The Murderdolls could just be the band that saves the rock scene. Looking at the current crop of Puddle Of Mudd and Staind it's hard to imagine a time pre Nirvana, but with the Murderdolls they bring back all the rock & roll excess of times gone by. Add glam rock, guitar solo's, Friday 13th, which feature in equal parts, and not forgetting the fact that Slipknot's Joey Jordison has swapped the sticks for a guitar it makes for a exciting proposition.
We caught up with frontman Wednesday to find how himself and Joey forged an alliance between The Rejects and Frankenstein Drag Queens to form the Murderdolls. After two months on the road the band are getting used to the fact that they've not only attracted a cult following of Murderdolls obsessive's, but are set to scare the mainstream when they support Papa Roach later this year.
Q: It's one of the most complicated family trees in
rock & roll history, but could you summarize for our readers how the
Murderdolls came to being?
A: In the shortest story I can explain cos' it's such a long story. Joey had a band called the Rejects that he had about 95/ 96 as well as being involved in Slipknot. But the Rejects used to play around Iowa and then of course Slipknot went on, got signed and became huge and we didn't have time to do the band. But any time Joey had time off, he would come home and the Rejects would do shows. It was basically just Joey and this singer guy called Dizzy, actually some of the guys from Slipknot would play shows like Corey, but they would just get people together and play these songs they had.
In 2000, Joey had some time off, went into the Studio, played all the music with a singer and recorded 14 songs. He also met Tripp who is in Static X, but who at the time was in a band called Dope. And it's weird because the ideas been around for ages, but as far as being physically a band between Slipknot's and Static X schedules they came in and did 2 live shows in the same day - one in the afternoon and then another in the evening.
A year later I get brought into the picture and Joey had heard the band I'd been in, Frankenstein Drag Queens, and he really liked our music cos it was really similar to what he'd been doing with the Rejects. Were on the same wave length, like the same music and the same movies, but I came into the Rejects as a bass player. I went up there, recorded some songs and Joey was like I really like your voice - I wanna get rid of this guy I've been with for 6 years. And from that point we basically started on the record. Once the album was done we found Eric and Ben. Eric was in a Static X video playing a vampire, so he knew Tripp. And then Eric said I know a drummer guy, which was Ben, and they kind of came in as a team.
We'd never played together as a band until a week before
we went on tour. So we had to learn all the material and go out on a tour
of the States. Most bands will be together for years and years and we were
like I hope we can play these songs as well as the album. Now when I listen
to the album, it's like we play it so much together now.
Q: So as you said then. The album came together from
Joey's "Reject" songs and your "Frankenstein Drag Queens" songs. Is it
working as band now?
A: The story always focus' about the rejects, but a lot of the material came from my band. And we just put them all together and Joey had the name The Murderdolls wrote down in a notebook for a couple of years. We just stuck with it even though we knew it would give us a load of shit, cos you can't say "Murder" - it's bad - so we've come across some shit for that already. It's like were not going to carry a band called the Murderdolls!!!!
Q: You guys grew up in a time where Rock bands made
an effort rather than just walking on stage like they'd got out of bed.
Where did it start for you?
A: For me when I started really getting into music I always say the original Alice Cooper Band. I say the band cos even though Alice always got the main attention, the albums that that band did they were such a brilliant band. But of course I wasn't alive when those album came out so I had to read about them and hear about them.
So when I started to get into music I saw "Were Not Going To Take It MTV" from Twisted Sister and Motley Crew's "Looks Could Kill" video and for some reason I was always attracted to the bands that had an image. Like when I see AC/DC it was like they look like guys that work on cars in a garage.
Kiss, Alice Cooper, Motley Crew. In my mind when I think of rock bands that's the image that comes in mind. So with us, that's why it's so important. So that when we walk on stage we don't look like that guy walking on the street over there. It's really important for us to look like were from outer space because the way bands look today if they fell of stage you really couldn't separate the band members from the audience.
Q: And the sound as well is from a more traditional
rock perspective isn't it?
A: We have guitar solo's in our songs and nobody does that anymore. It's popular not to have them, but in my mind when I write a song that's the structure of it I write. People compare us a lot to the 80s and I guess it is. But the 80s are just a copy of the 70s and the 70s are just a copy of the 60s - it's just a big cycle thing.
We took what we liked from that music, we put our own
stamp on it and we think we squeezed all the cheese out of it. Put a little
more aggression onto it and put a more darker image on it.
