Exclusive Interview: Static-X (Ep 92)

[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!

Interview by: JJ Ellis
Photos by: Henry Chung

Static-X, DevilDriver, DOPE, and Wednesday 13 Makes Reverb the Hottest Venue in Town

Sunday July 7th.  Reverb – Reading, PA

It’s hard to turn down a chance to see a band you grew up with when they reform after a decade.  Even rarer considering the loss of the most recognizable figure, in this case, Wayne Static of Static-X.  The original line-up has reformed for a round of touring (celebrating 25 years since their debut and best-known album ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’) and work on a new album to utilize Wayne’s final vocal recordings.  The fact that they are performing with a masked frontman who goes by XER0 only added to the morbid curiosity.

Things truly got started inside with theatrical band, Raven Black.  You want makeup, masks and carnival elements?  Check!  How about a hula hoop, a giant teddy bear and the sense that Tim Burton films are on regular rotation in the tour bus?  Double check!  In all seriousness, they are an energetic newer band with a charismatic frontwoman that can certainly continue to grow and reach wider audiences.

Raven Black – Photo by Henry Chung

Wednesday 13 was next and to those who haven’t kept up, the stage show and look has evolved.  He was covered in paint with loads of neon and a mask on the back of his head.  The pictures really say it all.

Wednesday 13 – Photo by Henry Chung

Dope was a big opener that I had some familiarity with from back in the day.  The set wasn’t overly long but the hits I was familiar with were present “Die M.F. Die” and “You Spin Me Right Round.” This tour was also a 20 year celebration of Dope’s debut release ‘Felons and Revolutionaries.’ But being a memorial for the late Wayne Static, it was downplayed save for a few mentions from frontman Edsel Dope during in-between song banter.

DOPE – Photo by Henry Chung

By this point in the evening, show was starting to really fill in.  With more people meant more heat which became a theme.

DevilDriver was next and they ran through a solid hour with a wide variety of material from all aspects of their lengthy career.  There were even a few Coal Chamber classics thrown in toward the end (“Loco” and “Fiend”).  As was slightly the case earlier in the evening and especially for the first 2/3 of Devildriver’s set, the mix was…..not great.  The vocals and guitars were a bit too low in the mix which prompted Dez to demand that things be turned up.  This went a large way toward fixing the issue.  Still, it was probably something that should have been picked up on much earlier.

DevilDriver – Photo by Henry Chung

The venue was clearly at full capacity partway through Devildrier and the heat inside was sweltering.  Musicians were even commenting on it throughout the night.  Normally a few drinks are spilled throughout the evening but the venue floor was coated and slick with sweat.  A brief sojourn outside to the now abandoned outdoor stage was the only respite from this.  Fortunately, a light rain and a Mountain Dew went a long way.

Static-X – Photo by Henry Chung

Large screens were utilized by the last 3 bands of the evening, especially heavily by our headliners Static-X.  Old images of the band, new animations, lyrics, messages of tribute to Wayne Static all 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.

Static-X – Photo by Henry Chung

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!

Whether this is truly the live farewell or if Static-X will tour on ‘Project Regeneration’ in some capacity remains to be seen.  It was my first chance in over a decade to hear a lot of these songs live again, and while a little different, it still evoked a lot of the spirit of the band that I recalled.  That’s all I could ever ask.  I’ll always have the old memories but this is a cool new one to file along with them.

Go to www.static-x.org to preorder your copy of ‘Project Regeneration’


With several shows on the upcoming Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour already sold-out, STATIC-X has announced additional dates for this fall. The tour will feature the same lineup of co-headliners DevilDriver and support acts DopeWednesday 13 and Raven Black.

WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES:
6/18 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
6/19 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater (Sold Out)
6/21 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
6/22 – Houston, TX @ The Warehouse
6/23 – San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theater
6/25 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Sold Out)
6/26 – Greenville, SC @ The Firmament (Sold Out)
6/28 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage (Sold Out)
6/29 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
6/30 – Scranton, PA @ Levels (Cancelled)
7/2 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House (Sold Out)
7/3 – London, ON @ London Music Hall
7/4 – Ottawa, ON @ Brass Monkey
7/5 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s (Sold Out)
7/6 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
7/7 – Reading, PA @ Reverb (Sold Out)
7/9 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Jergel’s (Sold Out)
7/10 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater
7/11 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Citadel
7/12 – Ft. Wayne, IN @ Clyde Theatre
7/13 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
7/14 – Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
7/16 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
7/18 – Cadott, WI @ Cadott Rockfest
7/19 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem @ Hard Rock Casino (Sold Out)
7/20 – Joliet, IL @ The Forge (Sold Out)
7/21 – Belvidere, IL @ Apollo Theater (Sold Out)
7/23 – Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater (Sold Out)
7/25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
7/26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Catch One (Sold Out)
7/27 – Los Vagas, NV @ House of Blues
NEWLY ADDED WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES:
11/12 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Varsity Theater
11/13 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
11/15 – Ft. Lauderdale @ Revolution
11/16 – Tampa, FL @ The Orpheum
11/17 – Destin, FL @ Club LA
12/2 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
12/6 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
12/7 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theater
12/8 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios Live
12/10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Royal Bar
12/11 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
12/12 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
12/13 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
12/14 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
12/15 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
+ More dates TBA!

Words: JJ Ellis
Photos: Henry Chung

Album Review: The Dreaming – ‘Rise Again’

The Dreaming - Rise Again

If Rise Again sounds too much like Stabbing Westward, it’s because singer Christopher Hall and keyboardist/programmer Walter Flaka were original members and the key songwriters of Stabbing Westward.  They stated that their intention was to deliver an album that brought back the early Stabbing Westward sound that fans had been asking for. The Dreaming is rounded out with guitarist Carlton Bost (Orgy, Deadsy), bassist Brent Ashley (Static-X) and one-time Stabbing Westward drummer Johnny Haro.

Continue reading “Album Review: The Dreaming – ‘Rise Again’”

Static-X Founder Wayne Static Passed Away At Age 48

WS_high_res_xmas_2013_tour_photo

So a few days ago, the tragic news of Static-X frontman Wayne Static’s sudden death shook the music world. Many of his friends and former bands mates have come out and made statements about the loss including one of speculation that it was drug related (thank god to our knowledge it isn’t.)

News of his tragic death was definitely something that had hit home to me. This might sound a little odd for me to make a lengthy comment about this other than expressing my condolences to his wife and family but to be honest, if it weren’t for Static-X, I would’ve never been involved in music. So here’s my origin story.

Back in 1998, I was a Junior in high school. Nu-metal was the new alternative and I was already jaded from everything that has been coming out musically. The internet was still in it’s late infancy and I was probably still using AOL or NetZero or Juno or whatever version of the internet that existed back then. I remember browsing through the internet looking for something fresh. Then I came upon the songs “Push It” and “Bled For Days” somewhere online (it could’ve well possibly of been mp3.com at the time.) I remember looking up Static-X and came upon this primitive looking GeoCities site. I remember there was a link at the very bottom that said ‘contact us if you want to help us out’ and I did. That was the very first time ever that I had switched from a casual music listener to someone that got involved with music.

The band’s debut release Wisconsin Death Trip was about to come out. It was Warner Brother Record’s first metal act they have ever signed and back then, record labels had money to burn so there was a massive push to get them out there. I was sent cases upon cases of demo cassettes, cd’s and stickers to pass out at shows and leave at record stores and skate parks. I was a part of their street team helping them do “grass root” level marketing. They were also the first band I have ever started taking pictures of live. As a thank you, I’ve been guest listed to almost every show they have ever done near my area. From venues like Crocodile Rock in Allentown to the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. I have also appeared in the “Thank You” notes on nearly all of their releases from Wisconsin Death Trip, various EP’s, their out of print live DVD to Machine (not sure about other releases.) This band was the one that got me involved. They were the ones managing their own street teams and always made time to meet and talk to those that helped them out.

Since then, I have moved on to working with other bands and labels either doing street team work or even A&R with talent scouts. But I will always remember that Static-X was the band that started it all for me.

This post was written by:

Henry Chung – When Henry’s not busy updating this page and speaking in third person, he’s busy shooting and editing pictures from concerts and designing logos for bands.