Static-X Explain Their Decision to Have Their Touring Vocalist Wear a Wayne Static Mask

  • Axl Rosenberg

We still don’t know who will be fronting Static-X for the band’s upcoming Wisconsin Death Trip anniversary/reunion tour. The popular rumor right now is that it’s Dope’s Edsel Dope; assuming that’s accurate, it’s a choice that makes a lot of sense, because Edsel sounds kinda like late Static-X frontman Wayne Static, and also because Edsel has experience fronting a nu-metal band named after its singer.

What doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me is the decision to dress whomever that singer is up like Wayne Static. It was weird enough when they did it for this video teasing the new guy, but I assumed at that point they were doing it just until they revealed the fresh frontman’s identity. But apparently, this is how they’re gonna do it on the actual tour: three members of Static-X, and one guy dressed up like a dead person.

I mean, you thought Axl Rose playing with a dude who desperately wants to be Slash was strange? This is downright creepy (the fact that the guy is wearing what looks like a Leatherface-style Wayne Static flesh mask ain’t helping).

I guess I’m not the only one who finds all of this to be totally bizarre, because the band has now addressed in a Facebook statement that will make you long for the brevity of a New Yorker article. Here’s the Cliffs Notes version:

  • The touring vocalist himself suggested he dress up like Wayne, asserting that “he didn’t feel that it would be right for his own image or identity to be placed in the center of something that he had nothing to do with creating,” that it “would allow him the freedom to get lost in the vibe of Static-X and to completely disconnect from his own identity and ultimately serve Static-X better,” and that it would serve “as a unique part of the memorial to Wayne.” The band sees this singer’s willingness to remain anonymous as “an incredibly selfless and humble gesture.” [Side note: Does this mean they’re never going to reveal this person’s identity? I don’t know if that would make this even more or less peculiar.]
  • Wayne’s “trademark Static Electrified hair proved to be just as unique and identifiable to Static-X as his incredible voice” and “would become a signature part of the band’s identity as well as its identifiability.”
  • Since the tour is “100% about nostalgia for everyone involved,” it makes sense to invoke Wayne in any way possible.
  • Wayne’s family signed off on this.

Well, I’m glad for once someone is being honest about a nostalgia tour being a nostalgia tour. Still, this is just so… [shivers]… right?

The complete statement, which includes the most recent tour dates, is below. Discussion for the peanut gallery: where does this rank on the heebeegeebees scale in comparison to the Dio hologram? For some reason, I find this more upsetting, although I admit I can’t yet place on my finger on why that’s the case.

A message directly from the band…

Thank you again for the overwhelming response to our new album and the WDT 20th Anniversary World Tour.
The shows have been selling like crazy!
Chicago and Pittsburg have already sold out…
Las Vegas NV, Los Angeles CA, London England, and Melbourne Australia are right behind them and will sell out soon.

After releasing our latest teaser, we noticed that some of you are curious about how we came to our decision regarding the mask and the visual presentation of our touring vocalist..
In the end, the answer is pretty simple..

As many of you know, Tony came across some unfinished studio sessions, featuring Waynes final works last year. He eventually enlisted the original WDT band, along with our original producer Ulrich Wild to help finish the recordings and complete what will be a brand new Static-X album titled (Project Regeneration)..
The album is turning out to be something very special and we look forward to sharing more with you all very soon.

The response to the album announcement was incredible and the 20th Anniversary Wisconsin Death Trip Tour / Memorial to Wayne Static was announced a few short months later…

Let us begin by restating the obvious.
This is the Wisconsin Death Trip 20th Anniversary Tour, therefore, these events are 100% about nostalgia for everyone involved..
This was not about setting the tone for the future or about putting a new face to the band or establishing a new identity for Static-X..

This is about experiencing the vibes of an old school Static-X show “LIVE & LOUD” 20 years later, while we honor our dear friend Wayne Static.

The search for a touring vocalist for Static-X was not an easy one.
First, we wanted to keep the continuity that Static-X has always had on stage.
It has always been 4 guys.
Drummer, Guitarist, Bassist, and a Singer who also plays guitar.
In addition,
We wanted to select someone that we had familiarity with.
Someone who knew us and someone who knew Wayne and someone who had a connection to our community.
Someone who would take this personally, because this is very personal to all of us.

Once we found our guy, we began to discuss the stage show and the visual presentation for the tour..

In the end, it was actually our touring vocalist, who suggested that he wear a mask on stage..
Out of respect for Wayne and for the band, he didn’t feel that it would be right for his own image or identity to be placed in the center of something that he had nothing to do with creating…

This struck the 3 of us as an incredibly selfless and humble gesture!

The truth is, he could have been very self serving and looked at this as an opportunity for him to raise his own profile and to put his name and face out there for all of you to see.

Instead, he expressed the exact opposite intentions..

He also explained that the idea of wearing a mask would allow him the freedom to get lost in the vibe of Static-X and to completely disconnect from his own identity and ultimately serve Static-X better..

Further, he expressed that the mask itself, along with his performance each night could act as a unique part of the memorial to Wayne..
A tribute, for lack of better words.

Before we moved forward with any of our creative decisions, we first shared our ideas and designs with Waynes family.
They have given us their full support every step of the way.

