Wednesday 13 is a name that's become synonymous with the horror genre. As the man behind bands such as Frankenstein Drag Queens, Murderdolls, and Wednesday 13, he has carved his way into the hearts of horror fans, myself included, with his songs of macabre subject matter and homages to beloved films and actors of the genre. With his merry band of creeps in tow, Wednesday recently set out on the road in support of Static-X.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Wednesday before the band's show at The Agora in Cleveland, Ohio. He discussed the tour experience thus far, the status and details of the forthcoming album, and of course, horror movies!
To kick things off and somewhat break the ice, so to speak, I presented Wednesday with a copy of Neil Marshall's werewolf epic Dog Soldiers, to which he expressed great excitement, calling it "the first good werewolf movies since the classics". We then got straight to business, discussing the current tour with Static-X, DevilDriver, Dope, and Raven Black.
"When I first heard this tour was gonna happen, I was just as surprised as everyone else," Wednesday stated when asked about being part of a tour paying tribute to the late Static-X frontman Wayne Static, who sadly passed back in 2014. "I think it's been surprising for everybody, fans and all the bands included. We know that it was gonna be cool but we didn't know if shows were going to sell out and such. This is the first tour I've been a part of as Wednesday 13 that has sold out shows. Some nights, fans haven't even been able to get into our show. So if you hear our name you better get there!"
What was your relationship like with Wayne and Static-X. "Static-X were probably the first professional band that I started hanging out with, prior to Murderdolls, because Tripp [Eisen] was involved with Murderdolls and Static-X. Actually, my last show with Frankenstein Drag Queens before I disbanded that was with Static-X in Atlanta. So yeah, we go back with a lot of mutual friends, and this tour's really crazy, as we're all just kind of hanging out and talking with one another. We all know each other, it's really like summer camp. Acey's [Slade] even here from Murderdolls." Commenting on the Static-X production and stage visuals, he continues, "It's pretty impressive! Visually, it's like you're watching a movie memorial to Wayne."
What's your fondest memory of Wayne? "Well, we had a lot of cool moments just hanging out. I just remember one of the first times I went out to LA, and me being from the sticks of North Carolina, it was quite a change of scenery. I just remember riding out from Wayne's house to the House of Blues for a Static-X show. Wayne's truck didn't have a roof, and he's driving with his hair straight up, with fans following us and honking their horns." Wednesday noted that he and Wayne kind of lost touch in later years but added, "My first few years getting involved with this business he was one of the first people I met and was most humble, and down to earth. We lost a good dude, but his music lives on."
Mr. 13 then dished out the following details about his forthcoming opus, Necrophaze. "Necrophaze will be the eighth Wednesday 13 record, and the second record with the current band lineup. We've grown as a band and it's went to the next phase, you know, that's why I'm calling it the Necrophaze, we've turned it up to 13. I knew all my previous material was always kind of horror-inspired, but this is the one where I really just zoned into it. I stopped drinking a little over a year ago and really got back into movies and toys and collection. I was at Tom Savini's house in Pittsburgh yesterday and I'm still smiling! Over the years, I started disliking my older stuff, it became just boring to me and I just got so clouded in my own world, but once I quit drinking and sort of figuring my brain out I just went back to what really made me happy, horror films. So this record is like a rediscovery of sorts, a reinvention. This is theatrical, almost like when Alice Cooper first started out, it was very Salvador Dali influenced and artistic, you know, anything to make the audience go 'what?' is kind of my mission. With Alice being my hero and mentor, I want to do what Alice didn't do. 'Super Cooper' it. He did it all and I want to take it further than that. People will see with our new show and new record that Wednesday 13 is its own entity. I think this is the one that separates us from the pack. We've turned the weird level to the sky. There's a little bit of funniness but it's more like in The Shining when he's going down the stairs and you see the bear blowing that guy in the room. It's more like that. We're taking you into that room with the blowing bear."
