Watch STATIC-X Perform At Wisconsin Festival Once Named 'Herd Immunity Fest' (Video)
July 19, 2020
STATIC-X frontman Xer0 performed without his now-trademark spiked-up hair during the band's appearance Saturday night (July 18) outside the Q&Z Expo Center in Ringle, Wisconsin. Fan-filmed video footage of the entire concert is available below.
The once-named Herd Immunity Fest faced backlash when it was first announced in late June due to its name as well as the fact that it was being staged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers quickly renamed the event the July Mini Fest, but not before a handful of bands dropped off the bill, including NONPOINT, ROYAL BLISS, KALEIDO and BLACKTOP MOJO.
July Mini Fest marked STATIC-X's appearance since the release of the band's latest album, "Project Regeneration Vol. 1", which came out on July 10. The first of two volumes, it features 12 brand new tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of late STATIC-X frontman Wayne Static, along with the original "Wisconsin Death Trip" lineup of bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay, and guitarist Koichi Fukuda.
Last year, STATIC-X wrapped up a world tour comprised of nearly 100 mostly sold-out dates in celebration of the 20th anniversary of its platinum-selling debut album "Wisconsin Death Trip". The shows also served as a traveling memorial for Wayne, who passed away more than five years ago.
While the identity of Xer0 has not been officially revealed, strong rumors suggest that DOPE frontman Edsel Dope is the one performing with Jay, Fukuda and Campos and appearing in all of STATIC-X's promotional videos.
Speaking to the "Everblack" podcast, Campos said that finding the "right guy" to front STATIC-X on the "Wisconsin Death Trip" anniversary tour was "the big hurdle. But once we figured that out, then we started trying to figure out, 'How do we represent Wayne in a cool way that he would think was cool?'" he explained. "And we started thinking about all those t-shirt designs that we had of skulls with Wayne's hair and beard, and how to bring that to the stage. And I think the mask came out pretty cool, in a cool way to represent Wayne, and I know Wayne would have thought it was cool. And then keeping the singer's identity anonymous also keeps the focus on remembering Wayne and remembering the original lineup of the band and the first record, and it keeps the focus on that instead of having a 'Van Hagar' situation. We didn't wanna present it [as] 'Here's STATIC-X with their new singer.' It's not what this is about and it's not what we're trying to do. So I think the mask, it helps accomplish that."
In a 2019 interview with Kerrang! magazine, Xer0 confirmed that he was the one who came up with the idea of playing masked.
"I've spent the last 20 years building my own identity and touring the world with my own band," he said. "It didn't feel right for my image or identity to be placed in the center of something that I wasn't part of creating… It just felt like a perfect way to keep the focus on the four guys that made this great album and started this really cool band. After a few days of living with it, I decided to spike my hair up, just to see what it would look like with the mask on, and I was like, Oh, FUCK. Let's be honest: Wayne's hair kind of became the visual identity of STATIC-X."
He added: "We didn't set out to create a 'character,' it just evolved naturally. We went to our friend Laney, who also makes the masks for many of the SLIPKNOT guys, as well as Manson's band, and Rob Zombie's band, et cetera. Wayne liked heavy metal, monster movies, and monster trucks. He would be honored by the celebration and he would dig the shit out of this."
Static died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner's report. The 48-year-old Static, 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.