There was a statement made by Static-X back in June about my involvement in the new album. They also made an announcement around the same time that the album was being delayed and now it’s been delayed again. These 2 topics are related.
This delay is due in large part, to my involvement with and legal claim to 12 songs that feature Wayne Static’s isolated vocals. I have been very patient, respectful and courteous with the band, out of respect for Wayne‘s memory and the fans’ view of the matter.
I very much want the album to be released and for the fans to enjoy hearing mine and Wayne‘s material, but the band has gotten greedy and they lack respect for the intellectual property of the original songwriters: Wayne and Tripp.
They altered substantial parts of the songs without my consent and beyond what I believe Wayne would have wanted. Wayne stated in a 2013 interview that I was the only other member of Static-X that wrote whole songs with him.
The other guys only contributed a riff here and there, according to Wayne. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation put out by the band and the organization, so bear with me. I don’t want to sound bitter or out of line, but there are too many things going on that feel wrong to me about Static-X 2019.
WAYNE‘S VOCALS ON 12 SONGS
I have waited to make any public statement, giving the band ample time to work something out and compromise with regard to the integrity of the songs that Wayne and I wrote back in the day. Within the 12 songs that have Wayne’s isolated vocals are my lyrics and music.
The band stated to me that they are also altering Wayne’s material and I’ve heard it myself because I was in the band. They believe they can improve Wayne’s guitar parts. Tony has stated to me personally that he’s not that concerned about authenticity. This seems unfair to the fans and lacks integrity. But it also violates mine and Wayne’s songwriter’s rights.
Wayne is not here to offer his opinion, but I am. These songs are precious and sacred to me. And some fans may also care about these details.
The 12 songs with Wayne‘s vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of the original lineup of Static-X. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs. I was the one that made Tony aware of the 3 leftover songs from the ‘Start A War‘ album, and they were finished mastered songs, not unfinished demos.
They made claims that the “newly discovered” Wayne vocal recordings are on “damaged tapes”, that there is “little or no music” on them. I know the real story about these tapes; the timeline, the circumstances and the content. They recognize that all of this material is very special and these are Wayne’s final pieces of art. But they are also my pieces of art from the 5 years that I was in the band.
SONGWRITING ON OTHER SONGS
I also wrote most of the material that was the genesis of this project. I wrote about 15 songs with Tony when this project began; Edsel collaborated on about 6 of them. One new song that I wrote launched this Static-X reunion in October 2018 – “Road To Hell”; it’s the lead song on the teaser video and features the original lineup playing to a song that none of them wrote. This was a song that I was originally doing with my band Face Without Fear. The current version of “Road To Hell” is a collaboration by Xer0 and myself.
Whoever is interested in the new Static-X album should know that my material will be a substantial part of “Project Regeneration.” Most of the songs that contain Wayne’s vocal are either my lyrics or my music underneath, or both. These 12 songs with Wayne‘s vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of Static-X or the original lineup. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs.
I am not here to just attach myself to this project for credibility. I actually started this project! I came to Tony Campos with the proposal of a reunion in September 2016 because I have had this in mind for years. I even was reaching out to Wayne before he passed away.
Tony and the guys turned down Wayne‘s offer to reunite Static-X in 2013. Wayne and Tony had a very public and ugly feud. Tony accepted my offer to reunite in 2016. I brought the singer Xer0 to him, a.k.a. my old buddy Edsel Dope.
The project evolved into the Wisconsin Death Trip anniversary and I agreed to work behind the scenes until a later date (Machine anniversary). I am also the one who made Tony aware that there were 3 unreleased songs with Wayne’s vocals from the Start A War album, of which he had no clue. I had the band’s best interest in mind.
So in October 2018 fans got to hear a teaser of “Something Of My Own” and “Hollow” and also one of my new songs “Road To Hell”.
I was involved in the project up until March 2019. I played 100% of the guitars on all of the remakes of the Wisconsin Death Trip songs, too. They even invited me to come out to California to play on the album as recently as March.
Why would the band work with me for almost 3 years on this? Because they had my back. They believed in me. They felt that my involvement was beneficial and vital to Static-X. They understood that I am a good person and have progressed as a person and made amends for my mistakes in the past.
They knew there would be some negativity, but they were prepared to support and defend me as friends and bandmates. They knew I wouldn’t let the past define who I am today. They believed we’d overcome it and move forward. Unfortunately they now don’t have the courage to state this and to be honest with the fans about how they feel.
It’s really not that hard to just be honest. And now they made the unfortunate decision to try to minimize not only my role in this current version, but also my history with the band. There really ain’t no need for all that.
Many of the people I’ve talked to that worked for and with the band and that were close to Wayne up to the end of his life do not approve of what this version of the band has become. Those involved in profiting from this version think it’s just great.
It is, of course, nice to see the Wisconsin Death Trip album and Wayne’s life being appreciated by the fans. It’s very nice to hear that Wayne’s family is proud to see their son appreciated and memorialized. We all wish Tony, Ken and Koichi the best, but there’s a notion that Wayne would be less than impressed, maybe even appalled at some of the decisions being made.
Of course they are going to put a spin on this and try to deny a lot of what i am saying. But i am being honest out of respect for the fans and Wayne‘s memory. I have photo proof and digital proof from a lot of our communications over the past couple of years, in case anyone doesn’t believe me.
I have made efforts to sort things out and talk to the owner of Static-X, Tony Campos, and we’ve spent hours on the phone and face to face meetings. Tony even said to me earlier this year: “you’re part of the family”. And I was happy to hear that. But it’s been a struggle.
I considered Tony, Ken and even Xer0 as friends. Now the priorities and tactics have shifted and they’re riding on the back of Wayne’s memory and his music, as well as mine. It may not matter to fans, who can just enjoy the music and memories of Wayne and the band. But truth matters, plan and simple. I feel sad that it’s now necessary to explain things.
Wayne once said “Tripp’s the first person I’ve ever met in my life who’s very similar to the way I am.” I knew him better than most people; we were tight and everyone on the inside knows it. My 5 years in the band are not just anecdotal. I was there… and I know everyone involved now.
I wonder what Wayne would think of this incarnation of his band and all that is going on. Proud and honored don’t come to mind. I love the band and care about the legacy and integrity of Static-X. I am excited about my new band Face Without Fear and happy to have my past collaborations with Wayne appreciated now.
Like Tony has said: this is for the fans. And the fans deserve honesty and a true Static-X album, as much as that’s possible without Wayne. I miss the guy and I truly wish he was here.
With respect to the fans and to Wayne’s family,
Tripp Eisen • Guitarist of Face Without Fear