This isn't the first time this is happening - we interview someone who isn't directly part of the film industry. But before you say anything I want to make clear that Wednesday 13 did make "Weirdo A Go-Go" which we reviewed here. That's good enough! Wednesday 13 is also known for his horror movie lyrics. And finally, the most important one - fuck you, I do what I want!
Wednesday 13 first became a big name with the band "Murderdolls" back in 2002, but it's far from all he has done. He's been in such bands as "Maniac Spider Trash", "Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13", "Gunfire 76", and even a country band with Rayen Belchere called "Bourbon Crow". But of course, the band of the hour is his solo-project "Wednesday 13". With his fourth solo album coming out next month, "Calling All Corpses", I took the opportunity to interview him. I've been a fan of his for about 10 years now I'm personally excited as hell about doing this.
Hello and thank you for doing this interview with us at FilmBizarro.com.
No problem, thanks for having me.
Let's just go straight into it then.. With the exception of 2007, 2003 and 1997 (correct me if I'm wrong), you've had a release every year since 1994 and very often more than one per year as well. Meanwhile, some people have a few years between each release. What do you think it is that drives you to constantly work on something new?
That sounds about right, haha. I dont know, I think I just get bored with things quick, and I'm always ready to do something new. I mean a band's CD is usually 6 months old to them by the time it's released to the public. I have had periods of time though where I didn't feel creative at all, but when I finally get on a good writing spree I can't stop, and I just write, write, and write. Sometimes those ideas fit in the W13 world and sometimes they go to the other projects... "Bourbon Crow", "Gunfire 76", "Murderdolls", etc.
Your upcoming album "Calling All Corpses" is supposedly one of your catchiest albums to date, and so far it sounds like it mixes your earlier work (FDQ and early solo) with what you did in Gunfire 76. What is it that made you go that route instead of making another heavier album like "Skeletons" or Murderdolls' "Women And Children Last"?
I got a lot of my anger and frustration out through "Skeletons" and the recent "Murderdolls" CDs. The past few years have been chaotic and almost a blur. I had been through a whirlwind of things from non stop touring and recording projects, lawsuits, moving cross country from NC to CA... twice, divorce, to the reformation of "Murderdolls" and the traveling touring circus that came along with that, and finally the earthquake in Japan this past March that didn't do anything to help my nerves or sanity. So, when I sat down and started writing for "Calling All Corpses", I was just really burnt out on being angry, and carrying all that baggage around. "Calling All Corpses" became my focus, my escape from all of that bullshit and I think thats what really shines out on this album. It shows that I'm happy and enjoying what I'm doing. So, it's like I put those demons to bed, and I went back and woke up the "kid" in me and the spirit of how I wrote music when I first started out.
You newest single, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", was just released on iTunes and is basicly about yourself and what you grew up on - Alice Cooper, G.I. Joe, Ramones, Godzilla (not to forget another reference to Rambo). What is it that made you choose this song as the first single?
Well, "Something Wicked" is one of my fav. songs on the CD, and it kind of sums up me, what I do, and why I do it. I refer to some of my old lyrics and name check G.I. Joe, Alice Cooper and the Ramones who all have been a huge influence on what I do. This album, and this song is a return to the fun, campy, tounge in cheek Wednesday 13 that kinda got lost back there for a while.
You're not known to write about serious issues, but some more personal things have gotten into your work since "Skeletons" (like how "Gunfire 76" had many songs about the tour life). Will "Calling All Corpses" be offering anything like that?
There are a few songs that are personal on the CD, but I'm not trying to press the meaning of the songs, because I believe the listener can interpret the lyrics however they want. "London After Midnight," and "Something Wicked," have movie titles but have nothing to do with the movies, but are actual personal stories from the road. Another song on the CD for example 'We All Die" may sound like an end of the world Zombie Apocalypse, but it's not at all. It's actually about my experience and point of view from being in the major earthquake that hit Japan in March of this year, and the feeling of hopelessness I had there during it. Being in a foreign country, millions of miles away from my family, constant aftershocks, and not fully understanding what is going on, hearing about Nuclear Reactors melting down just a hundred miles away with no way out.. it was scary as fuck. I didn't know if we were gonna live through that or not, and it was terrifying to say the least. So the song is taken from that experience and is basically a goodbye letter to my daughter. It's morbid, but hey... it's Wednesday 13, what do ya expect?
