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Interview – Wednesday 13 – February 2013

| 10 April 2013 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Shane’s interview with Wednesday 13 originally featured in Xpress Magazine’s 27 March 2013 edition – read the story HERE

Wednesday 13 01

Horror rocker Wednesday 13 has a brand spanking new slab of wax to entice and delight his legions of ghoulish fans, and it’s called The Dixie Dead.  Released on 3Wise Records in Australia, it’s a raucous and spooky collection of shock rockers which, Wednesday tells us, is also inspired by a horror movie of the same name he has in pre-production.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Hey Wednesday, how are you doing today mate?

WEDNESDAY: Hey man, what’s up?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Thanks very much for your time. Where are you at right now?

WEDNESDAY: I’m at home in Hollywood, California.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Very nice, you’re heading out on tour shortly I believe?

WEDNESDAY: Tour starts on Wednesday 13th.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: How convenient.

WEDNESDAY: Yeah it worked out pretty good.

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100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Absolutely. So let’s talk about your new album, The Dixie Dead. For those of us in Australia, what does the title mean?

WEDNESDAY: There is a track on the record called The Dixie Dead. It’s a story about some hillbilly zombies. You can kind of listen to the song and hear a brief summary of what it’s about. Basically the [idea of] The Dixie Dead is also a movie that I’m working on, that I hope to complete later this year as well. So, I just came up with a story line and for me I know we’re always putting out records with these little pun titles, or sarcastic plays on another title, and that was kind of the easy way out of that and The Dixie Dead just makes you kind of go ‘Hey what? What does that mean?’ It doesn’t kind of spell it out for you, whereas what I did in the past did… I mean I like to keep people guessing, and do things different and not do the same thing every time I release a record.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So you’ve released fifteen plus albums over the past twenty years. How do you feel this album stands up against your back catalogue?

WEDNESDAY: I feel really strongly about it. I feel I can say it is definitely one of my strongest releases. I think anybody who has released as many things as I’ve put out and recorded, I mean, you always have to learn when you go in the studio and get better at what you do. Every time I do a recording I learn different things. I’m usually the one that’s producing it and things like that. So when I hear The Dixie Dead I go ‘Wow – those twenty years of me working in a studio, I can hear the quality’. I think it’s my best sounding record. That’s one thing I look back on, and production. Plus I like to think of myself as being a better songwriter than I was fifteen years ago. I was a kid and I’m growing up and I’m learning. I’m not one of those guys that just went oh, this is good enough, I know what I know… you know? I’m always learning. I’m always bringing in new influences and that. I want to get better. So when I look at this record I definitely think it stands up and it’s strong, and to me I think it’s probably my best solo record that I’ve put out.

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100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Cool man. In terms of the writing and recording process, do you have a system that you’ve developed that works for you that you pretty much replicate each time around now, or do you stretch yourself in different directions each time?

WEDNESDAY: I don’t have a formula to how I write any more. I moved to California three years ago and up until that point I wrote in the same place and recorded in the same studio with the same engineer forever, so I had to get out of my comfort zone, and I’ve been recording, and I’ve learned how to record and write pretty much anywhere now. So yeah, over the years, that broke me out of my comfort zone. So now I write anywhere that I go, and I think it’s made me write differently.  Again, where I was comfortable writing for years, for me that’s definitely opened up a door for me.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Do you feel that you still have something to prove and something to say with your music?

WEDNESDAY: Yeah, definitely. I think anyone that puts the record out, they go, alright cool, you liked the last record so this one is even better. Everybody has that kind of mentality. But for me I’ve been working really hard at what I do for many, many years now, and in this sort of genre of what I do. Especially in the last two years, after Murderdolls, I put Wednesday back together and we’ve been touring non-stop, this is now our third release in two years of bringing Wednesday back out, so I’ve been working really hard at it. For me, five years from now, ten years from now, a year from now, even better, I would love… I would love to be a household name when someone thinks of horror rock, or horror music, that I’m the number one guy they think of, alongside someone like Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie, [alongside] a name like that. Yeah, so I feel like culture and entertainment has really kind of caught up with what I do now. Everything is Walking Dead and zombies. Everything now. So I’ve been singing about that stuff for twenty years now, so it’s a good time for what I do and I think it’s only a win-win situation for me.

