The riffs are taut, the fuzz is well and truly brought, and it’s a hell …
Static-X stunned and delighted fans when they re-activated in 2019 to pay tribute both to their fallen founder Wayne Static and their first album Wisconsin Death Trip.
MORE: NOFX: Fat Mike Chats Double Albums, Being Ghosted By Blink-182 & The Emotional Journey For The Last Ever NOFX Shows // DUNE RATS: Dance Lessons and Thinking Outside The Box REVIEWS: ARCHITECTS: the classic symptoms of a broken spirit // SLIPKNOT: The End, So Far // NOFX: Double Album // VV: Neon Noir // ANTY!: Human Enough to Make Mistakes // TO THE GRAVE: Director’s Cut
With mystery man vocalist Xer0 fronting the resurrected line-up in a mask, the band won praise and baffled the critics. While searching the archives for samples to complete the live show, bassist Tony Campos stumbled upon a treasure trove of old demos and never-released material that became the basis for 2020’s Project: Regeneration, a collection of material using Wayne Static’s vocals. With Volume 2 announced for release late this year, Static-X is again on the road with dates in Australia in May. Campos called in from somewhere in New Mexico to tell us more.
Did that first tribute tour you did with Xer0 match or exceed your expectations?
Oh… it exceeded them, for sure! At first we were just planning on doing a small US tour and then it just snowballed into a second US tour, an Australian run, a European run. It totally exceeded expectations!
Static-X is returning to Australia again in May, and you’re touring solidly now. That must be proof, if any were needed, that the band’s legacy is still strong.
Well I think it shows that people missed hearing those songs live. They miss Wayne, and they want to experience that again. It’s a cool thing that something we did twenty plus years ago is still resonating.
Do you think there is more to it than just nostalgia?
I’m sure that nostalgia has a big part to play in it, but I’ve also been noticing a younger crowd coming to check the band out. Our older audience is bringing their children to come check out the band. To see a new generation dancing to some evil disco is pretty cool!
Project: Regeneration Vol. 2 is the second of the albums of previously unreleased material you’ve been working on since 2020. Has that all been finalised now for release this year?
We finished the tracking for Regeneration Vol. 2 before we left on this tour, and that’s now in the hands of our producer Ulrich Wild and he’s working on mixes for that. It’s songs from the rest of the material that we recovered… it’s old demos and recordings that we discovered and finished up on.
We knew there was going to be some scepticism and some apprehension, but we went out there and showed that we were doing it the right way, for the right reasons, and people got on board.
[ Tony Campos]
The first track Static-X has released from the album is a cover of Terrible Lie by Nine Inch Nails. Did that some as a surprise, and were there other recordings you found that you didn’t expect?
It was one of those pleasant discoveries that we made. Going through the material and we’re like, “Holy shit, he’s singing a Nine Inch Nails song! Cool!”I was previously unaware that Wayne had recorded himself singing Terrible Lie. The three songs that didn’t make the Start a War album that I’d obviously heard before, are on there too, but all the stuff off the damaged tapes that we had to painstakingly recreate, some of that stuff is pretty surprising.
When you decided to get back together and do the tribute tour, you had to deal with a lot of backlash from critics and fans. Winning them over must have been something of a highlight for you and Static-X.
Oh a highlight for sure! Our hearts were in the right place. We knew there was going to be some scepticism and some apprehension, but we went out there and showed that we were doing it the right way, for the right reasons, and people got on board.
Did you ever have any misgivings that it wasn’t going to be successful?
Oh… not really? But it didn’t expect it to do what it did, either. We were just going to tour, and put the album out, and it just grew into something so much more!
You’ve put together the two albums that were stuff Wayne did – do you have plans to continue Static-X with new material now?
I don’t know. There’s a couple of brand new songs on Volume 2 to fill out the record. Whether we’ll keep doing music after this – I don’t know. It’s truly up to the fans. If they want us to keep doing stuff, I’m more than willing to keep doing it. We’re loving making music together again and playing these songs again after all this time, so if the fans are down with it, we’re down.
Tony, you’ve been down to Australia quite a few times now. What is something you’re really looking forward to when you get back here?
A good kebab! Believe it or not, a good kebab – any kebab – is really hard to find here in the States. A good kebab, and a cold VB.
STATIC – X RISE OF THE MACHINE TOUR w/ SOIL
Friday 19th May // Northcote Theatre // Melbourne
Saturday 20th May // The Metro // Sydney
Sunday 21st May // Eatons Hill // Brisbane