Latest release: Calling All Corpses (Riot!/Warner)
Horror rocker Wednesday 13 was only in Australia less than six months ago and he’s already on track to return with a tour booked for October. He was of course recenty here in February with the Soundwave Festival, during which time he got to share the stage with one of his inspirations when he supported Marilyn Manson at several Sidewave shows.
“Oh it was great man!” he recalls with genuine enthusiasm. “Being a fan of the guy… I think I remember tellin’ Manson, it was funny, I remember buying his record in my last year of high school and going to see his shows in North Carolina. It was actually really cool being able to do shows with him. It was a lot of fun, and we’ve become good friends because of that. So that was a real highlight for me for this year, doing that.”
The singer is pleased to have been fortunate enough to play Soundwave twice in a row – in 2011 was he fronting the Murderdolls – but this time he will be able to bring the full Wednesday 13 experience to Australian audiences for the first time in over two years.
“I’m super excited about being able to come back,” says the man known to his friends and family as Joseph Poole. “You know with Soundwave you only have forty minutes, but this run, my headlining shows are normally an hour, hour and a half and I like to try to cram as much of my catalogue into that time as I can.My last headlining tour [there] as Wednesday was 2010, and was kinda thrown together real quick as opposed to this tour, having this line-up and band and everything. We definitely got all our dots in a row and we’re real prepared this time. I’m hoping this tour in October should be my best tour there.”
Wednesday 13 hasn’t been idle since he departed Australian shores. It’s true he’s currently enjoying a bit of a lay-off as he takes this interview, but there’s a huge tour in the northern summer he has to get ready for. Above and beyond that, he also has two releases-worth of new songs down, which he started on as soon as he got back to LA from Soundwave.
“I started writing for the 2013 release, and for the EP. We have an EP coming out in time for this tour,” he reveals. “I’ve just been pretty much locked in my apartment with a guitar round my neck just writing, writing, writing. And I just wrote so many songs to the point where I’m sick of writing songs. But I have enough for the EP and the album, and enough songs that I actually like, because I don’t like putting filler stuff out. So I’ve just been writing non-stop, and we start rehearsals in three days for our summer tour. No more downtime! Back to work.”
The next album will be his fifth full-length solo effort, and “Just judging by what we have so far,” he suggests, “it’s nothing like the last record at all.” While he claims to be reluctant to describe his new records in terms of his previous work, he is prepared to say on this occasion that Women and Children Last is a yardstick for the next one.
“I think I hear my music different to other people,” he says. “To me, if I had to compare it to my stuff from the past, I think it’s more in the realm of the last Murderdolls album and my first solo release, Transylvania. The riffs are a lot heavier, the music’s more out there and more band-oriented. The band’s playing on it this time. I’m gonna let them shine a bit. I’ve got a great band behind me and I’m gonna let these guys let their abilities speak.”
In the past, Wednesday 13 has shouldered most of the responsibility for his albums, from song writing to arranging, vocals, most of the music and production duties. This time, however, he says he is quite looking forward to working in the studio with members of his long-serving live band. As an independent artist, he doesn’t have the budget to spend long periods in a studio, so working with a crew that knows him so well takes away a lot of the creative pressure he can come under.
“You know, not being on a label, I’m not getting tons of money chucked at me so every minute I’m in there the dollars are going ker-ching!, ker ching! We’re not gonna get in the studio and go, ‘Hey, let’s learn how to be a band!’ So it definitely helps that I got guys on the same page and we know what we’re doing. This line-up that I have right now, it was my band before the Murderdolls, and then these guys were in the Murderdolls with me, and then in my solo band. So we’ve been playing off and on for five years together.”
As far as his live shows in Australia will go, Wednesday will use his current tour in the northern hemisphere to help him plan what he’ll bring to the stage here. With quite a string of material behind him now, he admits that it’s becoming increasingly problematic for him to nail down what he should include in a set.
“It’s cool to have that many songs, but it makes it difficult when you’re making a setlist. There’s certain songs that if I don’t play, people will kill me.”
Like other artists, the singer has opened up his Facebook page to requests ahead of tours to get a feel for what his fans want him to play for them. But even that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.
“It just gets harder,” he says with an exasperated sigh. “And everytime you put a record out, it just gets worse. I can only play for so long. We gotta play two new songs, and then we gotta play the old songs… every release it gets worse and worse. So this time next year, I’m gonna be going, Oh my God, what am I gonna do now? But I guess that’s not such a bad problem to have!”
Wednesday 13 tours Australia in October:
25/10: The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
26/10: Annandale Hotel, Sydney NSW
27/10: Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne VIC