Having worked with Murderdolls, Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 and as a solo artist in his own right, Wednesday 13 has got a hell of a back catalogue to whittle down to a mere ten songs.
“I take a lot of pride in what I do,” he tells us. “The simple fact that if people could see the small place where I came from, that needle in a haystack story, and how I’ve had so many people tell me that what I was doing was dumb, didn’t make any sense and wouldn’t work on radio... they don’t understand that it was never about that. I might not have the most fans in the world but the people that like me are so committed it makes me feel like I’m the biggest artist in the world.”
Ahead of Wednesday 13's appearance at Bloodstock festival, we asked one of metal's most beloved cult artists to pick the songs that sum up his career.
Rambo (Night Of The Living Drag Queens, 1998)
“The first songs I wrote were just dumb enough to work. I recorded this with Frankenstein Drag Queens in about 1998. As a kid I was obsessed with Rambo, my dad showed me the first film when I was about five years old. I was listening to Sex Pistols and Ramones when I was recording that album and I really liked the way The Ramones spelled out songs – and it was easy to do that with Rambo. It was just dumb enough to be genius!”
I Love To Say Fuck (Songs From The Recently Deceased, 2000)
“This was the first song I wrote where the crowd would go crazy! It didn’t matter if we were playing some shitty bar with five people in and they ignored the rest of our set, as soon as we played that song it made everyone real happy and they’d have their middle fingers in the air. Everyone does love to say fuck! The most popular song that can never get played on the radio! I wrote it when I was still working a day job, and the janitor in the store heard me playing it and said ‘No one will ever like this song. Worst song ever. You’re crazy!’ and I’d say, ‘One day you’ll see!’ and he actually came to see us in Prague last year and got to see everyone singing along to it. Which is pretty crazy!”
Bad Things (Transylvania 90210, 2005)
“It took me a few times to demo this song and get it right. It was the ultimate ‘Fuck you!’ song, I love how ridiculous the lyrics are: ‘I would like to see you drown in a lake, or put a bag over your face and watch you suffocate.’ I just thought it was fun and it became one of our staple songs. I did this album all by myself apart from the drums; it was all me and all my creation, which is why I hold that record so dear.”
Nowhere (Women And Children Last, 2010)
“It was the last video that Murderdolls ever made, and it was kind of perfect because people would say to me ‘Where are Murderdolls?’ and I’d say ‘Watch the last video where we drive ourselves over a cliff.’ So what happened? Who knows? It was actually an old song that I had written in the days of my first album and left it in the ‘Maybe’ pile. Joey heard it and was like ‘Why have you never recorded this song?’ I just never had the confidence to record it, once I heard it back I couldn’t believe I’d left it so long.”
Summertime Suicide (Women And Children Last, 2010)
“A real fun song. I tried to write a real Romeo And Juliet song, and when the label heard it they were pretty blown away because it was the first thing they had heard from the band on that album. They were freaking out about how catchy it was and then it got to the chorus... all talking about suicide. They said ‘Er... can you change it?’ and we were like ‘Nooooooo!’ so we stuck to our guns and it never got played on radio. But the lyrics were pretty clever, I’d never written a song that has a story like that.”
From Here To The Hearse (Skeletons, 2008)
“It was one of the very first songs that I wrote for Skeletons and it was when I was playing a lot of guitar in the band. I remember writing it and being real happy with it, and then one day Alice Cooper came up to me and told me that he really loved that song, which made it really special for me. Once we started playing it live we’d turn it into an Alice Cooper medley at the end. It’s got a real special place for me.”
Skeletons (Skeletons, 2008)
“It was a weird time in my life. I remember that was one of those songs that came to me really naturally; it had a real dark vibe, even on the demo. The lyrics were cool, and I really like the whole record because everyone had me pegged as this schlocky, goofy kind of guy, but that album really took a sharp right turn. It was much more gothic, much more serious and a lot darker.”
Serpent Society (Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague, 2015)
“It was my first go at a sort of concept record. It’s more of just an underlying theme rather than a story that runs through it, looking at the idea of what if you woke up one morning and everything you knew and held dear was wrong. So, if you look at the oldest history books, there is nothing in there but reptile and snake worship, and there are all these conspiracy theories about this society called the reptilians. This song is basically about them and what it would be like if they did exist – pretty much the scariest thing I could humanly think of. And live I get to dress up like a reptilian devil god, which is pretty cool. One of my favourite songs to play live too.”
Keep Watching The Skies (Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague, 2015)
“Completely inspired by the author David Icke, he put out a book called the Perception Conception and I became obsessed with all the stuff he wrote about. The second line of that song is ‘Everything you know is a lie.’ If people found out that everything they thought they knew was a lie then there would be such chaos. That’s basically the core of the whole album, but this is also inspired by the theory that the moon is flat like a face and not a planet which was put here to observe us. I find that stuff super interesting and that’s why I wrote about it.”
Condolences (Condolences, 2017)
“The very first song I wrote for this record – I was playing it on my acoustic guitar and my cat loves it. Every time I play the riff my cat would start meowing and going crazy, which I though was really cute. So, I had to have it in there. But once we got in the studio it took on a life of its own, and it has got such a cool dark vibe to it. It’s also the longest song I’ve ever recorded, it’s over seven minutes long... it’s my Iron Maiden song! It’s a dim the lights and get dark song, and I love that.”
Wednesday 13's new album Condolences is out now (opens in new tab) and he will play the main stage at Bloodstock festival on August 10. Get your tickets now (opens in new tab).