Interview: Is Wednesday 13 the Current King of Monsters?!

Wednesday 13 Interview October 2016 Vandala MagazineWednesday 13 is the true definition of horror! His breath-taking theatrical stage shows have helped pave the way for bands such as, Black Veil Brides, Motionless In White, and Vampires Are Everywhere. Some even say Wednesday is the current king of monsters. His upcoming release “Condolences” is bound to be Wednesday 13’s most personal release to date! So fans get ready, because 2017 is the year of the Goth culture, as “Condolences” will serve as the main soundtrack to your gloomy rainy days next year.

Interview by Chad Thomas Carsten
From October 2016 Vandala Magazine 

If you had to choose an alcohol beverage to describe the music of Wednesday 13 to a first time listener, what would it be? What Wednesday 13 album would you recommend?

Wednesday 13: It would definitely be Whisky! Whisky and broken glass; that would be the drink and a good way to describe our sound. I would say probably my Transylvania record is a good place to start. The last record “Monsters of the Universe” is a good place to start too if you want to catch up to where we are these days. Transylvania is eleven years old now, but that is still kinda the first one and I still feel really proud of that record. It covered a lot of different genres. It was heavy metal, punk, glam, and it was where my head was at eleven to twelve years ago.

When you were a child and first discovered music, what albums did you replay over and over?

Wednesday 13: I remember my brother having three records he used to play when my parents would leave and he would crank it up on stereo via vinyl. He used to always play “Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden just because it was evil sounding. Laughs He would also replay the beginning of “Shout at the Devil”. He always replayed that. And another awesome sounding record that was really cool around that time was this artist known as Aldo Nova and he had a song called “Fantasy” and the intro of the song just sounds like helicopters, just really heavy on the synthesizers. It sounds like a movie! And I remember I just loved to listen to that intro of that song. Really, really cool intro!

Can we dive into the details on how you came up with the name for the And Bloodshed For All Tour?

Was there ever a specific moment in your life where music straight up saved you?

Wednesday 13: Music saved my life period! I basically; when a lot of kids in my school were experimenting with drugs and drinking, I was standing in front of my mirror making sure my guitar looked cool on me and how and where to wear it. So basically I didn’t do anything but stay in my bedroom, listen to music and soak it in and learn about every band that I liked and every band that they liked. If I heard Motley Crue liked Alice Cooper, I would go out and find that artist’s records. I found out about all these obscure glam bands because I wanted to find out what made my hero’s who they are. So yeah, music basically saved my life. I come from a little tiny town in North Carolina called “China Grove”, that has two stoplights, now. They didn’t back then. Coming from that small town and being able to live my dream out, because when I was doing that stuff back in my town I had my band Frankenstein Drag Queens. We were terrorizing little local bars and people would say, “You’re an idiot! Nobody is ever gonna like you! This is never gonna make it!” And I’m like, “Somebody will like this someday”. I’ve been able to do it now/touring professionally for fifteen years! I believed in myself and I didn’t let anybody set it aside. They could’ve been right. I don’t know how I was able to succeed. Thanks to Joey Jordison calling me up to do the Murderdolls thing, everybody knows of me now, but before that I was just a needle in the haystack and Joey found me. I’m forever indebted to that guy for giving me the chance to get out, even though we don’t talk anymore. Last time we didn’t talk for almost 6 years and we did a record. Laughs

wed-13-billingsWhat is your most cherished memory working with Joey Jordison?

Wednesday 13: That’s a good question. [Pondered on the question for a few minutes.]
There was a ton of cool stuff! We did a lot of stuff in a really short time! I literally went from North Carolina to (seriously) playing in Tokyo, Japan in front of thirty thousand people with Guns N Roses in a month. Being able to do that kind of stuff/being on tour with Murderdolls/meeting my hero’s like Alice Cooper and him taking us out on tour; there are so many memories. It was just really cool on how he and I wrote together. When we did the record “Woman and Children Last”, we hadn’t seen each other in almost six years. We went into the studio and I sat right in front of his drum set with my guitar and we tracked everything and talked it out, just guitar and drums. We tracked all eighteen of those songs in a day in a half. It was perfect! No arguments, nothing! We laughed the whole time. When it comes to music wise, me and that dude can do amazing things. And it’s not just him; it’s a lot of things that factor into why we haven’t done anything since. It’s just unfortunate when that last Murderdolls record happened, Paul Gray died right before it came out and that really changed everything. So had that not happened, things could be different. But it was just a really, really bad time when that happened. The first album when it came out we had all the steam going. We were blowing up in England; it was huge! Then the label wanted more Slipknot, so it was no more, we had to take a break. And when you take a break, people forget. And that’s why we had to start all over again. So it’s just unfortunate that the band had all this steam and it got put on hold.

Which horror film best reflects your personality?

Wednesday 13: Beetle Juice!

When you finally get a chance to direct your own horror film, what type of horror will it be?

Wednesday 13: I don’t know. Part of me wants to do something really crazy, violent, and weird and the other side of me wants to do a Toxic Avenger type of movie. It’s just so dumb and over the top. So I was thinking on something like that. It would be cool to have a movie titled “Wednesday 13’s Very Bad Movie” and that way if they say it sucks, well it’s in the title, what do you want from me?

What are your true thoughts on the current state of the horror genre?

