Bolt your doors, seal off your windows, and turn off your radio – it's a scary world out there, full of mindless zombies and equally mindless rockstars, self-righteously preaching and self-indulgently whining to the herd.
But help is on the way, as Wednesday 13 stands ready to shock the rock status quo out of its brain-dead coma. Equal parts artist, horror and TV addict, and riveting frontman, Wednesday 13 refuses to be your typical messiah. “I don't like anyone preaching to me – that's why I've never gone to church.” says Wednesday. “For me, music has always been an escape from real life. Whatever problems I had, I could always go home, put on a record and just escape all of that shit. So in my own music, the only thing I'm serious about is not being serious!”
Though best known for fronting the Murderdolls, Wednesday is a rock veteran who's been playing in bands since he was 15-years old. He adopted his stage moniker in 1995, naming himself after Wednesday of The Addams Family and the address, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, of The Munsters. A year later he formed his now-deceased horror-core band Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, named in the spirit of legendary B-movie director Ed Wood. The band put out four independent albums between 1996 and 2001, and played countless local shows.
Frankenstein Drag Queens was Wednesday's baby, and he slaved away for his undead offspring - writing the songs, booking shows, working low-wage jobs (delivering everything from newspapers to furniture), and generally putting all his money and energy into the band. In 2001, the 'Drag Queens independent releases and loyal underground following caught the attention of national artists, as Wednesday was asked by the (since departed) Murderdolls guitarist Tripp Eisen to join the band.
Wednesday started in the bass slot, but his talent and showmanship quickly resulted in a move to the lead vocalist position. It was he and band founder Joey Jordison of Slipknot who collaborated on the writing of the band's debut album, Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls. The Murderdolls quickly built a fiercely devoted following, through repeated world tours (including 30,000-person shows in Japan, opening slots for Iron Maiden throughout Europe, and other choice tours), and worldwide rock press acclaim and album sales followed.
As 2003 came to an end, Beyond… had earned silver-status in the UK, sold over 100,000 units in the U.S. alone, and garnered accolades including Kerrang!'s Readers Choice Award “Best New Band and Album of 2002” and Metal Hammer's “Thank God They're Not Good Charlotte” award in 2003.
Predictably, the success of the Murderdolls resulted in Wednesday disbanding his first band. But since the Frankenstein Drag Queens' demise, it has ironically won a worldwide cult following. Wednesday can't help but laugh: “In the beginning, the 'Drag Queens were inspired by Ed Wood. In the end, the band was like Ed Wood in that he wasn't popular until after he died either.”
Murderdolls, meanwhile, was put on hold in 2003 as Jordison returned to the studio and the road with Slipknot. Wednesday returned home, immediately locked himself in his basement, and emerged with over 100 songs written. In June 2004, he began work on his first solo album, playing all but the drums himself. True to form, Wednesday has stitched together a morgue-full of influences – horror films, cartoons, punk and heavy metal – into a spook-tacular monster-mosh of an album, Transylvania 90210: Songs of Death, Dying and the Dead. Fans of White Zombie, Rob Zombie, AFI, Alkaline Trio the aforementioned 'Dolls, as well as metal, punk, and horror in general will find the record at once refreshing and outrageous.
With his sallow complexion and raven dreadlocks, Wednesday may look like a grim goth at first glance, but the singer/guitarist is more a throwback to the days of Alice Cooper and Twisted Sister, when rock music had no more pretentious aspirations than being over-the-top, escapist fun. The song “I Walked with a Zombie”, for instance, was inspired by the 1943 horror movie of the same name. “It's one of the first movies that dealt with voodoo,” the singer/guitarist explains. “But I just went in a totally different direction – the song is actually kind of a love song about a zombie.”
The song “Elect Death for President”, meanwhile, was inspired by the TV news. “I was watching CNN last year, and I was like 'You know, this is scarier than any horror movie,'” Wednesday recalls. “I'm not a political person, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that there are problems. So I started making up sarcastic lyrics about a campaign where Death was actually running for president. I felt kind of weird afterwards, like “Did I just write a political song? Or not?'”
The recording now behind him and the bloody, infectious results commited to tape, the singer/guitarist is burning to sink his fangs into the rock world's throat once again. Despite his writing and performing the record himself, Wednesday 13 is a band, which includes Wednesday on vocals/guitar, Ghastly on drums, Kid Kid on bass and Pig on guitar.
Once the record was done, the band immediately hit the road, playing a 16-date club tour of the UK/Europe to warm up the new material. The tour was a great success, drawing thousands of fans and affirming Wednesday's ability to connect with fans, whatever the project. Growing up a little blonde kid in the middle of the Bible Belt (North Carolina, where he still resides), Wednesday escaped at an early age into a world of creature features and rock gods.
“I'm the perfect example of what television and rock 'n' roll can do to a kid with no plans to be a doctor or fireman,” says Wednesday. “I still sort of live inside of a television. My songs stem from movies and things I've seen on TV.” It seems natural, then, that each track on Transylvania 90210 is an episode in the outrageously shocking mini-series that Wednesday 13 created. Tune In: Wednesday 13's debut album will be your new guilty pleasure.