Ex-STATIC-X Guitarist TRIPP EISEN Says 'It's Silly' For EDSEL DOPE To Continue Denying He Is XER0December 21, 2022
Ex-STATIC-X guitarist Tripp Eisen says that "it's silly" for DOPE leader Edsel Dope to pretend that he isn't Xer0, the masked frontman of STATIC-X who has spent much of the last three years performing and touring alongside bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda.
Back in October 2019, a photo was posted online clearly showing that Dope and Xer0 shared the same neck tattoo. However, Edsel later posted a lengthy statement on his band's Facebook page attempting to quash the rumors, implying Xer0's distinctive body ink was in fact a Photoshop job. Dope even provided a photograph of himself supposedly observing a STATIC-X performance sidestage to prove he and Xer0 were not the same person.
Tripp — whose real name is Tod Rex Salvador — previously took credit for getting Edsel involved with STATIC-X's comeback after Eisen and Campos supposedly "reconnected and re-established their friendship" in late 2016.
In a new interview with Germany's Moshpit Passion, Eisen was asked if he regrets publicly revealing Xer0's identity in a 2020 press release. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It's kind of goofy, isn't it? It's kind of silly. It's kind of goofy. You look on the back of the STATIC-X album, it says 'produced by Xer0', 'executive producer: Edsel Dope'. You wanna say, 'Edsel, what was it like working with Xer0 in the studio? Did he take long to do his vocal takes?' 'Oh, yeah.' It's weird.
"I think it was a bad decision to sit there… He had to get Edsel Dope's name on the album. It couldn't just be, 'I'm an alternate person, Xer0.' There had to be the Edsel brand on there too. Yeah, we know what's going on.
"But, yeah, I did put it a press release, so it's official: he's Xer0," Tripp continued. "You wanna pretend, 'Oh, no. He's still denying this.' And everybody knows.
"I understand what he's doing, because it's a weird thing. I know his personality. I know what he's trying to do."
Eisen also criticized STATIC-X's decision to have Xer0 sporting a mask in the likeness of the band's late frontman Wayne Static, saying: "The original idea was not put your hair up and put a mask on and do a Wayne cosplay type of thing. The original idea was the 'STATIC-X man' — a mask with the mouth cut out and an 'X' like the 'X Man' from the comic book. It was supposed to be maybe a futuristic type of thing, not like this zombie mask, 'Wayne came back from the dead.' Everybody knows it's weird. 'Hey, it's metal.' Yeah, no. If someone else did it… They're not doing that on the PANTERA tour, are they? There aren't any Dimebag or Vinnie [Paul] masks going on."
Two years ago Eisen, who served time more than a decade ago for meeting and sexually assaulting two underage females in January and February 2005, said that his "past legal troubles were addressed early on" after reconnected more than six years ago "and Tony Campos had Tripp's back, knowing the details of his case, the exaggerations in the press and judged his friend fairly and without prejudice." Tripp also claimed that "Edsel shared Tony's sentiments about Tripp and knew his good character."
A short time later, Edsel released a statement in which he called Tripp a "two-time convicted sex offender" and "an egotistical, low-talent idiot" who was fired from DOPE 20 years ago and dismissed from STATIC X more than 15 years ago because he was "a 40-year-old creep who was arrested for having sexual relations with multiple 14-year-old fan girls." Edsel went on to say that Tripp has "not progressed in the least bit after spending two separate stints in jail" and claimed that Static "hated" Eisen and "had no interest in ever associating" with Tripp again. Edsel added that Tripp has been "begging for people to pay attention" to him and him new band for three years and "attempting to tie" himself to "virtually everything STATIC-X or DOPE does."
STATIC-X's recent tour celebrated the 20th anniversary of the band's platinum-certified "Wisconsin Death Trip" album and paid homage to Static, who died eight years ago.
Two years ago, Campos discussed STATIC-X's comeback during an appearance on "The SDR Show". Speaking about how the idea of Xer0 wearing a mask in the likeness of Static came about, Tony said: "When we were trying to figure out how we were gonna do this live, the first thing that came up was the hologram thing, and that got shot down pretty quick.
"The thing about the band for us was the energy and the vibe that we all got from the interaction the four of us had on stage, and you just don't get that with a hologram. So that got chucked out the window pretty quickly. So we figured out it had to be somebody. Once we found Xer0 and saw and heard that he could do the job, we were, like, 'Cool. How do we present this in a cool way that doesn't make it about…?' 'Cause we didn't wanna come out and, like, 'Hey, here's STATIC-X with their new singer.' That's not what we were trying to do. It was about remembering Wayne and remembering the good times we had back in the early days and remembering the fun we all had together 20 years ago touring on 'Wisconsin Death Trip'. And so we really wanted to keep the focus on that and not on the new singer. So the idea of a mask came."
Campos continued: "Initially, we came up with a helmet that looked like the robot from the 'Push It' video and even shot some video footage of Xer0 wearing that, and it looked great. Logistically, it wasn't gonna work, though, 'cause you're blind in the thing. And so, what are you gonna do? Have somebody walk him out to the front of the stage, make sure he doesn't fall off the stage? So we were, like, 'Okay, what else can we do?' And so we thought of all these different merchandise items that we had, with skulls, with Wayne's hair and beard, and thought, 'Well, let's try something like that.' So we gave the idea to a friend of ours who designs masks for the SLIPKNOT guys, John 5, various other people, and she came back with that Xer0 mask. And then once we put the hair up, we were, like, 'Oh, yeah. Dude, that's it.' And so we went with that."
Asked if STATIC-X was still keeping Xer0's identity a secret even though "everyone knows" who he is, Tony said: "Yeah, but I still like to keep that distinction, 'cause, again, I'm trying to keep the focus [on remembering Wayne]."
According to Campos, Xer0 wasn't the only singer who was in the mix for the STATIC-X frontman job. "I had a few ideas in my head, but he was the first to come up and actually demonstrate that he could do the job," Tony explained. "So I was, like, 'I don't think I need to look any further.' [Laughs]"
Campos went on to say that he "knew there would be some negativity" on the Internet once STATIC-X had announced its comeback. "It was definitely a talking point, for sure," he said. "But I think once people heard our story and heard that Wayne's family had given us their blessing to do what we were doing, and then once they actually saw it, I think that was the big turning point. Once people came out and experienced the show and saw what we were doing, I think it made most of those people turn around."
In July 2020, STATIC-X released a new album called "Project Regeneration Vol. 1". The first of two volumes, "Project Regeneration Vol. 1" featured 12 brand new tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of Static, along with Campos, Jay and Fukuda. Both volumes are being worked on by longtime STATIC-X producer Ulrich Wild.
Static died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner's report. The 48-year-old, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home on November 1, 2014.
Static founded STATIC-X in 1994 and achieved commercial success with "Wisconsin Death Trip", which included the rock radio hit "Push It".
The group issued five more studio albums before disbanding permanently in June 2013. Static had been pursuing a solo career at the time of his death.
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