Wednesday 13 on his spooky new album, tours and David Icke

"Joseph! Get in here and do the dishes..."

Wednesday 13 is currently in San Antonio, Texas. As he says so himself “We’re right in the middle of rehearsals for the tour; we’re starting the tour on Wednesday, ironically…” and that tour starts in the US before heading over to the UK. His sixth solo album Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague is released this week and Wednesday and the band will be busting out all manner of tracks from the new release. But is he ready? “I think so; we’ve had a couple of days of rehearsal and we’ve still got a couple of days to go but the sound of the band – it’s the best I’ve ever heard us and the new songs; they sound like the CD. It’s amazing how good it sounds! We haven’t played since November 2013 and this is our second rehearsal since then…”

I ask what how he prepares for touring; does he go on a juice purification diet or maybe a yoga retreat is more his thing? He laughs. “Urgh! No! Are you kidding me?! Yoga?! It’s rock and roll – great drugs and alcohol; a strict diet of that, that’s it! For me there’s no other way to prepare for it other than mentally; I gotta get in the zone for the songs and just give the best show I can. For me, taking a year off and working on the new album – I’m really proud of that record – we’ll be playing a lot of it live and I guess visually, it’s going to be very different to what I’ve done in the past. I’ve got a lot of tricks up my sleeve but I cannot reveal all of my tricks.” As mentioned previously, he’ll be hitting the UK after the US and will be playing the Cathouse in Glasgow on Friday the 13th. Any special plans for this spooky date? “Oh, I’m sure it’ll be even crazier! I’m sure with it being Friday the 13th, that’s just gonna add a little extra sauce to it.”

I note there’s a small gap between the two major tours and ask if there’s any chance of him popping down to Australia for Soundwave 2015? Alas not; he points out “There isn’t really that much of a gap; I’m doing a horror convention in North Carolina that I’ve been attending for the last couple of years; it’s this thing called Mad Monster and I’m attending that for a weekend – but we do have plans for Australia later in the year – it just won’t be in between the US and UK tours though. You’re on the list, believe me!”

He mentions that he and the band haven’t had the opportunity to test any of the Monsters tunes on a live audience as yet but he does mention they’ve been doing some acoustic shows. Acoustic shows? I’m intrigued and ask how his music translates to an acoustic set. “Surprisingly well. An acoustic show is not what people think of when they think of Wednesday 13 because it could be a complete train wreck! Some of the songs would definitely not work in an acoustic setting but I have such a catalogue of songs of everything I’ve done, from my solo stuff to Murder Dolls to Frankenstein Drag Queens. I’ve been putting music out for twenty years now so with the catalogue of songs, you can pick out and make an hour long set and they translate well because most of the songs, I wrote on acoustic guitar. A lot of people don’t realise that that’s how I do my songs. We had some of the best reactions; we had people who’d seen us for ten years and they were telling me it was the best show they ever saw.”

He mentions that the band has had the same line-up since 2011 and this stability certainly helped when writing Monsters, which is, by the way, Wednesday’s first sojourn in the realm of the concept album. How did that work out for you? “Really fun, and once the record was done and I heard how it all turned out; it was beyond my expectations. I'm not a fan of the concept record – I think the only concept record that I own is Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare and I didn’t really understand the concept of that story when I first heard it but it didn’t matter because the music was really good – and that’s what I wanted to do for this record. Whether you understand the concept of the record or not, there are still good songs and that was something I wanted to make sure happened, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Can you give me a brief synopsis of the concept behind Monsters? “I guess the easiest way to explain the concept is if you woke up one morning and you were told by the government or whoever that every single thing that you’d learned or knew was a lie, and that’s sort of the concept. Then add an alien invasion and a plague. There’s no happy ending to my story at all! It’s not gonna be made into a Disney movie!” I mention that it sounds like something David Icke would come out with and Wednesday agrees, adding “I’m a huge fan of David Icke and he’s a huge part of the storyline; a lot of these things [on the record] I read in his books – he’s a very intriguing dude! He was definitely a part of where I got some of these ideas and stories. I’m very much a fan of all that kind of stuff and I find it very interesting. Whether it’s a real thing or not, I can’t say but it’s definitely interesting.”

You were going to make a movie around the release of 2013’s The Dixie Dead; is there anything happening on that front? “Yeah, I spoke too soon on that. I was hopefully gonna try and do a movie alongside the record but I got busy touring and if I was gonna make a movie, it was gonna be done right. I wasn’t gonna rush in to it and it wasn’t the right time so I put it on the backburner and here we are with a new record and I haven’t really thought about it. It’ll happen but before I get behind a camera I think I’ll stay on the stage a little bit longer.”

I noted a strong Alice Cooper vibe to Monsters. Obviously he’s a big inspiration and I know you played with him a while ago. Have you now played with all of your idols? “Playing with Alice was definitely the goal of my life as a musician. He was my inspiration for doing this and I think for the most part I’ve played with all my favourite bands or have met all of my favourite bands and that’s been a really rewarding thing for me, and I’ve actually become friends with a lot of my heroes so it’s been a really, really cool ride for me.” So having worked/played/met all of your idols, do you have any goals left? “Well, my next goal is to meet David Icke! His book Perception Deception is the most insane book I’ve ever read in my life. It’s unbelievable! I tell everyone that they should read some of the stuff in this book. It’ll blow your mind! It’s really cool to be able to work it into my music and into the record and it’s been one of the most fun records that I’ve made.”

Finally, I ask if he prefers to be addressed as Wednesday or as Joseph (his ‘real’ name). He tells me only his mother calls him Joseph so as we say good-bye, I do my best angry mother impersonation and shriek “Joseph! Joseph! Get inside and do the dishes!” down the phone. It’s frighteningly accurate and I think I may have psychologically scarred the poor fellow.

Monsters Of The Universe: Come Out And Plague - Out this week.