Hard Talk

A Quick Conversation: Wednesday 13

Wednesday 13A Wednesday 13 show is like no other. It’s almost a religious experience. After a short introduction, Wednesday 13 came out and the energy level was high from the word go and, what’s real interesting, is the fact that they don’t slow down. With each song, that energy level goes up and up and it continues to rise all the way up to the last song. If you walked in late and you caught “Bad Things” and “I Love To Say Fuck,” you might think the show was just getting started. I haven’t seen any other band do that. Wednesday 13 is loyal to his fans and he goes above and beyond what you might expect.

Wednesday 13 has a wealth of material to choose from when it comes to what they perform on stage. I was really impressed with his set list. Of course, there’s “Bad Things,” which is just one of the greatest songs ever written, “I Love To Say Fuck” and “Faith In The Devil.” They rip through 13 other tunes, “Home Sweet Homicide,” “Till Death Do Us Party,” “House By The Cemetary,” “197666,” “Die My Bride,” “I Want You Dead,” “American Werewolves In London,” “Dead In Hollywood,” “Happily Ever Cadaver,” “Rot For Me,” “Haunt Me,” and “I Walked With A Zombie.” Plus, he got the crowd to sing the chorus of “Rambo.” Actually, there’s audience participation with almost every song. But, this one seemed to be for everybody because all you need to do is be able to spell “Rambo” to sing along.

Wed13Before I had the pleasure of seeing this energetic and highly entertaining performance, I had the chance to sit down with Wednesday 13 and ask him a few questions. We went through pretty much everything that was Wednesday 13 and then some. Our conversation was right before soundcheck and we could hear the guitar in the background. Once they really got rollin’, we wouldn’t have been in a good position to continue our conversation. So, we did this kind of quick. It was about 15-20 minutes and this is how it went.

Also, I’d like to give a special thanks to Pete and Cathy Madison. Not only did they give me a ride to the venue, they also provided me with a wealth of information on Wednesday 13, which is how this interview came to be.

Paul Autry: How’s the tour going?

Wednesday 13: It’s over with. Tonight’s the last night. It’s been good. It’s been really, really long…and everybody got sick. Every other person every other day would get sick. We’d get better, we’d get sick, we’d get better, we’d get sick. So, it’s been kind of a tough tour. It’s been real good though. It’s been fun. I’m glad we’ll be home tomorrow.

Paul Autry: So, what’s Wednesday 13 like at home?

Wednesday 13: Bored…bored…bored. It’s weird…you know…I’ll be out on tour and the whole time I’m out, I can’t wait to go home. I go home, I’m there for a day and then I wanna go back out on tour again. My mind starts workin’ and I wanna do stuff. But, I am excited to get home this time. I’m gonna start putting the show together, the set list…the next tour is gonna be tough because I have to incorportate the new record into it. That means four or five new songs…and four or five old songs have to go out. So, I have to try to make the best set, one which covers the whole time line and stuff that I’ve done.

Paul Autry: The new tunes, they would be the ones from “Skeletons,” right?

Wednesday 13: Yeah.

Paul Autry: What about “Bloodworks?”

Wednesday 13: That is extra tracks that I didn’t feel really fit the record. So, we’re gonna release a separate EP that will only be available at our shows or online for a download and stuff like that. It won’t be available in stores or anything like that. Kind of a fan only kind of deal.

Paul Autry: In a previous interview, it was mentioned that, while you were writing the material for “Fang Bang,” you had written album that was very dark and heavy. But, you didn’t wanna go there at that time. So, the album was put to the side and you started over. The end result of that was “Fang Bang.” So, is “Skeletons” the album that you put to the side?

Wednesday 13: I think one song made it. There’s a bunch of songs from that era that were darker. I think this (“Skeletons”) is way heavier than what I was talkin’ about at that point. Like I said, I did use one song from that though. At the time, I wanted to make more of a fun record. Times change. This record has a more heavier, darker vibe to it. It’s kind of going around what I was going through and things like that. This album sort of wrote itself in a really weird way.

Paul Autry: You’re talkin’ about your depression, desperation and the struggle that almost caused your untimely demise?

Wednesday 13: Yeah. It’s a weird thing. You can get a lot of the things that you want in life and once you get them…sometimes you’re happy, sometimes you’re not. I’ve just been though a lot of stuff, man. Then I got thrown into this whole cycle pretty fast. It can overwhelm you really quick. You can let it get to you or not. I think I did pretty good riding it out.

Paul Autry: If you don’t mind me asking…what did you mean by your untimely demise?

Wednesday 13: Well, my car accident was a pretty close call. I don’t know how I lived through it. I flipped my car like five times. It was a ball of metal and I somehow crawled out of it with only a broken collarbone and my ankle was about this size.

Paul Autry: How are you doing now?

