Latest release: Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and PlagueWebsite: www.officialwednesday13.com
Wednesday 13 has had an unbroken run of annual Australian tours since 2010, either as part of Murderdolls or with his own band. Soon to be on these shores once again, Loud caught up with the Lexington horror punker for a chat about his recent concept piece and more.
Wednesday, all of your albums are quite dark but this one is not only darker than usual but very heavy too.
I wanted to make a heavier, darker record and it really surpassed my expectations. You also have an idea in your head about what you want it to sound like and it always comes out different, but different in a sense that it comes out as a better thing. There’s just a vibe… what I like about this record is that it has a vibe to it. All of my records have a common theme but this one just had a vibe running all the way through it that was dark and eerie, creepy, heavy.
As a concept album, this one tackles a lot more real-world issues than your records have done in the past. There are a lot of references to well-known conspiracy theories and allusions to 1984.
When I started writing for this record, I started writing riffs like I always do, and the lyrics kind of come last. And everytime I make and record I think, What am I gonna write about? I’ve put out so many records over the years nobody needs another zombie song from me anytime soon. And at this time I was really into conspiracy theories and discovered a lot of these stories that I’d never heard of. I tell stories in my songs, and this was no different. Some of these stories and things I read I’d never heard about – can you believe I’d never heard about these things? I mean, this is some fucking scary shit! So I started writing these songs and then when I realised I had enough songs I was like, OK, right – this is really different from what I’ve written about in the past? Am I gonna alienate my audience singing about George Orwell’s 1984 and conspiracy theories and all this kind of stuff? Then I realised I had this full story that I could a concept around. So when the record came out and we started playing it live, at every show I’d have people coming up to me and saying, ‘I know what you’re talking about with that song.’ I don’t believe in all these things I’ve heard about, or anything. It’s just telling a story about it. But it’s been a fun thing for me. I always look for something outside the normal life.
You just said that you don’t buy into a lot of the theories yourself, but since you’ve been on tour with this record, you must have met quite a few people who put a lot of faith into some of them.
I think some of these people are insane to think that every time the wind blows, there’s some kind of conspiracy behind it. But there is definitely some truth behind some of that stuff. I consider myself to be a realist. A believe-it-when-I-see-it sort of deal. But when it comes to UFOs there are so many wild reports from all over the world and when you really step back and you look at it, with all the technology do you really think we’ve never done anything better, since the 30s and 40s, that we’ve never done anything better with rockets? There’s stuff being withheld from us by the government and I think a lot of what we’re seeing and being reported in the skies, I think we’re seeing government technology that’s being reported as a UFO. These are the things that I’d read about and find fascinating. There’s so many reports about it, but if 1% of the reports are right, it’d change history!
Some would say that it’s a very scary time right now, so in that regard too the darkness of this album could be seen to be tapping into the zeitgeist.
It’s super scary man, and it’s getting scarier every year. I’m up with all these things. I can’t say I’m an expert or anything, but I’m aware of it, and I know if I wanna catch up with the news I don’t watch the local news or CNN or CBS that’s owned by the government and tells you the news they want you to see. It’s a crazy world out there. People need to lift their noses out of their iPhone for five seconds, or their PlayStation, and kinda look at what’s around them, they’ll see what’s going on around them. That’s the scary part about it. We’re letting it happen right in front of us. We need to be more aware of our surroundings. This is a crazy world we’re living in.
You have been a very frequent visitor to Australia for the last few years, and you’re due to tour out here again soon.
I’ve been fortunate to tour there a lot over the last couple of years. In 2010 I came out and then I’ve toured again in 2011, 2012, 13, 14 and 15 and I’m coming back this year, so that’s a pretty good streak of coming to Australia for us. It’s probably my most solid audience, I would say. I love it and I wish that I could do more than three shows.
It’s evidently not difficult for Wednesday 13 to come out here. Is that because you don’t really have a lot of bring with you?
We’re a DYI band. We’re a step up from a garage band. We bring as much as we can. We make our show look as big as we can, but honestly, it’s not much bigger than the five of us onstage. We make it sound good, look good and hopefully the audience is there just to see us. If I could bring a full production with pyro and having a UFO come out of the ceiling and cross over everybody, I would love to do that. But again, it’s kind of how we’ve kept it for the past five years. Our fans are so die-hard and rabid, I don’t think they would care if we were just sitting on stools. There’d still be the same level of insane. It’s quite a good problem to have.
Catch Wednesday 13 touring in April:
14/4: Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
15/4: The Brightside, Brisbane QLD
16/4: Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW