Static-X is about to embark on a world tour in celebration of their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip’s 20th anniversary. The reunited band, consisting of original members Tony Campos, Ken Jay and Koichi Fukuda, recently revealed in a tour promo video a new, masked touring vocalist that will be joining them on the trek. The band has now introduced the vocalist as Xer0.
In a new interview with Kerrang!, Static-X, along with Xer0, has now spoken up about the vocalist’s involvement with the band, as well as the mask that he will be wearing on stage.
According to Campos, things clicked into place right away with Xer0. “The first time being in the same room together, it all kind of clicked again,” says Campos. “It felt really good, right from the get-go.”
The band makes it clear that Xer0 is not in any way taking the place of late frontman Wayne Static, a sentiment shared by the singer himself.
“Wayne was a very unique singer, I can’t just be myself with this. That wouldn’t be doing the material justice Therefore, I really have to be prepared. I have to learn lots of parts…find the right places in my own voice to deliver my best version of these songs…I’m never gonna sound as good as Wayne did, doing Wayne’s thing. That’s just common sense.” He continues, “But I feel really good about it. I believe that I will represent the vibe of the band very well and that we will give the fans a really fun Wisconsin Death Trip experience each night.”
For this reason, it was the vocalist’s idea to perform with the mask:
“I’ve spent the last 20 years building my own identity and touring the world with my own band. It didn’t feel right for my image or identity to be placed in the center of something that I wasn’t part of creating. It just felt like a perfect way to keep the focus on the four guys that made this great album and started this really cool band.”
Xer0 discussed the mask’s creation:
“We didn’t set out to create a ‘character,’ it just evolved naturally. We went to our friend Laney, who also makes the masks for many of the Slipknot guys, as well as Manson’s band, and Rob Zombie’s band, et cetera. Wayne liked heavy metal, monster movies, and monster trucks. He would be honored by the celebration and he would dig the shit out of this!”
It was the hair that set it over the edge though. Said Xer0:
“After a few days of living with it [the mask], I decided to spike my hair up, just to see what it would look like with the mask on, and I was like, Oh, FUCK. Let’s be honest: Waynes hair kind of became the visual identity of Static-X.”
The band didn’t go into using the mask blindly though. In a statement made to their social media accounts earlier this month, they made it a point to get the permission of Static’s family on the matter first.
“Before we moved forward with any of our creative decisions, we first shared our ideas and designs with Wayne’s family. They have given us their full support every step of the way.”
In response to criticism over the mask Xer0 will be wearing, which many fans have found to be in poor taste due to it’s eerie resemblance to Wayne Static, Jay stated:
“Yes, it’s horrible…which is the only way Wayne would’ve been okay with it. Let’s put it out there again: we do understand people being somewhat resistant to it. But I can assure you, having known Wayne as long as I did, he had a sometimes wonderfully morbid sense of humor, sometimes horrifically morbid. I honestly believe — and what sold me on it, finally — is that the more I see it, the more I believe that Wayne would think this is really funny.”
Xer0 is rumored to be Dope frontman Edsel Dope, though his identity has still not been revealed publicly.
The ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’ 20th Anniversary Tour kicks off with a North American leg on June 18 in Tempe, AZ that runs through July with DevilDriver (who will be co-headlining on the tour), Dope, Wednesday 13 and Raven Black in tow. They then head over to Australia at the end of August with support from Dope and Wednesday 13 before heading to Russia for two dates in September and a handful of UK and European dates with Soil, Wednesday 13 and Dope that will take the band through October. Finally, the tour will make a few final North American stops in December.
Static-X will also be releasing a new album, Project Regeneration, which will feature some of Wayne Static’s final recordings, as well as possible guest appearances from the likes of Disturbed’s David Draiman, Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody, Ministry’s Al Jourgensen, DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara, Dope’s Edsel Dope and Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell. A timeline for the album’s release has not been announced yet.