Wednesday 13 makes music only to have a good laugh

2013 appears to be a very good year for Wednesday 13, aka Joseph Poole. The musician celebrates his ten years anniversary as a solo artist and expects to release his fifth record. It’s the first time that the man picks a real band for one of his solo albums. The Dixie Dead, unquestionably, wants to be a summing up of all his career. The man, indeed, has always been a creative artist, snowed under a pile of diverse and rich ideas.

We’ve reviewed all this with Wednesday 13. The man also talks about his love for horror movies which he injects in his diverse projects, like, of course, Murderdolls, and he explains us frankly that his duo with Joey Jordison is on stand-by, and may never be switched on again.

2013 is a special year for you as it marks the 20 years of you releasing music and ten years for the band Wednesday 13. Will you do something special to celebrate this?

Wednesday 13 (vocals): Yeah, I’m kind of doing that right now. Year 2013 is the year I prepared my fifth solo record. It mark twenty years where I’ve been doing this genre and ten years I’m doing my solo career. So it all ironically came in the year 2013 and everything is looking up and up. I have so many ideas about what I want to do by the end of the year. So yeah, it’s a good time right now for me.

I’ve read you say in an interview about this new album: “This is the best CD I ever made”. Don’t you think this is just your enthusiasm expressing itself after finishing the album?

You know, I’ve made a lot of records in my career but this is the one that struck as a special one. That’s why I’ve been saying this. I think it’s the best record that I’ve made as Wednseday 13. I’ve been doing this for ten years now and for this one I just tried to figure it out and do what I do best. The reactions by the fans and the press are really overwhelming. I’m kind of actually super chocked about it. Everyone loves it.

« For me, when I played guitar, I felt like my vocals suffered and when I concentrated on my singing I think my guitar playing suffered. So, these days, I like doing one as opposed to doing both at the same time. »

You also said: “This is the perfect record for me. I feel like it took me ten year to do that. This is finally the one that got where I wanted it to be.” So what was missing in the previous records?

When I did my first solo record, it was pretty much just me doing everything myself. I had a drummer who came in to do stuff. He was here for only two days. On my second record it was the same way, I had just a drummer coming in. This is probably the first time that we worked as a band and made a record with all the people in the band. So it wasn’t just one side. I think that added another whole element to it. Plus this record was a lot more thought out. The last year’s record Calling All Corpses was done pretty quickly, in a sense that new record was as well, but it wasn’t as thought out as this one was. I had to come back and make a good record, so I really thought about it.

Is this the first record where you managed to accomplish everything you had in mind?

I feel like it, yeah. I can touch new grounds, I can try new styles, but I still keep true to what I do without changing everything.

This album sounds like a combination of all the Wednesday 13’s elements. Was it intended? Did you want to put in this album all the flavors we know from this band?

I definitely tried to incorporate all the stuff I’ve done over the years, everything from Murderdolls to my Gunfire 76 project. So I just kind of made a combination of all the sounds. I think that’s the spirit of this record with which I wanted to come back and revisit what I did in the past. Because I listen to my fans all the time and they mention that they like my first album or they like my Skeletons record… Those are two of my favorites as well. So I wanted to go back to where those records where going, follow that direction and do it in a different way.

This is the first time you didn’t play guitar. Why did you decide to step back?

I didn’t really need to. I still always write, demo the song and put the ideas together but for me, this time, I’ve got two great guitar players in my band. I think I’m an average guitar player and I think my guitar player in my band is my favorite guitar player in the world, so I wanted him to play the parts. We’ve been jamming as a live band for about two years now and I wanted to show that on the record.

How did you feel about that? Were you frustrated or did you feel liberated?

It was liberating to be able to step back and let my band handle all the musical duties. It was cool. You know, I’m not an egocentric person. I don’t have to play all the instruments or put my name on everything. It felt good. We’ve really become a good live band and I think this record shows that.

Does this mean you won’t play guitar on stage?

You know, I kind of put that to the side. Occasionally I still play guitar for some acoustic themes but I really just focus on being a front guy now. You know, just doing my shows that way is more fun for me. For me, when I played guitar, I felt like my vocals suffered and when I concentrated on my singing I think my guitar playing suffered. So, these days, I like doing one as opposed to doing both at the same time.

« When you watch the Friday The 13th movie and someone gets killed, these days people laugh at that […]. That’s how I want people to listen to my music »

You said that this album was like a horror movie from the 80’s. You also quoted some music influences from the 80’s. It sounds like this album is dedicated to the 80’s…

Yeah. I grew up in the 80’s. My biggest and most important memories in my head are from that time. That’s when I saw for the first time horror movies, like Friday The 13th or Nightmare On Elm Street. When I saw those movies they were brand new and they terrified me. And then, you know, most of the bands put the Metallica influence in and this is one of the first bands that I heard in the 80’s as well. I just find myself going back to my favorite time and to my childhood.

