August 9, 2020
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Keeping Wayne Static’s Music Legacy Alive! An Interview W/ Xer0 of Static-X! *Faygoluvers.Net Exclusive*

 Static-X emerged from the harsh 1990’s California underground industrial/alternative scene and rapidly became “Evil Disco” metallic rock champions upon releasing their “mosh ‘n’ roll” modern rock hit “Push It”! The singles fast-paced, fierce industrial tinged riffage, and mind-melting addictive rhythms  brought forth by Wayne Static (lead vocals/rhythm Guitar), Koichi Fukuda (lead guitarist/keyboards/programming), Tony Campos (bass, backing vocals), Ken Jay (drummer)  instantaneously had first time listeners nearly breaking their own necks from head banging so hard thanks to Push It’s powerful speedster approach. The mainstream world was simply shook to its very core from being caught off guard, befuddled, on  how/why such a fist-to-your-gut  track musically showcases something so heavy but yet can be so groovy at the same time?! But that brilliant  combination is why Static-X’s platinum selling debut “Wisconsin Death Trip” (Released March 23, 1999) swiftly set the modern rock/heavy metal scene ablaze when  first unleashed, effectively destroying all the faux bands in its path. Thus leading to Static-X forever capturing the musical souls of thousands upon thousands of angsty rockers/metalheads for decades to come.

STATIC-X Surviving 'Wisconsin Death Trip' Era Members Reunite For ...

Tragically on November 1st, 2014 Wayne Static unexpectedly passed away. A Static-X reunion seemed highly unlikely to ever occur. But nearly 4 years later, the 20th anniversary of “Wisconsin Death Trip” was drawing super near, the remaining original members Koichi Fukuda, Tony Campos, and Ken Jay announced a full on live reunion as an memorial to honor Wayne Static’s life and legacy as a gifted, extremely talented frontman. And also, as a way for the “Evil Disco” masters to celebrate Wisconsin Death Trip’s twenty years of success with the die hard fans! Rumors of course began circulated bogus claims that Static-X would perform live with Wayne  as a hologram, but those rumors were shut down rather quickly when a mysterious Wayne Static homage masked musician appeared in pictures with the three remaining original members. His staged name cleverly revealed as Xer0. Then the epic live shows with Xer0 received great positive feedback from the fans, proving to the fans Xer0 is here to keep the legacy of Wayne Static alive while rocking your face off till you bleed across the venue floor!  Mysteriously Static-X still hasn’t mentioned a word about the true identity behind which musician Xer0 truly is. Speculation has surfaced of course, but the band show no signs of ever saying who Xer0 actually is.

Not even a week ago, Static-X released what the entire band has all said will be the final  studio vocal performance of Wayne Static with Static-X. And that’s the highly anticipated flesh-ripping new record “Project Regeneration” Vol 1! Flesh-ripping you ask? Well, each track within “Project Regeneration” Vol 1.  is so damn vicious, their distortion  may  cause your flesh to peel off your body, straight to the bones permanently! With that being said, please enjoy this Faygoluvers.net exclusive  with the one and only Xer0 of Static-X! P.S. Shout out to Tom George of Tag Publicity for always being professional! And shout out to all of  Static-X for their consistent hard work ethic deeply embedded  in the creation of “Project Regeneration” Vol 1! Salute!

Please support “Project Regeneration” Vol 1 here: https://lnk.to/projectregeneration

RIP Wayne Richard Wells

ArtStation - Wayne Static, Leona Bregeda

Chad Thomas Carsten: Can you define rock ‘n’ roll in your own words and your true thoughts behind the future of rock/metal in general?

Xer0: I can’t say that I’ve ever given either of those much thought. Freedom, rebellion. The rock ‘n’ roll spirit is alive and well across all genres of music.  I think people get too hung up on classifications; in my opinion, Elvis was rock ‘n’ roll, and so was Eminem in 1999.

CTC: Before becoming a national touring musician. At what age did you know music was your true calling and how did creating music early on shape who you are as a rockstar today?

Xer0: I knew at a very young age that music was going to be my life. By the time I was a teenager, I was already well on my way. Honestly, I don’t consider myself to be a “rockstar.” In my opinion, that is kind of loose term that gets thrown around way too often.  Kind of like the word “pornstar.”  Sorry honey, but getting paid to suck a dick doesn’t make you a star and neither does putting out a few records and standing up on a stage.  There is a whole other level of connectivity and everyday identifiability that the word STAR implies to me. I’m just a hard working producer, and a career minded recording, touring / performing artist. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) is a rockstar, Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) is a rockstar. I’ve had my moments, but I’ve never reached anywhere near the level that warrants the use of that term. I’m very humble and grateful for the career that I’ve had.  I work hard, I strive to improve at my craft, and having a 20 plus year career that is still burning bright is good enough for me. Stardom just isn’t something I long for.

CTC: Prior to joining Static-X. Which past Static-X track did you hear first that made you instantly want to mosh all about in your own home?

Xer0: *Laughs* My introduction to Static-X was in 1999. The song that grabbed me right away was “Otsegolation.”  The melody and the groove were so comfortable to me, like a warm blanket.  I first heard the band live; they were opening for Fear Factory and I just loved the grooves and the energy, and the songs translated so good in the live setting, better than any other band that I can recall.  To this day, I feel like that is the main reason that Static-X was so important. The band connected with people live because their music actually sounds better live and loud than on the recording, which says a lot cause the album is sick. Maybe it’s something within the tonal space of the musical compositions, but it sounds so good in a big room, and that is very rare and special and is not something that you can fabricate. I think it’s a big part of why the 20th anniversary tour felt so good to everyone. People were again able to hear those great songs played loud and live, which is how they translate best.