Q: Have you got a Murderdolls Cult going yet?
A: Yeah, it's weird that the red and black thing has really taken off. We knew that we weren't a top 20 radio band and our mind was made up with the fact that we were going to start a band the way we wanted to start it. We thought we could form this small army and build it up and up and from our first American Shows to this tour it's all sold out.
For me to walk out on stage and see hundred's of kids with Slipknot T-shirts on, which I think is completely opposite to what we play, and for them to walk away and think that is the greatest show I have ever seen. If they can accept Slipknot and accept what we do it's really opening minds. People keep saying is this a real band? Is this a side project? Were busting our ass and you'll definitely see more albums and I think after you see the show tonight you'll see that the kids are digging it too much just to be some stupid side project. Like when I think of side projects I think of the guy out of Limp Bizkit who did that Big Stupid Face side project and Fieldy from Korn - but with this there's something special.
And now we've just got the Papa Roach tour as well, so
were going in front of kids who are buying the Top 40 popular music. Were
going in front of kids who are probably terrified of us and were gonna
turn them over.
Q: It's a real package tour for the UK- the Murderdolls
and Anti Product. Tell us a little about Anti Product?
A: Well, I don't know whether you guys knew this or not. But our bass player, Ben, his father died over the weekend. So he flew home for the funeral and he's coming back tomorrow and the lead singer of Anti Product is playing bass with us for tonight. Because if not we'd have to cancel sold out shows and it would be a nightmare.
Anti Product are weird and that's what cool about it. We didn't want to bring a Nu-Metal band or anything like that. They're like a punk rock Abba. It's cool watching them come out at night because the audience doesn't know what to make of them - they give them a little shit at first, but they win them over by the end of the show.
Both bands are totally opposite of what's popular right now in music. We didn't want a band that was Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park so we just got two weird bands.
Q: Lyrically it is totally fantasy. You've tried to
avoid the dull realities. Tell us more?
A: With me when I hear my favourite bands I want stuff that makes me laugh like the Ramones. When I hear songs by the Ramones like "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue", so it's kind of the mentality of our songs. When people come to our shows I don't want to remind people that this is about people who treated me horrible when I was a kid and hear people reply with "Yeah, my dad was bad to me" because we don't want to bring up anything to thing about. When I go to a show I want to erase all the bullshit in my life and when the audience leaves they don't think about the shit in their life - it's just man, that was a cool show!!!
That's the thing about us, is were not singing about real
life issues. If someone is relating to "Grave robbing USA" they got some
problems. It's fantasy and fun and I wrote the lyrics with the mentality
of a Friday 13th Film. Were not saying "we should slit our wrists" or "we
should dig up some graves" - if your dissecting something that much then
see a doctor!!!
Q: You were just saying before about it not being a
side project. What's it like when Joey has to go back to Slipknot for 6
months or whatever. Don't you wanna be out there 24/7?
A: Yea and no. This is my first time being on the road and being away from home, which Joey's been doing since 1998. He doesn't really have too much beside his mum and dad and stuff...I've got family and a lot of stuff at home. I love being on the road and playing, but at the same when I'm sitting on the bunk of the bus at night I think it would be cool to be home for a couple of hours.
Were going to push this album up until March next year
until Joey goes riding with Slipknot and once the albums done for Slipknot
there's still a 3 or 4 month period where they promote the album, so were
going to get on the road as well.
Q: So are all band writing the next album or is it
just you and Joey again?
A: I would like to see it as more of a band effort, but we'll see. Sometimes you get people in bands who just want to play their parts and leave - so Joey and I will still probably be the main songwriters - but as far as the band playing on the album I can see that this time.
Q: Finally, Acey is full time now to replace Tripp.
What happened with the original Murderdolls line up?
A: What sucked with Tripp was that it was sprung on us the last minute that he couldn't do the tour. It was about a week before we were going to tour and it was like what? The record company told him to start writing the next album immediately, so it was like tour or not be on the album, which I understood completely. But it was like you've got to understand that we've got to tour to promote this album non stop so you need to be there when we need you or we can't have you.
I've been friends with Acey for years, so he was the first guy we called. He heard the album and loved it. We didn't have any hard feelings with Tripp - it's just that he had to do what he had to do and we had to do what we had to do. There's no way it could work at all!!!
"Beyond The Valley Of The Murderdolls" is out now on Roadrunner
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