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wednesday13 2019 01Interview with

Wednesday 13 (vocals) from Wednesday 13

After my recent and quite positive review of WEDNESDAY’s most recent output, ‘Necrophaze’, I wanted to know a bit more about this album that really surprised me, because of the nice lady at Nuclear Blast I had the opportunity to ask “The Duke Of Spookiness” a few questions about the album, the writing, the recording and a perfect monster party. I reached Wednesday 13 in LA and he was so nice to get up early to do the interview.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: You just finished a sold-out tour and after the release of ‘Necrophaze’ you’ll be touring again. Are you excited to play the new songs live?
Wednesday 13: Yeah, I’m super excited. We just completed a 6-week tour and soon we will be out there to support the band STATIC-X doing their 20-year-anniversary and memorial-tour. Their vocalist Wayne passed away a few years ago. We’re basically doing a world tour with them, ... i.e. we’re going to Australia in three weeks to do that part and then we head over to the UK the week the record comes out and then we’ll follow up in Germany and few other places… I need to look at the dates to see where the hell I’m going. But yeah it’s busy, busy, busy. And right now we’re playing. On this last tour, we’ve been playing one of the new songs trying not to give away everything quickly but when the record comes out, you’ll hear a few more songs. An when we headline you’ll hear a lot more, so it’s just slowly we’re leaking it out, we don’t want to give out too much too soon.

RoD: You’ll be touring in Europe in fall, too. Do you have any favourite places in Europe?
Wednesday 13: Everywhere that’s got people... anywhere that’s got people... I mean, you know the thing with most bands and I can speak for a lot of most bands - Every day we go to a different town, it’s like a carnival that goes and sets up every day. We want people to be there and we want people to have the best visual and the best sound. And we want the same thing. We’re going to a venue in Amsterdam and they call it the “Milky Way” there. [Comment: the Melkweg in Amsterdam is meant]. I played there for 20 years now and every time I go to Amsterdam - if I don’t play that place, it is not as good, to me. There are places like that we want to play - but sometimes we play smaller places that aren’t our favourite. But I’ll be honest with you: as long as there’s people in these places and these places are packed, it kind of takes away and you’ll think “I love Holland because there are always fans there, I love Germany, because there are always fans there...” Different places that we like, but most of all we just like people to be there.

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RoD: Back to the new album. What does the title ‘Necrophaze’ mean?
Wednesday 13: Several things. When the title came about, it was... a joke ironically. This first album title came up and someone said: “Oh, you’ve been singing about you... grave-robbing and necrophilia and zombies for all these years, you can’t possibly have more songs...“ And I’m just like “You just wait, this is the next phase, the Necrophaze...“ I guess I’ve been going through this phase, the Necrophaze, my whole life. And that became a kind of a joke. And then when I wrote the word down this looks cool and ironically when I wrote that down, my friend Killjoy from the band NECROPHAZIA had passed away a few months before that. I was like “Okay originally I was just gonna have a song called ’Necrophaze’...” And now I call the record like that as a little tribute to Killjoy. Then it became the title of the record and the artwork and everything. So yeah it was something I said as a kind of response joke and wrote it down it looked even cooler and I just painted a picture around it and here we are.

RoD: The artwork for the album looks really cool and I when I am right you will be having two different covers, one for the CD and one for the LP?
Wednesday 13: Yes, that was just because to me - what we do - there is always a visual aspect to it. A lot of bands put their image over music. I don’t put that in the case of us, we take our music very serious. Maybe not first thing on the table (but) I always paint a picture with it. WEDNESDAY 13 is a visual thing and so the artwork is representing what we are and is really important too. The album covers you’ve seen at the record shop, whether you know the band or not, you wanted to pick it up and look at it. I wanted that album cover like that, or a movie in the video-store, when I was a kid. I didn’t know what the movie was but the cover was mesmerizing and so that was the idea of the idea of these covers. … I couldn’t decide between a cartoon-cover and a more realistic thing, so we did both.

