Static-X’s Tony Campos Explains The Band’s Decision To Reunite After Wayne Static’s Death
Above: Static-X from the Wisconsin Death Trip album sleeve, circa 1999.
Yesterday, nu-metal heavyweights Static-X announced their full worldwide tour and revealed the touring vocalist who would replace deceased frontman Wayne Static. The announcement was met with plenty of support from some fans, but also received considerable criticism and resistance from others, who felt that the decision to tour without Wayne, and especially to do so with a singer (rumored to be Dope’s Edsel Dope) wearing what looks like a dead skin mask of Wayne, was in poor taste.
Now, bassist Tony Campos has released a lengthy statement via the band’s Facebook, addressing his complicated relationship with Wayne and why the band has chosen to continue touring in his absence. Here’s what it says:
“A message directly from Tony:
Thank you so much for all of the positive vibes and excitement around what we’re doing with Project Regeneration. I wanted to take a few minutes to personally address some of the questions and misinformation surrounding the dynamics of my relationship with Wayne, particularly towards the end.
It is important for people to remember that I worked, side by side with Wayne, for more than 15 years. He and I shared some of the most amazing experiences of our lives together! We worked together, played together, and helped each other achieve our childhood dreams. Through it all, we developed a friendship that went beyond the band. Together, along with Ken and Koichi, we brought Static-X from the streets of LA, all the way to the main stages of Ozzfest. We made 6 albums together, and shared more on a personal level than I can even put into words.
Several people came and went through the ranks of Static-X throughout the years. Managers, agents, band members, etc. Through everything, I remained a steady partner to Wayne in Static-X. I love the band, and I love the music that we all made together.
Being in a band comes along with many challenges. Success, pressure, expectations, fame, money, personal influences, and egos can all be very divisive factors for people that are working and living in such close quarters for extended periods of time. When you add drugs and alcohol into the mix, it can be very easy to lose yourself, and lose sight of what’s really important.
As time went on, Wayne began to isolate himself from the band. Drugs and alcohol truly began to take over. His personal life became more of the focal point of Static-X, and was on display during band interviews as well as on stage. I found myself in many uncomfortable positions, and began to feel the need to stand up for myself and protect the integrity of the band that we worked so hard to build.
Unfortunately, Wayne and I eventually reached a point where it seemed impossible to overcome our differences. Wayne expressed his intent to go solo, so we agreed to take some time away from one another and to give Static-X a break. Neither Wayne or I quit the band. Our partnership remained intact, while our personal differences kept us from working together.
After some time, Wayne expressed the desire to tour his solo band under the name of Static-X. I knew that it remained impossible for me to insert myself back into that toxic environment, so I reluctantly agreed to give Wayne my blessing to tour Static-X, without my involvement, for a limited time. We both came to a business agreement and we went about our separate lives.
During that tour, some legal troubles involving drugs took place, and ultimately led to cutting the tour short. While Wayne did also have a lingering health issue, it was this incident that ultimately ended the Wayne “solo band” touring as Static-X experiment.
Wayne returned to his solo project and I continued touring with my other projects. We both had hurt feelings. Wayne was angry that I didn’t want to continue on with the way things were and I was angry over how helpless I was to stop any of it from happening to begin with. To make matters worse, we both began vocalizing our unhappiness and our frustrations with one another publicly. I sincerely regret us doing that.
In the end, you can never be prepared to lose someone that you have cared about, so unexpectedly. In my heart, I hoped that Wayne would eventually rise above his demons and that we would reconcile. I was not prepared for Wayne’s passing. None of us were. It was devastating for me. I never got to reconcile with my friend. I never got to apologize, or to forgive to my friend while he was still alive. I never got to say goodbye.
Unless you have unexpectedly lost someone, you may not truly be able to understand what I am expressing. It changes everything. It makes you realize how short and fragile life is, and how lucky we all are to be alive. It makes you replay all of the situations in your head and wish that you could have done things differently. All of that, while having to accept the fact that your friend is gone, and that you will never get to express any of this to them.
The bottom line is:
I miss Wayne. Despite our differences and disagreements, he was my friend for over a decade. He was my brother and my partner. Many of the people that were closest to Wayne in the early years were driven out of his life towards the end. In our own ways, we all did our best to reach him, but we were all powerless to save him.
I wish that Wayne was here, celebrating 20 years of Wisconsin Death Trip with us. I truly believe in my heart, that if Wayne were sober and healthy, and had distanced himself from the negative influences in his life, he’d be doing this with us. I know that Kenny and Koichi feel the same way that I do.
Making this record with Ken, Koichi, and our friends, and bringing this to all of the fans, is the best way that I can think of to express my love, my respect, and my admiration to my old friend. Having personally reached out to Wayne’s family and gaining their blessing, I feel like this is the right way to celebrate and remember who Wayne truly was, and all the good times we had together. This is the send off Wayne deserves.
In closing, I just want to say, I am not interested in rehashing the things that divided us. I am only interested in celebrating the things that brought us all together. I hope this has been a helpful insight. I look forward to bringing everyone together as we celebrate Wayne’s life, and the music we all made together in Static-X.
I thank you all for the love and support!
While Tony’s statement is very honest and heartfelt, it does not address the biggest issue fans seemed to have with the tour announcement: the mask. Why not simply have another vocalist sub in for Wayne, rather than dressing him in a Wayne Static costume?
Fans of the band should catch Static-X at one of the following dates below:
June 2019 (with DevilDriver and Dope)
18 Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater
19 Albuquerque, NM – El Rey Theater
21 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
22 Houston, TX – The Warehouse
23 San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theater
25 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
26 Greenville, SC – The Firmament
28 Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
29 Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
30 Scranton, PA – Levels
02 Toronto, ON – Opera House
03 London, ON – London Music Hall
04 Ottawa, ON – Brass Monkey
05 Hampton Beach, NH – Wally’s
06 Worcester, MA – The Palladium
07 Reading, PA – Reverb
09 Pittsburgh, PA – Jergel’s
10 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theater
11 Indianapolis, IN – The Citadel
12 Ft. Wayne, IN – Piere’s
13 Detroit, MI – Harpo’s
14 Lexington, KY – Manchester Music Hall
16 Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
18 Cadott, WI – Cadott Rockfest
19 Sioux City, IA – Anthem – Hard Rock Casino
20 Joliet, IL – The Forge
21 Belvidere, IL – Apollo Theater
23 Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
25 Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
26 Los Angeles, CA – Catch One
27 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
August 2019 (with Wednesday 13 and Dope)
22 Brisbane, Australia – Eaton Hill
23 Melbourne, Australia – Croxton
24 Sydney, Australia – Metro
26 Adelaide, Australia – The Gov
27 Perth, Australia – Rock Rover
September 2019 (with just Static-X)
20 St. Petersburg, Russia – Cosmonavt Club
21 Moscow, Russia – Giavclub
(with Soil, Wednesday 13, and Dope)
24 Bristol, England – SWX
25 Cardiff, Wales – Tramshed
26 London, England – Electric Ballroom
27 Nottingham, England – Rock City
28 Leeds, England – Stylus
29 Southampton, England – Engine Room
01 Newcastle, England – Northumbria Institute
02 Glasgow, Scotland – The Garage
03 Manchester, England – The Ritz
04 Birmingham, England – 02 Institute
05 Paris, France – File 7
06 Antwerp, Belgium – Trix Club
07 Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle
09 Cologne, Germany – Essigfabrik
10 Mannheim, Germany – MS Connex
11 Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo
12 Pinarella di Cervia, Italy – Rock Planet
13 Munich, Germany – Backstage
December 2019 (with just Static-X)
10 Salt Lake City, UT – The Royal Bar
11 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
12 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
13 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
14 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
15 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater
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