【face-to-face / interview】MURDERDOLLS
In 2002, Joey Jordison (SLIPKNOT) and Wednesday 13 formed THE MURDERDOLLS. The band signed with Roadrunner Records and released debut album “Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls”. The effort showed Joey Jordison’s versatility as he produced, mixed, and played all of the instruments heard on the CD. After a two-year run of touring, the band went on a hiatus that lasted long 8 years. The band is now coming back with “Women and Children Last” which will be available on August 13rd. For the occasion, We met Wednesday in beautiful hotel located in Paris.
The band reformed after a 8-year break. How did the reunion happen after such a long break and why did it take so long ?
Wednesday 13 : This time around it is just Joey and I, we didn’t want to put that same line-up back together again, I have no intention to make them lose credibility, but it’s been eight years and honestly a lot of people don’t know how THE MURDERDOLLS formed in the first place. Basically Joey called me up then we combined our bands together. At the time, he was doing his punk band called THE REJECTS, and I had a project called The FRANKENSTEIN DRAG QUEENS. We basically took all of our songs that we smashed together. Then we did all the recording ourselves and when it was time to put the band together, we basically just looked at pictures. When we got together for the very first time, it was for a photoshoot, we never even played as a band together at that time and for the video « Dead in Hollywood » too. It was really being thrown together ! That line-up was so dysfonctional. I am not saying it didn’t work nor wasn’t great because it had to last a short period of time. The starting of the band was just strange, we were strangers to each other, except Joey and I. To get back to your question, every year of the latest eight ones, we kept talking about it but Joey had his SLIPKNOT stuff going on, they were going on tour for like two years, and I started my solo stuff. Our schedules didn’t match but I’m so glad it didn’t because I feel like if THE MURDERDOLLS recorded in 2005, it would have sounded like THE MURDERSOLLS then, which would have been not as good as it is today. This has been eight years of demos that I’ve passed back and forth to Joey and that’s why I love this record so much, because it’s so diverse, there’s so much stuff on it. When THE MURDERSOLLS stopped touring, I was pretty much still listening to the same kind of music, I was still claiming my favorite bands to be ALICE COOPER, KISS and all that stuff. I still listen to them today but all over the years I’ve opened up. Joey introduced me to so much stuff ! Now I listen to everything from local country stuff, to SLAYER, SATYRICON, KILLING JOKE and all new kind of things. All that stuff really comes across on this record so it’s good it took eight years, it wouldn’t have been the same if we did it earlier, it was needed and beneficial. Joey and I are on the same page right now.
The new album seems to be more violent. What can we expect and how will it differ from the previous one ?
Wednesday 13 : Have you heard it yet ?
Not yet but it won’t take long. I’ve listened to one song only so far.
Wednesday 13 : My Dark Place Alone ?
Yes. I feel like your music is shifting towards heavier sounds.
Wednesday : Yeah definitely. That’s a good example of what to expect but the CD really is all over the place : there are heavier songs, lesser ones. « My Dark Place Alone » is the most personal song on the record, we just shot a video for it last week. That song’s basically about the last five years of my life, all the crazy sh… bad things that happened which I’ve kept somewhere in my head. I went from having money to being broke, I was married then I was not, I moved from North Carolina to Los Angeles, back and forth. It’s been a dark period. I put everything I have on this record, this is a very serious one, this is all I got. There’s a song I wrote called « Rock N Roll is All I Got » and this is what it’s about, I gave up everything for this band. This record is honest, brutal, violent, it just reflects the past eight years of our lives. People don’t realize that the first MURDERDOLLS record came out when I was 25, Joey who’s a year older was 26, these songs were written in our bedrooms when we were teenagers, we didn’t want to do the same thing over again, I didn’t want to be labeled as « the band that write about horror movies » all the time. I used to write that kind of songs when I was 15 years old. I got to the point where I thought… (silence).
It’s time to do something else ?
Wednesday : Definitely ! On this record there’s no horror-movie subject, Frankenstein, Dracula stuff. There’re stories, and a lot of the songs are personal : « My Dark Place Alone », « Nothing’s Gonna Be Alright ». And there are song like « Chapel of Blood » or « Summer Time Suicide » which are stories that I made up. It was actually cool to do something different, I really wasn’t going to fake something that didn’t suit me anymore just for the sake of doing what people expect me to do… talking about zombie… No ! If I am not into it, I am not going to sing it.
All the more so since you are already doing this with your solo stuff.
Wednesday : Exactly ! THE MURDERDOLLS now is more of a real thing, this record is very serious. All the campiness and the fun vibe of the first record are not on the new album, there’s not really fun moment on it but it will definitely be there on the live shows because that’s still part of us yet.
You got older and more experienced. How has the creating process changed with Joey ?
