STATIC-X bassist Tony Campos has addressed “questions and misinformation surrounding the dynamics” of his relationship with the band’s frontman Wayne Static, particularly in the years prior to Wayne‘s tragic passing in 2014.
Static founded STATIC-X in 1994 and achieved commercial success with the band’s 1999 debut, “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.
It was recently announced that the surviving members of STATIC-X‘s original lineup — Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda — will release a new album titled “Project Regeneration”, featuring Wayne‘s last recordings. This move was met with criticism by some on social media, especially since Tony had said in the past that he wasn’t friends with Static the last five years of Wayne‘s life because the STATIC-X frontman “went down a path that none of the other guys in the band wanted to go down.”
Campos opened up about his relationship with Static in a lengthy statement that was posted in the comments section below the YouTube video announcing the “Project Regeneration” album.
Tony wrote: “Thank you so much for all of the positive vibes and excitement around what we’re doing with ‘Project Regeneration’. I wanted to take a few minutes to personally address some of the questions and misinformation surrounding the dynamics of my relationship with Wayne, particularly towards the end.
“It is important for people to remember that I worked side by side with Wayne for more than 15 years. He and I shared some of the most amazing experiences of our lives together! We worked together, played together, and helped each other achieve our childhood dreams. Through it all, we developed a friendship that went beyond the band. Together, along with Ken and Koichi, we brought STATIC-X from the streets of L.A., all the way to the main stages of Ozzfest. We made six albums together, and shared more on a personal level than I can even put into words.
“Several people came and went through the ranks of STATIC-X throughout the years. Managers, agents, band members, etc. Through everything, I remained a steady partner to Wayne in STATIC-X. I love the band, and I love the music that we all made together.
“Being in a band comes along with many challenges. Success, pressure, expectations, fame, money, personal influences, and egos can all be very divisive factors for people that are working and living in such close quarters for extended periods of time. When you add drugs and alcohol into the mix, it can be very easy to lose yourself, and lose sight of what’s really important.
“As time went on, Wayne began to isolate himself from the band. Drugs and alcohol truly began to take over. His personal life became more of the focal point of STATIC-X, and was on display during band interviews as well as on stage. I found myself in many uncomfortable positions, and began to feel the need to stand up for myself and protect the integrity of the band that we worked so hard to build.
“Unfortunately, Wayne and I eventually reached a point where it seemed impossible to overcome our differences. Wayne expressed his intent to go solo, so we agreed to take some time away from one another and to give STATIC-X a break. Neither Wayne or I quit the band. Our partnership remained intact, while our personal differences kept us from working together.
“After some time, Wayne expressed the desire to tour his solo band under the name of STATIC-X. I knew that it remained impossible for me to insert myself back into that toxic environment, so I reluctantly agreed to give Wayne my blessing to tour STATIC-X, without my involvement, for a limited time. We both came to a business agreement and we went about our separate lives.
“During that tour, some legal troubles involving drugs took place, and ultimately led to cutting the tour short. While Wayne did also have a lingering health issue, it was this incident that ultimately ended the Wayne ‘solo band’ touring as STATIC-X experiment.
“Wayne returned to his solo project and I continued touring with my other projects. We both had hurt feelings. Wayne was angry that I didn’t want to continue on with the way things were and I was angry over how helpless I was to stop any of it from happening to begin with. To make matters worse, we both began vocalizing our unhappiness and our frustrations with one another publicly. I sincerely regret us doing that.
“In the end, you can never be prepared to lose someone that you have cared about, so unexpectedly. In my heart, I hoped that Wayne would eventually rise above his demons and that we would reconcile. I was not prepared for Wayne‘s passing. None of us were. It was devastating for me. I never got to reconcile with my friend. I never got to apologize, or to forgive to my friend while he was still alive. I never got to say goodbye.
“Unless you have unexpectedly lost someone, you may not truly be able to understand what I am expressing. It changes everything. It makes you realize how short and fragile life is, and how lucky we all are to be alive. It makes you replay all of the situations in your head and wish that you could have done things differently. All of that, while having to accept the fact that your friend is gone, and that you will never get to express any of this to them.
“The bottom line is: I miss Wayne. Despite our differences and disagreements, he was my friend for over a decade. He was my brother and my partner. Many of the people that were closest to Wayne in the early years were driven out of his life towards the end. In our own ways, we all did our best to reach him, but we were all powerless to save him.
“I wish that Wayne was here, celebrating 20 years of ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ with us. I truly believe in my heart, that if Wayne were sober and healthy, and had distanced himself from the negative influences in his life, he’d be doing this with us. I know that Kenny and Koichi feel the same way that I do.
“Making this record with Ken, Koichi, and our friends, and bringing this to all of the fans, is the best way that I can think of to express my love, my respect, and my admiration to my old friend. Having personally reached out to Wayne‘s family and gaining their blessing, I feel like this is the right way to celebrate and remember who Wayne truly was, and all the good times we had together. This is the send-off Wayne deserves.
“In closing, I just want to say I am not interested in rehashing the things that divided us. I am only interested in celebrating the things that brought us all together. I hope this has been a helpful insight. I look forward to bringing everyone together as we celebrate Wayne‘s life, and the music we all made together in STATIC-X.
“I thank you all for the love and support!”
STATIC-X has cultivated a treasure chest of vocal performances and musical compositions left behind by Wayne. Along with the help of STATIC-X‘s longtime producer Ulrich Wild, the band is in the process of completing its seventh studio album, which will feature between 12 and 15 brand new STATIC-X tracks.
For the unfinished songs, the band is inviting several of its friends to lend their voices for the completion of this very personal project, including David Draiman (DISTURBED), Ivan Moody (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH), Al Jourgensen (MINISTRY), Dez Fafara (COAL CHAMBER, DEVILDRIVER), Edsel Dope (DOPE) and Burton C. Bell (FEAR FACTORY).
Wayne Static died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner’s report. The 48-year-old Static, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home on November 1, 2014.