Written by Jess Peacock
(Note: While I am not a music reviewer, I had the opportunity to interview Wednesday 13 about the reformation of Murderdolls and their new album out on August 31st. I wasn't about to pass it up. Enjoy!)
The chronicles of the Murderdolls are, for the lack of a better expression, complex. Founded in 2002 as a side project for Slipknot’s drummer Joey Jordison, the band emerged as a musical chimera of sorts, eventually forming from the discarded pieces of several other rock projects. Most prominent of these disparate elements was Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13, Wednesday 13’s horror punk outfit, the gory fingerprints of which are smeared all over 2002’s Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls.
After several years of extensive touring in support of their only full-length release, Murderdolls vanished from the music scene. “We’ve always kept the conversation going about the Murderdolls,” explains lead singer Wednesday 13. “But we both had so many other things going on. Joey did two Slipknot albums and the world tours associated with that and I put out three solo albums and two country albums. That consumes a lot of time.”
On August 31st, however, after an eight-year “absence” from the industry, Murderdolls return with a new full-length album entitled Women and Children Last. “We honestly didn’t think it would happen,” Wednesday says. “About a year ago we spoke, and Joey was really into doing it again, so we hit the studio and knocked the album out in thirty days.”
“Working again with Joey was easier than remembering how to ride a bike,” he continues. “Doing my solo stuff for the last five years, I missed having that partner, a collaborator. Joey and I feed off of each other and how we work together is insane. I’ve never had that with anyone else before.”
If the blistering onslaught of the recently released single, My Dark Place Alone, and the seizure inducing supporting video are any indicator, then the regenerated Murderdolls have not missed a step during the prolonged hiatus. In addition to their signature punk/hard rock barrage of sound, there also seems to be a slightly more mature, even relaxed, element to the music. “We want to keep people guessing,” Wednesday reveals. “So we tried being a little different. We didn’t want to be painted into a corner, so we really mixed it up on the album.”
“The album is a fun, violent rollercoaster ride,” he adds with a smile on his face and a distinct sparkle in his eye.
In addition to the growth and maturation the duo experienced after eight years apart, another change for the 2010 Murderdolls, albeit slight, is a reigning in of the horror tropes that have dominated Jordison and Wednesday 13’s collaborative projects. “The first album had a lot of horror imagery,” Wednesday points out. “For this record, we still have the horror imagery, but this time I wrote stories as opposed to horror themes.”
Whether singing about overt horror staples (Dawn of the Dead) or the more internal terrors of a mental breakdown (My Dark Place Alone), Wednesday 13 is quick to assure everyone that Murderdolls is as ghastly as ever. “They’re my own stories this time, but the imagery is still going to be there. We’re not trying to be a horror band; it just seems to come naturally. I went way beyond my means on this record and stepped out of the box I had put myself in. I had more tricks up my sleeve than people realized, and this record is filled with them.”
Concerning the future of Murderdolls, and the apprehension of some fans wary of a musical cash grab, Wednesday is anything but vague. “This isn’t what you’d call a side project,” the singer-songwriter clarifies. “We’re set to tour for a good two years as the Murderdolls, so we’re not taking an eight year break,” This statement would seem to be backed up by the recent announcement that Murderdolls will join the Halloween Hootenanny tour, headlined by Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. “We’re going to show people this time what we meant to show them last time.”
“This is my baby,” Wednesday 13 admits. “My favorite thing I’ve ever done. I don’t want to be cliché and say that this album is the best work I’ve ever done. But what I left behind and what I personally put into this album, it is the biggest record of my life.”