RoD: To something very personal right now… You quit drinking alcohol over a year ago. Did you feel any effect on the writing and recording process?
Wednesday 13: Oh yes, one hundred percent different. ... This was a reconnection to why I do this. Period. When I stopped drinking, it took me a while to get out of that fog, because I’ve been pretty much on a 15 year party and I stopped and I got off party train. So I still was kind of dizzy for several months. I wasn’t drinking ... But I had to function. This last tour was the first time I felt like alive, not having to hide in my shell coming of the bus a little bit and talking. It has been a process. But the recording of this album and not drinking … got me to reconnect with what I do and I asked myself when I stopped drinking:

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“Drinking made you happy, but before I discovered drinking, what made me happy?” And that was music, movies, toys all of that and I reconnected with that, I was surrounded by all of my toys, my collection in my home last year, when writing this record and we were recording it, I got home from the studio at night and be around it, so I just really reconnected with what I do and I feel like I’ve got a better grasp, more of a grasp than I ever did... from where I started. A lot of people are like “Look at these bands, they were just at their prime, when they came out...”
And I’m like “Well I was young when we first came out...” and WEDNESDAY 13 it’s been... I like to look at it like a Frankenstein-monster, that had been put together by a lot of parts but that maybe weren’t right or necessary, that abnormal brain. And now we’ve taken that brain out and put a new one in and it’s a whole new monster that is a lot more focused and I like to think of it and my vision... my whole band as a Frankenstein-monster. It’s perfected now... Before it was chaos and out of control, we were full speed ahead and now it’s more like a controlled chaos. It’s still lots of fighting but it’s more programmed, understood.

RoD: To me ‘Necrophaze’ seems to be less gloomy than ‘Condolences’ and more humorous, maybe even a tiny little bit tongue in cheek. Where did you find the inspiration for it?
Wednesday 13: I Just looked around me and was surrounded by all what I grew up on. When I started writing for this record, I unplugged my TV service, I would not look at news, I would not follow any, and I would not look on any websites. I only followed my own social media. I know what is going on in the world, I didn’t like to cut it off, I was aware. But I didn’t watch news. I literally felt like when I went back in a time-machine, I watched nothing but late 70’s and early 80’s stuff that I grew up on TV-shows, movies. I went back and reconnected with all my favourite movies and fell in love with them again, some of them I liked even better, which is ridiculous. That’s what shaped the writing. I reconnected with the past…

RoD: I liked the song ‘Bring your own blood’, it sound s like “Bring your own booze or bring your own whatever”. I had to smile about that.
Wednesday 13: That is if any song on the record is a bit like tongue-in cheek, fun-type songs that kind of lead on what I’ve done earlier in my career. ‘Bring Your Own Blood’ made me laugh. That song to me it was reminiscent of my old songs, ‘Scary Song’ [comment: published on the album ‘Undead Unplugged’]. Can I have that fun-vibe to it? Or what I call it’s like the “New Monster-Mash”.

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RoD: Who would be invited to your perfect Halloween-monster-party?
Wednesday 13: I’m an old-school monster-fan and there is a lot of new stuff that people talk about. I know the imagery but I don’t know the films. I’m just not into it. For your monster-party, you have to have the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, the tall man from Fantasm, then you bring in guest of honour and bring in a surprise. Mike Myers i.e., for a little mixed party someone from the Shining, Alice Cooper, all the KISS members but I would make Gene waiting outside, just because he deserves it, I love KISS, but he deserves it…

RoD: Besides Halloween… You provided guest-vocals for the upcoming 69 EYES album ‘West End’. How did it happen?
Wednesday 13: Yes. I have a long history with THE 69 EYES and being friends with the band. I reconnected with vocalist Jyrki a year or so ago and one day they started recording their album. I think our records are a week apart release-wise, same label and you know, he was like “We’re doing a new record. We’ve got a new track we’d like you to sing on...” and I was like ‘Absolutely!”. I’ve been touring with THE 69 EYES in Europe, in the UK and America in 2005, 2008… for a few years we toured a lot together. We just got out of touch and we reconnected and they seemed like they’re enjoying their history and legacy and people recognizing that a band for 30 years is a lot of work… it’s appreciated. I was excited being included on it. Alice Cooper’s daughter Calico is on the track as well... we recorded our tracks together, it was a lot of fun. This whole year and a half or whatever has been a lots of reconnecting with myself and old friends. It’s cool to have my head out of the dust cloud a little bit.

