[This interview was originally aired live on-air on WXLV Radio on 07.19.2019]
Celebrating 25 years since their debut release of ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ and set as a memorial to their late charismatic frontman Wayne Static, Static-X is back on the road playing SOLD OUT shows all over the country. Utilizing Wayne’s final vocal recordings, the surviving founding members have been hard at work crafting a new album titled ‘Project Regeneration.’ Performing live vocal duties on the tour is a masked frontman who goes by XER0.
Old images of the band filled the large LED screens behind them as new animations, lyrics, messages of tributes to Wayne Static punctuated the background. In fact, the screens led us through a protracted opening before the band came out and started with “December” before going right into “Bled For Days”. The first 9 songs were all from ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ before they launched into samplings of some of their bigger songs from most of the other albums. “Get To The Gone,” “This Is Not,” and “Start A War” were personal highlights. Of course things ended with “Push It” as a show of this magnitude without it would be woefully incomplete.
Before all of that, I was lucky enough to speak to Static-X bass player, and really, the guy who had the biggest part in putting all of this together, Tony Campos. We talked a bit about the tour, the album, the old days, an interesting celebrity encounter and more!
On this particular summer night in Northampton, the Gin Mill had more swagger than usual. This was thanks to more than a little help from Royal Thunder and Crobot.
Of course, there was also the requisite collection of local talent.
Georgia’s Royal Thunder, hot off the release of their latest album Wick, brought a sense of atmosphere and steadily built momentum throughout the set. Much like Wick, they didn’t set forth to burst out of the gates with everything all at once. The first few songs were selections from the new album while the last few were older tracks. An evolution of complexity and tempo was obvious through this as the newer material was more swirling and ethereal (largely) while the earlier material seems a little more content to stomp a mudhole in you. Showcasing both was wise to keep fans new and old happy. The sound was huge, especially Mlny Parsons’ vocals and distinctly audible bass.
Pennsylvania’s own Crobot was a band that I had heard about for years but never took the dive. It’s rare for a band to impress me hearing them live first. I usually have to hear the songs a little bit and get familiar first before I can truly appreciate a performance. This was a case of me being glad that I went into the show ignorant. Goodness, Brandon Yeagley’s voice was dynamite and his stage presence was on point. Musically, they sounded like Rage Against The Machine, funked up and without the guitar wankery, filtered through southern rock with Yeagley’s voice soaring far above everything else. The recorded output doesn’t do them justice. Just go see them live.
As an odd side note: one of the opening acts of the evening did a cover of Audioslave’s “Cochise.” Crobot also did a cover of “Cochise.” Oops.
Before all of this, Josh (The Radio Pirate) and I had a chance to speak with Josh Weaver, guitarist from Royal Thunder. He was an exceptionally nice guy and the talk careened wildly from: haunted vehicles, the creation of the songs, social media (or lack therof), The Cult and much, much more.
The Fillmore in Philadelphia was the place to be on Saturday March 5th. Coheed and Cambria , Glassjaw, I The Mighty and Silver Snakes all came to town on a bill that could only be described as ‘huge’. As a relatively new venue, bookings like this will go a long way toward making sure everyone knows The Fillmore.
Josh “The Radio Pirate” has just updated his in studio list of all of the bands that have performed on his radio show. He had this to say about accidentally missing a milestone session:
“I actually just sat down and put together all the audio from all the Pirate Sessions that I’ve done over the past few years. I had no idea we just hit our 50th in-studio live session when digger played in November. Absolutely crazy…
This Friday, Sound of Reverse will be our 52nd band to play live on my show. Honestly I can’t thank you guys enough if you have ever been part of this in any way. “