WEDNESDAY 13 Discusses His First Concert Ever – “It Was MÖTLEY CRÜE On The Dr. Feelgood Tour…”; Video
July 16, 2019, a month ago
On a new episode of Digital Tour Bus’ First Concert Ever; Wednesday 13 reminisces about seeing Mötley Crüe on the Dr. Feelgood Tour.
Wednesday 13 will release his enticing new album, Necrophaze, this fall (exact date TBA) via Nuclear Blast. BraveWords correspondent Aaron Small was invited aboard the band’s tour bus during their recent stop in Toronto, ON at The Opera House and treated to a complete playthrough of Necrophaze; stunning is an understatement. With posters of Godzilla and Creature From The Black Lagoon serving as oh so appropriate decor, W13 revealed the following details about his forthcoming opus.
“Necrophaze is not a concept record, but I’m introducing this Necrophaze character so, you get a little taste of him in it. This record is not like Monsters Of The Universe (2015); it’s not an hour long record. I made this record like an old school record; it’s 38 minutes – with a bonus track. It’s like the old Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister records; I wanted it to be short and sweet where you go, ‘Fuck, that’s awesome! Hit it again.’ I don’t want to play too many songs (from Necrophaze in our current set) cause the record’s not out until later in the year. We’re playing one new song live, ‘Zodiac’, even though that’s not the first single.”
Musically and lyrically, what’s “Zodiac” like? “When we put that song together, I loved the music, but I had no idea I was going to call it ‘Zodiac’. I had ‘This Is The Zodiac Speaking’ in my list of words in my notebook. It’s super metal, but it kind of has an industrial tinge to it. Roy (Mayorga from Stone Sour) added this keyboard sound which, we just honed in on the old John Carpenter sound. We used the actual keyboards; that’s a real cool element to this record. Everything’s ‘80s influenced. I really became a Gary Numan fan over the past few years, just listening to his stuff, and getting zoned out on John Carpenter records with all the synth and stuff. When I spoke to Roy, he said, ‘I have the exact model that John Carpenter wrote his first five films from. Plus, I have an original Halloween mask of William Shatner hanging over it.’ He fit the qualifications for this. It was like, are you fucking kidding me? It was perfect!”
Did Roy Mayorga add elements to every song on the album? “No, I would say half the record. I didn’t want it to be a thing where we relied on a keyboard. He just keeps the movie element and the atmosphere. We didn’t want to do anything that if we couldn’t have it live, it would take away from the song. We don’t have a keyboard player, we use track just for some of the keyboard stuff, and samples to glue the songs together, but every other instrument, guitars, bass and drums, we all play that live. I never, ever want to go the cheating route. I’ll cheat on my wife, but not on rock ‘n roll.”
On stage, Wednesday 13 has been utilizing a mask which displays a face on the back of his head; the inspiration of which was recently revealed. That being Edward Mordake – the 19th Century English urban legend who claimed his second face would utter things that one would only speak about in hell. Wednesday explains how he wove this story from the late 1800s into his live show. “Actually, it was kind of backwards. I knew of Edward Mordake; I had seen the photos; I didn’t know that was his name. I just knew there was a guy in one of my Ripley’s Believe It Or Not books born with a face on the back of his head. I had heard he committed suicide cause it would whisper to him at night. I thought that was creepy as fuck! Backwards Man is something I created on the bus, drunk one night, by putting my mask on the back of my head and walking backwards down the bunk. Everybody said it looks fucking creepy, Then I posted photos (on social media) and someone said, ‘Edward Mordake’. And it didn’t register. I heard it two more times, so I looked it up and read more about him since then. A little history lesson for myself and everybody else.” Is there a song about Edward Mordake on the new album? “No, maybe the next one. The double-face mask is something I’ve worked into the show; it’s ever-growing. I hate to use the word magic, but it’s turned into this illusion. I see a reaction in the audience every night. I know we’re putting on a show, because they’re watching. I haven’t seen that in so long. It’s cool to shock an audience. I think we’re onto something. It’s only making we want to turn the weird meter up. It’s kind of like, oh, you like that, you think that’s weird. How about this? Wait til Backwards Man goes to Upside Down Backwards Man; it’s a work in progress.” So, he’ll look like a Jack, Queen, or King from a deck of playing cards. “Yes, exactly.”
In addition to Roy Mayorga from Stone Sour appearing on Necrophaze, there are a few other guest stars, one of whom is Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. “Yes, Cristina is on a track called ‘Monster’. How that came about… I don’t know Cristina personally. We’ve met several times. Back in 2003, Murderdolls did a lot of shows with Lacuna Coil; a festival in Italy. I remember that show because it was the biggest show I’d ever played in my life; and the most garbage ever thrown at me at one time. When we wrote that song, I was talking to our manager and I said, ‘It would be really cool to get a female vocalist on this.’ I don’t know why, I thought of Cristina. I saw them with Type O Negative, I always thought she had a killer voice. I hit her up and asked if she would want to sing on this song? She said, ‘Absolutely.’ I sent her the parts to do and she asked if she could do a couple different things? Do whatever you want. She sent us back some really cool stuff; and it fits. It’s heavy and she sounds amazing. It’s like Alvin And The Chipmunks – a high note I can’t even hit.”
“So, we have her on the record, and Alexi Laiho from Children Of Bodom plays on the bonus track, which is a cover of ‘Fuck Like A Beast’ by W.A.S.P. He shares vocal duties and lead guitar; and it fucking rules! That’s the only other guest I’m going to give up right now.” There is another super special guest – whose identity remains a closely guarded secret - that brings Necrophaze to life; salivate and wait. Returning to the man who doesn’t give a fuck if you hate him, W13 says, “A lot of people may not know I sing on Children Of Bodom’s bonus track, their cover of The Plasmatics song (‘Mistress Of Taboo’ from the I Worship Chaos digibook). And a lot of people don’t know this too – Alexi was going to be the guitarist for the second round of Murderdolls, it just didn’t work out. We became friends around that time; he reached out to me for Children Of Bodom, and we covered that song. I knew he was a huge W.A.S.P. fan, and he was like, ‘Fuck yeah!’. We nailed it. I’m proud of it! We don’t do covers, but we nailed this one. We stuck to the guts of the original, and it sounds like Super W.A.S.P. It turned out killer, and they don’t play it anymore. No offense to Blackie (Lawless, W.A.S.P. frontman), he’s got his own reasons. But that was the number one top dirty song, the public enemy for PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center formed in 1985 by The Washington Wives). This whole record was ‘80s inspired; that was back when heavy metal was scary, especially where I grew up – The Bible Belt. W.A.S.P. was evil, so what better band to cover? W.A.S.P.”
Less than a month ago, on June 14th, Napalm Records reissued eight of Wednesday 13's previous albums. “Yes, finally got those back out.” Initially they were self-released, making it harder for people to find years later. “Now it’s worldwide. I want to get my music out. I’m still putting my current stuff out with Nuclear Blast, but Napalm wanted to do the catalogue. Now, everybody can get everything from Skeletons (2008) up ‘til now. The first two releases (Transylvania 90210 and Fang Bang) are still in some red tape, but that should be worked out soon enough.” Are there any bonus tracks or enhanced booklets in these reissues? “Unfortunately, it came at the same time as the new album. I was like, fuck, I can’t get into that. Plus, I didn’t have all the artwork for everything, I had to take what was done. So, we put out what we have. To a lot of people, that’s still brand new stuff. If we release the bonus stuff I have later on, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But I wanted people – since the Cradle Of Filth and Combichrist support tours, we’re getting a lot of new fans. So, when they go on Spotify and look for Wednesday 13, they’re like, ‘I might need to sit down for a little bit and catch up with this.’ I just wanted that available for people. And now it is.”
On the aforementioned Cradle Of Filth support tour, Wednesday 13 had colouring sheets available for free at the merch booth. One featured a vampire, and the other was Chucky from Child’s Play. Are those clues to new songs on Necrophaze? “Not at all. That was something… they’re just images I picked out. I just wanted to show it was ‘80s inspired. I will tell you - the vinyl cover and the actual cover are two completely different covers; like Monsters Of The Universe. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a Creepshow-inspired artwork, or a more John Carpenter / Halloween / The Fog-type cover. It was like, flip a coin; and that wasn’t satisfying. So, we did both. The vinyl became the cartoon, and the main release is more realistic. It all has an ’80s vibe. Literally, I unplugged my satellite. I only watched, and I’m still doing it, shows like Alf. I went in a time warp and it was cool. The record has that atmosphere. Those images are just representative of the theme; I want people to feel that ‘80s theme. Like Stranger Things – when I saw that, it was the first thing to hit home, capturing that atmosphere. The imagery is what I grew up on. That’s horror to me. That’s old-school. Imagine we’re the kids’ music they put on in their room at night; that’s what I wanted this record to be like. Dream Warriors – that time when the rock band played in a horror movie; we’re that rock band.” But W13 sounds nothing like Dokken. “Not at all.”
Speaking of Child’s Play, Wednesday 13 shoots down the remake with Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars) voicing Chucky. “No interest in it. I’m over remakes. Is it really that fucking hard to make a new horror character? I mean, God damn. What if we just settled on The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses and Queen, and went, there’s the Mount Rushmore – nobody else. How hard is it to do? They just keep remaking it and making it worse. Chucky’s a little punk-ass. He was a punk-ass in the beginning. Kick his ass out of the way. It was cool. I liked Brad Dourif doing the voice, I’m a fan of him. But, get out of here. Give me something new, make me scared again. I’m not being a horror snob, but I’m waiting for something good. That’s why I want to make my own movie. I’m tired of waiting. I want to make what I want to see. Whether it’s good to anybody else, let’s see. That’s what I’m going to do with this Necrophaze character, which will be later next year (2020). I will get this movie done; not like The Dixie Dead. I already have somebody (a scriptwriter) working on it with me. That’s a step ahead of where I was before. I actually have a really cool story. It’s all based around that mask, the Necrophaze. I wear it onstage, but you’ll see in the character I’m creating, and the imagery of the record; he’s not physical. It’s just a face on a shadow.” Sounds like something from the old Scooby Doo cartoons. “Exactly, that’s what it all comes from.”