Two weeks before the release of his seventh Wednesday 13 studio album, the man himself spoke to me about Condolences, signing to a major label, and what the rest of the year holds.
“It’s been great so far to be on Nuclear Blast, they really have gone way beyond with this record, beyond anything I’ve experienced with labels in the past. I can only say good things.” Wednesday explained. “I’ve done my self-released stuff for the past few releases and to actually have a team behind us, and knowing our music is getting out there in front of new people now is a good thing.”
One concern bands can have with signing to labels is for possible interference in the creative process, but for Wednesday 13, that wasn’t a cause for worry.
“When we recored his album we didn’t have a deal in place at all yet, we got the deal after. I don’t think that would be a problem in the future anyway, as far as I know Nuclear Blast have never tried to tell a band what to do.”
Anyone familiar with Wednesday 13, especially those who have seen them live, will be well aware of what a visual band they are. Not only in their stage makeup, but the energy and attitude each member brings to the group. Something that’s been lacking from the band’s arsenal in recent releases has been music videos, but thankfully that’s no longer the case.
“When we signed the deal, doing music videos was one of the things we discussed, as such a visual band, that was something that had been missing over the years. And that’s just due to not having had the budget to do videos, so that was something I really wanted to do with this release, to get the band represented in visual form. So far we’ve filmed four videos, the last one is coming out the day of release.”
The new album, Condolences, has a far heavier sound than previous Wednesday 13 releases, especially going back to the early days of the band. The lyrics are dark and creepy, as per usual, but the music itself bares little resemblance to the early days of the band.
“I think it’s a natural progression. The last few releases we’ve put out have been steering into a more metal direction, so I knew before we recorded this album that it was going to be a heavier record. We didn’t go in thinking ‘oh we’re going to make this really heavy record’, we just did what we always do, and wrote songs, that just happened to take on a heavier form this time. If someone who hadn’t heard us in a few years heard these songs, the last thing they heard was probably my first record, so I can see why that might seem strange from that point of view, but if you’ve been following the band all these years, I think this record is a natural progression.”
“Also, this was the first album we all sat down in a room and wrote these songs together, that was something I haven’t really done before. Before I’d just write these songs and do demos and send them to the guys who would then put their own input onto them in the studio. This time was a really different approach, which I think is partly why the record sounds so different, because it’s more organic, there was buzz in the room, it was a really, really cool way to do this record, which I hope to keep doing in the future.”
The last time Wednesday 13 was in Australia was for his Undead Unplugged tour in March, a two hour acoustic show showcasing music spanning his career, with stories of touring the world thrown in, along with audience Q and A.
“I was really glad I got to bring the acoustic tour there, it really is an intimate up close and personal show. I had people after shows tell me they’d seen us every time we’ve been to Australia and that was their favourite, because it was just much more of a personal show.”
While the rest of 2017 will see Wednesday 13 take his new show and new album across Europe and the United States, rest assured that Australia will not be missing out.
“I don’t think we’ll have time to work in Australia to the touring schedule this year, but I’m looking to come back next year for a full band tour.”
“I’ve seen a lot of people recently discovering us for the first time, and that’s the whole point of being on this label, to get out in front of more and more people, because like I say all the time, we have a million fans out there, they just don’t know it yet.
Interview by Sofie Marsden
Condolences will be released June 2 via Nuclear Blast.