So it's not really a concept album like Monsters of the Universe? "No, a concept album is tough to do. I'm glad I did it though, I actually listened to that record recently and love it, but this is not a concept. I do introduce my Necrophaze character, which I am gonna turn into a movie. This record is basically ten stories, and is kind of like Creepshow with the story in between songs and such. Roy [Mayorga] from Stone Sour did the keyboard parts and kind of scored our music. It's like a soundtrack/score behind what we do. So if you listen to it in full, it takes you in. It's like a funhouse ride. I'm really proud of it, we spend a lot of time on it and it's coming out in September. The first single will be released within the coming weeks."
I've heard other guests were involved with Necrophaze, can you give anymore details on who? "Yeah, I've never had any guests on my record and I've never been that guy to be like, 'let's get this guy on the records to sell more copies' or anything. It's never been about the money. If I wanted to make more money I sure as fuck wouldn't be singing about grave robbing and necrophilia, you know? So yeah, everything just happened to fall in place. Roy is friends with Acey and we got in touch. I knew he was an amazing drummer but had no idea he was involved in keyboards and synths, and he's just as good at that as he is with drums. I told his I was going for a John Carpenter, early '80s kind of vibe. He sent me a picture back of his keyboard, a Prophet 10, which is what Carpenter scored his first five movies on. So we'd be hanging out and he'd play a segment from a Carpenter track and make me guess the film. He even had an original William Shatner Michael Myers mask hanging over his setup. He totally nailed his part!"
In addition to Roy appearing on Necrophaze, there are a few other guest stars, one of whom is Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil! "Yeah, we got Christina from Lacuna Coil. I knew her, we'd met, but she's not like a buddy I call up. I was just like, 'man, it'd be cool to have a female vocalist on this track' and she was the first person I thought of, as I've always loved her voice. I saw Lacuna Coil with Type O Negative a million times and she's cool. I've always heard great things about her, she's a Star Wars nerd, and she wrote write back and was down to do the track. I sent her everything I wanted her to do and she did it all and added to it, and it's amazing."
"So, we have her on the record, and Alexi Laiho from Children Of Bodom plays on the bonus track, if you can really call it that, which is a cover of 'Fuck Like A Beast' by W.A.S.P. He does vocals and guitars on it and it just sounds like W.A.S.P., but supercharged. My friend Jeff Clayton, he's more in the underground scene of punk, he's in this band called Antiseen, and he's one of my friends from back home, I used to babysit his kid. I wanted narration on the record and wanted an older guy with a southern drawl and I wrote this piece out for him and he sent it back, and it's better than I could've imagined. I also have a special guest that I can't announce, who will be revealed in a couple weeks, and not to say those other guests aren't great, but he's on my Mount Rushmore of rock. People will be blown away when they see what we've done with this record, I can't believe some of the stuff I've been able to get away with."
When can we expect the Necrophaze headlining tour? "We'll, we will be in Europe with Static-X when the record comes out in September, and then we come back to the States and do the second part of this tour in November and December. We have another co-headlining tour at the beginning of next year, I can't say who with, but that'll be in the States. Then we're going to Japan, Australia, South America, and then we're doing all the festivals next Summer, and the Necrophaze headline tour will begin Halloween season of next year. I'm building an arsenal, so when we do our full production it'll be something that no one has ever seen."
Of course, this wouldn't be a legit Crypt Teaze interview without a major focus on the horror genre, and Wednesday was more than willing to oblige, but not without first telling us about his wondrous trip to Savini's house.
"I saw Tom Savini in From Dusk Till Dawn the day before and didn't even know I was going to his house, it was just on TV, and then I wake up and Acey asks if I'd like to go to Tom's house. I literally ran to the car. I had met him a million times but never had the chance to go to his house. He is the coolest dude. He's 72 and he ran to his mailbox because he had a new box of toys that had just come in. We were in his basement and he's got like giant rubber snakes from Conan, props, a full, working laboratory with Tesla coils and the Jacob's Ladder. An evil genius is what this guy is, and I've known it since the '80s when I would watch his movies and see all of his special effects. Creepshow is the first thing I saw of his and it scared the shit out of me, and I got to go to his house yesterday and see all the props from it. I'm still happy about it."
