WEDNESDAY 13 – Open Up And Let The Devil In

May 29, 2017, 7 months ago

Aaron Small

feature heavy metal wednesday 13

WEDNESDAY 13 – Open Up And Let The Devil In

On June 2nd, Wednesday 13 will release his seventh studio album – the first for Nuclear Blast – titled Condolences. Not only has W13 found a new home, his music has entered an exhilarating new era. While the tantalizing evil remains, the tongue-in-cheek horror parodies have been replaced with seriously heavy songs that creep and cavort their way into your conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. The ante’s been upped, and the results are overwhelmingly sinister. Sit back and enjoy as Wednesday takes you through all thirteen tracks on Condolences; song by bloody song.   
 
“Last Rites” – “I don’t really know where the idea for the intro came from? I always think about those intros; I don’t put those on there just to fill up space or anything like that. I think about our live show. I wanted something that… for me it kind of sounds like Nightmare On Elm Street meets Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. It made me feel kind of uneasy. Originally it was super long, then we shortened it for better effect. I love that intro, and that’s probably how we’ll start our live show as well.”
 
“What The Night Brings” – “That was one that our guitarist Roman (Surman) brought to the table, that was one of his songs. I’ve been hearing that riff at sound check for a couple of years. He said, ‘I have to get this riff out of my head and onto a record.’ We started jamming on the riff and he worked it out with our drummer Kyle (Castronovo). It was weird cause that was the only song I struggled on lyrically. At first, I couldn’t find the melody I wanted to sing to on it. I had a couple of different variations before I finally settled down on it. But once I found what I was doing with it, I loved it and it became one of my favourite songs on the record. It’s a dark song. For years I’ve been known as the campy guy, and this song is like the real scary song. It has such a cool vibe, and I think we captured that vibe with the video as well.”
 
“Cadaverous” – “Originally, that was going to be the opening track on the record, until we wrote ‘What The Night Brings’. It’s fun and it’s super heavy. The lyrics are kind of old school Wednesday 13; it’s a good grave robbing song, a very sick song.”
 
“Blood Sick” – “When I was coming up with the lyrics for that song, I had the chorus in my head and it was like, alright, what am I going to make this song about? In my apartment, in my office, I’m surrounded by toys and posters. There’s a poster of that old movie Spider Baby, with Sid Haig. At the bottom of the poster it says, ‘So said the spider to the fly.’ I remember I was trying to come up with words, and that became the first lyric of that song; and it just went from there. In the video as well, when the time came about for that, I pictured us in a spider web, so we brought that to life.”

“Good Riddance” – “That is the drum song! Kyle’s a machine the whole time; on this whole record Kyle’s amazing, his drumming is crazy. That’s a strong song on the record; it’s one of the very first songs I wrote for the record. I’ve had that song for a long time – just the music, I didn’t have the lyrics for it. Originally, I had three or four different lyric ideas and titles for that before I settled down with ‘Good Riddance’. It’s about cutting ways with things that drag you down. That’s my be all, end all preaching song about that. It’s a personal song and it’s cool I can do that these days without having to stick to doing just horror. I can actually write about different things, and that song has a cool, heavy message with it. But I never say who it’s about exactly; I never, ever give that up. It’s about several different things, not one exact person. You know what’s weird too, on this record, I think that’s one of the only songs with a curse word. I say fuck twice – on ‘Cruel To You’ and on that song. I’m growing up, what’s going on with me?”
 
“You Breathe, I Kill” – “When we first came up with that song, we just looked at each other and went, ‘Whoa, that’s heavy!’ We had heard the roughs in the studio, but when we actually got the mix back from Zeuss, we all sat on the bus and heard it on our sound system, I looked over at our bass player (Troy Doebbler) and he went, ‘Damn!’ It feels like a fucking sledgehammer on that song! Lyrically, it’s just a dark song. I was getting a lot of lyrics, ideas, and storylines out of these serial killer books. When I was writing that, I was mainly influenced by Richard Ramirez – The Night Prowler, how he we would just peep through windows, watch people, and sneak in. So I wrote that from the point of view of looking at someone through their window, watching them in there, going in and attacking them. It’s a very dark song. It’s one of my favourite lyrics on the record: ‘Don’t be scared it’s just a knife, and now it’s come to take your life.’ That’s a good one!”
 
“Omen Amen” – “That’s a cool one that our drummer Kyle actually wrote. He plays guitar as well and he brought that riff to the table. He wrote that song a long time ago and we dissected it apart, then Roman came in with the chorus; it’s almost got this Pantera type riff to it. Lyrically, that’s another funny song for me. I grew up in North Carolina, in the Bible Belt. I grew up in the time when there was backwards masking on records, the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center – founded by the Washington Wives). Heavy metal was scary to parents; it was the Devil. So I wrote that song from that point of view of the Southern Baptist and how they were scared of rock ‘n roll. ‘Oh you listen to rock ‘n roll – you’re going to turn into a Devil worshipper.’ Well yeah, what if I did? To me it’s just funny how that was like the Second Coming or the Apocalypse. My parents were terrified when they saw me with the Shout At The Devil record (by Mötley Crüe). They couldn’t believe it!”
 
