Wednesday 13 - Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13 - Wednesday 13

An amazing feat when doing interviews is getting pleasantly surprised when talking with an artist for the first time. The chat may go accordingly to the plan, checking all the questions you have prepared but in the end you have a rather boring set of Q&A. But there are other instances where the discussion goes off script and you get to see the thinking side of the artist. This is exactly what happened with Mr. Wednesday with whom we discussed all things WEDNESDAY 13 before digging deeper into the new album and going all the way to Country music… Care to find out how we did it? Read on!

Hello, Mr. Wednesday!
Hello, hello.

How are you?
I am doing good; it is Friday but that does not mean anything because every day feels the same to me. Except for this week, there was a Wednesday the 13, so that was a little special.

Come on, I had planned to use this to start the interview and try to be cool and cheesy…
Well, I beat you to it; I love cheese.

(laughs) So, that was your official day, right?
Yeah, I guess. I used to look these out and sometimes I would play shows on such occasions but this time I did not realize that it was coming. There is one next month as well so maybe something special might happen like an eclipse.

It’s a shame that it does not fall on one of the days you have with CRADLE OF FILTH…
Hmm, I don’t know, maybe it will. I have not checked to be honest.

You have time until the start of the tour, so you can think about it…
Yes, I may go out and eat a hotdog or something special.

Now that we got this out of our system, let’s talk about this upcoming tour. First of all, have you every toured with CRADLE OF FILTH?
Never; this will be our first time touring with them, meeting them. I am super excited because this is a tour that I wanted to be a part of. I have total respect of what they do and their audience is different than the audience I normally play for. So, it is a good thing for us and a challenge to try to win that audience over. I think this will fit well; CRADLE OF FILTH is one of those bands that have been around for a long time and I think they have one of the coolest band names ever. They also had a lot of different genres and themes so their fans seemed to be mixed with people that like Black Metal with people that are into Goth-TYPE O NEGATIVE stuff. The vampires like them and the vampires like us. We are no exactly like them but I think you would see both of us hanging out at the same Transylvanian bar.

On top of this, I know that Dani is a fan of Horror movies…
Yeah, that’s what I am hearing more and more about it. I am looking forward to meeting him as it seems we have a lot of things in common and I am definitely the Horror movie guy. Over the last six months, I have gotten back into the movies I grew up watching almost to the point that it feels I took a time machine. I watched only movies from the ‘70s and late ‘80s, shows and even listened to music from that time. I will bring all those movies and my time machine with me for this tour so our bus will be travelling ‘80s time machine.

That’s cool. Even though I am about to start digressing from my questions, I would like to ask you; why do you think Horror movies are not as good as they were back in the ‘80s?
Here’s the thing; I do not know a lot about new Horror movies, and the movies I have seen have not done anything for me. There have been a couple of movies released in the last ten - fifteen years that have been cool like “The Ring”, “The Strangers” I even liked the latest movie “Mandy” with Nicolas Cage. The last one was super bizarre and I really like the director, whom I knew from his first or maybe the first movie I saw from him that was “Beyond The Black Rainbow”. What I am trying to say is that nowadays there is not a lot of good stuff; this genre has reached the point where people have lost their imagination. As I said in another interview, I will be 43 this year, so when I grew up, there were no smartphones, no internet and therefore you were forced to have an imagination. Nowadays this has been taken away from people and they don’t realize it has happened. I mean, you can just play with your phone and be entertained whereas when I was a kid it was like this “oh, there is a stick I can play with that”, you know what I am mean? This is not being disrespectful to anyone just because the time they were born, it is just to describe the way things are nowadays. When you see people like David Bowie, Prince, Lemmy and guys like that pass away in the Rock / Pop scene and it’s the same happens in Country music with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Jones who had a song saying the thing I want to say here; “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”. Who is going to take these people’s place? I have not seen yet something new that can knock my socks off in the music and in the Horror movies. I think this is a sign of the times and it is due to the lack of imagination.

I absolutely agree.
Right, and it is this or it can be just that I am just getting older and I can only like old stuff. I can be an old complaining man. It is either of the two; I am not sure.

