Static-X

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Static-X
Static X.JPG
Static-X at 2007's Cannibal Killers tour.
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres
Years active
  • 1994–2010
  • 2012–2013
  • 2018–present
Labels
Website www.static-x.org
Members
Past members

Static-X is an American industrial metal band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1994. The line-up fluctuated over the years, but always held constant with band founder, frontman, vocalist, and guitarist Wayne Static. Founders of the band were Wayne Static and original drummer Ken Jay. The band rose to fame with their 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip where the band's heavy industrial metal sound found attention within the burgeoning nu metal movement of the late 1990s, with the album eventually going platinum in the United States. [1] The band released five more albums over the course of the next decade: Machine in 2001, Shadow Zone in 2003, Start a War in 2005, Cannibal in 2007, and Cult of Static in 2009.

Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal music and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Wayne Static American rock musician

Wayne Richard Wells, known professionally as Wayne Static, was an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist and music sequencer for metal band Static-X. He released his only solo studio album, Pighammer, on October 4, 2011.

Contents

Shortly after their last album's release, the band entered a hiatus while Static worked on his solo album, Pighammer , in 2011. Static briefly reformed Static-X in 2012, using only members of his solo album's touring band, before officially breaking up in June 2013. On November 1, 2014, Wayne Static died at the age of 48. Three-fourths of the original Static-X lineup – bassist Tony Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and drummer Ken Jay – announced on October 23, 2018 that they were reforming the band in Static's honor, and will release Project Regeneration , their first studio album in ten years, in the first half of 2019. [2]

<i>Pighammer</i> 2011 studio album by Wayne Static

Pighammer is the only solo album by Wayne Static released on October 4, 2011 through Dirthouse Records and his final album before his death. It debuted at number 97 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 4,700.

Tony Campos musician

Antonio Campos is an American musician. He is the current bass player for the industrial metal bands Fear Factory, Ministry, Static-X, and the vocalist and bassist for Asesino. He is a former bassist for metal bands Prong, Soulfly, and Possessed.

Koichi Fukuda Japanese musician

Koichi Fukuda is a Japanese musician, best known as the lead guitarist, programmer, and keyboardist for the industrial metal band Static-X; he has been a member of the band three times, initially from 1994 to 2000, again from 2005 to 2010 and since 2018. He was also the former lead guitarist of the bands Drugstore Fanatics and Bellusira.

History

Formation, Wisconsin Death Trip and Machine (1994–2001)

Wayne Static WayneStatic.JPG
Wayne Static

Static-X was founded in 1994 after the disbandment of Wayne Static's prior band, Deep Blue Dream. Static played in the band in the late 1980s with future Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. [3] However, when the Smashing Pumpkins began to gain popularity, Corgan made the choice to commit all of his attention to The Smashing Pumpkins, and the band eventually disbanded. [4] Static and Ken Jay later moved to Los Angeles to start a new band with guitarist Emerson Swinford, whom they had met through their mutual friend, Chicago singer-songwriter, PJ Olsson. They formed a band called DRILL, [5] which included Tony Campos on bass and started performing in the LA music scene. After Swinford left to pursue touring and session work, they recruited guitarist Koichi Fukuda, and renamed the band Static-X. [4]

Billy Corgan American musician, songwriter, producer, and author

William Patrick Corgan Jr. is an American musician and songwriter, who is the lead singer, primary songwriter, guitarist, and sole permanent member of The Smashing Pumpkins. Formed by Corgan and guitarist James Iha in Chicago, Illinois, in 1988, the band quickly gained steam with the addition of bassist D'arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Strong album sales and large-scale tours propelled the band's increasing fame in the 1990s until their break-up in 2000. Corgan started a new band called Zwan, and after their quick demise, he released a solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, in 2005 and a collection of poetry, Blinking with Fists, before setting his sights on reforming Smashing Pumpkins.

