When Murderdolls burst onto the scene in 2002 with the ridiculously brilliant album Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls they were sadly recognized for the wrong reasons.
Although the infectiously sinister music and vocals ultimately were the backbone of the band’s sustained success, it was the worldwide notoriety of two of the members (one more than the other) that first sent media into a frenzy.
Fronted by Wednesday 13, known for his shock/punk duties with Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, Murderdolls were always going to be worse than the ones your parents warned you about, but it was the guitarist of the band who attracted unprecedented attention.
Slipknot – who at that time were still largely an anonymous, masked, musical war machine – had just released the devastatingly crushing Iowa album, with diminutive drummer Joey Jordinson creating a musical tornado behind the drum kit.
With the announcement of Murderdolls came the news that Joey was in the band – unmasked – but would be playing guitar instead of bashing skins.
This alone guaranteed global intrigue for Murderdolls, but did not once seem to be a contrived or deliberate publicity stunt.
Murderdolls, via their music, made an emphatic statement of intent on that debut album that they were here to make music fun and sleazy again and despite the pedigree of their members were just a bunch of mates out to make music and have a good time.
Inevitable internal problems and scheduling conflicts prevented the follow-up, 2010s Women and Children Last, from being released for almost a decade and by that point Murderdolls were no longer a fully functioning band, leading them to split in 2013.
Rumours circulated that Wednesday 13 and Jordinson had severed all ties and despite a constant chorus of cries for a reunion, Murderdolls remained inactive up to and including the time of Jordinson’s tragic passing in 2021.
It seemed Murderdolls and their music would remain forever in limbo, with Wednesday understandably reluctant to continue the band in light of events.
But, earlier this year and with the 20th anniversary of Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls stirring up renewed fan fuelled calls for a reunion of sorts, Wednesday found it in his heart and spirit to go on the road to celebrate that great album and the impact it had on so many lives.
With the tour set to hit Australia in February 2024, HEAVY was finally offered the opportunity to interview Wednesday about Murderdolls, an interview we have been waiting for for 20 years. Still occasionally giving in to our inner fanboy, we tell Wednesday straight off the bat how excited we are to see the show.
“Me too, I’m excited,” he smiled. “I didn’t realise that the people were this passionate about the music. It’s great to see that 21 years later there’s still the old fans and then this whole new generation of young fans that have been dying for it as well. It’s a great reaction. We’re in the middle of a US tour right now and it is nothing but fun going out and playing these songs. It’s a full hour, hour 45 minute set playing 20 songs off both records – 13 off the first album and the rest off the second – and it’s been a complete blast every single night. I cannot wait to bring it to Australia and see the madness that it will create there.”
Until this year, Wednesday had not played any Murderdolls songs for over a decade, begging the questions of what made him decide now is the right time to dust them off.
“There are Murderdolls songs scattered in the Wednesday 13 setlist,” he corrected. “I Love To Say Fuck has been a staple of mine, as well as 197666. There are several songs that have switched in and out over the years, but the main thing that started this unfortunately was the passing of Joey. Last year when I was touring and sort of doing a celebration of my 20-year history including Murderdolls and Wednesday 13 stuff and there’s a part of the set where we play four or five Murderdolls songs and I did a little story about Joey and I and after the show everyone said I have never heard Murderdolls songs like that. You should do a full set like this. Now that Joey has passed it would be a great thing and I said you’re right, you’re right, you’re right. It was just hearing it over and over every night, and I realised why shouldn’t we do it? It’s the perfect time, and also it was a healing thing for me, and I think it’s a healing thing for the fans. A lot of people are yet to go to a concert and celebrate something like that and have someone… The whole time isn’t all talking about Joey. But for people to come out and hear those songs… Some people never got to hear them. Ever live. To hear that and also have a memorial tribute thing to Joey… it’s the best of all worlds. Yeah, it’s been fun and I know the Australian tour is going to be something to remember.”
In the full interview, Wednesday talks more about what to expect from the shows, how they have been going overseas, his relationship with Joey, starting the band with him and what they wanted out of it, Joey’s guitar playing, writing music together and how they pushed each other, how he used part of his image and music from Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 to shape Murderdolls, which of the two albums is his personal favourite and more.
Get tickets for Wednesday 13 Performs Murderdolls here: https://thephoenix.au/wednesday-13/