Latest release: Calling All Corpses (Riot!/Warner)

North Carolina’s Joseph Poole – Wednesday 13 to his public – has already put together an impressive body of work over the last decade and a half as the frontman, guitarist and songwriter for half a dozen bands. With more than twenty recordings under his belt, the 35-year old performer has just released his latest solo album, Calling All Corpses and was recently announced on the line-up of Soundwave 2012. Loud caught up with Wednesday just before a show and talked a little about his influences, his favourite Halloween horror film and more…

Q: Well you must be a busy guy right now with this new record out?

A: Yes it’s been out since October 11 pretty much worldwide, my first solo record in three years. I’m on tour now and I’m out until I don’t know how long. It’s a good time right now.

Q: And of course you’re coming back next year to play Soundwave again. You played with the Murderdolls this year, but next time it’ll be your own show.
A: Yes we just announced that last week. Super stoked about being able to come back to tour Australia. It’s always been a really great experience. To be able to come there at all is just great and to be able to come back as Wednesday 13 and be a part of Soundwave, knowing what that’s like and being part of it last year… well, this year… it’s gonna be an amazing time. I can’t wait. The line up looks amazing and it’s gonna be a fun time, as always in Australia. Great bands and some of the best fans on earth.

Q:You’ve been out here a few times now. Do you have a particular favourite memory of one of your shows here?
A:You know, every single show that I have done, whether it’s been a festival… Soundwave, the Big Day Out, one of my solo shows… they’re all special in their own way. The sideshows are great because they’re all personal and you can do a show where you’re playing in front of 30,000 people. It’s all different. I don’t think I have a favourite memory. I’ve always had a great time. I think the last time I was there, in 2010… I was doing a solo show and we had a great show down in Melbourne and went down to the AC/DC Bar in Cherry Road and hung out there. That was always pretty cool. It was when AC/DC was in town and I was there hanging out with some of the guys in the crew that I knew from AC/DC. That was a pretty cool thing to hang out in the AC/DC Bar and rock out with their crew.

Q: “Bad at Being Human” is dedicated to Lux Interior, the late singer from The Cramps. He was obviously a big influence on you.
A: Oh yeah! The Cramps, and Lux’ presence on stage, his vocals… that kind of stuff spoke to me. And when he passed away, I didn’t really hear anyone talk about it. When it came time to write the record… that song, I wrote the lyrics for it and when I sang it I thought, “Woah, I’m pretty much imitating Lux!” I had to give him a nod for that. That was a pretty cool thing for me. Hopefully someone will pick up this record and look on Wikipedia and find out who Lux Interior is and go and experience The Cramps and understand where I come from.

Q: You have shout outs on there to Alice Cooper and the Ramones too, which I think is great because there’s a whole generation of fans coming through now who will be learning about those guys through your music.
A: Yeah that’s a great thing. Especially to get that acknowledgement from people like Alice Cooper who I became friends with over the years. We know of each other very well and he knows that so many people have been turned onto him by my younger fans and that’s why we’ve done so many things together. Because we found out how it works. It’s like a cycle. I didn’t become this way because I just grew up like this. I’m a product of everything: Cooper to KISS, Lux Interior to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. I’m a melting pot of everything.

Q: “I Wanna be Cremated” sounds like a dedication to the Ramones. Was that the intention?
A: Oh yeah.  I was writing down lyric ideas and I wrote “I wanna be cremated” instead of “I wanna be sedated”. When I started writing the music – I don’t think it has a Ramones vibe at all, apart from being anthematic. I think the music is a combination of Twisted Sister and the Ramones for me. We’ve been playing that song live every night and it’s been going over great. It’s just like a classic Wednesday song automatically, so it’s been really really cool.