Emerson Swinford American musician

Emerson Swinford, a native of Chicago, is a Los Angeles-based guitarist, composer/songwriter and producer. He is currently a guitarist in the Rod Stewart band. His guitar work can be heard on the 2018 album release by Stewart, called Blood Red Roses, the 2015 release Another Country and 2013's Time. Blood Red Roses and Time both went to number 1 on the UK Albums Chart. Another Country has since reached Platinum sales and Time has achieved Double Platinum sales status there. Time also went to number 7 on the US Billboard chart. Emerson has numerous co-writing credits with Stewart including "Honey Gold", "Vegas Shuffle", as well as co-writing "The Drinking Song." Along with writer/producer Kevin Savigar and Rod Stewart, Emerson co-wrote two songs on the Time album, "Finest Woman" and the title track "Time."
In 2016 he released a self titled album available on his website (HERE) and on iTunes. Emerson's theme and under-score music composed for the hit comedy Hot in Cleveland won him a 2011, 2012 and 2014 ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards. He is also a composer for the TV Land network comedy series The Soul Man and Retired at 35 and has had many TV and film song placements including MTV/"The Hills", " The Ghost Whisperer", and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." As a session guitarist, Emerson has recorded with a diverse roster of artists such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Delerium, Rod Stewart, Paul Oakenfold, Liz Phair, Jim McGorman, P. J. Olsson, Fisher (band), Kimberley Locke, Natalie Cole, Kenny G and many others, as well as performing on the soundtracks for the movies Just Like Heaven,Planet of the Apes (2001) and "Power Rangers." His guitar work is also featured on several national TV commercial spots including "St. Ives" and "Coors Light." Emerson is a co-writer of the hit single "Barenaked" for actress and singer Jennifer Love Hewitt. He was the musical director and touring guitarist for Tony award-winning actress and singer Idina Menzel, famous for her roles in Disney's Frozen, Broadway's Wicked, Rent and the TV show "Glee." Also see *"emersonswinford.com

Drill in 1994 DRILL1994.jpg
Drill in 1994

Static-X signed with Warner Bros. Records in early 1998, and released their debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip , on March 23, 1999. [6] Soon after, they released their first single "Push It", followed by "I'm with Stupid" and "Bled for Days" in 2000. [6] Static-X toured strictly in support of the album and twice performed on Ozzfest, supporting Fear Factory. In the following year a promotional EP, The Death Trip Continues , was also released.

<i>Wisconsin Death Trip</i> (album) 1999 studio album by Static-X

Wisconsin Death Trip is the debut studio album by American industrial metal band Static-X, released on March 23, 1999 by Warner Bros. Records. The band was formed after lead singer Wayne Static and drummer Ken Jay met at a Virgin Records store in Chicago. After being introduced by Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan, the two decided to head out west to California to enlist a lead guitarist and bassist. Once in California, Koichi Fukuda became guitarist, and not long after, they discovered Californian Tony Campos to complete the lineup as their bassist. Warner Bros. Records discovered the band in California and signed them in February 1998.

Push It (Static-X song) 1999 single by Static-X

"Push It" is the first single from the industrial metal band Static-X's first album, Wisconsin Death Trip. "Push It" is one of Static-X's best known and most popular songs. Also is credited, along with "I'm with Stupid", for making Wisconsin Death Trip Static-X's best-selling album. The song is a combination of most effects of the industrial metal genre along with the band's self-described "evil disco".

Im with Stupid (Static-X song) 2000 single by Static-X

"I'm with Stupid" is the second single from Static-X's debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip. The song starts off with singer Wayne Static screaming out the words of the chorus, "He’s a loser, she said" and quickly moving on to the main guitar riff that is repeated throughout the song. The outro, a sample of dialogue from actress Linnea Quigley, comes from the 1988 film Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.

The band toured heavily in support of the album, with Static recounting:

"It was really just a whirlwind and I barely remember it. We worked so hard and toured so hard that I don't even remember most of it. We played 300 shows in the first year and we just never went home. We would tour on one tour for six or eight weeks and that tour would end somewhere on the East Coast and we'd drive a couple days and hook up with Slayer and tour with them for four or five weeks. That tour ends and then we'd drive a few days to Boston to hook up with Sevendust. We just kept going and kept going and never went home. I mean I didn't even have a home. I lived at the rehearsal space for the last year before we started touring. I had to quit my job to make the record so I didn't have anywhere to even go home to...I look back at it now and I kinda wish I had taken the time to sit back and appreciate it more. Maybe got to know some of the other bands a little more and spend time and having a good time and partying and maybe taking some pictures of the other guys." [4]

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Sevendust American heavy metal band

Sevendust is an American alternative metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in 1994 by bassist Vince Hornsby, drummer Morgan Rose and guitarist John Connolly. After their first demo, lead vocalist Lajon Witherspoon and guitarist Clint Lowery joined the group. Following a few name changes, the members settled on the name Sevendust and released their self-titled debut album on April 15, 1997. They have attained success with three consecutive RIAA gold certified albums, a Grammy nomination, and have sold millions of albums worldwide.

