Having taken the time to digest the announcement that the remaining members of the original line-up of Static-X (Bassist Tony Campos, Drummer Ken Jay & Guitarist Koichi Fukuda) are reforming the band to record a new album “Project Regeneration” and tour the World for the 20th Anniversary of “Wisconsin Death Trip”, it’s time we talked about what this actually is.
Having done some time in Fear Factory and Soulfly since his stint in Static-X, Bassist Tony Campos has become the face of this new project. Prior to his passing in November 2014, Wayne Static had toured with the band that had played his “Pighammer” solo record tour (Sean Davidson on drums, Ashes on guitar and Brent Ashley on bass) due to disagreements with Campos over use of the name, something which Static himself widely publicised. Reading between the lines of many interviews, Campos seemed to take offence at Static’s comments about them having a “business relationship”. Both Campos & Fukuda had earlier exited the band after their run with “Cult of Static” over disagreements around Wayne Static’s wife Tera Wray Static joining them on tour.
The suicide of Tera Wray Static is January 2016, or dying of a broken heart as some fans would say, has meant that there is nothing in the way of “Project Regeneration”. Nothing to stop the plunder of the archives of Wayne Static to bring up to scratch with long time producer Ulrich Wild. The statement says there will be “unreleased” recordings and drops in a number of audio snippets of tracks (“Road To Hell”, “Something of My Own”, “Hollow”). So while the band have said this is a “celebration of the life of Wayne Static and of Wisconsin Death Trip”, it’s easy to see how this could be considered a money grabbing move.
The next part is also interesting. Sirius FM’s Jose Mangin has been reaching out to a number special guests, including David Draiman from Disturbed, Ivan Moody from Five Finger Death Punch, Al Jourgensen from Ministry, Dez Farfara of Coal Chamber & Devildriver fame, Edsel Dope of Dope, and Burton C. Bell from Fear Factory. So these guys aren’t on the record as yet, they’re people the band want to work with. Bell and Jourgensen seem highly likely, Tony Campos has played bass for Ministry and Fear Factory on various tours in the past and Static-X had also toured with both bands.
Another point of note is that the autographed CD and poster offerings are said to be signed by the current members and “special guest”. Now if it turned out that this was Edsel Dope, then this would be a good fit – he’s got a background in Industrial Metal, he’s toured with Static-X previously and he, like Wayne Static is also a vocalist and guitarist in the live arena. So he would be an easy win to play the entire “Wisconsin Death Trip” 20th Anniversary World Tour in it’s entirety, perhaps even with Dope themselves on the bill.
For us, the question is really what happens after this? If the band call it a day after 18 months of touring and re-appear sporadically for the odd set of shows then that could work. It’s something that Snot did after the death of Lynn Strait and this feels almost exactly like that in the release of an album in tribute of already worked on material with famous faces. If they were to land up doing a second record with a replacement vocalist, then that would be the death of it, however a DVD of a live show from the tour would be a thing of beauty.