Ghost Cult caught up with Ken Jay of Static-X to discuss their new album, Project Regeneration Vol. 1 (review here). Ken chatted all about the new album, the process of putting together the tracks with Koichi Fukuda and Tony Campos, hearing Wayne Static’s voice in a new song for the first time in a long while, incredible singing on these new tracks, working with Xero on new material, reuniting with producer Ulrich Wild, the early Goth origins of the band, the Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary tour, their upcoming concert in the time of coronavirus and much more. Order Project Regeneration Vol. 1 here and listen to our chat. Continue reading
“The road to hell is paved with blood.”
Like many fans, Wayne Static’s tragic passing in 2014 hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw the band rise from the underground to spread their “Evil Disco” sound around the globe, touring with their heroes and influences, and even surpassing a few of the,. Wayne had much more music to give the world but little did we know. As it turns out, a lot more than we expected. Upon repeat listens to the new Static-X album listening to Project Regeneration Vol.1 (Ostego Entertainment Group), the band sounds fresh and raging as ever, and Wayne’s voice is not sad, but a triumphant middle finger from the great ether. Continue reading
While sugary-sweet pop vocals coupled with head-crushing heavy metal doesn’t seem like a recipe for success, Poppy has been changing the game. We were there when she took the stage at Brooklyn Steel last month and saw firsthand what everyone has been buzzing about. Continue reading
Static-X has shared a brand new single, “Hollow”, out now on all streaming DSPs. The song is from the highly anticipated new album, Project Regeneration, featuring the last recordings of the band’s late frontman Wayne Static, which is due on May 29. The groups founding line-up of bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda will also be featured on the album and in the music videos. The track is great and it’s amazing to hear Wayne’s trademark vocals and writing style on the song. Jam it out right now! Continue reading
Static-X was one of the best bands to come out of the mid-late 1990s. Sure, they sprung to life during the Nu-Metal craze where every band that wasn’t a traditional heavy metal or death metal was labeled “Nu”. However, Static-X had the DNA of great Industrial Metal bands, pure and simple. When Wayne Static died in 2014, it seemed like the band as an active entity would pass out of existence, although we’d always have the songs. Great songs stand the test of time, and that’s not just lip service, it’s an undeniable truth. So when the notion of the remaining living founding members of the band coming together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wisconsin Death Trip (Warner Bros), it seemed like the right time. The creation of a new album of tracks featuring Wayne supported by the fans is just a bonus. This entire tour and album, both the idea of it and the execution of it witnessed on this night is a celebration and done with love and good intentions. Leave your cynicism at the door and prepare to throw down! Continue reading
As we previously broke the news, the remaining members of Static-X have reunited to celebrate twnty years of the bands debut, Wisconsin Death Trip. They will pay tribute to late frontman Wayne Static, and release Project Regeneration. Along with the help of long-time producer Ulrich Wild, the band is in the process of completing their seventh studio album, due out this spring which will feature between 12 and 15 brand new Static-X tracks. Bassist Tony Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and drummer Ken Jay reunited for this project, including a remake of their Industrial Metal classic ‘Push It’. The band has also just revealed their tour dates, co-headlining with Devildriver. Dope will open on all dates. Watch the tour teaser below. Continue reading
Static-X was one of the brightest bands in metal at the turn of the century. Now to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album Wisconsin Death Trip and pay tribute to late frontman Wayne Static, the original members have come together release Project Regeneration. Along with the help of long-time producer Ulrich Wild, the band is in the process of completing their seventh studio album, which will feature between 12 and 15 brand new Static-X tracks. Bassist Tony Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and drummer Ken Jay have joined forces and will tour to support the album, with other musicians TBA. Headline dates will serve as memorial events to honor late frontman Wayne Static, who passed away on November 1, 2014. The guest vocalist curation process is being led by none other than SiriusXM programming pioneer Jose Mangin, who is working alongside the band as one of the executive producers for Project Regeneration. More information on the world tour and other dates will be coming soon. Watch a teaser for the album below. Continue reading
For the duo known as One Eyed Doll, they learned how to build up their band from the ground up on their own. Since starting the band in 2006, they have released 11 records total, including five of their first six full length recordings were released on their own (their latest Witches was released on Standby Records) under One Eyed Doll.
Vocalist and guitarist Kimberly Freeman and drummer Jason Sewell do all of the band business themselves. They shared some of the ins and outs of what they are working on, aside from constantly creating music and not necessarily intended for a record.
Touring is one of their lifelines of keeping One Eyed Doll going, and have shared stages with Orgy, OTEP, Wayne Static and Mushroomhead.
“Thanks to all of these bands for bringing us out and helping us build what we have now. We will always be grateful for all of that,” says Freeman.
“We go and we know there’s always a lot of One Eyed Doll shirts in the audience. People always line up at the merch table for autographs. You never really know if they’re really going to come just for us,” said Sewell.
“Do they really like us or are they coming for the other bands?,” wonders Freeman, with a smile.
“It’s really nice to know we can go out and headline and pack the house,” added Sewell.
Of the tours they ventured onto, Freeman talked about a recent tour with Orgy they took part on. “We shared a lot of fans. I really liked the Orgy tour. There were a lot of girls and a lot of…I don’t know. I really liked that scene. I really liked their fans. The whole band was sweet to us.”
“He has been so encouraging to us and he’s just an amazing person and an amazing performer.”
One of Freeman’s favorite pastimes is drawing, which ironically is also tied into the band’s business. Whether it involves designing merch or otherwise, she enjoys what she does and sees it as a part of them.
“I wouldn’t call it art work. I doodle. Everything is involved with the band. It’s merch. I make and design our merch so that has to do with music. If you’re asking totally removed from the band what are my hobbies then I couldn’t tell you really. I don’t collect wine or anything. I write songs. I love writing songs. I just play guitar, piano or banjo.”
“It takes up 120 percent of our time. One Eyed Doll is a business. We pretty much handle all of the nuts and bolts of the business. We have a really cool team of people. We have a booking agent who helps us book shows. We have various members of the team, but for the most part we handle the day to day, ins and outs of making the merch. We collaborate with different artists and then Kimberly will design the merch based on their artwork. Kimberly also handles the web design stuff. I do all of the recording. We both handle a lot of promotions. We’re always working to keep ourselves funded so that we can continue making music and touring full time,” added Sewell.
Through the band, they have ended up working with a number of producers and musicians who had been influential in shaping their band and their career. One person is producer Sylvia Massey, who they worked with on some recordings that had yet to be released. But ironically, she is making a book and they shared the news about being part of it.
“Sylvia Massey is making a book. We are going to be in that book. We just found out. Sylvia Massey, legendary producer who made the first couple of Tool albums, System of a Down, and worked with Johnny Cash, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and One Eyed Doll of course. She’s making a book on recording outside of the box – being creative with the recording process. She’s been talking to us about it. It’s really cool!,” said Sewell.
“She’s one of the most creative producers of our time, if not the. She’s just gets it done. She knows what she wants to hear and she makes it happen. It can come out of some really weird places. We so enjoyed working with her. If you get a chance to work with Sylvia Massey, do it,” added Freeman.
Another person they befriended is Martin Atkins, the one time drummer for Public Image Limited, Killing Joke, Pigface and Ministry, and the one time founder of Invisible Records. Now he teaches music business via SAE School and included One Eyed Doll as part of his lectures and his book Welcome To The Music Business – You’re Fucked.
Sewell plays down how well the band is truly doing despite how the lecture makes them look. “I don’t know about making money but we can eat! We don’t have a day job.”
“We do this full time. He is such an awesome, encouraging supporter. He is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met – so much respect. He’s such a great drummer,” said Freeman.
Sewell shared Atkins’ contribution to one of their songs. “He did a drum solo on one of our songs on Into Outer Space called ‘Live Or Die.’ “
“It’s a great song. He just helped tell the story with his amazing crazy beat that he did. The whole bridge is this drum solo and Jason’s playing this weird bass over it. He is awesome. We love him,” added Freeman.
Lastly, both of them gave a lengthy set of advice for any musicians who are indie artists and how to work their way up the musical ladder of life. Freeman shared her thoughts on the matter.
“Don’t sign a contract you don’t like. Make it your terms and don’t worry about that. Get out there and play shows. Play shows and get one fan at a time on your email list. Get out there and play, tour outside of your home town, [and] build your following. The other stuff and all of that record label bs, it’s probably not going to help you out that much. Just keep playing shows, do your thing and run it like a business, take it seriously and make sure everybody is putting all of their energy into that.”
“[With] record contracts, when it comes time for that stuff, you just take it one at a time and check them out. Don’t just sign that first thing that comes by you. You say no if it’s not what you want. Half of the time they’re not going to live up to those contracts anyways, just so you know. Don’t rely on that. That’s not the goal. Your goal is to build your following to be strong and to have your back whether you’re independent or you sign, you have something to bring. That will support you. No record contract is going to support you. Your fans will support you. So that’s what you need to build.”
“The philosophy I think you can live by as a musician is when you need the help, it will be there for you. If you’re still able to handle stuff on your own, then do it. If you get to the point like, at this point we needed some help on some things…so if you need the help since you don’t have enough time in the day to handle all of the business that you’re getting – to handle all of the fans that want merch, handle all of the shows that want you to perform at…,” said Sewell.
“There might be a point where you need to work with an agency or a distribution deal or a manager or a record label,” said Freeman.
“You don’t want to jump into it,” said Sewell.
One area they mentioned was the use of a publicist and when a good time to employ one will come in handy. Once again, Freeman shared her thoughts.
“A publicist is a big one that we grabbed onto that early on before we were on with anybody. We need publicity because we can’t schedule everything that’s coming in and we’ve got the blogosphere but we don’t know how to talk to bigger magazines and they don’t want to speak to us. We were at a point where we needed to hire a publicist.”
“Just to give you a ball park thing that worked for us. We had gotten to the point where we’ve toured enough and we’re selling enough merch off of our website. We were getting our iTunes stuff was getting to about $1000 a month. That’s how much we could afford to pay for a publicist at that point. A publicist might cost as much as $3000 a month. That’s all we could afford at the time was around $900 and we asked someone if they would give us a deal and they said yes. That was one of the best things this band has ever done, even though it was hard times for us to be able to have to take all of the money we were generating at the time and shuffle it around.”
“We had to eat rice and then pay our publicist. That’s what we did, but that brought us to the next level. The publicist can really help you out if you find the right one,” said Sewell.
“They got the attention of all of these other business types who wanted to work with us after that because they were able to see what we were doing. Before it was like they would have never been able to see it at all,” said Freeman.
“I would recommend before a label or a booking agent or any of that, it might be a good idea to invest in a publicist. Give it a month or two and if it’s not working out, then try someone else. That’s the cool thing about a publicist – you’re not in it for a long contract. You can hire them just for one month and see what they could do. Most of them will let you do that, especially if it’s around an album release – you’re putting an album out, there’s a story….you want to have something to talk about – a tour, an album…or else there’s no reason to hire a publicist. But if you have something cool coming up, save your pennies, put it into a publicist and see if you could make some national news happen,” concluded Sewell.
An official statement on the passing of Static X frontman Wayne Static yesterday (November 2, 2014) was issued via his publicist:
Today is a sad day in the music industry – Front-man and founding member WAYNE STATIC of STATIC-X passed away quietly in his sleep at his home last night.
The couple was getting ready to leave for a Fall/Winter tour this morning. They were to have left the night before on Halloween, but decided they would head out early in the morning November 1st.
The couple, known for partying heavy, had left hard drugs in 2009 and had not touched them since. Static’s first solo album – Pighammer – was a tribute to his new non-drug life and hoped it would help others to get clean from hard chemical drugs.
More official information about his passing will be released in the following days. This is not a drug related incident or an O. D. Please be courteous to his family and wife and leave positive messages~
Sad news has come down that Wayne Richard Wells also know as Wayne Static has passed away at age 48. No further information about his passing is available at this time.
Wayne shot to fame as the front man of the titular band Static-X putting a Nu-Metal spin on classic Industrial Metal with a self-described nickname of “Evil Disco”. Wisconsin Death Trip (Warner Brothers) is considered a popular modern classic from that era of music still to this day.
Static-X disbanded after over a ten-year career in 2009, and although he has tried to re-start a few times recently, he has come to terms with his career as a solo-artist. Wayne Static was about to embark on a co-headline tour with Powerman 5000 in the USA followed by a similar tour of Europe next year with Drowning Pool.