It was just a few months ago that I talked to Wayne Static about his debut solo album Pighammer, his first musical release since his influential cyber metal band Static-X went on hiatus in 2009. And what a difference a few months can make. This time around, Wayne is using the Static-X name once again and focusing on the metal he forged with that band on his Noise Revolution Tour, which includes newer industrial metal acts Davey Suicide (read my interview here) and 9 Electric. Apparently the name change has provided the band with a jolt of recognition as the tour (already a few weeks underway) has added a second leg beginning Aug. 1 (with genre pioneer Prong playing several dates) and a third leg beginning Sept. 7 (with the addition of Winds of Plague and The Browning), including a performance alongside pro wrestling, freak shows, carnival rides and more at the Gathering of the Juggalos on Aug. 8. Before he whoops it up with the Juggalos, Static once again talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about using the Static-X name and more.
When I talked to you last December, you were just about to hit the road to promote Pighammer. Now you’re on tour as Static-X, but isn’t it the same band you had for your solo tour?
Yep, I’ve got the same players. I wanted to use Static-X again and everybody else doesn’t really want to do it anymore. I figured I’d just keep the same guys I had and it’s a great band, so here we are.
You played a good bit of Static-X stuff on the last tour, but focused on the Pighammer material. How are the shows and set lists on this tour different from the last tour?
I’m just playing one song from Pighammer to plug the record. Then I’m focusing the set on the old-school Static-X stuff. We’re opening up with the song “Wisconsin Death Trip” and closing with “Get to the Gone” and playing a lot of older stuff.
Now that you’re operating as Static-X again, has the role of any of your band members changed? Will it become a more collaborative thing moving forward or will you still be the main creative force in the band?
It’s always been me form day one. Whether it was Static-X or my solo stuff, I wrote everything and produced everything. To give an analogy, Static-X was always like Ministry, which was always Al Jourgensen and a bunch of other guys, or like Nine Inch Nails, which was always Trent Reznor with a bunch of other guys. As long as my players are great players, everything’s going to be awesome.
Do you think you’ll stick with this lineup or do you foresee any changes as things progress?
Right now everything’s pretty tight, so I’d like to keep the same lineup. It wasn’t my fault the lineup kept changing in Static-X. I worked really hard to keep the same lineup, it’s just not always possible. I like the lineup I have right now, so we’ll keep running with this as long as we can. If it has to change at some point, it will.
You’ve assembled a great mix of bands on this tour with Davey Suicide, 9 Electric, Prong and other bands joining you later in the tour. How has this package tour compared to your other recent tours, where you mostly had local openers in each city?
It’s really cool. I’m friends with the opening bands and they’re both newer bands from L.A. It’s fun to go out and everybody knows each other, so it’s awesome.
Do you have any plans to follow up this tour with any additional touring or recording?
Yeah, this tour ends in September. We’re going to take four days off, then we’re going to start up on the West Coast and do the whole U.S. again with a different package. That’s going to run through the end of October, then we’ll probably do some international stuff and we’ve got another tour planned for early next year in the U.S.. We’ll probably just keep running as long as we can and maybe do another record late next year.
Was part of your motivation for going back to the Static-X name to benefit from the potentially more recognizable name and reputation the band established?
Yeah, it helps having name recognition. When I was touring as Wayne Static, we had a pretty good showing at every venue. But maybe some of the casual fans that don’t know my name didn’t show up, but so far it’s been a great turn out and it’s been awesome.
Do you anticipate that name recognition possibly creating other opportunities aside from getting more fans to the shows, such as soundtrack contributions and other things you were known for in Static-X’s previous incarnation?
Yeah, we’re always working on that stuff. Those things pop up from time to time, but it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with touring.
How does the stage production on this tour compare to what we saw on the Wayne Static tour?
It’s pretty much the same straight-up show. We’ve got a few more lights with us, but other than that it’s just a good time. We play a bunch of old songs and have a good time.
For more information, go to www.static-x.com.