The Murderdolls

An interview with frontman Wednesday 13
by Aaron Manogue
November 2010

The Murder Dolls

The Murder Dolls

After an eight-year hiatus, Wednesday 13 and Joey Jordison have resurrected their brilliantly twisted concoction, the Murderdolls. They have pumped life back into the undead with their latest album Women and Children Last and are currently wreaking havoc around the country on the Halloween Hootenanny tour, along side the Godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Maximum Ink Magazine sat down with Wednesday 13 to talk about the new record and his new direction he took for writing it.

Maximum Ink: Were you guys pretty excited to get back out on tour?
Wednesday 13: Yeah man, it’s great. That’s the craziest thing about recording a record is it just takes so long for it to finally come out, so when it finally comes out, you’re like “Oh my God!” and you only want to play those songs; you’re sick of playing the old songs. It’s been tough making a set list out for the (Rob) Zombie- (Alice) Cooper tour because we’re not headlining so we had to make a short set, only a 30 minute set, so it’s tough trying to decide what we’re going to play.

MI: I’ve read that you grew up listening to Alice Cooper and that type of music.  What’s it been like (touring with him)?  I mean it has to be pretty badass.
Wednesday 13: I’ve toured with Alice before when I did my solo stuff outside of Murderdolls, but to be on this tour with Alice, and Zombie and Murderdolls playing together has just been a super, super cool thing, I mean there’s no secret to Alice. He’s the reason I do what I do. I see him every day and we hang out and it’s a really cool, surreal thing.  It’s just crazy.

MI: On your new record, you’ve kind of gotten away from the horror campy type of thing and you seem to have drawn from more personal things. Is it something you’re really proud of and is there something you were trying to prove with that?
Wednesday 13: Yeah, I think it’s all of that. It’s one of those things where you can only do something so much, you know? There are bands that can get away with it and can keep doing the same kind of stuff. Take a band like AC/DC; never change the formula and it’s worked for years. And then you have an artist like Alice Cooper or David Bowie, who have constantly reinvented themselves, went in different directions and they didn’t have to stick to one certain kind of thing. And Cooper, he’s just here to be the Godfather of shock rock, but the guy’s probably more known for his number one ballads. And that’s what inspires me is I don’t want to be painted into a corner where everyone goes, “Wednesday 13 and the Murderdolls are nothing but a horror movie Goth band and that’s all they sing about.”

You know it was just something after being on tour so long that Joey and I, even though the Murderdolls haven’t been touring for the past eight years, I’ve been touring and he’s been touring and it’s just one of those things where you’re not in front of a television everyday. So you’re living life and you’re seeing stuff out this way, so it’s easy to write about impersonal stuff, so for me that was a challenge to do that. That’s what really made me proud of this record is I didn’t have to sit there and sing about Frankenstein movies, even though I love that stuff, but I think I’ve conquered it. I’ve been doing it for 15 years, writing horror rock songs and I did about 15 records worth of having to prove it.

MI: Is there a song on the new record that kind of epitomizes that or kind of says, “Here’s my new self, here’s the new Wednesday 13?”
Wednesday 13: There’s several in two different ways. Take for example “My Dark Place Alone.” It’s a darker, pissed off song. Then you take a song like “Nowhere,” which isn’t pissed off at all. It always pisses Joey off when I say this, he always says, “Don’t compare it to that,” but I’ll always say it’s more of an uplifting kind of song. That’s what I say is like the “Eye of the Tiger” song, for me, because I’m a Rocky fan so I can say that. 

That’s the song I just wrote about being involved in the business and the people that are there one minute patting you on the back, telling you you’re the greatest and then the next thing you know they’re suing you. That’s a song about believing in yourself, and just through all the shit that I took growing up in a small town, being the weirdo with people going, “Your band sucks. You’re never going to do this!”  And I’ve made it this far and it took me a while to do it, but I never said no and that’s what that songs about. So that’s the difference, that’s the personal stuff. I don’t just say, “Oh, I hate everything,” but I have my days where I do hate everything

MI: Everyone definitely has those days! When you and Joey sat down to write the record, was it you two saying, “Ok, this is the direction we want to go with this new record,” or was it just saying, “Fuck it! We’re going to sit down and write and whatever comes out, that’s what comes out.”
Wednesday 13: The thing about Murderdolls and the way we function in a lot of things, at least in this phase in our career, is it’s still really punk rock. We can sit here, like if Joey and I were talking right now, and we say we’re going to do a new record right now and it’s just going to be just like this. We’re going to the studio in three days, and our conversation three days from now wouldn’t even matter. We’d get in there and go, “I don’t know!”