Commercially, the effort paid off, with the album eventually going platinum in 2001. [1] However, the pressure of recording a follow-up was hard on Static and the rest of the band. Static, worried they would be unable to deliver another successful album, desired to start work on follow up material while still touring in support of Wisconsin Death Trip, while the rest of the band wanted to focus on enjoying the touring. [4] Without support, Static took matters into his own hands, writing all of the material himself over the course of the two years of touring. [4] This caused friction from within the band, who resented Static for not waiting for them or including them in on the creation process, of which all members had been part of in the prior album. [4] Fukuda would leave the band upon the conclusion of the tour, leading the band to record the album as a three-piece. [4] Despite this, the band still managed to find success, with the second album, Machine , releasing on May 22, 2001, and eventually being certified gold with 500,000 units sold. [7] Tripp Eisen replaced Fukuda on guitar for touring in support of the album. [4]

<i>Machine</i> (Static-X album) 2001 studio album by Static-X

Machine is the second studio album from the American industrial metal band Static-X, released on May 22, 2001, and recorded at Studio 508. When compared to the band's other albums, Machine features more electronics and industrial effects, and more screamed vocals from Wayne Static. It was also the final Static-X album for eighteen years to feature drummer Ken Jay, and the last for four years to feature lead guitarist Koichi Fukuda, who, despite having already left Static-X, is credited as a keyboardist on the album.

Tripp Eisen American musician

Tripp Eisen, is an American musician, best known as the former guitarist of the industrial metal band Static-X. He is a former member of Dope, Murderdolls, Ace Frehley tribute band Fractured Mirror, Roughhouse, and local East Coast bands such as The Right, Ego, and Lovesick.

Shadow Zone and Start a War (2002–2006)

Tony Campos TonyCampos.JPG
Tony Campos

In 2002, Static would be contacted by Jonathan Davis of the nu metal band Korn. Davis had recently signed on to provide the soundtrack for the Queen of the Damned film soundtrack, but due to contract limitations with Sony, was legally unable to actually perform the music he had written for the soundtrack. [8] As a remedy of this, Davis contacted a number of metal vocalists, Static included, to sing on the songs he had written. [9] Static provided vocals for one track, "Not Meant for Me", with the Queen of the Damned soundtrack releasing in February 2002. [9]

The contribution would be a turning point for the band; the track, which was much more melodic than much of the band's music up until that point, would attract the attention of Warner Brother's executive Tom Whalley, who pressured the band as a whole to pursue a melodic sound. [4] Personnel and line-up changes would further alter the band's sound. The label would not allow the band to work again with record producer Ulrich Wild as they had for their prior two albums, instead arranging for them to work with Josh Abraham, a producer known for working with more commercially melodically mainstream bands such as Staind, Filter, and Velvet Revolver. [4] The album would be the first to feature Eisen's songwriting contributions and performances, and the only to feature sessions drummer Josh Freese, of A Perfect Circle, due to Jay leaving the band two days before beginning the formal recording process. [4]

The band's third album, Shadow Zone , was released on October 7, 2003, and debuted at no. 20 on the Billboard 200 charts, but failed to achieve the platinum or gold selling status of their prior two albums. [10] Two singles were released to promote the album, "The Only" and "So". The band proceeded to hire on Nick Oshiro, formerly of Seether, was selected as Jay's replacement and the band's permanent drummer, to tour in support of the album.

Nick Oshiro NickOshiro.JPG
Nick Oshiro

July 20, 2004 saw the release of Beneath... Between... Beyond... , a collection of rarities and demos. Shortly after the release of Beneath... Between... Beyond..., the band toured again with Fear Factory, and commenced work on their fourth studio album, Start a War . In February 2005, Tripp Eisen was arrested in a sex scandal involving minors, and was subsequently fired from the band. [11] Former guitarist Koichi Fukuda, who had been providing samples and keyboards for the new album, rejoined Static-X to fill the gap left by Eisen. [12] Start a War was finally released on June 14, 2005. "I'm the One" and "Dirthouse" were released as singles from the album.

Cannibal and Cult of Static (2007–2009)

Koichi Fukuda KoichiFukuda.JPG
Koichi Fukuda

Their fifth album, Cannibal , released on April 3, 2007, marked the studio return of their original guitarist, Koichi Fukuda. One of the new tracks called "No Submission" was released on the Saw III soundtrack prior to the album's release. "Cannibal" was released as a digital download single at iTunes. "Destroyer" was released as a lead off radio single, before the album was released.

