A grimly glamorous ghoul who first slithered from the cobwebbed shadows of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 90s, WEDNESDAY 13 has firmly established himself as the world’s premier purveyor of balls-out horror punk insanity. Wednesday 13 will be joining Static X and Dope on their Australian tour which starts next week. Wednesday 13 speaks to Hi Fi Way about playing here in Adelaide and a whole lot more.
Thank you for taking this call from Hi Fi Way. How are you this evening?
I’m great, you are my final interview! Its Friday afternoon here and I’m in my third hour of talking so I’m really good at it now. You got the best… the last one… and I’m prepared! I always tell everybody every time I do a record I’ll do press and it usually takes me two-three days of being asked the same question to get good at it, to give a good response, so I’ve been working on it all day.
Firstly I’d like to welcome you back to Adelaide for the first time since 2011 which I think was the last time you were here.
Yeah this is the first time Wednesday 13 has played a show in Adelaide outside of the Soundwave Festival so we’re excited to come back and do a show that’s not part of a festival. It’s exciting.
Since 2011 you’ve toured Australia on a pretty regular basis but you’ve never come to Adelaide.
I always tell the fans … they think we come there and go “We don’t want to go to Adelaide or Perth”. It’s never anything like that. It’s usually just financially, the promoter saying we don’t have enough people in those places that have proven to the promoter that we can get there. That’s why it’s never happened. When I heard this tour was going to include Adelaide and Perth I was “Fuck Yes! Finally”.
It’s a long flight for us to come to do three shows so we’re bummed, probably more bummed than the fans that we don’t get to go on tour properly and do all the places , so we’re stoked we get to do all the major places this time. It’ll be five days of show madness instead of three.
With Adelaide having its reputation as one of the world serial killer capitals I’ve always thought it would have been one of the places you would have wanted to come and visit.
Oh… I was not aware of it being the serial killer capital. But now that you say it I do remember hearing about it. I’ll definitely keep that in mind and see if there’s anything I need to look up, see or more importantly stay away from.
Yes, have a look online and you’ll find a few things such as the Snowtown murders, the Family murders, the Truro murders. You’ll find some pretty depraved insane things have happened here over the years.
Interesting. It’s good to see that madness flows all around the world.
With the upcoming tour it sees you hitting town with DOPE and Static X. It’s a great triple header that you’re coming down with. How did this come about? Was your long time affiliation with Trippe Eisen a factor?It actually didn’t have anything to do with Trippe. We just completed the US run of the Static X tour this last weekend I believe it was. So we just did six weeks in the States with that line-up and it was killer. The US version has Devildriver on it also who is also run by Des, our manager, so that’s how it first came up. “Do you want to be on this tour with us and Static X?” and then we went into talks, and they were like “I didn’t know you had a prior relationship with Static” and then it became the world tour doing all the shows with them. One thing led to another and we all know each other.
This tour we just completed with all the bands with all the guys from DOPE, from Static, from Devildriver , the crew people – everyone I’ve known for the past fifteen totwenty years, so it’s really cool for us as friends to get together and see the audience show their love for the Static X music and Wayne. It’s cool to take it all around the world to see the reaction and to see how music at the end of the day saves everything… it always does.
Coming up on September 27 I see you have your new album coming out Necrophaze. I was reading in the press release that its actually influence by some of your own paralysing night terrors. Can you expand on how that relates to the term Necrophaze?
The character behind the Necrophaze title… the record is not a concept record by any means, but the character that is introduced in the song Necrophaze itself is based on some of my dreams or nightmares… or clinically they’re called night terrors, they’re not a nightmare. It’s a sort of sleep paralysis. Its’ like a nightmare where you’re awake but can’t move, but you have the most horrible things going on around you. Whether its some sort of being on top of you, a figure that you can’t tell what it is. Imagine something standing over you screaming but it doesn’t have a face. It’s some terrifying things that sound strange when I try to explain them but they were part of my dreams so I created this character. I thought it was more terrifying than anything I’d ever seen in a horror movie so I wrote about it. SO that’s what this character is about.