I have always thought that even though your best work is the catchy, singalong songs, you've always been able to cook together some fantastic slower tunes. Songs like "Rocketship Oddity 13", "A Bullet Named Christ" and "Ballad of the Dead". Can we expect a slower, more mellow song on the album?
No, not this time around. I love the creepy slow songs, and I had a few new ones ready, but they just didn't seem to fit the vibe and theme of the other songs. So maybe next CD.
You've always been inspired by movies, horror movies in particular, and sometimes a movie is sneaked into a song without being open about it (I think I read that "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" was the inspiration for "Curse of Me", for example). Do you have any strictly horror movie inspired songs on the album?
No, I tried to tell stories this time and not rely on a movie to base it off of. Some of the titles were inspired by films but no song is about any film in particular.
The release of the album also gives you a chance to tour again, and it seems like you're doing a few countries that you've been away from for some time. Me being Swedish myself, I'm thinking about Sweden in particular, but what other countries are you going to and/or HOPE to be going to?
Yeah, it is very important for me on this CD and the following tours to explore out and tour "beyond my old touring territory habits." Some countries have been ignored for too long, I want to play places that I haven't been before, or haven't been to in a long time. Im working on my first South American tour as well now. Playing Sweden and Finland this year is also very exciting and I really cant wait to get back there and play for all of our AWESOME, CRAZY fans.
Now that you've tried 80's gutter rock in "Gunfire 76" and country in "Bourbon Crow", is there anything you still feel you want to try out that you think would need another band altogether?
I'm always getting new ideas in my head and I still have a few projects to tackle, but no immediate plans.
It's been a while since we heard anything about a new episode of "Weirdo A Go-Go". Do you think there will be another one eventually? And would you continue the use of puppets or go a completely different route with it?
If we ever re-visit "Weirdo", and that's a big "IF", it will be as dumb as the first episode. We have a couple ideas in the can for the 2nd episode, one where the gang goes on a safari expedition and one where it's like a reality show, Real World style with all the puppets. Only time will tell if we make another episode.
It's been 6 years since your "FDQ" reunion shows, and as far as I know only one was recorded. On that show you played two songs that would later be released on the "Fang Bang" album ("Haddonfield" and "Kill You Before You Kill Me"). Will the songs (and I'm guessing the names here) "Can I Play With Maggots?", "Here We Are Now" and "For The Love of Blood" ever see the light of day?
No, from this point forward it's all new songs. Those songs were used on "Fang Bang" because they were actually written for "Fang Bang" but I tested them out with "FDQ".
What has been inspiring you lately?
I'm still inspired by my favorites, Kiss, Cooper, and Sweet to name a few. I still watch old DVDs of all of them and I find myself as intrigued and in awe as I was when I first saw them. That era of Rock'n'Roll is timeless to me.
Name one movie that you saw as a kid that made you think "Oh my god, I can't believe I just saw that!"
"The Beastmaster". There were some cool monsters in that film. The one scene that made me go "Oh My God!" is where with these tall creature things that grabbed people and would wrap their wings around them and eat their flesh off and spit their bones out. It was mind blowing at a young age.
If you bring movies with you on tour, which films are almost certainly with you?
"Texas Chainsaw" part 1 and 2, "East Bound and Down" series, and "Wonder Showzen" series.
What can we expect from you in 2012? Will there be another CD before the world ends?
Lots and Lots of tour dates in Lots and Lots of different countries. I will have another CD out by the end of next year I'm sure, you can't stop the monster once it starts!!!
Thank you for your time and have a good tour!
See you all on tour, thanks.