Wednesday 13

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The DIY road is a trusted route for bands without the financial means or at war with record labels and the control they often hold. For Wednesday 13, keeping things in-house has been something that has always worked, and with seven Wednesday 13 records to his name and a dedicated fanbase, Wednesday knows what he’s doing.

The band recently announced they’ve signed with label, Nuclear Blast – a big change that is sure to send them higher. “I’ve been self-releasing stuff for all these years and I can keep doing that,” Wednesday says, “but as the band’s grown and as the shows are getting bigger, I’m starting to grow out of these small venues that I’m playing, and I want to reach a bigger audience and get it to a bigger stage. I know how to tour, but with a label on our side this time they’ve opened up a lot of bigger doors.”

One of those doors is a string of music videos to promote the upcoming record, Condolences, with the first video to be released next month. “It’s for a track called ‘What The Night Brings’ which will be our first single,” Wednesday reveals. “This is something that I made the treatment for and it’s all my ideas for it. It’s definitely gonna be a big make-up for the wait of not having videos all those years.”

The band also welcomed producer, Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris (Murderdolls, Rob Zombie) on board for their seventh release and wrapped up recording in September last year with a June release date. Wednesday tells us to anticipate a ‘darker’ record. “I think Skeletons [2008 release] is the easiest I can compare it to because at the time it came out, people had heard Transylvania 90210 [2005] and Fang Bang [2006] and those were more kind of fun, kind of rock records, and then Skeletons was definitely a darker route. I don’t know if the fans liked it at first or expected it, but now it’s one of the records that people come out and tell me it’s one of their favourites.” Wednesday says, “Condolences is a really different record to what I’ve released in the past, but it’s also my favourite thing I’ve ever done so I hope the fans embrace it the way I have.

“Every time I do a record I try to do something completely different and not repeat myself. As the band evolves, I try to let that come across in the music, but we always try to pay respect to the past with the lyrics and with the imagery. There’s enough of the old Wednesday 13 there to keep everybody happy. I don’t think that side will ever go away.”

While Condolences features more of a focus on death, with a catalogue of tongue-in-cheek songs playing on horror movies, murder and monsters, the darker, more serious route of death won’t take too much for fans to ease in to. While Wednesday quashes the aspect of a concept record, the songs are from the point of view of a serial killer and a victim. “I read a lot of serial killer books and read all these really disturbing stories,” he says with disgust in his tone. “Over the years, horror movies have become kind of normal and nothing really shocks me in that aspect, so now when I read about true life horror – that is some disturbing things, so I just started writing about it. The title, Condolences is about dying and what happens after that,” Wednesday explains. “It’s my first record I actually talk about those subjects and deal with it, so it’s another side of the Wednesday 13 world.”

 

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There’s no doubt that Wednesday is a fan-centric artist, creating setlists with his fans in mind, right down to the reception of his ‘personal’ songs. “When I listened to music as a kid I didn’t wanna hear people complaining and moaning about their problems, you know? For me, music was an escape,” Wednesday says. “But as I’ve gotten older, there are life things I [do] wanna sing about and I try to determine how it will portray to my fans.”

With that, Wednesday reveals a more personal track we can listen out for: “There’s a new song on the record called ‘Good Riddance’ [about the death of a relationship]. When I was writing it I was like, ‘woah, this is a really different, serious song – how do I relay it with the audiences?’. It’s hard to write personal stuff and I try to stay away from that, but if I do write personal stuff I try to cater it so that the audience can make it about them and not about me.”

Catering to his fans translates to the Undead Unplugged tour in which Wednesday offers the ultimate fan experience – an interactive Q&A session where anything goes. After Wednesday’s ‘southern fried’ country set for Bourbon Crow with former Wednesday 13 bass player Rayen Belchere, Wednesday will be joined by guitarists Roman Surman and Jack Tankersley for the Undead Unplugged experience. The setlist follows the suit of the acoustic record by the same title, which features fan favourites as well as tracks from Wednesday’s shelved projects, Murderdolls and Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13. Having trialled the shows in the UK, and now recently the U.S., Wednesday 13 is heading to Australia in March to give us the same experience.

For a seasoned performer like Wednesday 13, the Undead Unplugged tour shows fans another side of the singer. “It’s the weirdest thing ever. It’s like a nightmare. It’s crazy, but I somehow like it,” he laughs. “It’s really strange, it’s very uncomfortable and very unnatural for me to do the acoustic shows, but somehow I’ve made it work.

“It’s made me a better musician, and I guess a better communicator. But it is scary, it is completely raw – there’s nothing to hide behind. With the full band we have the lights, the amps, the sound, the makeup and all that stuff, so the acoustic show is literally me walking out the way I’m pretty much dressed every day. It’s exposed – like a turtle out of their shell.”

Written by Nikki Russian

 

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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