The title track it features another legendary shock-rocker Alice Cooper. It seems like the perfect pairing. Is this the first time you have collaborated with Alice?
Yes. It’s the first time we’ve collaborated on music for Wednesday 13. I’ve been really fortunate to have become friends with Alice over the year and he’s taken Wednesday 13 out several times on tour, and Murderdolls as well, so he’s been a big supporter of what I do for years. To get him to appear on this record was just a dream come true when something I set out to do a long time ago as a kid looking up to Alice Cooper and going “It’ll be really cool to one day to have Alice Cooper on my record” …and it happened. We’ve been really fortunate to have Alice as a supporter and him being on the record is him kinda acknowledging that we carry that flag of what he does. And I say it in almost every interview I do, I give praise to him. He’s the reason that I do what I do. There would be no Wednesday 13 without Alice Cooper, there would be no Marylin Manson without Alice Cooper. He created all of it – we have him to blame.
Lyrically a lot of your songs are, I guess you could say depraved or tackle some gruesome topics, but you always seem to put a bit of twisted sense of humour into a lot of it. Is that an attempt to normalise these topics, or is it just your twisted sense of humour?
Both! I think it’s a little bit of both. The whole idea of what I did …not really my secret weapon, but the weapon I used back in the mid 90s when I started my ‘Frankenstein Drag Queens’ band and I was writing songs like Motherfucker I Don’t Care and I Love to say Fuck … song like that would get a reaction out of people. I thought how cool would it be if you wrote a song that was a catchy as Back In Black but you were saying “Fuckity-Fuck” instead.
People were going “I can’t believe they’re saying that!” I was always making the lyrics so catchy but the lyrics were so “I can’t believe the guy is saying this” So that’s always been my staple I stared out with. I guess over the years that’s always been in the back of my mind, what maybe to me sounds like, well my lyrics to me on this record seem like complete normal every day Wednesday 13, part of my life every day kind of deal, in a fantasy type of world. But to some people, they’ll read these lyrics and be “That guy is really fucked up”… and I might be. But hey, I try to make a smile with it and I always pack as much comedy in it with my tragedy. They kind of go hand-in-hand.
I know when I put Die My Bride forward as potential wedding song, my wife knocked me back on that one.
See … exactly. That’s a song that if you were dead serious, if you wanted to take it serious you could take it serious. But if you see the sense of humour in that song then you get it. Some people get it, some people don’t and that’s the deck of cards I always played from.
Could you ever see yourself recording an album that wasn’t based on the whole horror / murder / slasher themes? Or is that so ingrained in your performing that it’s what you’ll always do?
I think it just my love for music and television, and theatre and that genre that’s always appealed to me more than anything. Even as a kid I watched Bugs Bunny cartoons, but right after Bugs Bunny it would be the Munsters. Or the Adams Family, or Scooby Doo with ghosts and monsters. There’s always been monsters, and Dracula and Frankenstein and a sense of universal monsters that have been a part of mainstream, and it’s always been in my upbringing. I always just put the visual with what I do, there’s no other way I could see the picture, so it just kind of comes naturally to me. I’m never short of material so-to-speak.
If I could just wind the clock back a little bit…
Personally I’m a big fan of the underground glam-punk scene and I first came across yourself in the Frankenstein Drag Queen days. Many of your songs from back then actually ended up on the Murderdolls album. How did the transition from the Frankenstein Drag Queens to The Murderdolls occur? Did Joey Jordinson approach you about using your tracks, or did you bring all those tracks to the table?
He approached me. It such a crazy what I like to call “finding a needle in a haystack” or “finding a marble in the ocean”… it doesn’t really make sense how I was picked out. Basically Joey had a band called The Rejects in Iowa and he had a front guy that he had been working with who was the vocalist and lyricist of the band …and that guy introduced him to Frankenstein Drag Queens. It was like “Hey, Check out this guy’s band! He’s got some killer songs, blah, blah, blah ” and Joey was putting together a full time project because Slipknot was taking a break. And he hit me up and asked me to play in the band and said “Hey, what would you think if we used some of your material?”
