By Johnny Papan
VANCOUVER – On the mount-rushmore of horror-rock, there is no doubt Wednesday 13, born Joseph Poole, would have his likeness carved in along the likes of Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and the Misfits. Developing an underground following with Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 in the early 90s, Poole’s career was taken to the next level when receiving contact from Slipknot’s Joey Jordison and joining the cultivated horror-rock supergroup: Murderdolls.
Over a decade later, Wednesday 13 continues making music as a solo artist. Though he is widely known for writing about scary movies and their characters, he decided to take things in a much darker direction this time around, bringing light to real-life horrors on his new album Condolences.
“I’ve been embracing different types of true crime stories, I find them to be more and more frightening these days.” Poole states. “Horror films just don’t strike me the way they did than when I was growing up. To be shocked I need to read about something that’s really happened. I just start going into the human mind, what makes them go that way, and that’s what I write the songs about.“
Undoubtedly Poole’s heaviest and most mature release to date, Condolences revolves around the theme of death and lyrically, many songs on the new album are inspired by the acts of serial killers. The new track “You Breathe, I Kill” is about Richard Ramirez who murdered 14 victims between 1984 and 1985 and was sentenced to death row.
The evils written in fiction and documented in time aren’t Poole’s only source of inspiration. He also draws influence from his personal life, usually disguising his lyrics with monstrous metaphors. “We had a song on our Calling All Corpses record called ‘We All Die.’ When you listen to it, it sounds like a zombie apocalypse but it was actually about our experience being in Japan during the earthquake-tsunami in 2011.” Poole was touring Japan with Murderdolls during the Tōhoku 9.0 magnitude undersea earthquake that tragically took over 15,000 lives. Touched by the event, Poole quickly began doing charity work to support families affected.
The new record has already dawned four music videos: “What the Night Brings,” “Blood Sick,” “Cruel to You,” and the album’s title track: “Condolences.” Poole is very involved with the creative process behind these videos and plans to release one for every song on the album.
In terms of Wednesday 13’s current tour, Poole claims it’s the biggest and most elaborate he’s done in his entire career. He hints at an almost classic Alice Cooper-esque style performance.
“We have an amazing light show, an amazing setlist and a theatrical show to go along with it.” Pool concludes: “It’s like watching a movie, I feel like we’re doing something that not a lot of people do anymore. If you wanna see something that’s entertaining, whether you like our music or not, I think you’ll walk away saying ‘wow that was an entertaining show.’”
Wednesday 13 performs at the Rickshaw Theatre (Vancouver) on July 22, Dickens Pub (Calgary) July 21, and Starlight Room (Edmonton) on July 20.Dickens Pub, Rickshaw Theatre, Starlight Room, Wednesday 13