Wednesday 13: I’m a lot better. My collarbone’s still not healed up. I probably fucked it up for my life. It was supposed to heal in like twelve weeks. But, I went back out on tour. So, I really kind of postponed the healing process.

Paul Autry: So, why did you go back out on tour?

Wednesday 13: Well, I had a tour booked. I wasn’t gonna cancel it. The only thing I had to cancel was a few shows that I had with my country project. I had to cancel those because that was like, the following day and there was no way I could do that. I couldn’t move my left arm…much less try to play guitar.

Paul Autry: Do you wanna tell us a little about your Hot Topic agreement?

Wednesday 13: Yeah. At the begining of this year, I’ve looked back on what I’ve been doing for years and it’s been kind of the same format. It started with Murderdolls. Roadrunner, did a record. I watched what a major label could do with a band…and we had the potential to do something. We had a guy from Slipknot, we had a guy from Static X at the time, which were high profile bands. I watched the label do what they wanted to do. They pushed it in certain territories…like Europe. Austrailia and America, they really didn’t care about. Then I put out my first record on Roadrunner and they did the same thing. They pushed it in a market that would sell and they kind of fell back on it in America. I’ve been doing all this ground work for years. I stay on tour. I’m constantly on tour and I can just see the fan base growing. There’s young kids every time. I see it growing every year. So, I’ve been kind of doing my own underground thing. Every time, I worked really hard on my record and I would give it to a label and they would own it. They have it for ten years and I can’t do anything with it. They tell me, “Oh, well, you can’t do another record for 18 months.” So, you wait 18 months, you record another record and, basically, it takes two and a half years between albums and it’s just a pain in the ass. You know, I like to put stuff out every year. I’m constantly out on tour and I get bored really quick. So, I wanna keep putting stuff out. So, with me doing my own thing, it gives me the opportunity to do whatever I want, whenever I want. If I wanna put a record out on Halloween, I can do it. I was just gonna release the record on my own. I’d get my own distribution and get it in stores. Then Hot Topic came into the picture and they wanted to do an exclusive retail with it, which is perfect. Even though there’s people who will sit around and go, “Oh, Hot Topic, I’m not going in that place,” it’s in every mall. All of our fans obviously shop there. I shop there.

Paul Autry: I was told you shop at Wal-Mart.

Wednesday 13: I shop everywhere. You know, I used to work at Hot Topic when I was 21. It’s a place that’s in every mall. They’ve given us a listening station in all their stores. It’s better than just one copy getting into the local FYE or the mom and pop store. This way, people know where to get it. Plus, I still own it. So, you’re not feeding the record company, you’re feeding the band. That gives us more money to go out on tour and we can do other things. It feeds the whole cycle. Where, if a label’s involved, you have to feed the label, everyone who works there…this person and this person and that person. The band, who should be the one to get the payoff, is last.

Paul Autry: So, is it safe to say that you’re happy being an independent artist now?

Wednesday 13: Oh, absolutely. It’s not like I didn’t have the opportunity. I’ve been through it. I’ve dealt with labels for three records now. Record labels are dying, record stores are dying. So, this is an opportunity to get it out. It’s like, the internet…kids don’t wanna go into a record store and pay eighteen bucks. I don’t want my records for eighteen bucks and that’s what the labels do. They have to put the mark up to pay everyone. So, they charge $18.99 at the mall. I can get it in Hot Topic for nine bucks. It’s the way the industry is going. The record labels are dying and people now realize that they can do it on their own.

Paul Autry: I heard that you’re not too fond of file sharing. What are your thoughts on it.

Wednesday 13: I’m a fan of the fact…and this is just me…I like to buy a record and see the whole package. That’s what I grew up on. I bought Kiss records. Twisted Sister albums…Dee Snider popped up from the cover and that was something I liked. A lot of kids don’t really care. They’ll put a bunch of tunes in their iPod. I’ve been guilty of doing it as well. I’ll put it on my iPod to listen to it and I don’t have the record to look at. But then I listen to the album and, if I like it, I’ll go out and buy the record so I can have the whole package.

Paul Autry: Yeah, that’s how I am.

Wednesday 13: I think…it’s a different thing. If you’re gonna file share from a label…you’re not making any money from the label anyway. So, you’re really fucked. Where as, I’m doing it on my own and it doesn’t hurt me as bad if people share it. At this point…I don’t care. As long as it’s getting out, it’s promotion. I just want my name and music everywhere and anywhere possible. If some kid got it for free, he got it for free. I can’t control that. It doesn’t bother me. They’re gonna download it if they wanna download it. But, they’re gonna wanna check you out. They’re gonna buy a ticket and come to the show. They’re gonna buy a t-shirt. It all works out in the end. I just don’t like when people take your music and put it somewhere without permission and they’re makin’ money off your stuff and you’re not.