Are the 80’s your favorite decade?

Yes. I mean, I’m still a huge fan of the 70’s. If I could go back in time I would enjoy the 70’s. Most of my favorite bands like Alice cooper, Kiss and Sweet, bands like that, come from the 70’s. But I’m pretty happy I grew up in the 80’s.

Would you have preferred to be playing music during the 80’s?

No, I’m glad I’ve got to be a kid during that time and soak it all in. Because that’s the perfect example why I turned out the way I did. I had to live through all that. That’s what I sing about. That’s what Wednesday 13 is about. It’s a fantasy that it is about when I grew up on these horror movies. When you watch the Friday The 13th movie and someone gets killed, these days people laugh at that, they think it’s funny and don’t think it’s a serious thing. That’s how I want people to listen to my music and come to my show and feel that way. It’s not like church.

There’s a song called “Fuck You (In Memory Of…)”. Who is it dedicated to?

It’s not anyone in particular. Again I like to write songs where I don’t exactly reveal who it’s about. With one of my old songs I had on my first record called “Bad Things”, everyone asked me about that, like “Wow! Who is that song about?” It was never about anyone, personally. It’s up to the listener, whoever listens to that song, to make it its own. So far the reactions to that song were like: “Thank you for writing that song because it reminds me of my ex or it reminds me of this person.” I’m sure as the years go by, when I perform that song, there will be people coming out of my mind that I will relate that song to, but no one in particular.

Do you think art should remain vague enough so that anyone could relate to it and put their own story into it?

Yeah, I think it’s very important. I don’t normally sing about personal things. In my past songs it has have been like that. But I’m starting to incorporate a little bit of real life. But I kind of hide it, so for people it’s not so obvious.

You’re obviously a horror movie fan. What movies did you see recently?

As far as horror movies and the new genres, I’m really not that up to date. I’m the kind of an old school guy who constantly watches the old stuff. From the mid-nineties or early nineties, things started to get boring for me, so I kind of backed off. So as far as the new horror movies, I haven’t really seen anything. I see all the remakes but none of those have really blown me away. I just pretty much stick to the old stuff.

(About Murderdolls) : « I don’t like to say ever, but it’s looking that way. »

Do you think modern horror movies are getting too serious?

There are different styles of horror. I like the funny one and I like the serious ones that make you go “Holy shit! Did I really just see that?” That’s what’s great about horror: there’s really no rule book on what to do with it. There are so many different styles, so many ways that people can take it. It’s all about the viewer who’s watching it, whatever comes into their minds. That’s what’s great about horror movies: for some people it’s scary, for some people it’s funny.

What type of horror movie do you prefer? Do you prefer the scariest ones or the most violent and gore ones?

I don’t have a favorite style. I can say that I love The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; people think that it’s violent and gory but it’s funny to me. It was never a horror movie to me. But you can watch something like The Exorcist and that was scary to me as a kid, before I grew up, but when I see it these days it’s funny to me. Again, there are movies that were scary in one time and funny another. So again, I don’t have a favorite style. I love the funny ones; I love the super scary ones.

On another topic, can you tell us more about Murderdolls future?

We went on a hiatus in 2011 and that’s pretty much where it stood. I really don’t have any news, there’s nothing going on. To be honest I see it on the back burner probably for eternity. I’m glad we did our second record that makes us end on a high note. I’d be surprised if it ever happens again.

So, you’re saying that Murderdolls is over?

I don’t like to say that because I don’t want to disappoint my fans. But I also like to be honest with them and tell them it’s not going to happen again for a very long time, if it ever does. I don’t like to say ever, but it’s looking that way.

What is the status of your projects Bourbon Crow and Gunfire 76?

Yeah, Bourbon Crow and Gunfire are two projects I did outside of Wednesday. Bourbon Crow is a country poject I did in 2006 and Gunfire was in 2009. It was cool, man. It was a cool thing for me to do something different. They’re not a priority, like something I would keep doing and touring for. There are just fun projects to me. About the idea of doing other records with them, yes that will happen in the future but it’s no priority. It’ll be a couple of years probably before I get back to do any side project stuff. I just focused on doing the Wednesday 13 stuff now.

Do you do anything special on Wednesdays when it’s the thirteenth of the month?

Yeah, actually we started our tour last week on Wednesday the thirteenth; it was at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood.

But do you, yourself, have any kind of ritual or whatever on such date?

No, there’s not really a ritual or anything like that. But it’s pretty cool because I used to always just look for Halloween and then these Wednesday the thirteeth started poping up. And this year, in 2013, there are actually three of them. So, we played the one last week, there’s one in March when we’re playing in London and there’s one I think in October or November as well.

Interview conducted by phone on February, 21th, 2013 by Metal’O Phil
Transcription : Spaceman
Introduction : Spaceman

Wednesday 13’s website : wednesday-13.com

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