What's the first horror movie you ever saw and how did it impact your life outside of music? "To me, there's different genres of horror. Growing up, I just lived in front of the television. I was born in 1976 so my first memories were I was four or so and I remember the TV looked like a car, it was so big. We had the rabbit ear antennas and you had to put foil on them to get Bugs Bunny to come in. Back then, they'd show The Addams Family and The Munsters, and I didn't really see a separation between all of that, I just thought it was funny so I didn't really view the monsters as scary. So when I saw The Creature from the Black Lagoon, it didn't really scare me, I thought it was cool. But the first horror movie I saw was Creepshow, and I remember I lived in a trailer in NC with my mom, dad, brother and sister. I didn't have a bedroom so my bedroom was the living room and we had an HBO and Cinemax hookup thanks to my cousins, so when my parents went to bed I watched everything. I watched Creepshow and 'The Crate' scared the hell out me, and still gets me to this day"
Wednesday and I then expressed our love for classic werewolf flicks and he told me about the time he almost became one. "Like I said earlier, I think Dog Soldiers is the last great werewolf movie. I'm not downing any new movies, but I just haven't seen anything and nothing's drawn me in. To me, werewolf movies are Silver Bullet, The Howling, Wolfen, A Company of Wolves, even the original Wolf Man. I liked the remake too, I thought that was killer. But yeah, I was gonna become a werewolf in seventh grade I just didn't follow the proper ritual. It was a true thing. There was this Vincent Price thing you can find where he reads the incantation to become a werewolf. It was in a book that I had and me and my friends in the seventh grade were going to go out and perform this ritual, and the only reason we didn't do it is because you had to get naked and rub yourself in all these different lotions and I was like, 'I ain't doin' that man. I'll draw the pentagram and do the chanting, but I'm not getting naked with you guys'. So yeah, that's the ONLY reason I'm not a full blown werewolf at this point."
Tell me your favorite horror movies, in no specific order. "Umm, well Texas Chain Saw 1 and 2, I consider them both together as one. I actually just paused Part 2 on the bus to come do this interview. Creepshow, definitely. Halloween 1 and 2, I also consider them together, though I liked the second better than the first. The first three films are killer. I love Season of the Witch, I didn't understand it as a kid, but it's now one of my favorites as I know about a lot of the things they referenced in that film, with Stonehenge and the Druids and such. I read about a lot of that stuff now. But as a little kid, you're just like 'where's Michael?!'. Return of the Living Dead is my favorite zombie movie of all time. I love the campiness and the Tarman, who I kind of look like on stage at times, he's my favorite zombie. I love Freddy and the first four films. I love The Shining, it still creeps me out. These are all just movies that I constantly watch. Like the guys on the bus are just like 'He keeps watching this and Predator over and over!'. Predator is on every day. It's not a horror movie, but it's like if you're feeling up, or feeling down, put on Predator. That film has a big influence on our shows. The green that I've included in our stage colors now is sort of a nod to Predator blood, the Re-Animator green, Type O, stuff like that."
"I also listen to a lot of soundtracks. When I'm on tour people ask me what I miss the most, and I'm like my cat and sitting in my room listening to vinyl. I don't collect everything on vinyl, I collect soundtracks. I love listening to the Demons soundtrack, I just got the C.H.U.D. soundtrack, which is way better than the actual movie, but it's still amazing, the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller is kind of my spirit animal."
Last time I had interview you, back in 2014, I had asked about The Dixie Dead movie, any update on that? "The movie idea is still there, but it's kind of been put back in the files for now. I am, however, working on a Necrophaze movie, which is kinda the point of this whole Necrophaze character I'm doing. I'm not playing Wednesday 13, I'll be playing this character called the Necroshadow, who's based on these night terrors I've had of shadow people since I was a little kid. It's like sleep paralysis. I've seen this shit and it's fucked up. I've talked to doctors about it and they just think I'm crazy, but you can look it up, it's in recorded history, it's in movies, it's nuts. So my character isn't a Freddy Krueger, nightmare kind of guy. He's a night terror and steals the souls of people, kind of like the little troll in Stephen King's Cat's Eye. That's from history too. Supposedly, cats used to steal the breath of children, but really they were just smelling the milk in the kid's mouth. My cat, every morning puts his head in my mouth. That's what they do. So I've turned that whole idea of the shadow people and such into this Necrophaze character. He's just a shadow with a face and his face just so happens to be partially mine."
