Since their inception in 1994, Static-X has proven that a unique hybrid style of Metal and industrial music, coupled with abrasive aggressive vocal,s is not only compatible, but commercially viable. Their most recent release, 'Cult of Static,' debuted #16 on the Billboard charts, and the band is selling out shows all over North America. "Stingwray," the first single from the new CD, is a headbanging metal masterpiece with a video that's equally intense.
Static-x is currently getting ready to play festivals in Europe. When they return, they will be embarking on one the most highly-anticipated tours of the summer, playing with Mudvayne and Black Label Society. In addition, the band will be promoting their new single, "Z28."
We caught up with the brains behind Static-X, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, Wayne Static, to get some insight on one of the most heavy bands on the face of the planet. Here's what went down.
GlamMetal: Hey Wayne, How are you doing?
Wayne Static: Good, man.
GM: You guys just played a gig, from what I understand, in Oklahoma?
WS: Yeah, yeah. I just got off stage.
GM: Wow. Is it a festival or something?
WS: Yeah, a big radio show- all day kind of thing.
GM: That’s pretty cool. Now, the U.S. leg of your tour is currently winding down. How’s everyone holding up, so far?
WS: Uh, you know, everyone is doing good. We’re all excited to go home for a week. Then we got to go to Europe after that, which, I’m not a huge fan of Europe, so you know. (laughs)
GM: You have played some pretty high profile gigs over the passed few weeks. You played Rock on the Range- how did that go over for the band?
WS: It was great, it was awesome. You know, huge crowd, it was a good show.
GM: You said you were going over to Europe in a couple weeks, or so. How popular is Static-X over there?
WS: We have fans there, we do okay. We’re not as big there as we are here in the U.S., because we haven’t spent as much time over there. The big thing about Europe is doing all the festivals, so most of the shows are festival shows. That’s really the way to do it, because you get tens of thousands of people everyday.
GM: Yeah, sure. Now, when you come back from Europe, you’re starting a tour with Mudvayne and Black Label Society. There’s very few details of that tour that have been revealed. Can you tell us what sized venues you’re playing, and approximately when the tour is going to start?
WS: The approximate start date is July 22, but I don’t have any like, you know, official routing or official dates, or anything like that. They’re still putting it together, but the tour is definitely going to happen, I know that. And, I haven’t seen any of the venues yet, either.
GM: So, do you know if it’s going to be amphitheatres, or bigger clubs, or you don’t yet?
WS: I think it’s going to be bigger clubs, I mean bigger theatres. I don’t think we’re going to do it in clubs.
GM: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Your most recent CD, 'Cult of Static,' I feel is the most solid release of your career. How difficult was it to write and record this CD, for you?
WS: Well, thanks for the compliment. I feel the same way. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. I took a bit longer writing than normal, and it was a little bit different this time around, you know. Tony was gone on tour with Ministry the whole year. I just moved the studio to my house, and basically wrote the whole record by myself. You know, just worked every night, late hours, that kind of thing. I spent a lot of time on it.
GM: The music industry has really changed from the way you recorded your very first CD, to the way your recorded this CD. It’s really changed quite a bit hasn’t it?
WS: Yeah, I mean with 'Wisconsin Death Trip,' we actually recorded on an old two-inch machine, analog tape, you know, and everything; well I guess, 'Machine,' we did the same as that, but everything since that, we’ve done with pro-tools. I try not to get too over indulged in the whole pro-tools thing; I really don’t like to try to over-edit things and make things sound too perfect, or anything like that. Other than 'Machine,' with the device we recorded on, we really haven’t changed the way we record very much.
GM: 'Cult of Static' was produced again by John Travis. What kind of role does he play as far as producing the CD? I mean, obviously, you are the brains behind the project but, what does he add to the sound?
WS: Yeah, well, you know, I like to have a good engineer there, of course- someone there to make it sound good. I like to have another guy to work with, to kind of throw different ideas there, and a different perspective on things. I co-produced all the records, I like having another partner there to keep things in check and throw different ideas in. John kind of comes out from a different perspective; he’s not really a metal guy, he’s more of a rock ‘n’ roll/punk rock guy, so he has different ideas from some of the other people we’ve worked with in the past.
