When Corin and Chad Wilder are not performing as the lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, respectively, in the Charlotte darkwave band 30 Year Sick, the two are just a charming couple from Albemarle. They own a farm ("We grow grass," Chad says) and have six cats and a dog. They love Disney — so much that Corin, 36, proudly wears a pin on her black jacket depicting the demon king from Fantasia. But she's still a goth at heart, although you'd never know it when she's working her day job as an assistant manager in retail.
Chad Wilder, 46, works as an exterminator ("blue-collar goth," he says with a laugh), but for years he led VooDou, a goth-industrial band on Invisible Records, the Chicago label launched by legendary post-punk drummer Martin Atkins (PiL/Nine Inch Nails). Corin met the band during a 2002, when VooDou came through Buffalo, New York, where she was working for Invisible's street team.
What followed was a whirlwind of fandom that eventually led to Corin audition for VooDou after original vocalist Michelle Walters, Chad's first wife, left the marriage and the band. Corin soon joined the VooDou tribe, and not long afterwards partnered up with Chad romantically. Onstage, she took the moniker Akmeraj Niroc (her real maiden name, Corin Jaremka, spelled backwards) and it remains to this day.
After a few final years of nightmarish tours, the couple retreated from music, married in 2011, and kept quiet for a while — 13 years, to be exact. But now they're back, as 30 Year Sick, with their old VooDou band mate, bassist Jim Goodman. An EP, Post Punks, is in the final-mixing stage, and the band will play a March 24 show at the newly re-opened Tommy's Pub on a darkwave bill along with Solemn Shapes and iioioioii.
We took the opportunity to play catch-up with the Wilders at Pinky's Westside Grill.
Creative Loafing: I understand that last VooDou tour in 2005 was a nightmare. Any tasty stories you'd like to share?
Corin: Here's a story: We had just played in D.C. and were on the way to Richmond. We'd played three or four shows on the tour at that point and hadn't stopped to get diesel. So we ran out of diesel. In the middle of the interstate.
Chad: Done. We were done.
Is that why you took a 13-year break?
Corin: I think we took a couple of years to be "normal."
Chad: We're not normal. But we were having cookouts and hanging out with people and trying to be that kind of couple.
Corin: [laughs] We are so not that kind of couple.
Chad: We'd go to Purgatory, or another dark scene event, and people started asking us, "Why don't y'all get together and start playing again?"
Was it easy to persuade Jim Goodman to come back into the fold?
Chad: He said, "I've been waiting 13 years for you to make this phone call." He'd been in a few jam bands and blues bands, but Jim was basically biding his time, waiting for a call from me.
Corin: It was a total Blues Brothers moment. [laughs] I think he was at our house the next day saying, "I've already bought some keyboards. What are we doing and when are we doing it?"
Where do you get your inspiration for your lyrics, Corin?
Corin: A lot of it comes from my struggles with depression and anxiety — self-esteem issues, that kind of thing. It's a lot of those demons that I'm trying to get out of my own head. Other things come into play but I think that's the root of it, and that's why the song themes are all really close to my heart and really emotional.
It feels like we're in a new era of female empowerment. As the female front person in a cool band, how do you see that playing out?
Corin: I definitely see it taking a turn. We've got some real hurdles to overcome still. It's going to be a bumpy road, as it's been recently. We're definitely not out of the woods yet, but just looking at things like the female directors who are making amazing movies now [and] music is starting to take that turn toward being a little more female-oriented, and not as waify. [laughs] I think entertainment is a good reflection of society, so it's great that women are starting to take the foreground a little bit more.
What's the secret to a strong romantic partnership between two creatives?
Chad: Mutual interests. And separate bank accounts. [laughs] That's the key to happiness right there. That, and two bathrooms.___________________________________________________________________________________________ Listen to 30 Year Sick: