With a taste for punk and metal and campy horror themes that play on childhood nostalgia, North Carolina native Wednesday 13 has spent two decades carving his place in the goth-rock pantheon between Marilyn Manson and the Misfits.
But on his new album “Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague,” he shifts his focus to UFOs, aliens and conspiracy theories.
Instead of earthly serial killers and B-movie villains, “Monsters of the Universe” was inadvertently triggered by an actual scary experience.
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“We got stuck in Japan during that earthquake (in 2011),” he says. “I still can’t get it out of my brain. We couldn’t get flights out and it was horrifying. I remember being there and thinking, I can tell you every Star Wars and GI Joe action figure or anything about every rock band, but I can’t tell you what’s going on.
“I said, ‘I’m in this foreign country and if I ever get out of here, I’m going to go home and start reading books.’ ”
Musically, after a decade recording as a solo artist, it was time to explore new subjects anyway, he says. He stops at Tremont Music Hall Thursday, two days after the album’s release.
“I feel like I’ve done all I can do in the zombie territory,” he says. “People still come up to me all the time and ask if I’ve seen this new horror movie. I don’t watch movies anymore. I sit in front of my computer watching documentaries and clips. It’s become my pastime away from music.”
Reading led him to conspiracy theories and alien abductions, which form the loose concept of “Monsters of the Universe.”
Growing up in China Grove, Wednesday (real name Joseph Poole) wasn’t oblivious of UFOs. While driving his high school girlfriend home, he says, “There were a couple of nights we kept seeing weird stuff in the sky. I remember pulling off on the side of the road. It was just really distant. Lights would disappear and show up in another spot. It didn’t look like fossil fuel aircraft that we knew of.”