CTC: Upon first being offered to help keep Wayne Static music legacy alive through your own voice and live presentation. What first came to mind and were you nervous about the fan reception at all?

Xer0: It didn’t really happen like that; it wasn’t like an audition or an interview, it was just a natural evolution between friends and, as cliché as it may sound, it was really just all meant to be. I have such a deep connection with Tony, Ken, Koichi, and Wayne as people. This has been as natural as anything I’ve ever been a part of, probably because the intentions were so pure and clear from the start.

CTC: Let’s discuss the creation of the Wayne Static (Designed by Laney Chantal) homage mask you’ve recently sported during live Static-X shows. How did the idea come about and will the mask change for other upcoming Static-X album anniversaries?

Xer0: The mask wasn’t intended to be what some people interpreted it as, but, in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing. Wayne was clearly the face of Static-X; he was not only the singer, he was also the band’s mascot, for a lack of better words. For me,  I just wanted to give people a “Wisconsin Death Trip” experience and I wanted to keep the focus on the 4 dudes that started the band. Representing the visual of 1999, with my hair spiked up and my identity hidden was incredibly necessary to achieve that. I wanted the fans to feel like they were entering into some sort of wicked futuristic time warp back to 1999.  My being faceless was totally necessary for that.
I think that this mask will always be associated with the 20th anniversary of “Wisconsin Death Trip” and with the memorial, so I feel that it would be appropriate for me to mutate the mask into something more futuristic going forward.  The cool thing about that is that we can always bring this mask back because, in many ways, it has become the new mascot for “Wisconsin Death Trip”. When you think about it like that, it is pretty fucking epic.
CTC: How important is the “Wisconsin Death Trip” album in regards to helping create modern hard rock/metal history?

Xer0: I’m no historian. I just know that “Wisconsin Death Trip” is a great album and it has undeniably stood the test of time.  Those 4 guys deserve a lot of praise for what they did together.  Each of them contributed a very special ingredient to the initial Static-X / Evil Disco recipe, and I don’t think it is the same band or sound if you remove any one of them from that initial creation back in the day. They had incredibly chemistry and they each brought very unique contributions.

Static-X & DevilDriver at Wally's Pub in Hampton Beach ...

(Photo Credit Jeremy Saffer)

CTC: Reflecting back on the 20th anniversary Wisconsin Death Trip tour. Which track from that record was the most harsh on your vocals performing live and how did you go about conquering this tracks harshness flawlessly?

Xer0: I kind of treat myself like a machine; I believe in mind over matter.  I appreciate the compliment, but I just gave my best efforts in my rehearsal and preparation and then in my nightly performances.  It’s all hard because it’s not my natural way of singing. They are not my words or my guitar parts, so nothing is totally natural, and I had to memorize the words and the guitar parts and rely on repetition for it to begin to become more and more natural. There is no ego in my approach. I wasn’t trying to add my own twist or to recreate things.  I was just doing my best to represent the material appropriately to give the fans a familiar experience.

CTC: How deeply involved were you in the creation of Static-X’s latest record “Project Regeneration” Vol. 1? Any behind the scene production details you’d like to share?

Static-X "Project Regeneration Volume 1" CD

Xer0: As deep as anyone could possibly be. I produced the album from start to finish; I extracted Wayne’s vocals from the damaged tapes, I pieced all of it together, and I agonized over the details, while filling the missing gaps with the band. I worked my ass off from step A to Z.
The only thing that I can really share is that it was way harder than people can probably really imagine. These were not high quality demos that we were just waiting to be plugged in. This was a fucking mess. Several producers told Tony that there was no salvaging any of this, and they honestly weren’t wrong with their assessment from a production stand point. The truth is that It really needed a hybrid producer / creative entity to help evolve so much of what was incomplete. You couldn’t ask for that energy to come from Tony or Ken or Koichi because their roles have already been clearly defined and you don’t want to mess with that chemistry. Fortunately, it is something that comes very natural to me.  When I heard the pieces, I was actually very excited, because I knew that it was gonna be a crazy challenge and I am a fucking crazy person, and I have a tendency to thrive in chaos.

I had a tremendous drive and passion for the challenge and I just began to develop a clear vision for how we could grow this from a conceptualization and into reality. There is no blueprint for something like this, and I’d say that 99 times out of 100, this project would have missed the mark on multiple levels; once Tony and I aligned, we knew that we were willing to do whatever it took and that we would spend as much time and energy that was necessary to be sure that our vision for this became that 1% that we could all be proud of.

CTC: How satisfied are you behind the final outcome behind “Project Regeneration” Vol 1.?

Xer0: I couldn’t be more satisfied from the standpoint of our accomplishments. Before all of this, nobody would have ever thought it would be possible for Static-X to be alive and thriving in 2020, but that is exactly what has happened.  For that, I am truly satisfied and for that, all the haters can eat a bag of dicks. Creatively, I’m never satisfied. This record came with a lot of restraints because we didn’t have the lead vocalist here to expand on the ideas and to sing parts over.  So that’s a hard question to answer.
I just wish Wayne were here for all of this. I can’t imagine how sick this would have been if I could have contributed my efforts and vision to the band and to the record, while also being able to have Wayne here with us standing front and center.

CTC: What do you hope to accomplish within Static-X in the next decade?

Xer0: I have no expectations. The goal was to do exactly what we did.  Now we still have a bunch more songs to get to the finish line for Vol 2.
Ultimately, the fans will decide what happens after that.

Interviewer: Chad Thomas Carsten

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    Faygoluvers Comments

  1. kukluxklown

    kukluxklown

    Comment posted on Saturday, August 1st, 2020 03:32 pm GMT -5 at 3:32 pm

    ITS EDSEL DOPE

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