Static-X was an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1994. The line-up from 2010-2013 consisted of Wayne Static (vocals and lead guitar), Ashes (guitar), Andy Cole (bass) and Sean Davidson (drums), with Wayne Static being the only original member. They were signed to Warner Bros. Records and have released six albums, their final being Cult of Static, which was released on March 17, 2009. The band rose to fame with their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip, which went platinum in 2001. Their sound incorporates elements of nu-metal and groove metal. Static-X self describes the genre of music as "Evil Disco". Static-X has released six studio albums, one compilation album, one EP, 12 singles, 12 videos and a guitar tab book titled Static-X Guitar Anthology. They recorded a DVD titled Where the Hell Are We and What Day Is It... This Is Static-X, but it was never released due to a threatened lawsuit by Sharon Osbourne over tracks recorded at Ozzfest.
Inception and debut album (1994--2000):
Static-X was founded in 1994 after the disbandment of Wayne Static and Ken Jay's former band Deep Blue Dream. Static and Jay originally met at the Chicago record store where Jay worked and were introduced to one another by Smashing Pumpkins vocalist Billy Corgan (the band also shared a rehearsal space with Smashing Pumpkins for a time). Once Deep Blue Dream folded, Static and Jay joined the Chicago metal band Stygian and recorded a demo under the band name Drill only to later move to Los Angeles to search for new band members. There, they met bassist Tony Campos and guitarist Koichi Fukuda, completing the band's original lineup. Originally, they were meant to be called the name of their debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip, but figured it was too long and went with Static-X.
Static-X signed with Warner Bros. Records in early 1998, and released their debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip, on March 23, 1999. Soon after, they released their first single "Push It" (featuring remixes by fellow Warner Bros. Records artists Mephisto Odyssey and a videoclip included in the Mac OS 9 Install CD), followed by "I'm with Stupid" and "Bled for Days" in 2000. Static-X toured strictly in support of the album and twice performed on Ozzfest. In the following year a promotional EP, The Death Trip Continues, was released, however this album was not available in stores. In 2001, Wisconsin Death Trip went platinum and is, to date, Static-X's only album to reach this success.
The band has contributed numerous tracks from this album to video game soundtracks and for other promotional applications. The song "Otsegolation" was used in the PlayStation video game, Omega Boost, where it is featured in the main menu and the final boss sequence. The song "Push It" is included in the games Street Skater 2 and Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes, both also for the PlayStation gaming console, and as downloadable content for the game Rock Band on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles.
Machine and Shadow Zone (2000--2003):
During recording of their follow-up album Machine, Koichi Fukuda left the band to spend time with his girlfriend and pursue other musical opportunities. Fukuda was only on one song "Otsego Undead" as keyboardist, which was on the soundtrack to Dracula 2000. As Fukuda's replacement, former Dope member Tripp Eisen stepped in. Machine was released May 22, 2001 to major success, and shortly after, Static-X began work on their third album, Shadow Zone, this time with Eisen performing and writing on the album. However, before they could start recording, Ken Jay left the band due to musical and political differences. To drum on the album, Josh Freese of A Perfect Circle and The Vandals was brought in. Later, Nick Oshiro, formerly of Seether, was selected as Jay's replacement and the band's permanent drummer.
During production of the album, Jonathan Davis of Korn contacted Wayne Static to record the vocals for a song he wrote for the Queen of the Damned soundtrack, titled "Not Meant for Me" as well as contributing the song "Cold". A music video for the song was included as one of the special features on the DVD release. Shadow Zone was later released on October 7, 2003. Static-X continued their affiliation with video game soundtracks: "This Is Not" from Machine, was included in the video game Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder; "The Only" from Shadow Zone was featured on the soundtrack of Need for Speed: Underground.
Beneath, Between, Beyond and Start a War (2003--2006):
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 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. 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.Start a War was finally released on June 14, 2005. "I'm the One" and "Dirthouse" were released as singles from the album. The song "Skinnyman" is included in the soundtrack of the 2005 street racing game Need For Speed: Most Wanted, while the song "Start a War" was featured in WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006.
Cannibal, released on April 3, 2007, marked the studio return of their original guitarist, Koichi Fukuda. One of the new tracks called "No Submission" is available on the Saw III soundtrack. The full track has also been released on Static-X's MySpace page. "Cannibal" was released as a digital download single at iTunes. "Destroyer" was released as a lead off radio single, before the album was released. Videos for the singles were supposed to be taken at the same time.
On March 20, the upcoming album was preceded with an exclusive Destroyer EP. The video for "Destroyer" has also been produced and is available now at headbangersball.com. The album itself debuted at No. 36 in the U.S. with sales of over 30,000.
