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Wednesday 13

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A new nightmare has come to haunt us. When we sleep, he comes; grappling our minds with a dark and twisted sound. We know his name, though he’s not as we knew him before. We call him Wednesday 13.

Straight off the back of his short run of acoustic concerts in Australia, Wednesday 13 has re-emerged with a new persona, changing direction and shaking off the horror punk rattlings of yesteryear. In Condolences, we find Wednesday rushing toward vivid and gothic imagery, reborn as a darker being, deep and threatening as he explores the seemingly endless possibilities to be had in heavy metal. Wednesday has long been a focal point for rapid theatrical change in both his get up and live stage performances, but what took a hold of him to prompt a change as drastic as this one? “I think the way this record turned out, I feel it’s a natural progression for us,” he says. “Even the last four releases, the sound started getting heavier back in 2013 and the last record we did it really went heavier – I just worked the angles we were going anyway with this one and being with the new label, we gravitated toward that new direction naturally.

“I just wanted to change things up for me, I’ve been doing this a really long time. It’s almost like giving the band a makeover or rebranding, so to speak – I changed our logo up, music took a darker direction – but it’s still very much Wednesday 13, it still pays respect to the past. It’s not like it’s a crazy, crazy transition but when it comes to the live shows, people will see like with more or less everything we’ve done, it all ties in together.”

Visually, there’s certainly a lot more going on, both in Wednesday’s music videos and live productions – things got darker, there’s a lot more going on, and not all of it is aesthetically comfortable. Evident in the videos for singles, “What the Night Brings” and “Blood Sick”, you might wonder whether all of this is truly an artistic change in direction for the singer, or that darkness stems from reflections on his life at this point. “The imagery of what we’ve been doing isn’t too much different to what we’ve always done,” says Wednesday.

“The songs have a darker feel and the sound and imagery is pretty much sort of where I am these days, and the way it looks, it’s a combination of all my looks over the years.”

Nowadays, to don the theatrical makeup and the heavy black clothing, though Wednesday has made a career out of having an alternative look, it’s a little more socially acceptable than it was. But coming from a conservative state such as Wednesday’s home state of North Carolina, the reactions he had in the ’90s with the direction he was trying to take his personality compared to the success he has now are stark contrasts, indeed. Residingly, Wednesday says, “Oh! I was the weirdo of my town! I’m still the weirdo in my town.

“I grew up in the ’90s, with being the only kid in my school with dyed jet-black hair down to my waist, I was definitely considered a weirdo – but at the same time, it was cool back then, it was such a different thing. It wasn’t a trend thing back then, it was just… cool. I was obsessed with Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe, so yeah, now it’s little more socially acceptable to look that way. Back then, it was like, ‘What are you doing?’ When Marilyn Manson came out, people started calling me that. I’ve always looked like this, probably since I was 15 years old.”

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And since then, Wednesday has made it part of his performance ethic to constantly change up his image, and his music, to keep people guessing and keep the young ones in the wake of his creative shadow. Several bands cite Wednesday 13 as being the influence for their visual style, their wanting to step out and be different, bands like My Chemical Romance and Black Veil Brides. This is a fact that resonates somewhat comically with the goth-mad singer – kids just can’t keep up with his ever-changing game. “I can definitely tell they’ve looked at Murderdolls, seen pictures, but I’m always trying to reinvent myself.

“People like [David] Bowie and [Alice] Cooper, they never stuck to the same thing. When I see these younger bands trying to do the image thing I do, it always keeps me on my toes because I try to do something different. By the time someone’s figured me out, I’m already on to something else! It’s great to see the influence, but I’m always changing things and I think when people see what we’ve changed on this next live show, they’ll see just how weird I’ve gotten.”

He’s like a cat with nine lives and with his new live tour, the entire stage show will be completely different to anything he’s done before, reflecting the change in pace on the new album. “Just for me, with the new album, I’m on another level and we had to take the stage show up another level.

“It became more of a performance, every song there’s something different that I’m doing: whether it’s visual with a costume change or a mask or a stage prop or something like that, so it’s really like a mini-movie – so yeah. it’s gonna be what I think in my mind as the biggest and best Wednesday 13 show we’ve ever done.”

Do yourself a favour and ease yourself into this more twisted side of Wednesday’s mind and watch the video for single, “What The Night Brings”. In it, you’ll have your first taste of Wednesday’s devil character who, honestly, does nothing but make you feel uncomfortable. “Well, good!” laughs Wednesday.

“There’s an old black-and-white silent film called Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages [1922], and it’s just basically some of the imagery in that film is so weird, these devils are dancing around and I don’t know, I just had that image in my head and when I got that mask, I wanted to incorporate that sort of imagery from the film into my live setting.

“When I tried that mask for the first time live, I could see the reactions on people’s face like, ‘What the fuck is that doing, that’s creepy as fuck!’ So I saw the reaction of the audience and it became something we do live, something we look forward to every show. When it came to the video, I was like, ‘I’ve gotta incorporate that devil guy somewhere’ – so he’ll be back in the live show, for sure.”

And his unexpected appearance in any further music videos? “I don’t think I have any plans for him to return, but who knows? He may be a character who will return in another album,” says Wednesday. “We’ve already filmed four videos for this album and planning to film two more before Halloween.”

Of course.

Written by Anna Rose

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