Wednesday 13: For me because I just turned forty a couple weeks ago; nothing ever replaces being alive in the 80’s and actually seeing “A Nightmare On Elm Street” for the first time. Before there was no Internet. I discovered Fangoria Magazine when I was like eleven. Horror was just something you had to go to the movies to see and you had to get it on VHS. Now it’s just everywhere! It’s just like everything; everything is available now. It doesn’t seem as fun to me. But also i’ve been so busy with my music and everything I really haven’t been watching anything new, even horror movies. I still watch the old stuff. I check out the remakes and stuff just to see how it is. But “Stranger Things” was the last cool thing I saw that made me go, “Wow, they really captured the 80’s vibe.”

Wednesday 13: I always try to come up with tour names, just so my dumb swiss-cheese brain can remember what tour it was. Laughs There was no specific thing about the title at all. I just thought it sounded kinda cool. It kinda sounds like Metallica’s “And Justice For All” and I looked at the advertisement for it and I read the name for the tour and there’s blood all over and I have a song called “Gimmie Gimmie Bloodshed”, so it was just a cool title and something I had never used before. If you look at all the tours that I’ve done since 2003, I give them all a name. They’re either a song title or named after one of the albums. For the “Skeletons” record I called the tour the “Skeletour”. Actually, Alice Cooper got really jealous about that and wanted to use it.

wed-13-threeFor your upcoming record “Condolences”, how does the album title represent your own personal life?

Wednesday 13: It’s very representative! It’s weird, we’re just getting the mixes back for it this week and we’ve been listening to it. We started on it June 1st and we finished September 1st, writing and recording, I think. I never spent three months working on anything, ever! It’s kinda a serious record, so to speak. If I could compare it to any of my other releases, it’s more like “Skeletons’” and the fact it kinda had more of a serious vibe and the campiness is out of it. It’s really dark, it’s really violent, and I based it all off; it’s not a concept record, but the theme is about death! It’s about every aspect of death. Being the victim, the killer, you know, from every point of view. And the last two songs; the title track for “Condolences”, is about my own funeral. And the last song on the record is about the afterlife. So it’s a really weird dark record and it’s kinda serious in a way. It still got its fun vibe but it’s a really heavy dark record. And I think it’s the coolest sounding record. The whole death thing, death was all around us. Roman lost a close friend, I lost an old band mate, and then you got all these f*cking cool rock stars going away like Bowie, Lemmy; everything was just death. I just kept seeing condolences everywhere. And it was just like, “F*ck!” But it’s a weird cool, dark title.

Was there ever anything you wanted to do recording-wise that you finally had the chance to do inside “Condolences”?

Wednesday 13: Yes. “Condolences” is the first Wednesday 13 record that I did not produce. So we had Zeus (who did the last Murderdolls record) produce the album for us. So it was the first time I had someone come in and say, “Do that a little different.” And it was cool because it was Zeus. I didn’t fight about it at all. I was like, “You’re right! Cut that part out!” He came in as an outside ear and also as a fan, he likes the music. But he listened to it in a different way. He brought out a lot of things in us that I think needed to be there. So this record to me is like the ultimate Wednesday 13record! The sound and all the styles on it; it’s got everything that i’ve ever done, plus a ton of new stuff that you’ve never heard us try. It’s the heaviest music from us ever on this album! It sounds like Glam meets Lamb of God or something. Glam of God. Laughs

It’s bizarre because the music is really heavy but I don’t sing metal lyrics and I don’t growl. I write lyrics the way I write. It’s a really unique kind of thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody pull it off. Like there is this one song, I call it “Sleaze Knot” and just sounds like a sleazy Slipknot song. It’s cool, man. I let my band do the music this time and I talked them through it. On the other records I was used to doing all this shit myself. Recording everything, playing the bass, playing the guitar, and over the last couple releases, I just started letting my lead guitarist Roman do all the stuff. On this record I wrote a lot of the music but I gave it to him and just said, “Play it how you would play it. Make it better.” This record has turned out great and we’re so stoked about it! It will be out by April 2017. That’s all i’m saying. I don’t have a release date for it yet because i’m also not self-releasing it this time. I’m getting a label and everything this time.

wed-13-twoIt’s common knowledge among Wednesday 13 fans that you wrote a song about Vincent Price. If you were able to record an original song with him, what would it be about?

Wednesday 13: I don’t know. I’m sure if I had the opportunity to work with him I write something specifically just for it. I don’t even know how to answer that question. It’s a good question. But I’ll tell you how I wrote my original Vincent Price song. I’m moving into my house and my friend was helping me carry a couch upstairs and I just started whistling that chorus for Vincent Price. “Some people prefer the finer things in life! I’m all right. Hanging out with the ghost of Vincent Price.” And I went, “I’m going to write that down.” Then I was I like, “Why is my brain thinking like this while i’m moving a couch?”

Which guitar solo from any album from any band that was just so damn good, it just took your mind on a journey?

Wednesday 13: I’m a guitar nerd. I think i’m an ok rhythm guitar player but I could never do the shredding/noodling and all that stuff. I wanted to, but Joe Satriani is still one of my favorite things to listen to. His solo album “Flying in a Blue Dream”, to this day me and our guitarist Roman will listen to that album at least once a week! And everybody in our band will be like, “Why are you f*cking listening to this?” and we’ll be like, “Shut up! You don’t know! This is the seventh grade for us!” You know when I got a guitar and it’s an Ibanez and I wanted to be able to play like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai and I couldn’t do it. So I started singing and now I got a guitar player that can do it! Best of both worlds! Laughs.

Wednesday 13 currently is on tour across the USA so be sure to grab your tickets and see them live!

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