Wednesday 13 - Dixie Dead (2013)

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Well you raised a couple of points there that I wanted to talk about actually. In terms of how prolific you are, you’re pumping out albums a lot faster than most people are. It harkens back to the days of the 70’s where a big band would put out an album every year. Do you struggle to find the creativity to fill albums up, or do you just have way too much going on in your head?

WEDNESDAY: [Laughs] Luckily no, I haven’t had the problem of having to scrounge up a song just to make a record. I don’t necessarily have someone telling me what I gotta do 24/7, you know what I mean. I put out stuff in my own time, but I also… because I travel and I tour so much that I get bored. I’ve got to play these same songs every night for a year.  [After] a year of playing that record, I’m like, ‘Fuck, I want to do another record, I don’t want to keep playing this.’  So that’s kind of why I keep writing music, and as long as I’m inspired to do so and I feel like I’m putting out quality stuff, I’ll keep putting it out. It’s like you said, back in the 70s bands put out a record a year, and they were some of my favourite records; Alice Cooper, KISS, they were putting a record out every year, sometimes two a year. So that inspires me. As long as I feel like I’m putting out quality stuff and I’m not trying to fool my fans – I’ll never do that.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So the other thing you brought up a couple of minutes ago that I wanted to touch on, you mentioned shows like True Blood and Walking Dead and everything like that. Do you feel like you have helped bring that cult horror genre into the mainstream a little?

WEDNESDAY: I don’t know. I’m not the kind of guy that tours arenas, or is in every major magazine. Today I’m doing three hours of interviews, which is insane: I’ve never done that many interviews. I don’t know, to say that I brought it back to the mainstream. I only hope that [because of] shows like that people will hear what I do and it will turn them on to what I do. I’m sure the fans that do listen to what I do, I’m sure they love those shows because I hear them talk about it all the time. I’m a fan of those shows as well, man, but I can’t say.  I would like to think that I brought some of that to mainstream, but I don’t think so.

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100% ROCK MAGAZINE: In terms of what’s inspiring you in the horror genre nowadays, either on TV or film, what’s really been getting you going?

WEDNESDAY: Nothing.  [laughs] I always go back to what I grew up on – bring in those two little girls off The Shining and how creepy they were, or there’s a few old 70s movies that have that grainy, gritty, unproduced, like ‘what the hell is going on behind the camera’ feel – that’s really the kind of stuff that I like. So when I’m working on my horror movie I want to incorporate all of these weird little things that I liked in horror movies when I was growing up. I just don’t really see anything new that I’m into. Not that I’m saying that there isn’t anything out there of quality, I’ve just been out of the new horror scene. I can talk to you all day about Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Freddy Kruger and Friday the 13th, but the new horror genre, when Scream was the biggest horror movie in the mid-90s, I was like, ‘I’m outta here’. I’m kind of waking up from the slumber of bad horror movies and I’m just now hearing about… I’m sure there is some good stuff out there, I’m just not that knowledgeable about it right now.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: That’s a good point though, I’m the same. The early 70s and 80s stuff, that’s where my heart is at. All these torture porn movies, that’s never really got me off at all.

WEDNESDAY: Yeah, exactly!

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So you’ve got your US dates coming up in February, then it’s the UK and I think a couple of European dates in March, so what have you got on for the rest of the year?

WEDNESDAY: We’re playing a spring/ summer round which will start in the US and we’re trying to put a horror themed tour together. It will be like a travelling freak show sort of thing, which is in the works right now. And hopefully if that works according to plan that’ll be something we will take across the rest of the world, which we will bring to Australia and Europe later in the year as well. So Australia is definitely on the itinerary, I just don’t have the exact time. It’s definitely on the map. And we have so many tour dates and things, we’re hoping to get to South America this year, Mexico City… so, yeah, so that’s the tour plans so hopefully people won’t be sick of me by the end of the year and going ‘Oh, I’m sick of hearing that guy.’