I was thinking is this going to be for a real band, a side project… what are we doing? He said “Real band” so I said “Let’s do it!” – so that’s how the songs first came into it.
At first I was just the bassist in the band and it was only three or four songs. And then when I became the vocalist I was like “Well, if I’m going to be the vocalist how about we bring in this song, this song, this song…” and then next thing we know the whole record is pretty much a re-recording and produced version of those songs. Getting those songs exposed, and getting that band out of the tiny, tiny bars in North Carolina where it was literally drowning.
Recently I’ve seen, in the last year or two, The Murderdolls come out on vinyl and more recently all the Wednesday 13 re-releases come out on vinyl. Is there any chance we’ll see the Frankenstein Drag Queens come out on vinyl?
As far as I know all the Frankenstein Drag Queen records have been released on vinyl in the past. The label that has those, they kind of do whatever they want with them. I don’t really know what’s available, what’s not. I signed a CD not long ago that was called Wednesday 13’s Frankenstein Drag Queens… and that was the first Frankenstein Drag Queens album so I don’t know what’s available.
The Murderdolls vinyl – that was something else that came out that I didn’t even know about. My re-releases are something that I was a part of and knew that was coming out. I’m glad all the stuff is out, but I’m not sure what is available on what format, there are so many projects. Frankenstein Drag Queens unfortunately – all those releases are owned by the labels due to me being a young kid and giving away most of my stuff for free. Most of those records are out of my hands at this point.
I think back in the day when I was buying many of those titles here in Australia I was importing them from Italy and Germany and all these other obscure places.
Yeah, there’s still different versions. I still have one copy of each of my records and it’s cool to see how the band has grown over the years. There are people that only like that and don’t like Wednesday 13, so it’s cool to know I’ve been around long enough that I’ve got fans into different styled stuff.
I heard a story that on one of your previous trips to Australia that after a show you ended up in a pretty classy strip joint spinning some of the finest 80s and 90s hair metal tracks. Is there any truth to this story?Now that you bring it up, that sounds like something that might have happened. When I’ve been doing interviews today and people have been asking “What’s your most vivid memory of Australia?” and my biggest memory is that I don’t really remember a whole lot of it because it has always been a non-stop party.
I don’t mean showing up drunk or anything,… I mean flying into Australia, you play a killer sold out show, and your fans pick you up and take you to a bar and keep you drinking until the sun comes up, and then you go to the next show. That’s how all the shows have been in Australia for about a decade now. Over the past year and a half now I’ve stepped away from doing the 4 o’clock in the morning drinking all night thing – I don’t do that anymore. So now when we tour Australia I can maybe go out and get some actual memories as opposed to someone showing me a photo or bringing up “Hey, were you at a strip club?” and I’m going “What year was this?” Was it 2005? Then possibly it was it. It if was a bad story or a good bad story, it was probably me.
I heard that story on the grapevine so have always wondered if it was true.
Yeah, I think one of the very first times I came to Australia, we flew straight in, did a show… no time at all to even breath. Just straight in, played a show and then straight to a strip club. That may have been that night.
Yeah, let me know if can find out anything else about it. Who knows? Maybe I’ve got a couple of kids running around…. Haha
Just to return to the upcoming tour, with this being Wednesday 13’s first show in Adelaide, what can Adelaide audiences expect from your show?
I think they can expect an action packed show from us. For us every show we play is the same intensity whether we are playing to five people or five hundred. But being that we haven’t played Adelaide as Wednesday 13 forever so I think the atmosphere always brings out something fierce with us and the audience so I think its going to be something to witness. I’m excited and we’ll be there soon in person.
I’ll be making sure I’m there myself and I’m looking forward to seeing you bringing your brutal best to the stage, and I’d just like to thank you for speaking to us today – it’s been a pleasure. See you in Adelaide!
Awesome man, we’ll see you soon
Interview By Lindsay Bulach
Catch Wednesday 13, Static X and Dope on the following dates, tickets through Metropolis Touring…