything with it. With this record it just kind of seemed to fall in place. Every record there has been “we should get this guy or this guy on the record” but it never ever happens. Or we never ask or get around to it. This time all the ideas we talked about I actually put them into emails or into actual phone calls and thought “ok” instead of thinking about this person let’s see if they are interested or want to be on it. That’s how Alice Cooper came onto it, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil), Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom), Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour) and Jeff Clayton (Antiseen & GG Allins Murder Junkies). All the guests were necessary, and they fit in. It wasn’t anything like trying to create some super album even though its kind of turned out that way. I’ll take the super album.
In recent years physical music is a dying format compared to digital. You have decided to release this new album with two different album covers on CD, a limited-edition figurine which I see was sold out and three different versions on vinyl.
Wait, will there be more?
Not of that kind, but you know with any of your horror movies there’s always the sequel and the different variations and the different colours and the different head wounds. With toys, there is really no kind of end to what we can do. That was just the beginning of what I want to get done. There is more to come with that as there is always room for toys.
You obviously have faith in the old school people out there who still look forward to the physical copy. Do you see yourself releasing physical music in the future?
YES! I am still holding onto what I like for myself when it comes to records. They are still important to me even though the rules have changed over the years in the music business and how people get albums whether they get physical copies or whether they have to download it or whatever. At the end of the day when you still listen to that record there’s still the physical product there. When it gets down to it I always want to have if someone wants to buy it physically they are going to get something and I don’t just want them to get something I went “oh just throw that as the cover” this was worked on as much as the album. The music was a whole process and it’s how I’ve always done records. You got to have a record cover that looks larger than life. That’s how I bought a lot of records when I was younger, I didn’t know a lot of the bands, just the artwork looked cool. When you think about how many records Iron Maiden have sold just because their album covers looked cool and they will tell you that too. For me, it’s that old school and there is a lot of people that still appreciate that we do and that’s something that I will continue to do and fight this digital age. I think things will turn around, at least I hope so. When people start really realising what they want and what they need they will get off their arses and start doing it. Whereas if someone says “I’m hungry I want food” well you go to a store to get it, well if you want music, maybe you have to go in and buy it sometimes, maybe you can’t just download it. I mean you can’t just download a meal for yourself. I think it’s just people have really lost sight and really just got lazy and it’s been put on a format for them that way and if you took that away and said no. It’s the same with movies, nothing has changed with movies people can download them, but it’s not streaming the movies. It’s a big fight but you also have to play the game with them as a lot of people don’t know the digital age. These are our enemies that we have to deal with and play along with. I am still all about the physical product so anyone who is into that will appreciate the work that we put into that.
That’s the answer that I want as I work in a music store and it’s really sad to see the sales going down on physical music.
It’s totally sad. People still love music, but they won’t get up and go and get it like they used to. That was the fun of it. The trip to the store. How fun is it to go “oh that took a whole 2 seconds to type out, oh man iTunes is being really slow downloading today”. Where’s the fun in that? Going out and purchasing the physical album is like Christmas, a rock n roll Christmas. You get to go out and purchase the album, you get to unwrap it, you get to open it up, you get to look at it. It’s like an experience. It’s got all these things to it that people are missing out on. They just want oh we’ll just download it and listen to it. They never knew what it was like to hold it.
Yeah, it’s definitely about the experience of getting it.
It is to me, and some bands I don’t think it matters unfortunately, but that’s just where it’s come to. People just need to stop and realise what they are doing, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Wednesday 13 are a part of the Static-X memorial, tribute to Wayne Static tour at the moment. What has that been like to be a part of?
It’s been great, I don’t think anybody in the beginning knew what this tour was going to do or the reaction. I think it was just really overwhelming to Static-X and to us as well. I mean, we knew the tour was going to do well, but we didn’t know it was going to be sold out in the States. Every single show was sold out for six weeks. So as far as attendance and having a killer audience for the night we didn’t complain, it was perfect for us. It’s really cool to see that Wayne had a lot of fans that would come out and celebrate. A lot of people haven’t seen Static-X shows since the last time Wayne was in Static-X. It’s cool to see a lot of people out and sharing memories, it’s been fun and a good tour for us to be a part of.