Have you ever thought of turning to crowdfunding to get these films off the ground? "You know, I did a lot of crowdfunding with previous albums, and it's one of those things where I could do that but I don't want to make my fans pay for stuff. I did that for years. I want to do this right. It's not gonna be half-assed. I've got real people interested in it and I'm going to make the movie that I've been wanting to see. I got sick of waiting for a band like us, so I made one. I wanted a band that sang about horror 24/7 so I made Frankenstein Drag Queens. When I don't get what I want to hear, I make it. If I'm not seeing a movie I want to see, then I'm fucking making it! I've told this plot to people for my story and they're like 'that's awesome and really fucked up'. Ten years ago I really opened the doors to see these shadow people, before that I just thought it was all a dream. Shadow people are real and I see them all the fucking time."
Wednesday then when on a bit of a conspiracy rant and I enjoyed and appreciated every second of it! Honestly, it's just too great not to share. "There's more stuff around us that you can't see than what people believe. That's my newest thing that I'm into. I study what we can't see. There are things here beyond our physical life. Watch kids and watch animals and you'll know shit's around you. My daughter, when she was three, she saw her grandfather on Christmas morning. She told us there was a guy in the living room in a military outfit, and he had just passed away. That's the thing with little kids, they have no idea what they're seeing, and these kids have life forces and entities feed off of scaring them. This stuff ins't made up, you can look it up, it's just not talked about. That's what I've been reading about and it's made me analyze horror movies even more."
"You look at any old horror movie and they were talking about shit. I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still last night, and the whole premise of that movie is just like, 'you Earthlings are fucking up and if you fuck up outside of this planet we're going to destroy you because we're all a part of the universe'. When we first made the atom bomb, that's when UFOs started coming to our planet and there's supposedly a correlation with the universal government that we're not allowed to do that. And we've been monitored ever since then. But those classic movies were dishing out all the details. Just because it's not on the news doesn't mean it isn't there. Why do you think Ancient Aliens is on the history channel? They're preparing us for something. And the 'war of the worlds' thing that was said to be just a joke that leaked, was to test people and the whole world freaked out, so that was a test to see if we could handle information like that. But you can find it everywhere, you can go on YouTube and watch it all, and they're not taking it down. They're monitoring people on Facebook and they've got a dumb tank and a smart tank, and we're all being filtered. But I'm getting off topic with my conspiracy rant. I could talk for hours on that stuff. Our world is fucked. That's the meaning behind my song 'Everything You Know Is A Lie', everything we've been taught is backwards. Satan is Jesus, and Jesus is Satan. Everything is inverted and people don't realize it. It's all about frequency and power, and once you learn how to play with that you can use it for good or bad. I get power on stage and I use it to fuck with people, not in a bad way, but I entrance people and it's cool. I've learned mind tricks over the years."
Shifting gears back to the realm of horror and heavy metal, Wednesday brings up the common fascination with death found in both mediums. "The thing about horror movies and heavy metal, everything's so death influenced. That's why so many people think they're so evil, but take death and think about it, it's the one and only thing we're guaranteed in this life. We don't know what happens when we leave this body. I don't think we just end up in the ground. I think it's all just a part of the journey. This is just the physical part, the next part could be like fucking Tron. I don't think it's bad. We'll go out of this world the same way we came in. We don't remember being born and we won't remember going out. I'm learning all of these things and preparing, and those who are reincarnated, didn't get it right and have to repeat it all over again. I mean, you can get religion tied into it as well. If you look at the facts, it's all the same story. It's just kind of ridiculous that we've murdered half of this world in the name of religion. Unfortunately, I think it's all going to get worse before it gets better."
