TONY CAMPOS Explains Why STATIC-X Was Never Comfortable With 'Nu Metal' Label

May 18, 2023

In a new interview with Australia's Sense Music Media, STATIC-X bassist Tony Campos was asked if he and his bandmates were ever comfortable with the "nu metal" tag that was attached to them because they emerged during a decade from 1994 to 2004 when mainstream charts, magazines, radio and TV were all taken over by a host of diverse artists performing their own brands of hard rock, hip-hop and heavy metal. "Yeah, we did emerge in that scene," Tony said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). ""But to me, that 'nu metal' label, for better or for worse, for me, it was always associated with that rap-rock kind of thing, with the hip-hop influence. And none of us were big hip-hop fans, and that didn't really make it into the STATIC-X sound. So for us, it was kind of, like, we got lumped into that category but I don't know that we were necessarily in that category. We were trying to rip off MINISTRY and PRONG [laughs]; we just wanted to be more industrial era. The other thing that really influenced us was that whole electronica movement that was happening at that time — CHEMICAL BROTHERS, PRODIGY, those kind of acts were big influences on us too, particularly the 'Spawn' soundtrack that had those collaborations with electronica artists and metal acts and rock acts. That was a big influence on us too."

STATIC-X recently partnered with master costume/prop maker Eddie Yang and his Deity Creative to evolve the look for guitarist/vocalist Xer0. Yang is a movie industry veteran known for his work with "Avatar", "Iron Man", "Man Of Steel", "The Amazing Spider-Man", "Robocop" and "Terminator: Salvation", to name just a few. Eddie got his start working with Academy Award winners Rick Baker and Stan Winston before branching out on his own in 2006 with Deity Creative. The updated Xer0 look — including the new mask and wardrobe — was the result of a collaboration between DOPE frontman and creative director Edsel Dope — who is widely believed to be Xer0 — and Ed McDonough from ECCO Studios and Eddie Yang. The idea for the new mask and overall image update was born out of a desire from STATIC-X to evolve Xer0's look to match the theme of the "Rise Of The Machine" tour. Xer0 unveiled his new look at the opening show of the "Rise Of The Machine" U.S. tour on February 25 at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California.

STATIC-X's eighth studio album, "Project Regeneration: Vol. 2", is scheduled for release on November 3. The LP is a collection of 13 brand-new songs that contain the final vocal performances and musical compositions of founding vocalist Wayne Static, along with the original "Wisconsin Death Trip" lineup featuring Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda and drummer Ken Jay. The new album was produced by Xer0 and mixed/mastered by longtime collaborator Ulrich Wild.

All of the music associated with "Project Regeneration: Vol. 2" is the result of collaborations between the four founding members along with their new vocalist/guitarist/producer Xer0. No additional guests appear on the album and there were no outside contributions to the songwriting, musical compositions, or the performances on "Project Regeneration: Vol. 2". Between the two releases, STATIC-X fans around the globe have been treated to over two dozen brand new songs — most of which feature Static on lead vocals — and all released after his untimely passing.

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.

Photo credit: Jeremy Saffer

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