Wednesday 13 is releasing his seventh studio album Condolences on June 2, revisiting his more metallic roots while keeping the campy, horror-loving humour we know him for. Speaking previously to Hammer, Wednesday revealed that the title came from seeing the word ‘condolences’ everywhere he turned following the seemingly never-ending deaths of musicians in 2016. In fact, the whole new record is based around death in many forms – from grave-robbing to serial killers. But what does it all mean? We caught up with the man himself to find out, track by track.
“I always put these intros on my records. Some people do intros and stuff for albums to fill up the gaps, but for me I bring this as part of my live show. This is something I’ll come out to. I’m a big horror movie nerd and soundtrack nerd, I wanted something to build up, to create this big anticipation and make you feel uneasy. I wanted something eerie and creepy that would be a really cool intro track live.”
What The Night Brings
“This is basically a song about the night-time. When it gets dark outside, shit changes for people. You can be totally fine when the sun’s up, but when it goes down stuff gets scary and you don’t know what’s in the night. It’s another spooky, trick-or-treat type song. There’s no deep meaning behind it, I just wanted to celebrate what lurks in the darkness.
“I’m definitely a night person. It’s crazy, as soon as the sun goes down it’s like a little switch goes in my head, and I start thinking bad thoughts ha ha. I never know what I’m going to do.”
“I don’t know if it’s a real word, but it sounds cool, and it’s another song that hasn’t got a deep meaning. Over the years I’ve always found it kinda funny to write necrophilia songs. I got that from Alice Cooper when he came out with his song Cold Ethyl on Welcome To My Nightmare, so when I write songs I write with that sort of spirit in mind and Cadaverous is just like that. The lyrics are pretty sick if you think I’m being serious about it. It’s pretty funny, ‘First date, I just can’t wait, to get inside of you,’ you’re like ‘Oh god, you’re talking about fucking a corpse, this is sick.’ It’s not a song your parents would like!”
“When I started writing songs in my apartment, in my little man cave with my toys, I had a poster on my wall from this old movie called Spider Baby and at the bottom of the poster it said ‘So said the spider to the fly…’ When I was writing the lyrics I didn’t have anything yet, and I looked at the poster and thought about a fly flying into a spider web, then the spider torturing this fly for hours. This was a spider torturing a fly scenario, and I love the line that says ‘It’s just so sad that you’re so dumb,’ about the fly that’s so dumb it flew into a spider’s web, so now the spider’s going to fuck with it for the next day. It’s a good fun torture song!”
“This is one of the more serious songs on the record – if there is a serious song on the record – and I guess it’s not about any one person in particular, but it’s about the end of a relationship and saying I’ve got to get rid of what’s been bogging me down. The whole record is themed on death and this is the death of a relationship. It’s more of a serious song, but it’s one of my favourite songs on the record too.”
You Breathe, I Kill
“This is one of the heaviest songs on the record and one of the heaviest songs I’ve ever recorded. I had a serial killer encyclopaedia, so I was reading all these stories and got some lyrical ideas. You Breathe, I Kill was written from the point of view of the serial killer Richard Ramirez, he was known as The Night Stalker, and who AC/DC wrote their song Night Prowler about. I read that he’d stay outside staring through windows, peeking through blinds, just watching people for a few hours, then he’d sneak in and do his thing. I wrote it from the point of view of looking through the window, and if you listen to it thinking about that, it’s a really dark, fucked up song.”
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“I grew up in the Bible Belt in North Carolina. I grew up in the ‘80s when parents were really scared of rock music, it during the time of PMRC – rock ‘n’ roll was scary to parents back then. This song was written from this southern, Bible Belt point of view that rock ‘n’ roll is the Devil’s music, and I love that I got to see first-hand just how serious that was for certain people. It was a weird time, so this is my funny nod to the seriousness of that.”
Cruel To You
“This is old school Wednesday 13. It’s campy, the lyrics are funny, when you hear it you think it’s a really catchy song but when you listen to the words it’s like ‘Whoa, did he actually say that? Did he just say I want to mutilate your body with a razor blade?’ I’ve always tried to write catchy music with dark lyrics over the top that you can’t say on radio. This was the last song we wrote on the record, it’s the last song we came up with. It’s good that it came at the very end, I felt like we were missing something and then we had it all.”
“A lot of these intros and segue things on the records are used for the live show, but it’s actually the music for the last track on the record done with synths. I’m obsessed with movie soundtracks, the old ‘80s John Carpenter/Escape From New York type of intro themes. I always think of records the way a show is put on – Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 – so on this particular track is the segue that goes to the next part of the record. It gets really dark after this point.”
Prey For Me
“Another song that I wrote from the mind of a serial killer. I didn’t have one person in mind, I read a lot of different stories to see how the human mind can get to that point, and this song is about a guy who thinks there are no rules. The lyrics go ‘You’re all just cattle to slaughter,’ talking about a guy who goes out and thinks that exact thing. It’s not a nice song. Next to You Breathe, I Kill it’s probably the darkest song on the record.”
Lonesome Road To Hell
“This is about a guy who knows he’s done all these horrible things and there’s no turning back. I really like the lyrics to this song – ‘I’m not turning back, I can hear the bells’ – he knows he’s going to hell. There’s no apologies about it, he’s going out Bonnie and Clyde, guns blazing.”
“I love how Lonesome Road To Hell leads into Condolences, which is the funeral. This record is really dark, it doesn’t have many happy sides to it. I don’t know if it was intentional, it just happened that way. Whenever I want a record to sound a certain way it always turns out wrong, so I just let it do what it does. I knew it would be heavy, I knew it would have a dark feel to it, but I didn’t know it would turn out this way. This is the funeral, Death Infinity is the afterlife.”
“I’m not a religious person, that’s why I say god’s above me and god’s below – I’m just saying that once we go, nobody knows where we go. It’s the unknown. When I say ‘I know life begins at death,’ that’s the next journey and the next chapter. It’s a cool, different song for us – I like doing stuff that’s outside of the box. I like how the record is really heavy, but the last song ends on a happy note, if you want to call it that.”
Condolences is available June 2 via Nuclear Blast, and is available to pre-order now.