I could agree with the latter because I am at your age but still, there is a strong trend with people turning towards things from the ‘80s. I don’t know either but at the same time I refuse to accept there is a lack of imagination because if that’s the case then it can be the end of music, the movies or anything artistic…
Now, I don’t think this is the end. I just think that you don’t see as the imaginative people as often as it used to be before. When we were growing up there was a whole line of people; there was MÖTLEY CRÜE, Alice Cooper, TWISTED SISTER, W.A.S.P. you know there was a legion of bands and now everyone is just hanging in there. KISS are doing their 30th farewell tour, Alice Cooper is the man and I think he will outlast us all, even a nuclear bomb, he will crawl out like a cockroach and put a new record out after we are all gone... What I do is being influenced by the bands I have just mentioned and I do my own take so I hope that I am carrying the flag for them. If there is no one new out there, then I am going to fly the flag as long as I can.

Speaking of flag and how will you fly it, what are your plans for the next WEDNESDAY 13 album?
Oh man, I have really worked hard on this one and it has been a hard work but also fun. As I said, for the past six months, I have consumed myself with all things I grew up on. I have become a year-alcohol-free this last year but I did not do any Alcoholics Anonymous or any 12-step thing. I did my own thing like I have always done; I started thinking about what made me happy before I had discovered booze or anything and I always went back to music, movies and sitcoms and all those things that made me happy. I started watching all this stuff again, I started collecting toys again and it really revived my love for all of that. Not that I had stopped liking this stuff but I had lost touch with them and this had to do with me being drunk most of the time. It was something like either getting bored with it or it felt like it was not as exciting as it used to be. Now, I have rediscovered everything again and with my thinking is clearer. This album is completely influenced by all of that and for me this is the ultimate Horror, Heavy Metal 1980s soundtrack; since you were at my age then you should remember that back in the day there was always a Metal band playing at the background of a movie. There was “Dream Warriors” with DOKKEN, “Ghoulies II” with W.A.S.P. or even TWISTED TWISTER on “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and so on. For this album, I have even scored music to the music so it is like a soundtrack and you are listening to this movie. Yeah, this album will feel like a time machine. I hope the fans will dig it as much as I have.

First of all, congratulations on being alcohol-free for one year; that’s a huge milestone. Regarding the album, how many songs are you talking about?
This record will look like there is more stuff on it as far as the number of songs are concerned because there are a lot of intros and things like that. As of right now, I think there are 13 tracks on it and there is all the extra stuff as well. I am finishing the last-minute things even though I thought I was done two days ago but I have to go back next week and do a few more things and then our engineer will start doing the mix. It will be finished by the end of next month [April]. I am trying to have this on one vinyl as opposed to a double one because I can do more with my visuals but then I have only 20 minutes on each side, so I am trying to figure this out. I never wanted to do Math but I have to if I want to make my record fit into one record.

Awesome. Thinking that you will soon have the record done, does it mean that you will play new songs during the upcoming North US tour?
Yes, as of right now I have just a couple of songs because I do not want to give up the whole thing. We are going to tease a couple of things with this tour. We will make an announcement about all these things, the release dates, the special guests and so on. This is going to be completely different WEDNESDAY 13 record but at the same it is such a WEDNESDAY 13 record. I feel that I’ve really made something special and I really think that the fans are going to love it. It will be their favorite thing because it is my favorite thing I have ever done.

You sound excited and for me this is always good news because every time an artist is excited, good things happen.
I agree, man, and this is not me trying to - what I like to call - sell a car to someone. I have my expectations of how this record will hopefully turn out to be, but what I am hearing right now is far beyond what I imagined. It has even surprised me. Like I said, I have added lot stuff in it and even scored music on music. Roy Mayorga, the drummer from STONE SOUR, has been sort of like my soundtrack guy and he’s been adding all these keyboards and sounds to the record so he has been a big part helping me out creating this atmosphere I want to portrait with this record. When you listen to the record and look at the artwork you’re gonna get into this world. It is not a concept or a themed record, you don’t have to know a story and if I was to compare it with a Horror movie it would like “Creepshow”; every song is a different story.

You mentioned that there will another tour after this tour with CRADLE OF FILTH; are you talking about this continent or Europe?
I have the entire year booked and we are slowly starting to announce our plans. I usually know this in advance before the announcement; for example I knew about the tour with CRADLE OF FILTH three months before the official announcement, you know what I mean? We know about stuff but we cannot announce them yet, but yeah, we have booked shows all over the place. We are hitting a lot of places this year and I am already booking next year which looks completely insane like playing in places I have never been before and I think it will be more touring than I have ever done before. This is the time to go and this is the record I want to push and make people know who WEDNESDAY 13 is because I have reinvented myself, I have recharged my batteries and I am more focused. I have always kind been a knife but the knife was getting dull and I have sharpened it up and this is the result.