GM: It must have been really satisfying, for you, when the CD debuted number 16 on the billboard charts.
WS: I thought it was awesome. I knew we’d do good because it’s a great record, but realistically, a lot people don’t buy CDs these days, so pleasantly surprised we charted that well.
GM: That goes into my next question perfectly. My next question is: what kind of influence does your record company have on the band nowadays? The influence can’t be as big as it was then, because back then, it was either make or break; now it’s kind of like they need you more than you need them. Do you think that’s true?
WS: They never really had any influence at all. The only record they actually stepped in and told us what to do and stuff was 'Shadow Zone,' and that ended up being a real controversial record, and a lot of our hardcore fans didn’t like it.
That’s the only record that they ever had any influence on whatsoever. Nowadays, we just make the record ourselves, pay for it ourselves, and then turn it in to them and say, “Here it is” (laughs). It seems to work out good that way.
GM: So, basically, your record company is there to distribute your CD?
WS: Yeah. I mean, we’ve proven ourselves, and have a solid fan base, and so you know, at this point, they totally trust that we’re going to give them something great, and they just put it out and market it.
GM: The first single from your CD, I thought, was the perfect single to pick. “Stingwray” is an incredibly intense song; the video for it was just mind-blowing. How are you going to follow that up?
WS: Well, we’re switching over to “Z28” right now for the second single, and currently, we don’t have a video for it, but videos aren’t as important as they used to be, so I’m not really too worried about it.
GM: I read some place that you want to put out a video because it was going to be a part 2 of “Stingwray.”
WS: Yeah, I don’t know anything about that. (laughs)
GM: No? Okay, crazy internet rumor.
GM: You stated in many interviews that KISS was one of your favorite bands growing up. Have you ever had a chance to open up for them?
WS: No, we never played together. I met both Paul and Gene on several occasions, but we never played with them. I never really had any desire to, either, you know. Anyone going to see KISS is really just going to see KISS, and they're not really going to give a crap about the opening band. So, it doesn’t really matter to me, you know.
GM: A few years back, Static-X performed on OZZFEST. Now, that tour that you played on was when OZZFEST was free. Was that a good decision: to do that without getting paid? I mean, did it all end up working out for the band?
WS: I think it was a good decision. I think it really kind of brought us back into the mainstream a little bit, you know, ‘cause a lot of people go to OZZFEST that normally don’t go out to club shows. A lot of people got to see us that hadn’t seen us in a long time. We lost a little bit of money, you know, but we got a whole bunch of sponsors to kick in some money, you know, like ESP guitars, Monster Energy Drinks, and the label kicked in a little money. And, we made some up with merchandise. You know, we lost a little bit of money, but I think, ultimately, it was a good investment.
GM: And, didn’t you also meet your wife there, as well?
WS: Yeah, and in that perspective, awesome. Best tour of my life.
GM: My last question I have for you, Wayne, is: You’ve accomplished quite a bit in your career. What do you still want to accomplish as a musician? Is there anything that you really aspire to do that you haven’t done already?
WS: I don’t know. We’ve kind of done everything we’ve set out to do at this point, but I want to keep things rolling and, you know, keep going and keep pushing ahead. I don’t have any goals, like trying to become the next Metallica, or anything like that. We’ve definitely made our mark. I see us more like, sort of like a Slayer, or something like that, because they just keep on going, and everyone knows who they are, and will continue to do well.
GM: I want to thank you for your time, and good luck on the rest of the tour. I’m sure we’ll catch up with you somewhere on the road.
WS: Alright man, cool.
For more on Static-X, check out www.myspace.com/staticx . A big thank you to Jodie Wilson for setting the interview up and to our new GlamMetal.com staff member, Veronika Kain, for transcribing the interview. Photos by Mike Suicide Santoro. Check out our exclusive vid below.