Surviving members of horror-punk supergroup Murderdolls appear to be feuding over the band's estate and legacy. The feud comes in the aftermath of the 20th anniversary of the band's beloved debut album, Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls, which was released on August 20, 2002. The band, who were led by vocalist Wednesday 13 and Slipknot's Joey Jordison, had been inactive in the years leading up to Jordison's death in 2021.
Earlier this month, a website named 'murderdollsofficial' was set up, seemingly to celebrate the anniversary, with pre-orders made available for a special vinyl edition of the debut album. Last week, however, Wednesday 13 posted a statement apparently distancing himself from the website and criticising its presence
"It's unfortunate that this has to be said, but here it is: Murderdolls was created in 2002 by Joey Jordison and Wednesday 13," the singer - real name Joseph Poole - stated on Friday August 26 via his official Facebook page. "The name, the look, the lyrics, the music was all created by Joey Jordison and Wednesday 13."
"Anyone besides Wednesday or Joey claiming to be the Official Murderdolls is NOT OFFICIAL," he added. "Any merchandise being advertised using Joey and Wednesday’s original Murderdolls logos, music and lyrics is NOT Approved or Authorized."
This prompted guitarist Acey Slade, who was in the band from 2002-2004 and is seemingly involved in the anniversary celebrations, to respond with a statement of his own.
"It became apparent before 2020 that none of the Alumni wanted to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the legacy or the business of the band," Slade - real name Emil John Schmidt IV - stated via his own social media channels. "All of the business/legal ends of the band were abandoned. Reinstating the assets was time-consuming and expensive as you can imagine."
"It also came to my attention that we were approaching the 20th Anniversary of Beyond…," he adds. "I reached out to Warner Brothers to see if they had any plans for a re-release and I was informed they did not. But they also indicated that they would be elated if I would like to license the album and all of its assets. This means the re-release of Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls is officially licensed! And with that, any images, photos, music videos, artwork that came with the album."
Slade goes on to invite the surviving Muderdolls members to "join in" with the celebrations, adding: "it would not only be welcome but encouraged, but that will be their choice. Reconnecting the alumni with the Murderdolls fans and us extending the legacy of everyone who built it is what this is all about."
Wednesday 13 responded with a further statement:
"My issues have nothing to do with any ex members celebrating the 20th anniversary of that album," he explains. "I have been celebrating the anniversary as well on my tours this year. However I have been celebrating it as Wednesday 13, not Murderdolls.
The first album released in 2002, all music was written by Joey and I. The only other member to contribute to this record was Tripp [Eisen] with a few guitar solos. All other instruments/vocals are performed by Joey and Wednesday. We assembled the touring lineup after the recording was finished consisting of Eric, Ben and Acey.
The band went on hiatus eight years after this and returned in 2010 with the sophomore Murderdolls album. This album and touring lineup did not feature any of the touring members from the first album. This was decided by Joey, as his decision to only have he and I photographed on that album.
This was Joey’s band, he invited me into this world, and I am able to do what I do today because of him and the Murderdolls name, and that’s what this whole situation is about.
Murderdolls trademark had lapsed. This was unknown to Joey or I as the band was inactive and no one was watching for this. However it seems Acey was watching for it, and applied for the MD trademark to take the name behind our backs. Acey succeeded in gaining the trademark. He applied for this trademark 1 year before I was notified and a year before Joey’s passing. He never notified Joey about this, as he knew he would be furious and not approve.
There’s no other way I can view this other than he stole the name from Joey. He is now launching websites, merchandise, and our first album as Official Murderdolls, erasing my name out of the bio/ history of the band.
It’s sad that I’ve had to make this a public discussion, but that’s where we are. I’m not involved with this situation because I chose not to be involved with it. It doesn’t sit well with me and I cannot get behind it."
Prior to Jordison's passing, Wednesday 13 hinted at the idea that Murderdolls could one day reunite, telling us in 2017 that it would be a "great idea."