Static-X is one of the few American industrial metal bands that has been able to stay with the same label over the past few years. That's because they rock out with every one of their records! That same goes for their latest album, Cannibal. I got a chance to talk with their front man, Wayne Static, here's what he had to say.
JUICY BANDS: What do you pack when you go out on tour?
Wayne: It's not really what I pack, it's making sure I bring the right things.
JUICY BANDS: What kind of things are those?
Wayne: Plenty of hairspray, back up blow dryers, all the right stage wear.
JUICY BANDS: So the hair is natural then?
Wayne: Well, it's really my hair, but it doesn't naturally stand up like that.
JUICY BANDS: Who are some of your inspirations?
Wayne: I'd have to say Ozzy Osborne, Black Sabbath and Led Zeplin to name a few.
JUICY BANDS: What do you guys usually do on the tour bus in your spare time?
Wayne: We watch movies and sleep a lot. I try to sleep like 10 or 12 hours a day on tour. I like to party all night, have a good time. I usually stay up until 5 or 6 in the morning partying and then sleep until 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
JUICY BANDS: Oh man, that's a great life.
Wayne: Yeah, it is.
JUICY BANDS: So what was the inspiration for Cannibal?
Wayne: I'm not sure what inspired me. I know my intentions were to make the most metallic guitar driven record that we've ever made and keep it really simple and stripped down and raw.
JUICY BANDS: Do you feel like you accomplished everything that you wanted to?
Wayne: Yeah, I wouldn't put it out if it wasn't everything that I hoped it would be. I would never put anything out that I had any second thoughts or any doubts about it in any way, shape or form. In fact, we finished the entire record, took a month off and then I listened to it and I decided that I wasn't happy with the mixes and we actually went back to the studio and remixed the entire record. Our record label really appreciates that we go to those extremes and really think about what we're releasing instead of just trying to throw something out there. We always put 100% into our albums, so if we make an album, listen to it...and it turns out we only think it's 80 percent hit then we go back and change some things until we feel our entire album is 100% hit and we gave it our all. I think that this record is going to be around forever, I have no idea when it's going to be ready to be released or even finished for that matter, so you really got to make sure you like it. There's not one moment on the record where I'm like, "Oh, I wished I would have changed that."
JUICY BANDS: Do you get that kind of freedom to take your time, because you guys have been with a major record label for so long?
Wayne: Ultimately, we pay for everything ourselves, so we can spend our money however we want. If we want to spend the money to go remix the record, then it's our prerogative. We're at the point where the label doesn't really care what we do because they know because they know we're going to give them a quality product and they're going to sell a whole bunch of records and make their money back. It's really up to us to do what we want to do.
JUICY BANDS: The entire album is available for streaming. Was that something that you guys wanted?
Wayne: I think it's a good thing. The Internet is here, like it or not, and it's the main tool that the industry uses now for promoting things, so why not take it all the way. I think if the record is good, people get to hear it and they talk about if favorably and it helps. If the record's a dud and you put it up for streaming, it's obviously going to hurt you. I feel strong enough about the record to put it up and have people preview it and hopefully it's going to help things. We're getting a lot of favorable responses so far.
JUICY BANDS: How was it working with [producer] John Travis for the first time?
Wayne: It was basically him and I working together on the entire project. I was the main producer, so I was involved every second of every day and with every note that went down on tape I was there making sure it was exactly what I wanted to hear. Ultimately, I have final say on everything, but it's good to have somebody else there to give a second opinion and keep things in check.
JUICY BANDS: Have you always produced Static-X?
Wayne: I've co-produced every record. I've never been listed as the producer, but I'm the kind of guy that's got to be involved in every aspect of what I do. I just can't imagine handing my songs over to some other guy and hoping they turn out good. I want to have quality control. I always have a vision of what the record should sound like and I want to see it turn out that way. I welcome input from other people and I always consider what everyone else has to say but, ultimately, this band's my baby and I want to keep it on track and focused.
JUICY BANDS: I read in the press release that you used a back to basics approach for this album. What does that mean?
Wayne: It has more to do with the songwriting process. On the last couple albums I really explored some melodic avenues in different ways of writing songs. For this album, I really took it back to how I used to do things in the old days. It starts with a drum beat and I went back to a more rhythmic vocal style to keep things a little bit heavier. I made a more conscious effort to really simplify things and strip it down and then from there we pushed in a more metallic direction.
JUICY BANDS: What made you want to do that?
Wayne: It felt like it was the right time to come full circle and start a new chapter in this. I feel like our first two albums were chapter one or our last two albums were chapter two and this is the beginning of chapter three
JUICY BANDS: What will the second part of chapter three be like?
Wayne: I feel like I'm still on a roll, like this whole album really came to me fairly easily and I really knew what I wanted to do, and it seems very focused and I feel like this hasn't played out yet. I'm going to continue in this vein and maybe try to take it into some new places but I'm definitely digging the heavy, raw simplified thing right now. Obviously, it's too early to really make any predictions about what the next record will sound like but that's what I'm feeling right now.
JUICY BANDS: How was it getting [Koichi] Fukuda back?
Wayne: That's the ultimate score for the band. We really missed Koichi when he left the band so we were pretty happy when he said he would rejoin.
JUICY BANDS: Did he settle right back in?
Wayne: Absolutely, better than before. I think things are better because the last year he was in the band, we were all pretty burnt out and him in particular. He's a very private, shy guy and he got pretty burnt out with touring constantly and all the press and all the fans. Now that he was home for a while and had a break and our tour schedule is not as intensive as it was the first two years, he was comfortable around all of us because he knew us so well from prior and he's definitely happy.
JUICY BANDS: Do you write all the songs on your own?
Wayne: I write by myself. I am open to suggestions and Tony [Campos] helped me out with some guitar riffs on some of the songs but generally, I've always written by myself in a room with a drum machine and a guitar. It's the only way I can write songs, man. You put me in a room with other people and nothing gets done.
JUICY BANDS: Do you have solo stuff you want to do?
Wayne: I've thought about it, and I'm sure I will do a solo album with a different band in the near future. But Static-X is really on a roll right now. Everyone's getting along great and everyone's positive and everyone's excited. The tours have had better attendance so I can't see doing something on the side right now and losing all that momentum. As much fun as it might be to explore some other avenues, it would just be self indulgent at this point.
JUICY BANDS: Do you feel that the kind of music that you guys do is on the upswing?
Wayne: Metal is definitely cool and chic right now, so that probably helps a little bit. Metal is obviously not as big as it was in the '80s and early '90s, but it definitely doesn't hurt anything that metal is cooler right now. Hopefully, somebody is going to bring it to the masses again, like Metallica and Pantera did.
JUICY BANDS: Static-X has a song ["No Submission"] on the soundtrack for Saw III. Are you a fan of those movies?
Wayne: Not so much. I like them, but they are not my favorite kind of movies to watch. For me, it's more about getting the early word out about the new album. We were still recording but we finished that song early, just for the soundtrack. It's important to me to be on a soundtrack in good company with a lot of other great bands so people can see who we really are and how we get publicized with other great bands.For More on Static-X be sure to check out:
Static-X Official Myspace: