When Wayne Static (Wayne Richard Wells) wanted to reform Static-X, a group known for a handful of albums, namely "Wisconsin Death Trip," "Machine," and "Cult Of Static," he couldn't get any former members to take part so he used his solo backing band. This solution was not surprising for a band that had a fair amount of turnover.
Ill health (Static's) and a detrimental business agreement (Static was obligated to pay a royalty to former bassist Tony Campos for the use of the Static-X name for touring but due to illness could not fulfill the contract) brought the short-lived revival to an end in '13. Static passed away in his sleep the following year (11/01/14).
That's how the story ended for the Nu Metal/Industrial group. How it began also had some twists and turns.
Static, who grew up in Michigan, lit out for Chicago. Drummer Ken Jay also landed in the Windy City and got a job in a record store where he was introduced to Static by none other than future Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan.
Static and Jay hit it off, decided to move to California, and start a band. Once in the land of sunshine, surf and palm trees, the two ran an ad and recruited Osaka-native Koichi Fukada as guitarist/programmer. Bassist Tony Campos, an actual real-life Californian, joined shortly thereafter.
Static X's aggressive sound got them signed by Warner Brothers. Their '99 debut "Wisconsin Death Trip" went platinum.
Some groups disintegrate due to personnel changes while others, oddly enough, seem to thrive. For Static X, line-up changes regular occurrences.
First, Fukada left with Tripp Eisen taking his place for '01's release "Machine." Two years later, after "Shadow Zone" dropped, Jay departed. The following year Eisen was out due to personal problems. That prompted Fukada's return with Nick Oshiro, formerly of Seether, serving as touring drummer. Oshiro was eventually made a full-time member.
The group released "Start A War" in June of '05. "I'm The One" and "Dirthouse" were the singles while the title track was featured in WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006.
Their fifth album, '07's "Cannibal" peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200 and delivered the single "Destroyer." "No Submission" found a place on the "Saw III" soundtrack.
'07 was also the year Static announced the launch of his solo career/side project with the working title Pighammer.
"Cult Of Static," an '09 release, debuted at #16 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest since "Machine." Despite this success, Static later stated he would be focusing his energies on Pighammer and undertaking a solo tour. As a result, Campos left to join the Metal group Soulfly.
Static was about to launch another tour when he died at age 48.
1999 Wisconsin Death Trip
2003 Shadow Zone
2005 Start A War
2009 Cult Of Static
It's a deadly world and Static X takes it on. They weren't joking when they called one of their albums "Start A War." Their songs feature distorted guitars and dark vocals lashed to a slaughterhouse beat.
Static X made their roaring appearance with "Wisconsin Death Trip," featuring "Push It." It's the best of their three earlier efforts. There is some debate whether "Machine" or "Shadow Zone" is better. But truth be told there isn't much difference between the two or even their debut for that matter. It's hard charging, defiant, brutal Rock.
Static X's use of electronic noise led some to doubt the group was "real" Metal. The argument is moot. They have more than enough power and drive, not to mention Static's howls and wails, to satisfy any headbanger.