Before we did this new record, I thought it was going to be more like “Beyond the Valley (of the Murderdolls)” at first. And then we got in the studio, we had all the songs and we started playing, the mood changed. And it wasn’t anything we set out to do, it just changed itself. We just kind of let it start creating itself. “Oh this song works! That song rules.” And then there were songs that we thought were great, then we wrote something like “Chapel of Blood” or “My Dark Place Along” in the studio, those weren’t even demos, they were just ideas we got when we got there. So then the great songs couldn’t even compare to them, so that one’s gone. We had over 50 or 60 song ideas. That’s like last night we went on stage and Joey’s like, “We’re going to play this one song.” And I said, “We haven’t rehearsed it!” He said, “It doesn’t matter!” I said, “I don’t know the words!” And he just yelled, “Make them up!” 

MI: So is that what your gig kind of is, kind of a night-to-night thing? What are we going to kick out tonight?
Wednesday 13: I mean, we’ve got our set that we stick to just because we’re so spastic we can’t change it that much but Joey likes to do stuff on the fly sometimes which is great because I’m kind of like, “I don’t know. Let’s not do it!” But it makes it more challenging and dangerous and when we pull it off we look each other and go, “Yes!”

MI: Do you think that adds to your stage show? It’s edgy because it’s edgy for you when you’re up there?
Wednesday 13: Yeah, it’s cool even for us because you got (Alice) Cooper’s huge theatric show and then you got Rob’s fucking space on Earth show, and we’re just this little DIY, Sex Pistols, coming out swinging, but it’s great though because we are the pyro, we are the show. We’re almost like 5 front guys just going crazy for 30 minutes. It’s been a challenge and it’s cool to watch people in the crowd, you know? The Cooper fans are older and they’re just like, “What the fuck is this?!”

MI: You’ve probably had a million interviews like this, probably too many to count. Is there something you want to tell your friends or even people that don’t like your music, do you want to say, “Fuck you!” to those people or anything at all? Are you having too much fun? Not enough fun?
Wednesday 13: I’m having all the fun I possibly I can! I’ve been doing press for this record, it’s been exhausting, but I did fifteen weeks of press by August 20th.

MI: And the record came out August 31st?
Wednesday 13: Yeah, I did fifteen weeks and then the record came out and I still had a week of press just on the phone. Then we went to Europe and I had press everyday on the Guns n’ Roses tour we just did and I have press everyday now. At least your interview is interesting; you know about it. But I’ve dealt with people who have no fucking idea what they’re talking about and I’m just going, “Are you kidding me?” 

MI: Is that your biggest pet peeve? Oh it’s a rockstar…
Wednesday 13: “Oh, I read your bio. Wikipedia right here says…”

MI: Yeah, because Wikipedia is so reliable. So over the past few months, you’ve been touring, you mentioned you went with Guns n’ Roses to Europe. Did you guys do it? Did you achieve what you wanted to? Is this the Murderdolls you envisioned over the eight-year hiatus? You’re obviously just getting started with the tour, but are you getting to where you want Murderdolls to be?
Wednesday 13: I think by the time we’re done, I hope we’ll be where I want us to be.  I really didn’t have any expectations, I had goals in my head, but as far as any guarantees, nothings guaranteed in the business and I surely didn’t expect to be with Guns n’ Roses, and then Ozzfest, for our first tours. I mean we were playing in front of crowds each night, sold out and we were selling it to them. They weren’t booing us of the stage, they were singing along to our songs, they knew who we were. To me that was an accomplishment and this crowd, we’re winning over each night by the end. 

Last time I felt like we didn’t fully get to do what we needed to do. We still needed another 6 months to a year to get to where I would have been happy where we ended off. So I’m going to make sure this time that we do what I wanted to last time, hopefully we’ll be even better than it was. We’re already coming out where we ended off anyway. The U.K. was great for us and that’s been our biggest market. We have so much stuff going on.

We’re going to Australia in February for the Soundwave Festival and the lineup for that is ridiculous. It’s got Iron Maiden, Rob Zombie, Social Distortion, the Melvins. And I’m all for that, the Melvins are on it! This will be great! So man, it’s great, basically for the first six months we’re doing a couple of headlining shows here and there but for the most part we’re getting this great opportunity to go out and play in front of a crowd that doesn’t know who we are, which is the whole point anyway. We’re people’s favorite band, they just don’t know it yet.

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