Paul Autry: How do you feel about bootleg recordings?

Wednesday 13: I try to collect as much stuff as I can. At the end of the day, there’s not much I can really do about it.

Paul Autry: Since you’ve have a wealth of material to choose from…how do you decide what to play when you’re out on tour?

Wednesday 13: It’s tough. When I get home, I’m gonna try to put together a new tour and a new stage show. I like to do stuff that keeps me happy. There’s certain songs that I have to play.

Paul Autry: Like “I Love To Say Fuck” and “Bad Things.”

Wednesday 13: Yeah. I’ve gotta play those. I think it’s kind of cool to whip out stuff that I’ve never really played before. It gets complicated with each record because I don’t wanna do the same tour every time. So, the next tour, I’m really gonna try to change everything up. I don’t know what it’s gonna be like yet. I’m kind of still workin’ it out in my head.

Paul Autry: Since you released the Frankenstein Drag Queens box set…will the Maniac Spider Trash material ever see the light of day?

Wednesday 13: I don’t know. If I said no and, a few years later, something would happen…I’d be a liar. I don’t have any plans to release it. There’s a lot of red tape that’s involved with that. People are also selling bootlegs and stuff like that. I’m not involved with that at all. If it would come out…I would like it to be properly put out. I’d like the music to be remastered and remixed because I don’t like the overall sound of it. So that’s something…if it did come out…I’d like it to be done in a proper way.

Paul Autry: How are you doing with Bourbon Crow?

Wednesday 13: I had done that a year before it even came out. So, that was something I did…

Paul Autry: Are you happy with that first album?

Wednesday 13: Yeah…absolutely. It was a total accident how it turned out. We wrote all these songs and quick did it. It’s cool though. Every time I go out on tour now, I see a different kind of audience. There’s a younger crowd, there’s an older crowd, there’s a rockabilly kind of crowd. I’ll see some of them wearing a Bourbon Crow shirt…and…it just makes the crowd really, really diverse. You know, I don’t wanna be a one trick pony where I put myself in a corner and people go, “Well…that guy’s that exactly.”

Paul Autry: I think with everything you’ve done, you already proved to people that you’re not a one trick pony.

Wednesday 13: Sure, yeah. It’s healthy. Every time I do a new record I try to do something that’s not the same. It’s really important to stay one step ahead of what the audience thinks you’re gonna do. That’s always been the thing with me.

Paul Autry: I guess you’re gonna do a rap album next.

Wednesday 13: Hell no. That will never happen and you can quote me on that.

Paul Autry: Do you do any of the Bourbon Crow songs live?

Wednesday 13: No, I haven’t. I think it would be pretty cool at one point…someday…that I could actually do a show where I do a whole lot of different stuff. Kind of like “An Evening With…” and just go through the whole catalog of fuckin’ stuff. I think I have to let some of this stuff set in a little bit. It’s every other day where someone will come up to me and say Bourbon Crow is awesome and there’s other people who will have no idea what it is. You know, I didn’t really try to push it. I wanted it to be this little underground, coffee table thing that just stayed there and, ten years later, people would go, “Wow…that was you? That was awesome.” It’s totally different, you know? At first, I wasn’t even gonna tell anyone that it was me. That was the whole plan. Put it out and get the reaction and then, later, say it. But, I was really proud of it and I was like, “I don’t give a fuck. Who cares. Put it out there.” Between doing that and the “Weirdo A Go-Go” thing…I couldn’t think of anything else I could do to incriminate myself.

Paul Autry: Will there be more episodes of “Weird O A Go-Go?”

Wednesday 13: Yeah. I’m planning on doing that when I go home. I have to write the plot for that…get a general outline of what it’s going to be like. It’s just gonna continue.

Paul Autry: So, you’re happy with how it turned out?

Wednesday 13: Yeah. It was a weird thing because it was not planned out. It was kind of thrown together piece by piece. We made the whole thing up as we went along. We came out with a cool story and the end result…I didn’t know what people were gonna think about it. This whole tour, that’s all I’ve heard, how much people have liked it. That blew me away because I thought it would be like, a bomb. But, everyone liked it and I liked it. Now I know what I wanna do for the next one to make it exactly the way I want it.

Paul Autry: What do you think about the upcoming tribute CD?

Wednesday 13: If it ever happens. It was just an idea. I don’t know when it will come out or what…that could be a project in the work for years and years. Ah, we’ll see what happens with it.

Paul Autry: Anything else that you’d like to talk about that I might not have brought up?

Wednesday 13: No, I think you pretty much covered all the bases here.

Paul Autry: Okay. Final comments?

Wednesday 13: Thanks for all the support over the years. I’m not gonna disappoint everyone. I’m gonna come back bigger and better every time.

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