Interview with Wayne Static by Noah “Shark” Robertson – RIP Wayne Static – Wayne Static Tribute – Static X

Interview with Wayne Static of Static X – by Noah “Shark” Robertson

*There have been a lot of bands from your era that aren’t around anymore. Static X has been around for 18 years or so, how does it feel to know that you’re relevant today and still have a strong following?

It’s cool man, it’s awesome! Seriously, that’s why I give a shout-out every night to the fans. I never expected to get signed, or put out a record, or tour, or do anything really. I started this band just for fun, just to have a good time. I had given up on all that gettin’ signed crap. I got signed when I was 32 years old, I had already given up. I lied about my age, because I was afraid they wouldn’t sign an old guy, you know? 

*Wow! When you first got signed you looked really young! I thought you were 22 years old!

Yeah, I’m 46 now so I guess it really doesn’t matter…but, yeah I guess it’s a testament to the fact that I created something new. It was not following any trends at the time. You look at some of the other so called “new metal” bands that came out, and Static got bumped in with that in the 90’s…we don’t sound anything like that, never have.

*Definitely not! I think your music is a little more timeless than a lot of the other bands that were out around that time.

Absolutely, absolutely. I always thought we were more like a Ministry, Skinny Puppy kind of thing.

*I think a lot of your fans would consider you more of an industrial band, than a new metal band.

Yeah, but even that doesn’t work for me, because a lot of those bands don’t capture the same energy live. They’re really stiff sounding, and I think first and foremost Static X has always been a live band. I think I come at it a different way than most industrial bands would.

*I’ve always wanted to ask if there was any special meaning or story behind the band name, Static X?

Actually, I wanted to call the band Wisconsin Death Trip. That was gonna be the name of the band. Our manager thought that was too long, which is probably right, it is kind of a long name…better as an album title. I’m a big Star Trek fan and they create a big static warp field to make the ship go into warp speed. (laughs) So then I was like “Static Warp Field!” But I was like “No, that sounds gay.”  So then it was just Static for a long time. When we went to put out Wisconsin Death Trip our legal department came across all these Static this and Static that bands and they were like “You better change your name, or you’re gonna get sued.” So, then we added an X to it just to kind of make it different, and it actually turned out really cool. The funny thing is, in the beginning, I didn’t like the X…I hated it. I would say “The X is silent!” I was so pissed off that we had to change our name, because we had already toured under the name Static. Anyways, that’s the story of how the whole Static X thing came about.

*Do you get a really big response overseas? Or is your biggest following mainly here in the States?

It’s all in the US. We do okay in Australia too, but it’s primarily the US. There’s so many bands that go to Europe and say they do really great there, but I never have. I’ve been there so many times and I can’t make money there. I missed the opportunity because of 9/11. We were set to go over and do a tour with Pantera, Slayer, Static X…the day before we were supposed to leave, the towers came down. Everybody got canceled except for Slayer, because they were already in Europe. Us and Pantera, we were in the US and couldn’t even get a flight to Europe because they grounded all the flights for over a week. So Slayer went and did the tour without us, and everyone thought that we were pussies or something because we couldn’t do the tour. The truth is we couldn’t even get there to do it. I think if we would have done that tour, things would have taken off for Static X in Europe…we never really recovered from that.

*I know you toured with Pantera here in the states, back in the day. How was it touring with them?

It was badass! I did two tours with them. We did an Ozzfest and then we did the Extreme Steel Tour with Pantera, Slayer, Static X, Morbid Angel, Skrape…that was badass man! Good times. I couldn’t hang with them every night though, it got to be too much!

*Do you have a favorite Static X song and/or album? Anything that really stands out for you?

I like a lot of the more obscure songs… like on this tour we’re doing the song “Just In Case”, which is kind of a slower, darker kind of song. Those tend to be my favorite songs off the record. Maybe because we never get to play ’em. I tend to like all of the songs toward the end of the record.

*I noticed you’re doing a lot of the classic, “Static X hits” I guess you would say, on this tour. I like how you guys please the fans by playing what they want to hear. Was that a conscious decision, to do that on this tour?

I’ve always wanted to do that. I use Korn as a really good example, they’ve been around forever. They always play a few things off their new record, but they always go back to their first couple of records and really just kill the crowd towards the end of the show. People really dig that. I really hate when you go to see a band and all they play is new shit.

*Do you have any pre-show rituals? Anything you do right before you go on stage every night?

Um…I like to brush my teeth. I like to pee. (laughs) I’ll stretch out a little bit, but that’s about it.

*I know you get asked this question a lot, so I’m not going to actually ask the question…but, do you get asked about your hair a lot?

A lot of people ask about it, but it’s fine. Everybody always asks me about my hair. To me it’s just really easy. I just woke up. (points to his hair) Here I am!

*Holy shit! That’s awesome!

It’s the most low maintenance hair-do ever. I hardly have to do anything to it.

*I won’t ask you to give away any secrets, but there are a lot of different rumors out there as to how you do your hair standing straight up like that. I’ve heard Elmer’s Glue, Egg Whites, and just Hair Spray with a Blow Dryer.

Yeah, it’s just hair spray with a blow dryer. I did a video on how I do my hair! It was the special edition of the ‘Shadow Zone’ record…there was a DVD and I actually showed how I do my hair. I thought that would be the end of it.

Are there any styles of music or any bands that you’ve gotten into recently?

I’m kind of an old dude, man. I listen to classic rock. I listen to what I listened to in High School. Doors, Zeppelin…One of my favorite bands is Journey. I love great singers, because I can’t sing like that.  I love Sound Garden and what Chris Cornell has done with Audio Slave. I just like really great singers.

*This is kind of wild card question…How do you feel about Dub Step?

I think it’s cool that people are mixing genres again, because that was big in the 90’s when Static X started. Everyone was mixing the whole electronica thing…rap with metal…and I’m really happy to see that happening. Honestly, I think it’s probably just a phase that’s probably gonna die out again, because there’s only so much you can do with that kind of stuff. I hope that it’s not just a phase. I hope people keep experimenting with mixing different styles. I think it’s cool.

*How was it recording and touring with your solo project? Was it an enjoyable experience for you?

I enjoyed making the record immensely. I’ve written and produced everything Static X has ever done, but in the past I’ve had to argue with the band about arrangements and whether the bass guitar’s too loud or whether the drum fill should be there or not. For Pig Hammer, I did it all myself. I didn’t have to argue with anyone. It was completely my vision. It was very gratifying in a selfish kind of way. I got some great players to go on the tour with me. Ultimately the players from that tour ended up being in Static X, because the old guys didn’t want to do it anymore. They all had other things they wanted to do.

*What is a Pig Hammer exactly?

The Pig Hammer is a surgical tool. It’s the one I’m holding on the album cover. It’s made from a pig’s leg. It’s a surgical tool that I use to transform beautiful women into pigs. I like the word Pig Hammer. It’s been in my head and I’ve wanted to use it for over ten years. So, I’m like “We’re gonna use this word. We’ll figure out what it means later.” It’s just something I made up.

*What does the future hold for Static X?

We’re definitely gonna keep touring. We’re going to do something special for the fans next year. As far as albums, I don’t really know right now. I’m always working on new material. Whether I do another band thing or another solo thing next…I don’t really know. We’ll see how it goes.


Wayne Static / Static X / Wayne Static One of his final interviews / Wayne Static passed away 😦

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