On March 20, the album was preceded with an exclusive Destroyer EP, with a video being produced for the title track. The album itself debuted at No. 36 in the U.S. with sales of over 30,000. [13]

On May 10, 2007 it was announced that the band would be playing on the main stage at Ozzfest 2007. Additionally, at the time, Static first announced his intention to release solo material, referring to it as "Pighammer". [14] In the meantime, in November 2007, Campos temporarily joined Ministry as a touring bassist for Ministry's C U LaTour in the wake of Paul Raven's death.

The band began working on their sixth studio album, Cult of Static , in January 2008 after returning from the Operation Annihilation tour in Australia. Static stated they intended to mix the longer buildups and break downs from Wisconsin Death Trip with the heaviness that was present on Cannibal. On October 14, 2008 Static-X released their live CD/DVD, Cannibal Killers Live . On December 11, 2008 Static revealed the album's release date and name saying "I had hoped to announce it here first, but my publicist beat me to the punch! The new record is indeed entitled Cult of Static and will be released March 17. The "cult" part of the title is not to be taken in any religious manner, I am referring to and giving respect to the loyalty of all you good people that have supported us through the years. This record is definitely darker than Cannibal and has more synths and loops as well. And this is also the most crushing guitar tone I have ever had. There are 11 songs instead of our usual 12, and they are mostly longer and more epic than ever before."[ citation needed ] The album debut at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest since their second studio album, Machine. A new Static-X song called "Lunatic" appeared on soundtrack to the movie Marvel's Punisher: War Zone . The band toured in support of the album for the rest of the year, playing major concerts such as the Download Festival and Rock on the Range.

Hiatus, breakup and Wayne Static's death (2010–2017)

After finishing their final tour dates in Australia at the end of 2009, Static announced that he would be focusing on his side project, then tentatively titled Pighammer, He later revealed that Campos had left the band, [15] and eventually joined the metal band Soulfly. [16] but clarified that the band had not broken up, but rather, members were just doing different projects at the time. [17] Static began his solo touring in 2011, most notably playing at Graspop Metal Meeting 2011. [18] [19] He released his debut solo album Pighammer on October 4, 2011. [20]

In 2012, Wayne Static decided to reform Static-X, but none of the original members would join him. Instead his solo band would tour under the name Static-X. [21] In June 2013, Static announced Static-X's official break-up. [22] Static blamed it on a disagreement with Campos over the rights of the band; citing that Campos was paid by Wayne for the use of the name while touring, but during that tour, Wayne took ill. Being unable to play, the deal fell through, ending the band. [23] Despite breaking up the band, Static still performed the band's music under his own name and solo band in 2014, most notably playing the Wisconsin Death Trip album in its entirety to celebrate the album's fifteenth anniversary. [6]

On November 1, 2014, Wayne Static died at the age of 48. [24] Static's wife, Tera Wray, released a statement stating that despite Static's prior history of drug use, he had stopped his drug use in 2009, and that his death was not drug or overdose related. [25] [26] Despite her claims, the coroner's report, released in March 2015, indicated that his death was the result of a combination of excessive prescription drugs and alcohol in his system, though the manner of death was deemed "natural." [27]

Reunion and Project Regeneration (2018–present)

On October 23, 2018, original member Tony Campos revealed plans for Static-X to reunite with Koichi Fukuda and Ken Jay to release a new album in 2019 called Project Regeneration , which will include previously unreleased tracks with Wayne Static's vocals and guest vocals by David Draiman, Ivan Moody, Dez Fafara, Burton C. Bell, Al Jourgensen, Edsel Dope and others. [2] Featuring an unnamed vocalist wearing a Wayne Static mask, [28] the band will tour worldwide in support of the album in 2019, which will also coincide with the 20th anniversary of their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip . [29] The group also are having a masked frontman replace the late Static, simply known as "Xer0." [30]

Musical style and influences

Static-X has been described as industrial metal, [31] [32] [33] nu metal, [34] [35] [36] and alternative metal. [37] [38] Self-described as "evil disco", Static-X's style, according to The Washington Post , "combines electronic elements influenced by industrial artists such as Ministry and Skinny Puppy with the harshness of bands like Pantera". [33] Static-X's style also has used elements of genres such as techno, speed metal, and thrash metal. [39] [40]

Wayne Static has cited house music as an influence on Static-X's music. [41] Static also has said that throughout 1994 to 1996, he listened to The Prodigy and The Crystal Method. [41] Static has said that he "imagined Static-X was gonna be like a Prodigy or a Crystal Method and more of an electronic-based thing". [42] Static-X's influences include The Crystal Method, The Prodigy, Prong, Pantera, Ministry, Korn, the Sisters of Mercy, the Chemical Brothers, Joy Division, Kiss, Mortician, and Crowbar. [43]

Band members

Current lineup