Cruel To You” – “That was one of the last tracks that we wrote. We had pretty much come up with all the riffs for the record, we had all the songs done. We had a couple days before we were flying back from Kyle’s where we spent three weeks writing the record. At the very last minute I said, ‘We still need another cool beat, rock song.’ I started coming up with the riff and Deen (Castronovo – Kyle’s Dad and former Journey drummer) came by the house. We were like, ‘Dude, get behind the drums.’ And we started jamming on the riff for it. He started doing that drum beat in the very beginning, it was so weird cause that’s not even how I heard a beat for the song. He just heard it that way and it adds this really cool feature to it. We basically came up with the song right there, with Deen playing it. Then I came home and wrote the lyrics for it a few weeks later. It’s a fun, fist-in-the-air rock song. We actually just filmed a video for that; it’s like a comic book. It’s meant to be a lyric video, and it’s almost a lyric video; so it doesn’t have the whole band in it. Basically I’m following a little blonde Barbie girl around Beverly Hills like Mike Myers (from Halloween), hiding behind bushes with an axe. It’s pretty crazy!”

“Eulogy XIII” – “I don’t know if you realize, the music is actually ‘Death Infinity’ – the last track on the record. If you listen to it, the music’s the same, it’s just done in an old-school, John Carpenter, New York type – I’m obsessed with old soundtracks. That’s basically the ‘80s synth version of ‘Death Infinity’. It definitely sounds spacey and again, that was another track that I didn’t just put in the middle of the record to fill up space. I like it because it’s almost like an intermission for the record, because after that, the record gets really fucking dark. This is as nice as it’s going to get; here comes the blood!”
 
“Prey For Me” – “That’s another brutal, heavy song. It was inspired by reading stuff out of that serial killer book. It wasn’t really based off one person, I read some horrible things in that book and just wrote from that point of view. What can make the human mind go to that point? I can’t wait to play it live!”
 
“Lonesome Road To Hell” – “Music-wise, that one sounds like something off Transylvania (90210 – W13’s first solo album), maybe ‘God Is A Lie’. That was another serial killer type song, going out guns-a-blazing. There’s no turning back, I already hear the bells. This guy knows he’s on his last journey, and he’s taking everybody with him. It’s another dark song. That’s another riff I’ve had for, I don’t even know how long… I thought I should finally bring it to life.”
 
“Condolences” – “We weren’t trying to do a really long, Iron Maiden type kind of song, it just came out that way. It wasn’t forced, and I think it’s awesome! That is one of the first songs I wrote for the record. The title ‘Condolences’ came from when Bowie passed away, I kept seeing ‘Condolences, sorry for your loss.’ I realized how powerful that word was, so I picked my guitar up and started writing the riff for it; I had the chorus instantly. That’s one of my favourite songs on the record, and we just filmed a video for that. We shortened the song for the video, we cut two minutes off of it. But it’s still a really, really dark song. And I think we captured that vibe in the video, it’s definitely the strangest thing I’ve ever done – I filmed my fake funeral. I had all my friends there putting flowers on a casket; it was really weird! I had a wreath that said ‘In Memory of Wednesday 13’. I’m the priest in it doing my eulogy, and I’m also inside the casket like I’m being buried alive. Then there’s a band performance; it’s just a really dark, fucked up video. That song has such a vibe to it. All the different sounds – none of that is keyboard. That’s all Roman’s guitar and effects he has created. He spent hours creating all these soundscapes. Every time it goes into a chorus you hear that weird, eerie high-pitched sound; when I first heard it, it gave me goosebumps. I’m really proud of how we captured the vibe on that song. I’ve never recorded a song that gave me chills like that. When we filmed the video, the director Matt Zane said, ‘This reminds me of Twisted Sister – “Burn In Hell” or “Captain Howdy”.’ And I was like, holy shit, it does! I didn’t even realize it.”
 
“Death Infinity” – “There’s all this violence and all this death, and it ends on a happy note; or at least as happy as it can be. It’s still a somber, dark song; but it’s uplifting compared to the rest of the record. For me, ‘Condolences’ is the funeral, and ‘Death Infinity’ is the afterlife, or after death journey. Where does it go? Where are we going? That’s why I say in that song, ‘I know life begins at death’. It has an uplifting quality to it, at least it feels like that to me. Originally it was just going to be an intro, a segue like how ‘Eulogy XIII’ is. Then Roman said, ‘We should make this into a whole song.’ We did, and it turned out to be one of my favourite things on the record. It’s also a really different song for us. I think if people heard that and asked, ‘Who’s this?’ And you said, Wednesday 13, they’d be like, ‘No way’.”

Of course with a new album, comes a new tour. W13 details his upcoming stage show – “I’ve gone all out! I’m running out of money. I’ve bought so much stuff. I’m getting all of my masks and everything made, I’ve put the order in with all the specifications. I’m doing the mask thing a little different. I’m not doing it exactly like I did last year. But the backwards mask that I did, I’m doing a super version of that this time. I’ve spent a lot of money on lights; we have a light guy this time. We’ve got ego risers all across the stage now, back drops, scrims; I really went all out for our stage show. The stage show has to match the level of this record, and this record took the band to a new level, so the stage show has to go with it. I’m excited! We haven’t played a live show with the band since Halloween. I am like a caged tiger; I’ve been playing acoustic for the past three months. I cannot wait to hear loud guitar and drums in my ear.” 
 
Click here for Wednesday 13’s complete tour schedule.
 
"What The Night Brings" video:

 
“Blood Sick” video:
 

 

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