If you like your rock’n’roll bluesy, dirty and with a dash of psychedelic country, Brisbane’s …
Veteran horror rocker Wednesday 13 will release his new album in September.
Necrophaze is his eighth since stepping out on his own following the Murderdolls split in 2004. Australia is a regular haunting ground for Wednesday 13, and ahead of the album’s appearance, he will once again touch down here with his all-new theatrical rock stage show in support of his old friends Static-X.
Wednesday, you have a new album coming out very soon. What new surprises can we expect from you this time?
I always try to come back with a bag of new tricks every record. I think this one I got a few more tricks than usual. I had a little more time with this record to spend crafting every little turn of it, which was great. The whole recording experience and everything for this record was done carefully. That was something I haven’t had in the past, time to get a release done, so this one’s a little special for me because I’ve had that little extra time on it. This record comes with a whole new bag of tricks, a whole new look, a whole new stage—everything. It’s like a movie, a sequel. Each time we come back, we’ve got to outdo the first one. That’s kind of how it is in my head to keep the audience on their toes, and by constantly changing and doing things it keeps me on my toes and keeps it fun for me.
Did having more time to work on the album translate into more time to develop the theme and the concept too?
I think the coolest thing about what I do and how it comes about is that I come up with these ideas and I never have the full blueprint. I just have the idea, never the full structure of it, and I kind of make it up as I go along. For example, when I was making this record, at the end of this year, first month of this year, I went on tour before the record was finished. We already had the cover established and then on the tour I started doing different make-up. I started painting myself green and that became part of the image, and then we did some more photos and that became a theme for the record too. So it sort of became something that I tried on tour that tied in with the record that I had to get out live and try out, and it’s a new aesthetic for the band that we’ve added to the show. Whether it stays, I don’t know, but it’s a cool thing. It’s a visual that I think people haven’t seen for a while, so it’s cool and it’s fun for us.
As we get older, knowledge is power with this band. I think we’re getting better at what we do, so I think this monster’s a lot more vicious and dangerous than it was when I started. It’s more controlled chaos now, whereas before it wasn’t.
[ Wednesday 13 ]
What’s it like working with a label again? This is the second album you have done with Nuclear Blast after being independent for a long time. Has that been helpful in giving you the extra time you had to work on this album?
In the very beginning I was signed with Roadrunner, then I went independent where I tried self-releasing things for years and I had a lot of success doing that. The music business constantly changes, and self-releasing is awesome but it’s also a lot of work. You become the record company and you don’t have a lot of people helping you and you get consumed being the record company and not the band. So that kind of bites you in the ass, in the end, when you’re doing everything. You might be making more money, but you’re doing eight times the work. So with being on a label with Condolences, we had different departments who pushed us to radio, we had a video guy that has become a friend of mine so that when we talk about the promo for this record I go straight to him and he brings all these ideas to life. That’s something I can’t do. I just have the idea, bring it to him, and he makes it happen. I guess it’s having more of a team working behind you and the bottom line is to get in front of more people and if you’ve got more people helping you spread then you can only imagine you’re going to get more results. That’s kind of what we’ve been doing. I’ve been doing stuff independently, and looking at what I do is kind of an underground thing. It’s not mainstream, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and a place for it to become part of the mainstream or at least flirting there. I’ve been doing horror rock for twenty years now, and that’s the basis for all of television—zombies and vampires and walking dead … it’s almost like it’s the perfect time for people to find that we’re their favourite band. They just don’t know it yet.
You’re soon to return to Australia, as you have done very often, this time as part of a package with Static-X and Dope. That’s quite an exciting tour to be part of.
We’re doing the whole year with Static-X. We just finished up here in the States, then it’s down to Australia and then the UK and Europe, and then back to America. It’s great because when I first started off in this business back in 2001 – 2002, that was the first band of guys I hung out with and got shown what it was like to be on tour. To be on tour with them again 20 years later is pretty crazy. I know that they didn’t get to tour a lot of places and the name got to be a little nostalgic after the fact, so people are excited that if they never got to see the band, they get to see it now. And it’s a killer show. If you’ve never seen the band, this is really great what they’ve put together. It’s our first time coming back to Australia as a support band, but that will be fun and interesting for us too because we get to play a little earlier and get out and see the fans a little bit more. Whereas with our headlining shows, it’s not as easy to do that. Australia’s been great for us. We’ve been fortunate to have been able to tour there almost every year for a decade now and we always bring a new show and new tricks, so we’re excited.
What’s it like touring as a support act with a show like yours? Do you have to scale it back to make room for the headliner much or are there things you have to do without?
We’re a theatrical band that can sort of dial it back and still have this theatrical thing going on that doesn’t seem hokey or stupid. It’s challenging. Would I prefer having a giant stage where I can do all my tricks and stuff? Yes, but we have to be a support band and set up in front with a scaled-down version of our show, we can do that too. That’s what we’ve been doing and we are creating new people for our army, so if we can scale down our show a little bit to get it front of some newer folks who have never given us the time of day, well, that’s what a true bad guy will do. He’ll infiltrate the system. He’ll get in there as a spy and get what the people want. So that’s what we’ll do.
Because there’s always going to be people who haven’t seen Wednesday 13 before.
Exactly. And I think that’s a good thing. A lot of people say, “Wow, your first record came out 14 years ago”, and a lot of people may have seen Wednesday 13 on our first couple of records and that made their minds up and it wasn’t their thing or they thought that was all the band had to offer. But if you look at what we do now compared to then, it’s not even the same thing. So I think that for anyone who’s made their mind up, or for anyone who’s never heard of it, I think it’s the right time to discover it. I look at what I do, I play this monster character on stage, and I like to look at it like my favourite monster is Dracula. He’s the only one who’s gotten older and older and as he gets older he gets more power and is wiser, and I think I’ve created the ultimate monster. As we get older, knowledge is power with this band. I think we’re getting better at what we do, so I think this monster’s a lot more vicious and dangerous than it was when I started. It’s more controlled chaos now, whereas before it wasn’t.
It sounds very much like you’re happy with the way you’ve evolved as a band and as an artist. Is there anything you would change, if you could go back?
No, there’s nothing I would want to change. Every step has led me to where I am, whether it was something I would look at as a bad step, it was also a learning process and it got me to where I am. So I wouldn’t want to change anything because I don’t think it would be as stable as it is now. For me it’s a process. I started out with an idea, it came out in 2004 – 2005 and I’ve been working on it, and I feel like after all these years I’ve finally crafted it into exactly how I want it. It’s the best time to see us and It’s the best time I’ve had in this band since I started it. There’s a new energy and a new re-connection with it.
Pre-order Necrophaze here.
Catch Wednesday 13 with Static x & Dope at the following dates:
BRISBANE // Thursday 22 August // Eatons Hill Hotel
MELBOURNE // Friday 23 August // Croxton (SOLD OUT)
SYDNEY // Saturday 24 August // Metro Theatre
ADELAIDE // Monday 26 August // The Gov
PERTH // Tuesday 27 August // Rock Rover