Q: Halloween is upon us, and the whole schlocky horror movie thing has been a big influence on you. What’s your favourite Halloween horror movie?
A: Oh… there’s so many. People ask me all the time and I try to change it so that whoever reads it will be like, Oh, I thought he said his favourite was this! But when it comes to actually Halloween day, I’m pretty close to the original Halloween – 1 and 2, the original 78 and 79 movies. Those are two of my favourites. I used to watch them every Halloween and they’d creep me out. It was based on Halloween day and it was scary, before Michael Myers was a mainstream character. He wasn’t even called Michael Myers in the beginning – he was called The Shape. I still hold that memory in my head. I can still watch that movie and still have the same feeling I had when I was a kid watching it.

Q: What do you think about the current trend for remaking movies like that? It does seem that nobody’s really been able to do it quite like they used to.
A: Yeah. It just seems to have run out of ideas. I admit, I go to see pretty much all the remakes. I’m a movie fan and I like to see a twist on the original. I like to go in with an open mind and not go, Oh it couldn’t be as good as the original! I know that. I was actually a fan of the remakes of the Chain Saw movies. I despised it when I heard the idea. I was like, I do not want this happening to my favourite movie. Then I went and saw it and I thought it had some great ideas. I thought it was really cool, and later on I actually became friends with Andrew, the guy that plays Leatherface and I found out that he’s a lot more scarier than Leatherface as a person! I found that some of the remakes are cool. Some of them were not so good. I wasn’t a fan of Hills Have Eyes. I saw the remake of Fright Night. Loved the original, though this one was terrible. It’s hit or miss. I like to walk in and find I get my money’s worth for at least something new I haven’t seen. I try to walk away with that. And that’s something that Alice Cooper taught me at the movies years ago. So I keep that in mind. I try to find something good about one movie… something good about it and take that away, walk away with that.

Q: Do you have ambitions to do a horror movie of your own?
A: That would be nice. I would never say no. If someone came to me and offered me an idea. It’s been mentioned a million times. People like Rob Zombie, doing what he does and stretching out from music to movies opens up the door to artists like me and that’s something that I’d definitely be interested in. I think writing a story is not much different than what I do with my lyrics. Plus I’m really into movies and always have been and I studied drama and things like that at school, so that’s definitely common nature for me to do that. Hopefully someone will give me the time of day and give me the shot to do it. I’d love to do it. Fingers crossed, in the future.

Q: What about a comic book? Your latest album cover certainly has that vibe going on.
A: Yeah man, that was really cool. I had this idea that I wanted the album  cover to look super cartoony, and that’s kinda what I’ve made our stage look like. Our stage looks like the album cover and artwork. It’s one big giant colourful zombie graveyard and then we come out lookin’all classy and provide the tunes. As far as a comic goes, that would be great. I’m sure there would be enough goofiness and character with our people that we could make a comic book. They could maybe just do something of me sitting eating fried chicken and make it go for 30 episodes.

Q: Will we get the full Wednesday 13 show for your appearances at Soundwave?
A: You’ll get it as much as I’m allowed to bring it. I’m expecting it to be much like Murderdolls was for Soundwave and I don’t roll with big production… as long as I have my microphone and my band and my little props here and there I can pull off the Wednesday 13 experience. It won’t be as long as  a headlining set, but it’s definitely gonna have a different vibe to Murderdolls and I’m excited to be bringing the Wednesday stuff to a festival this time. It’s gonna be amazing.

Q: Is there a chance there will be another Murderdolls record in the future?
A: I never say never to anything. We did the last record, we never though that would happen. I really didn’t. It went for eight years, and here we are doing another one again, we’re 34 years old and we put it out, we toured for a year and again, just like the first one… Slipknot is there and it’s a bigger operation and Murderdolls will be put to the side. Now I’ve done two records with it, and I’m looking back on it and I’m thinking, “Well I have focused more on my Wednesday stuff than Murderdolls”, so I think I’ll just make that my priority and Joey will make Slipknot his priority as well. If it happens again, it happens, but I don’t think anything for anytime soon.