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100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So for someone to steeped in cult horror culture, what freaks you out?

WEDNESDAY: I’m not the biggest fan of snakes and spiders, they still kind of creep me out, little creepy crawly things like that.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: You’ve got spider tattoos though, don’t you?

WEDNESDAY: Oh yeah, I have plenty of those. I can watch a special on television on snakes and spiders and reptiles all day long but you’re not going to get me to hold one or get me within a piece of real safe plexi glass between us.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: I can’t even look at spiders, they freak me out.

WEDNESDAY: See, I like to watch them, but I don’t need them crawling on me in my sleep at night!

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Okay, so what’s a normal day off for you? I think the last time we spoke you had a laugh when I suggested it was all dungeons, horror movies and blood sex rituals, but you answered then spending time with your daughter, is that right?

WEDNESDAY: Yeah my daughter turns fifteen next month, believe it or not.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Wow, that’s got to do your head in.

WEDNESDAY: A little bit, yeah. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have a fifteen year old daughter. I guess I started young. But yeah, it’s awesome. I went back to visit my family and kid in North Carolina and be a Dad. So yeah, a travelling man, rock n’ roller extraordinaire.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So do you think that people like yourself, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, do you think you guys can still shock with your music and stage show, or are people just very desensitised nowadays?

WEDNESDAY: It’s definitely a lot harder to shock. I don’t think all the tricks are used up yet. When I go to see Rob Zombie shows he still pulls out stuff that I’m not expecting. He still does cool stuff. Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, me, we’ve all got tricks up our sleeves. I think as time goes on we’re going to think of other things to do and think back on things we did before and recreate it. So yeah, it’s definitely a lot harder now. It’s not like back in the days when Alice walked the stage with a 12ft boa constrictor around his neck. That was horrifying back then, it’s not so crazy these days. You’ve just got to dig a little deeper. When I used to play shows in North Carolina and walk in in a dress and a wig in a North Carolina bar singing songs like Mr Motherfucker it shocked people doing that. So there are definitely ways to still shock people, you’ve just got to be a little more clever at it.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So does anybody still call you Joseph Pool?

WEDNESDAY: Only my mom when she’s upset at me.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: That’s a good indicator then.

WEDNESDAY: Yeah, I live in California now so I’m not really around my family so most people who know me here only know me as Wednesday, so if I ever hear anyone call me Joseph I usually turn around quickly and expect to see someone in my family. But it’s some guy at the back of the line that read it in a magazine and goes ‘JOSEPH’, and I’m like, ‘Shut up!’

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So if you could go back in time and be part of the making of any one album in history, which would you choose?

WEDNESDAY: I don’t want to fuck up any good album! Be a fly on the wall… it would be cool to be in the studio when Cooper made Billion Dollar Babies because that was just such an excess record. They were just over the top, they had money, they were bringing in Mark Bolan from T-Rex and they had The Beatles, they had everybody on this record and can you just imagine being in the height of the band in their career and they’re just pissing away money like that and doing what they want, plus they made a cool record in the process. So that would be my fly on the wall record I think.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Awesome. So finally mate, what does music mean to you nowadays?

WEDNESDAY: Everything: It’s my life, it’s everything. It’s my life line. I think about that often. I think about if I didn’t have music I don’t know what I would do. It’s kept me alive. It’s something that… I mean I’ve worked since I was twelve years old and said I want to be in a band. It’s been my only goal and I’ve never let anything take it away. I’ve been through a million bands, I’ve been married, I’ve been divorced, I’ve got a fifteen year old daughter, I’ve been through all of it, and through everything at the end of the day music has got me through it all, and it makes me happiest. There is nothing that makes me happier than to make music and when I put it out to people they give me that reaction back and tell me how great it is, and how much it means to them. There’s no greater gift man.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Thank you so much for your time Wednesday, and good luck with the album. I’m really looking forward to hearing it.

WEDNESDAY: Cool, thank you so much man.

Category: Interviews

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