It’s been just over one year since you toured Australia and you are back in just one week with Static-X and Dope, kicking off the Australian tour in Brisbane, the best city ha ha. What can we expect from Wednesday 13 this tour?
We always change things up. This year compared to what we did last year when I think about the show and the imagery, it’s totally 100 percent different to what it was last time, in a good way. It’s still Wednesday 13 with an all new set list, clothes, colours, everything – it’s a whole new bag of tricks. But still the same fun show that everyone is keen to love out of us and stuff they don’t even know that we are trying these days. The show has got a lot more theatrics in it. It’s everything they wanted and stuff they didn’t even know they wanted!
I’ve seen a few of your shows live before and it’s fun because you never know what you are going to get!
Yes, well now it’s even more spontaneous these days as I have a lot of free time. I don’t spend my time drunk; I spend my time thinking up stupid ideas and what I can wear on my body on stage. So, it’s a good time to see us live as there is things I’m doing that I wouldn’t normally do. We’ll see how long this goes.
Will we get to hear any of your new songs live?
Yes. Right now, I haven’t even worked on our set list for Australia, I know it’s coming up but we haven’t even gotten together to do that yet. As of right now we have been playing one song live on this last tour and we just added our new single “Decompose” so I’m hoping to add that to the set list as well. As the tour goes on this year, we will add more songs and eventually we will headline.
Well that sort of answered my next question will we see you back here on your own headline tour soon?
I hope so. We will definitely be back. I don’t know when soon is. I don’t know what is going to happen when the record comes out. We have a schedule of dates which leads us all the way up to next summer. When the record comes out, sometimes records come out and they are just kind of silent and other times a record comes out and they are like a pack of wolves. We are hoping this record is like a pack of wolves and takes us in different territories and new things. If not, we will keep doing our own path and doing what we normally do, and we’ll get back there eventually. Australia has been great for us. I considerate it one of our biggest and kind of strongest markets, probably our biggest. It’s always got a place on our list to visit and it’s usually first.
What is your favourite memory from previous tours in Australia?
Oh man, there is so many. There is so many things I don’t really remember because I use to just go there and non-stop party. There’s been so many amazing shows I mean doing Big Day Out in 2002 with Murderdolls and then doing the Soundwave festivals and playing there with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, just so many different shows. It’s all just kind of one big smeared memory. They are all good memories; some I don’t quite understand how I am still standing here.
You guys have become friends with a Gold Coast band called “Darkcell”, how do you like taking local bands under your wing?
Yes! Darkcell and Jesse, I’ve known him since the beginning of Murderdolls. We met and he put the band together over the years and then we started touring Australia regularly. A lot of people think we tour all around the world and we get to pick every single band that we tour with , but that’s not necessarily true. When we get to go to Australia I knew about Darkcell and Jesse had hit me up that they could do the tour. It worked out a lot easier to tour with them there a lot whereas in other places it’s a lot more political where we can’t take this band out for a lot of different reasons. Fortunately, Australia has been great and we have been able to tour with them 2 to 3 times. I always see Jesse there at every single show, so it’s good to be able to help them out and help spread the word of us as well. It’s always good see people who acknowledge you and to see people who say they have been influenced by you. Sometimes it kind of catches me off guard because I kind of forget how long I have been doing this stuff. When someone goes “yeah man I got your album like 18 years ago” and I think “fuck man Murderdolls did come out 18 years ago” I forget that. It’s good, it means I’ve enjoyed my ride, I still feel like it was yesterday. When I can help people out, I try to and it’s always nice when people recognize you and commend you for being an influence on them. You can definitely see that with Darkcell.
Thank you for your time today, do you have any words for your Australian fans before we go?
Yes. Put your helmet on, we’re coming!
Listen to the first official single from new album titled "Decompose" below:
Necrophaze will be available on September 27th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.