Let us also acknowledge that Wayne was much more to Static-X than our talented vocalist and guitarist..
His trademark Static Electrified hair proved to be just as unique and identifiable to Static-X as his incredible voice..
In time, the Static-X hair would become a signature part of the bands identity as well as its identifiability.

The mask was already something that was decided on, so the hair just naturally followed….

All of this has allowed us to channel the vibe and the spirit of Static-X through another vocalist, without taking any of the focus away from the 4 people who originally created Static-X and brought you Wisconsin Death Trip 20 years ago..

The motivation is simple and the result is undeniable…..
The mask, the hair, and the overall presentation we have chosen immediatly makes you think of Wayne Static and Static-X.

In the end, that is ALL that this is about.
This is about Static-X
This is about the 20th Anniversary of Wisconsin Death Trip, and the nightly / global memorial to our brother Wayne Static..
Anyone who doesn’t “get it”, is just not looking closely enough.

We OBVIOUSLY wish that Wayne was here doing this with us, unfortunately, that is not an option.
Rather than putting someone else’s face in his place for our 20th Anniversary Tour, we have chosen to memorialize him and to ultimately to immortalize him..
In our hearts, there is no greater display of respect than what we are doing.

We were never interested in performing with a hologram and using pre recorded vocals..
We didn’t feel that Static-X performing with a “special guest” singer that everyone recognized would accomplish the Wisconsin Death Trip vibe or experience.

For us, this is all materializing better than we could have hoped and we have no doubts that we are gong to to bring the fans an amazing Wisconsin Death Trip experience.
The stage production is insane and the band is sounding legit as fuck!

In closing, we know that Wayne would be honored by all of the love and effort that has gone into this.
We know that Wayne will be with us each night, in spirit, as we celebrate WDT around the world.

We are very excited to get out there and celebrate with you all very soon!

Much love!
Ken, Koichi, & Tony.


STATIC-X / DEVIL DRIVER with support from Dope:
June 18 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
June 19 – Albuquerque, NM @ El Rey Theater
June 21 – Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live “LOW TICKET WARNING”
June 22 – Houston, TX @ The Warehouse
June 23 – San Antonio, TX @ The Aztec Theater
June 25 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
June 26 – Greenville, SC @ The Firmament
June 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
June 29 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
June 30 – Scranton, PA @ Levels
July 2 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House “LOW TICKET WARNING”
July 3 – London, ON @ London Music Hall
July 4 – Ottawa, ON @ Brass Monkey
July 5 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s
July 6 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
July 7 – Reading, PA @ Reverb
July 9 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Jergel’s “SOLD OUT”
July 10 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theater “LOW TICKET WARNING”
July 11 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Citadel
July 12 – Ft. Wayne, IN @ Clyde Theatre – new venue
July 13 – Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
July 14 – Lexington, KY @ Manchester Music Hall
July 16 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Intersection
July 18 – Cadott, WI @ Cadott Rockfest
July 19 – Sioux City, IA @ Anthem @ Hard Rock Casino
July 20 – Joliet, IL @ The Forge “SOLD OUT”
July 21 – Belvidere, IL @ Apollo Theater
July 23 – Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater
July 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
July 26 – Los Angeles, CA @ Catch One “LOW TICKET WARNING”
July 27 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues “LOW TICKET WARNING”

STATIC-X with support from Wednesday 13 and Dope
Aug 22 – Brisbane, Australia @ Eaton Hill
Aug 23 – Melbourne, Australia @ Croxton “LOW TICKET WARNING”
Aug 24 – Sydney, Australia @ Metro
Aug 26 – Adelaide, Australia @ The Gov
Aug 27 – Perth, Australia @ Rock Rover

Sept 20 – St Petersburg, Russia @ Cosmonavt Club
Sept 21 – Moscow, Russia @ Giavclub

STATIC-X with Soil, Wednesday 13 and Dope
Sept 24 – Bristol, England @ SWX
Sept 25 – Cardiff, Wales @ Tramshed
Sept 26 – London, England @ Electric Ballroom “LOW TICKET WARNING”
Sept 27 – Nottingham, England @ Rock City
Sept 28 – Leeds, England @ Stylus
Sept 29 – Southampton, England @ Engine Room
Oct 01 – Newcastle, England @ Northumbria Institute
Oct 02 – Glasgow, Scotland @ The Garage
Oct 03 – Manchester, England @ The Ritz
Oct 04 – Birmingham, England @ 02 Institute

STATIC-X with Wednesday 13, Soil and Dope
Oct 05 – Paris, France @ File 7
Oct 06 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix Club
Oct 07 – Hamburg, Germany @ Markthalle
Oct 09 – Cologne, Germany @ Essigfabrik
Oct 10 – Mannheim, Germany @ MS Connex
Oct 11 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Dynamo
Oct 12 – Pinarella di Cervia, Italy @ Rock Planet
Oct 13 – Munich, Germany @ Backstage
Oct 14 – Prague, Czech Republic @ Meet Factory

Dec 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Royal Bar
Dec 11 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Dec 12 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
Dec 13 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
Dec 14 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
Dec 15 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater

More dates to come…

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