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RoD: Alexi Laiho [Children of Bodom] is a guest on ‘Necrophaze’ as well. Why him?
Wednesday 13: Alexi and I are friends. I was a guest on ‘I worship Chaos’, the bonus track, the PLAMATICS-cover, I’m the guest-vocalist on that. I did that a couple of years ago and Alexi and I have been in touch. He actually hit me up, when we started recording and said he had a copy of ‘Condolences’ and how much he loved it. And we recorded a cover of WASP and it just came to my mind, it will be great really great if Alexi would be doing some guitar and vocals on this. And I sent him a message and he came back with “Absolutely YES!” - So I knew he would and we nailed it. I don’t do many covers, but it is the first one, first cover I did and I’m really proud of, because we stuck to the original guts of the song. I love the band WASP and we did it justice and Alexi added this fuel to the fire on it. A tribute to WASP, another band that is not talked so much around the world, but that had really big impact on me, musically and vocal-wise. I think I fell into the Alice Cooper vocal-style. I don’t know how it happened, but I can do it.

RoD: When you wrote the songs for ‘Necrophaze’, did you already know that you wanted Alice Cooper as a guest?
Wednesday 13: Not at all. I mean there were no guests musically at all. Every time you record a record… and at first time I didn’t want to make it a special guest record. Originally the idea was to have a bunch of horror actors and do bunch of voices and make it an audio-movie-record, but then I cut that idea out. And then Roy from STONE SOUR started working on the music with me... the keyboards and stuff. It just happened to be STONE SOUR. The guests on this record was nothing that was done to be “Hey! Pay attention to us. We got all these guests. A super record!” It just happened and worked out that way. Alexi and I were friends and he was even the guitarist on the last MURDERDOLLS record 10 years ago… it goes back this far that we’ve known each other. So that was just a natural thing. There are only two guests that I asked to be on it… Alice and Christina. I know Alice very well but I don’t know Christina other than doing a couple of shows in the past and friends of friends. I was hoping Alice would say “Yes” and he did. And he did his tracks and to me it was my ultimate thing ever, to get my Rock’n’Roll hero on my record. This was the ultimate gift.

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I didn’t want this to be a special-guest-record. It just happened to work out. I had some friends to be on the record. Alice Cooper is also a friend and also happens to be my Rock’n’Roll idol. And he did the opening for the record, it still blows my mind when I hear it, I see it worked out. To me it’s like having Batman or Spiderman on your record. It’s that epic to me. Maybe not to other people… he’s Darth Vader, he’s The Joker, the ultimate villain - and he’s as cartoonish as any of those characters. I wrote all the dialogues for Alice and sent it to him and wrote him a note, how to read it like “Imagine you’re giving like a warning” or “You’re kind of telling a ghost-story”... and he read it… or “Say Necrophaze several different ways”. We didn’t actually record it together, so when he sent it back we made all the music behind him. He literally just talked out the dialogue and then we pieced it together and made all that music, so that was a lot of fun. To me it sounds like a Frankenstein monster we had built that music behind him. He’s kind of like the “Necro-master”. He’s making the monster, creating it.

RoD: Which is the most personal song on this record?
Wednesday 13: Personal song. Good question. I didn’t think about this. Let me think about it… That was the thing... I didn’t really have to sing about my problems on this record, because I didn’t really have any. If that makes sense. That was like on the first album, there wasn’t that anything that I could complain about on ‘Transylvania’, but when ‘Fang Bang’ came around I was pissed off… And that’s what makes this record [‘Necrophaze’] cool. I didn’t really have to sing about anything personally. Everything on this record is fantasy or a different story, they are all like scary stories. Unfortunately they’re not my own personal ones this time - whereas on ‘Condolences’ most of those songs were personal.

RoD: Thank you for the interview. Do you have any warm words for the fans and our readers?
Wednesday 13: I just say thank you for all the years of support and I won’t disappoint the old fans. We won’t disappoint all the fans. This is the new recharged, new “frankensteined” WEDNESDAY 13. It’s the new phase, the ‘Necrophaze’. So get ready, because the monster is on its way.

Promo pics by Jeremy Saffer, live pics by Daniela Vorndran
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