STATIC-X bassist Tony Campos says that he knew “there would be some negativity” in response to the band’s decision to reunite without its late frontman Wayne Static.
STATIC-X‘s recent tour celebrated the 20th anniversary of the band’s platinum-certified “Wisconsin Death Trip” album and paid homage to Static, who died six years ago.
While the identity of STATIC-X‘s touring singer — who goes by the name Xer0 — has not been officially revealed, strong rumors suggest that DOPE frontman Edsel Dope is performing alongside Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda.
Campos discussed STATIC-X‘s comeback during a recent appearance on “The SDR Show”. Speaking about how the idea of Xer0 wearing a mask in the likeness of Static came about, Tony said: “When we were trying to figure out how we were gonna do this live, the first thing that came up was the hologram thing, and that got shot down pretty quick.
“The thing about the band for us was the energy and the vibe that we all got from the interaction the four of us had on stage, and you just don’t get that with a hologram. So that got chucked out the window pretty quickly. So we figured out it had to be somebody. Once we found Xer0 and saw and heard that he could do the job, we were, like, ‘Cool. How do we present this in a cool way that doesn’t make it about…?’ ‘Cause we didn’t wanna come out and, like, ‘Hey, here’s STATIC-X with their new singer.’ That’s not what we were trying to do. It was about remembering Wayne and remembering the good times we had back in the early days and remembering the fun we all had together 20 years ago touring on ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’. And so we really wanted to keep the focus on that and not on the new singer. So the idea of a mask came.”
Campos continued: “Initially, we came up with a helmet that looked like the robot from the ‘Push It’ video and even shot some video footage of Xer0 wearing that, and it looked great. Logistically, it wasn’t gonna work, though, ’cause you’re blind in the thing. And so, what are you gonna do? Have somebody walk him out to the front of the stage, make sure he doesn’t fall off the stage? So we were, like, ‘Okay, what else can we do?’ And so we thought of all these different merchandise items that we had, with skulls, with Wayne‘s hair and beard, and thought, ‘Well, let’s try something like that.’ So we gave the idea to a friend of ours who designs masks for the SLIPKNOT guys, John 5, various other people, and she came back with that Xer0 mask. And then once we put the hair up, we were, like, ‘Oh, yeah. Dude, that’s it.’ And so we went with that.”
Asked if STATIC-X is still keeping Xer0‘s identity a secret even though “everyone knows” who he is, Tony said: “Yeah, but I still like to keep that distinction, ’cause, again, I’m trying to keep the focus [on remembering Wayne].”
According to Campos, Xer0 wasn’t the only singer who was in the mix for the STATIC-X frontman job. “I had a few ideas in my head, but he was the first to come up and actually demonstrate that he could do the job,” Tony explained. “So I was, like, ‘I don’t think I need to look any further.’ [Laughs]”
Campos went on to say that he “knew there would be some negativity” on the Internet once STATIC-X had announced its comeback. “It was definitely a talking point, for sure,” he said. “But I think once people heard our story and heard that Wayne’s family had given us their blessing to do what we were doing, and then once they actually saw it, I think that was the big turning point. Once people came out and experienced the show and saw what we were doing, I think it made most of those people turn around.”
STATIC-X‘s latest album “Project Regeneration Vol. 1”, came out in July. The first of two volumes, “Project Regeneration Vol. 1” features 12 brand new tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of Static, along with Campos, Jay and Fukuda. Both volumes are being worked on by longtime STATIC-X producer Ulrich Wild.
Asked how close “Vol. 2” is to completion at this point, Campos told “The SDR Show”: “We’re still working on stuff. Some stuff was further along than others, and we’re a lot closer now, but we still have a lot more work to do. And I don’t wanna say a tentative release date or anything, ’cause we did that the last time and we had to delay the record a couple of times and pissed off a lot of people. So I don’t wanna do that again.”
Last year, STATIC-X wrapped up a world tour comprised of nearly 100 mostly sold-out dates in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “Wisconsin Death Trip”.
Static died 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 on November 1, 2014.
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.