On May 10, 2007 it was announced that the band would be playing on the main stage at Ozzfest 2007. Additionally, in a recent interview, Wayne Static announced his side-project called "Pighammer".
The chorus of the song "Destroyer" was used in an advertisement promoting the latest video game in the WWE franchise, Smackdown vs. Raw 2008.
In November 2007, Tony Campos joined legendary industrial act Ministry as a temporary touring bassist for Ministry's C U LaTour in the wake of Paul Raven's death.
Cannibal Killers Live, Cult of Static and breakup (2008--2013):
The band began their sixth studio album, Cult of Static, in January 2008 after returning from the Operation Annihilation tour in Australia. In a posting at the Static-X message boards Wayne Static said that this time around he is focusing on longer buildups and break downs like in the Wisconsin Death Trip days of the band, however the album still maintains the heaviness that was present on Cannibal. On October 14, 2008 Static-X released their much anticipated live CD/DVD, Cannibal Killers Live. On December 11, 2008 Wayne Static confirmed on the Static-X Message Board the new 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." The album debut at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 chart, the highest a Static-X album has ever been since their second studio album, Machine. A new Static-X song called "Lunatic" appeared on soundtrack to the movie Punisher: War Zone. In 2009, the band performed at the Download Festival. It also was the first time the band made an appearance at Rock on the Range.
After finishing their final tour dates in Australia at the end of 2009, Wayne Static announced on the band's official X-Boards that he will now be focusing on his side project Pighammer. In a follow up post he was quoted "It's doubtful I will do anything with Static-X for the next couple years" leading fans to interpret that the band is still together and just on hiatus. Later, he revealed that Tony Campos had left the band, and Campos has since joined the metal band Soulfly, taking over from Bobby Burns. Koichi Fukuda went on to join industrial metal/ambient band Drugstore Fanatics.
In 2010, Wayne Static has been confirmed for Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 as part of his 'Pighammer' solo project. He released his debut solo album Pighammer on October 4, 2011.
In 2012 Wayne Static decided to reform Static-X, but none of the original members will join him. Instead his solo band will tour under the name Static-X. On June 7, 2013, Wayne Static announced Static-X's second break-up. Following up on this, Wayne Static blamed it on a disagreement with former bass player Tony Campos, citing that Campos was paid by Wayne for the use of the name while touring, but during the said tour, Wayne took ill. Being unable to play the deal fell through, tension rose and hence the band was considered over.
Style and influences:
Static-X's sound shares much in common with their industrial metal influences, using heavy distortion, electronic keyboards, pounding bass riffs, and fast-paced, aggressive vocals. Songs sometimes apply heavy use of synthesizers and insertion of samples, such as snippets of movie dialogue. For example, A Dios Alma Perdida samples spaceship drone sound effects and alien chatter from the film Laserblast. A new element used on their Cannibal album is the presence of guitar solos; which weren't prominent in prior albums. The style in which Static-X's music is played is also known, much as the Nu Metal band 'Orgy', as "Static Metal".
Static-X have been labeled a variety of genres by the press, most notably nu metal although the band disputes this, stating they are "more industrial than anything else".
The band's influences include Ministry and Fear Factory.
The Otsego songs:
Song titles using variations of the word "Otsego" exist on their first four albums, with Cannibal being the first album to break this trend. The songs are titled: "Otsegolation", "Otsego Undead", "Otsegolectric" and "Otsego Amigo". The track "Otsego Undead" is misspelled on the Dracula 2000 soundtrack, and was printed as "Ostego Undead". An explanation for the "Otsego" tracks was given in a 2003 interview with Metal Edge Magazine, where Wayne Static said:
Otsego is a town near where I went to college at Michigan (Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo), and it was kind of a depressing, small town. There was a guy named Dean there, and I had his fake ID.
Wayne Static - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, music programming (1994-2010, 2012-2013),
Ashes - lead guitar (2012-2013),
Andy Cole - bass (2012-2013),
Sean Davidson - drums, percussion (2012-2013),
Koichi Fukuda - lead guitars (1994-2000, 2005-2010),
Ken Jay - drums, percussion (1994-2002),
Tony Campos - bass, backing vocals (1994-2010),
Tripp Eisen - lead guitars (2001-2005),
Nick Oshiro - drums, percussion (2003-2009),
Josh Freese - drums, percussion (2003),
Marty O'Brien - bass (2001),
Bevan Davies - drums, percussion (2007),
Will Hunt - drums, percussion (2007, 2009),
Brent Ashley - bass (2012),
Frankie Sil - bass (2012),