On lighter note, tell me your favorite Scream Queen. "Well now that she's become my friend and I watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 all of the time, I'd have to say Caroline Williams. She's my favorite, and now that she is my friend I enjoy the movie even more. She's killer. Talk about a lady who's getting younger as she ages. She's beautiful and we're her favorite band. She just finished a new movie and we're gonna have a song in it. But yeah, she's my favorite. I've always had my little horror movie crush on her, even as a little kid. Also, Linnea Quigley as Trash in Return of the Living Dead, that was the hottest thing I'd ever seen in my life. Still is. And you know, I love Elvira but Vampira is the queen of it all. I love Elvira's shtick, but there would be no Elvira without Vampira. I actually got to speak to Vampira on the phone ten years ago on Halloween night just before she had passed."
Wednesday then discusses the connections he's made within the horror community and blending horror and music into his personal life. "The horror community, we see that movie that we love and it's huge to us, but for them it's done by the time it comes out. So when someone recognizes something they did years ago, they really appreciate that. From my experience with like ninety percent of these people, from Doug Bradley to Linda Blair, Sid Haig to Bill Moseley, you realize that these people are some of the coolest you could ever meet. I've become friends with them and it's very much like the music business, we kind of hang out. But for me, being the fanboy that I am and being able to mix both worlds, it's like I've made my ultimate milkshake. Music, horror movies and toys."
As we start wrapping up this extensive interview, Wednesday gives some insight into future live performance plans. "You'll see tonight that I've turned myself into a toy, I don't look real and that's what I want to see. I've never seen it before and I can see it in the audiences eyes every night, they don't move, they just watch us. We're like a movie and I'm gonna turn our show into a movie, so when you come in it's gonna be like you're at a movie. Turn your fucking cell phone off. We're gonna have popcorn, there's gonna be credits, we're gonna have video, we're gonna be a part of it acting it out. I'm turning it into a horror movie. That's my plan. Much like Ghost, I love them, they're another band that's doing it. It's theater, it's in three parts, and I want to do my show like that. In thirty minutes, I've got six costume changes tonight, so when we do our full shows it's gonna be over-the-top. Anything I've never seen, I'm going to attempt."
You also recently collaborated with The 69 Eyes, correct? "Yes, I just did a new song with them on their new record. We did a cover of a song, 'Last House on the Left', and it's about that. Alice Cooper's daughter, Calico, is also on the track. I've know The 69 Eyes since 2004. I actually took them to England for the first time. We're planning on doing more stuff next year."
Wednesday 13 will also be promoting their newest album in a very unique way. "Well the first single's coming out in a few weeks. We're doing movie trailers for the album instead of boring press stuff. We took the money that was for promo and we're making movie trailers. There's a trailer for our song 'Zodiac', we've already filmed it and I can't believe we pulled it off. We recreated a scene from David Fincher's film and it looks just like it. It's fucked up! We're gonna have and '80s toy cereal commercial, instead of the typical boring 'buy our record' commercial. I'm going full throttle."
Anything else you'd like to add? "Well our new record is coming out and I can say it's my favorite thing I've done, and the thing I've spent the most time on. It just seems like everything is falling into place. So I think this is my time. I turn 43 this year and I think I've got it all figured out. This is the time to strike. Some people may say, 'Oh, you're old, we want new rockstars', but how old is Dracula? You don't think Dracula is old, he sucks. No, you get wiser with age. So I like to think of me as Dracula in that sense, the older I get, the more intense I get and I'm gonna put more into it. It's weird, I've never felt so creative. People will see with this new record and our live show that I'm adding new stuff to it every day."
As someone who's been a fan and follower of Wednesday and all of his musical endeavors for over half of my life now, I can say that there's never been a more exciting time to be a fan! Whether you're a longtime fan like myself or have never even heard of the band, the new album Necrophaze needs to be at the top of your must-hear albums of 2019!
If the opportunity presents itself to you to see this Static-X tour, don't miss it! It's a solid lineup, featuring some great performances and a fitting tribute to Wayne Static. Of course, Wednesday 13 stole the show for me!
Thanks for reading guys and thanks to Nuclear Blast for hooking Crypt Teaze up with this opportunity!