Static-X mark the spot at Clyde
Postponed tour brings 4 bands to town March 31
Most of the music world was skeptical when the remaining members of Static-X decided to reform the band in 2018, four years after Wayne Static, the face of the band, unexpectedly died.
The thought of replacing one of metal’s most iconic frontmen was almost unimaginable.
But the skepticism was short-lived. The band began to perform with a new singer, a character they dubbed XerO who bears a strong resemblance to Static.
The subsequent release of an album featuring some of Static’s final recordings solidified the reformation, serving notice that Static-X are a band with a future that will stay respectful to the legacy of the band’s past and their late singer.
The Rise of the Machines Tour, with opening acts Fear Factory, Dope, and Cultus Black, stops by The Clyde Theatre on March 31 to prove to any doubters that the band is back and still a must-see act.
Back after delay
Originally scheduled to hit the road in 2022, the tour was postponed an entire year out of an abundance of caution during the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
While fans were disappointed to have to wait another trip around the sun to see this incredible bill, Static-X bassist Tony Campos, who is doing double duty on this tour while playing bass for Fear Factory as well, told Whatzup in a recent interview that he and the band were just as disappointed.
However, he says the layoff didn’t seem to have much of an effect on the band’s renewed momentum.
“If you’re judging by the turnouts right now, I would say (the delay) hasn’t hurt us at all,” Campos said. “At the time, yeah, there were a lot of disappointed people, including myself. The prior year before that was just miserable for me on a personal level and I was really looking forward to just getting out and doing shows. When we couldn’t do it, it bummed me out as much, if not more than, any of the fans out there. So it was great to finally get back on the road.”
Putting Time off to good use
The band recently announced the upcoming Nov. 3 release of Project: Regeneration Vol. II and released its first single, a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Terrible Lie.”
Campos said some of the downtime created by the postponed tour went into the making of that record, which features Static’s last known recorded vocals.
Campos said it took him some time after the postponement of the tour to get in the right frame of mind to record while also working on improving the live show.
“I still wasn’t in a good headspace to really work on anything,” he said. “Last year was just one kick in the b—- right after the other. It was miserable. Later on in the year, it was like, ‘Well, if we got to put the tour off then let’s add more to the show and when it comes back it will come back bigger and more exciting.’ I think people are happy with the results so far.”
It’s unusual to announce an album nine months ahead of its release, but Campos said that decision was mostly out of their control due to the laws of supply and demand. The resurgence of vinyl has created a well-documented strain on manufacturing capacity since there are a small number of factories that manufacture vinyl albums and a lot of artists wanting them made.
“There is currently a massive backlog for vinyl,” he said. “So we had to get in line.”
At the head of the nu-metal revolution of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the release of Static-X’s debut album Wisconsin Death Trip was a key moment in the evolution of the genre. The album and its standout single “Push It” helped Static-X stand out in the crowded field with their unique sound, dubbed by the band as “evil disco.”
Campos said that when the band were recording that album, they had no expectations that it would resonate with music fans. They especially had no thoughts that the album would eventually be certified platinum.
“Definitely not,” he said about whether he and the band thought they were making something special. “Honestly, we were just excited that we were in a real studio with a real producer making a real record for a real record label. We were overwhelmed and blown away with the whole process, but we expected nothing.”
Honoring late singer
While the band is now enjoying a nearly sold-out tour, carrying on the legacy of Static is still at the forefront of their minds.
“He would hate me saying this, but Wayne was such a larger-than-life character,” Campos said. “When we first talked about the idea, the big question was, ‘How do we represent Wayne in a cool way?’ We eventually fell onto the XerO character. He does a really good job of reminding people of Wayne without making it, ‘Here’s Static-X with the new singer.’ It’s not about that. It’s about remembering Wayne, remembering the good times we all had together, and remembering the anniversary of the first record we did together.”
One listen to any Static-X song reveals that there is no doubt they are a metal band, but their sound features an industrial influence combined with a techno and dance feel that has stood the test of time, seeming as relevant today as it was at the band’s formation more than two decades ago.
Campos said he thinks it is pretty simple to understand why people continue to listen.
“At the core of it, it’s just fun music,” he said. “It’s heavy enough for the guys to bang their heads, and it’s got enough of a groove so the girls can dance.”