By: Brian Maddox
Atlanta, GA (The Hollywood Times) 06/28/2019 – As any number of successful rock groups within the past 50 to 60 years can attest, there’s always the risk of overindulgence associated with what comes with the spoils of attaining rock star status. Literally anything you could ever possibly desire can easily be obtained through the proper channels. More often than not, developing an addiction to certain substances becomes a common inevitability. Far too many influential rock and roll icons have met an early demise due to dependency on either drugs, alcohol or both during the height of their prominence, only to forever be lauded as industry legends in the aftermath.
On November 1st of 2014, another prolific musical influence fell victim to one of the demons most notably associated with the decadence of rock stardom.
Wayne Richard Wells, (better known as Wayne Static) was the founder, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist of the industrial metal band Static-X. Equipped with his distinctive guttural vocal tone, groove driven guitar style, and trademark gravity defying hair, Wayne Static and the essence of Static-X was born. Along with band mates Tony Campos on bass and vocals, Koichi Fukuda on guitar and Ken Jay on drums, Static-X would go on to become a multi platinum selling unit, beginning with their 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. From there, the band solidified their position in the metal community with hits such as Push It, I’m With Stupid, and Bled For Days, the latter of which securing a spot on the soundtrack to the 1998 horror film, Bride of Chucky. The debut effort would go on to propel the band to superstar status by way of extensive touring, including 2 stints on the renowned Ozzfest music festival in 1999 and 2000. With a slight lineup change in 2001, Static-X released their second album Machine, with its most notable single Cold appearing on the soundtrack album to the 2002 film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned, along with Wayne Static providing vocals for the Jonathan Davis (Korn) penned track Not Meant for Me, written exclusively for the film.
Static-X would go on to release four more albums before disbanding in 2013, mainly due to tensions within the band regarding who held the proprietary rights to the usage of the official Static-X name.
Sadly, Wayne Static passed away on November 1st, 2014 as a result of an apparent prescription drug overdose, just three days before his 49th birthday.
As a way of paying tribute to Wayne’s legacy and honoring what he had built with Static-X, the original remaining lineup reunited to announce an upcoming studio album titled Project Regeneration, featuring the last recorded vocals of Wayne Static prior to his death, along with a 20th anniversary tour celebrating their 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip. With support from bands such as Raven Black, Wednesday 13, Dope and DevilDriver, the inclusion of a mysterious masked enigma sporting Wayne’s classic hairstyle known only as “Xer0” will be filling in on vocals; although the rumor mill insists heavily that it could possibly be Dope front man, Edsel Dope.
“Xer0” recently stated on the official Static-X Facebook page:
“This is a very unique situation and I was asked to fill the enormous shoes left behind by our dear friend Wayne Static for this 20th anniversary tour. I absolutely understand the sensitive nature of my role and I have approached this with the utmost respect. I knew Wayne for the better part of 15 years, as we toured together extensively and I’ve considered him to not only be a colleague, but also a friend.”
The tour recently made a stop in Atlanta, Georgia to perform at the famed music club, The Masquerade on June 25th. After powerful sets were delivered by each opening band, the evident anxiety of the sold out crowd was instantly quelled as they collectively witnessed the long awaited return of Static-X, resulting in a display of unbridled satisfaction from fans both old and new that would no doubt make Wayne Static himself significantly proud.