When you reach a point in your life and you decide to hit the 'reset' button, good things happen.
Yes, thank you for saying this. You have to reinvent yourself and that’s why I always admire artists like Bowie and people like that who are like chameleons and keep reinventing themselves and return stronger and better. This kind of people I admire and this is also the reason why I admire superheroes and like Comic books.

That’s great to hear. On another subject, I have to tell you that I really like what you did with Dez with DEVILDRIVER covering “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me”, so did Dez steal the idea from you?
No, he didn’t but it is a funny story. Dez and I’ve been friends for a while and we toured together in Australia when he was doing the COAL CHAMBER reunion and we stayed in touch. I have my project BOURBON CROW which is basically doing acoustic Country drinking songs and was purposely not Metal. So, when he told me about the Metal record he was doing covering Country and then asked whether I wanted to be a part of it. My response was: “Yeah, great, what you’ve got?” He mentioned the George Jones song and I found it really ironic that it was that one because it just happens to be one of my top five favorite Country songs of all time. And my absolute favorite from George Jones was that song and I was almost like: “Did somebody tell you that I like this song?” So, that was a really cool thing that they asked me to do it and, on top of it, this was a song that I knew so when I went in the studio to record it I did not have any lyrics because I knew them.

Oh my, you made it easy for them…
Well, it was not easy because the song was in such a Metal arrangement but at least I did not have to look on my phone or read lyrics; I knew that song. It was really cool being asked to be part of this record and do that specific song.

Yes, it turned out to be really good. I am not a fan of Country music but to be honest after hearing and liking those covers I started paying attention to the lyrics and man, those are “heavy” if you know what I mean.
Yeah, I tried to explain to someone, that Country music is something you will start appreciating later on in life. You’ve got to live life a little bit to understand it. I am not talking about the stuff released today though; I am talking about the music by the Johnny Cash-es, the Waylon Jennings-es those guys who poured their hearts out. When I was a kid and my parents were playing that music I was like “turn it off and put some Rock ‘n’ Roll” because I did not get it. After getting older and after touring as much as I have and you listen to these songs talking about getting divorced, or a manager do this and that to you, you start to relate and everything makes sense. I don’t want to jump into the Country bandwagon but it is all about relating to the songs. I said to myself “oh man, these guys are crazier than the bands I grew up with”. I mean, I thought W.A.S.P. and Alice Cooper were crazy... You know what I mean? It is the same situations but different type of music. The attitude is very much Punk Rock in Country back in those days and especially those artists I was talking about...

Not paying attention to the lyrics is a phenomenon that we see happening nowadays.
Well, yeah, but for new Country music they should not pay attention to anything; they should plug their ears, close their eyes and hope that it would explode because modern Country music is awful. It truly is, it’s laughable. There are some doing it right but, man, there is a bucket load that is doing it wrong.

Oh my, I have no idea how we started talking about Country music, but I do appreciate your insights.
No worries, man, I talk to myself all day and I tend to drift off in conversations, so you have to keep me on a leash.

I absolutely enjoyed talking to you and thank you for taking the time to talk to METAL KAOZ. I’ll see you onstage in Chicago.
Oh great, that is a great venue in Chicago, I have not been there in a while, and it will be an awesome show. We are bringing a very cool show this time, different than what we did last year and I am excited. I am excited to see it myself because we have not rehearsed it yet. We’ll see what will happen.

You should give Dani a run for his money and make them work harder after your set.
I can only do what I do and CRADLE OF FILTH they will do their thing... But I will try to win their audience over and hopefully make some new fans. I am going to give the best show I can every night and, hopefully, the fans will dig it. We had some two months off and we recharged our batteries, so we will release the caged animals.

Awesome! Thanks again for your time, and please enjoy the rest of your Friday, Mr. Wednesday… Oh my goodness, did I just do a pun here? (laughs)
I know, I confuse everyone’s week; “well, this is Wednesday. No, it is not; it is Monday”... The story of my life.