STATIC-X bassist Tony Campos recently spoke with Meltdown of the Detroit radio station 101 WRIF. The full conversation can be streamed at this location. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band’s current tour, their first since the death of vocalist Wayne Static:
Tony: “It’s been great. A lot of shows have been sold out. Packed rooms, and people are really feeling the vibe and the energy we’re putting out there. It feels good… When the intro was rolling and I’m standing on the side of the stage, hearing the crowd, I haven’t felt that kind of nervousness, anxiety, raw emotion — I haven’t felt that way in such a long time. By the time I actually ran onto the stage, I [had] so much adrenaline and emotion, it was crazy. It was really cool to experience that. I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been doing this pretty consistently for 20 years. Even with the bands that I would have chopped my left nut off to play with, I just go on stage and do my job. This was so much more personal, and it didn’t really hit me until I was on the side of the stage and the intro was rolling.”
On reuniting with his former bandmates to celebrate Static‘s life:
Tony: “It had been well over a decade since the three of us had been in a room together, let alone playing, but when we first got into the rehearsal room and started playing all the old stuff, particularly the stuff off of ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ and some of the ‘Machine’ stuff, that stuff came back like muscle memory. It just clicked. It was pretty instantaneous how it all fell back into place. It was only the later stuff that we were like, ‘How does this go again?’… It’s a bittersweet experience all around, for sure, because we’re missing a pretty important guy, but just the three of us reconnecting again after so long, it just feels really good. It kind of helps us remember all the good times we had together with Wayne. It’s just really kind of cathartic, I’d almost say. It’s been an awesome experience.”
On whether the band considered a hologram or known guest vocalists:
Tony: “If we were going to bring the band back, we wanted it to be organic and have that energy of four guys onstage, and try to bring back that vibe and emotion that we had and that the audience had when they first saw STATIC-X playing years ago. As cool as a hologram is, I just don’t think it has that energy or that organic feel to having someone in front of the stage. As far as having someone there, we didn’t want the focus to be, ‘Here’s STATIC-X with their new singer.’ That’s not what we’re doing. We thought, ‘How do we do that, and at the same time, do right by Wayne‘s memory and Wayne‘s family?’ We kept going back to all these merchandise items that we had of skulls with Wayne‘s hair and his beard. How do we do that onstage? That’s when the mask idea came about. I think it looks pretty cool, and I know it’s something Wayne would have thought was fuckin’ awesome. Now that people are seeing it live and how it’s coming across, everybody’s digging it. Even the people who were skeptical are coming around and saying, ‘This is cool.’ Sometimes, I’ll catch him out of the corner of my eye, and I’ll get Wayne flashbacks. That’s kind of what it’s about — just to bring back those memories.”
On the origins of the band’s forthcoming album, “Project Regeneration”:
Tony: “I think it was around 2016 [when] I started thinking about this. I was working with FEAR FACTORY at the time, and we had a lot of down time, so I just started writing again. Then I revisited some demos that I had received from one of our old producers, that he received from Wayne shortly before his passing. That’s when I was like, ‘Let me get in touch with the guys and see if we can do something with this, and do it right’… What we initially thought we were going to have has evolved into something completely different now. In our search for more material, both for the studio and for our live show, we discovered a bunch of additional material with Wayne‘s vocals on them. This started out just having one song with Wayne‘s vocals, and that’s why we were going to recruit all our friends to come in and sing on the record, but now we’re at the point where the majority of the songs on the record will feature Wayne‘s vocals.”
On his relationship with Static in the years before his passing:
Tony: “Not good. Let’s just put it that way. Unfortunately, the last five [or] six years of his life, he was in the throes of drug addiction, and that kind of puts a wedge between people, unfortunately.”
STATIC-X kicked off its reunion tour on June 18 in Tempe, Arizona.
While the identity of STATIC-X‘s touring singer has not been officially revealed, strong rumors suggest that DOPE frontman Edsel Dope is performing with drummer Ken Jay, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and Campos.
“Project Regeneration”, featuring the last recordings of Static, will be released later this year. The rest of the group’s original lineup will also be featured on the album and in the music videos.
Wayne Static died in November 2014 after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner’s report. The 48-year-old, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home.
Static founded STATIC-X in 1994 and achieved commercial success with “Wisconsin Death Trip”, which included the rock radio hit “Push It”.
The group issued five more studio albums before disbanding permanently in June 2013. Static had been pursuing a solo career at the time of his death.