Wednesday : This is the first time we sat down and wrote songs together. The first record was different, the songs were already done, it was a mix of our two bands as I told you earlier. The way I did for the new album is recording demos with a verse and chorus, just half a song. I would go back to the studio to perfect it and if it was good to that point I said “it is worth finishing”. Then we would eventually finish them with Joey who would add all of his magic – he’d take them, re-adjust them and I’d get the frame. We worked together on the scheme of the songs, 50 to be exact, we built them piece by piece. It was such a cool vibe : me and Joey in a room, he was on drums I picked the guitar and we went « let’s go ! ». This is the first time we’ve really collaborated.
So this is pretty much the very first MURDERDOLLS album, right ?
Wednesday : This is, without a doubt, the first MURDERDOLLS album. The production is a lot better, not that we were faking it the first album – I love it, it is what it is – But it was like a demo pretty much. Someone told us earlier today that he can kind of compare it to the way MÖTLEY CRÜE feel about « Too Fast For Love », they’ve always considered it to be a demo. Women and Children Last is like eight years worth of material. This is the rebirth of the band ! We picked up a new line-up, the guys fit the band perfectly. Those who think they figured us out back in the days, don’t get the fucking clue of what we are about to do this year. The first track of the album is named « The World According To Revenge », this is revenge for us !
Talking about the line-up, is the MURDERDOLLS basically a 2-men band ?
Wednesday : It’s always gonna be Joey and I. We are the visionaries of the whole thing. We will probably change the line-up for the next record, who knows. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t predict the future. The line-up we have right now is great but Joey and I will always remain the main two guys for sure.
Do you have any anecdote or interesting story that you want to share with us about the recording ?
Wednesday : Oh Man, there so many stories. I guess the cool thing about the record was when we got to the studio in a mansion located up on the Hollywood hills, we were literally secluded, we didn’t see anyone at all for a month. We were being maniacs but Hollywood is a good place to let loose and go crazy (laughs). Seriously, we didn’t leave the studio, we locked ourselves in. We didn’t see anyone but us and the pool guy. And you know, when we started recording I hadn’t seen Joey for 5 years, physically in front of me, in 5 fucking years ! Our conversations were mainly through text-messages. So when we got back together, it was therapy the first week. We had a lot of stuff to talk about and million things to do. And after a month being up there, this mansion became an asylum to us though it was a beautiful place. But we never saw any outside people. The producer told us to listen to music to get a vibe for the new album, but I told him to only listen to me and Joey to create our own vibe, I don’t want to recreate anything else. All the vocals were made in a small booth in complete darkness. It was intense. To sum up, the very interesting anecdote about this record is that this is just Joey and I, no influence from the outside.
It’s been a very creative period of your career. Why is it so important for you to have several music projects ? How important is it ?
Wednesday : I love music, I love all the types of music and I love changing. For the last couple of years, I did everything that seemed possible to me. I was fed up of looking the same way for years, I got to change it up. I cut my hair off and started a new band called GUNFIRE 76 for 2 months. I don’t think anybody saw it really (laughs) but I had a blast with it. I got my confidence back. I’ve never been confortable as a front guy. I played guitar for years so I was hidden behind it. That band brought me out of my shield. I am not the same 13 that people knew and saw back in THE MURDERDOLLS days. I am an entirely diffent monster this time (laughs).
What is the major change ?
Wednesday : LIFE !
Wednesday : It hasn’t been easy.
I see. The visual aspect of your music has changed too. Is it still important to you ?
Wednesday : It always is. Though it changes, I am always going to have an image. The way I dress right now is 100% me. I dress like this all the time. I don’t fake it for the sake of wathever. Even if I don’t wear as much make-up as I do right now, there’s not a single day when I don’t wear eyeliner. The visual aspect of things is very important to me. My favorite bands have always been ALICE COOPER, KISS, MÖTLEY CRÜE and TWISTED SISTER. Plus I like to keep people guessing and trying to figure out what I am doing. If someone can imitate and dress like me then I will change it the very next day. I have to stay one step ahead from the fans of me.
You guys did a couple of warm-up shows last week. How did you feel playing together again with joey after such a long break ?
Wednesday : It was great ! But to be honest, I don’t really remember them not because I was drunk or anything like that. When I go on stage now, I flip a switch and I don’t know what I’m gonna do. That’s fun that way. I am exorcizing my fucking demons every night. I have no other choice, I gave up everything for this record. I am seriously living out of a suitcase. I don’t have anything that I grew up with, I lost everything : my house, my wife and so forth. With Joey, we have such a vibe together on stage, this is such a unique feeling. We finish each other sentences. We have the same ideas. With my other projects, I did everything, I wrote everything, there was never balance. It was all my stuff. So to get back with Joey and have a partner again, I really feel a diffence which translates on stage. This is so unique and amazing. It’s all about emotion.
Is it what you benefit from THE MURDERDOLLS compared to your other projects ?
Wednesday : Yes, yes.
Wednesday : Thank you too.