Last week, Static-X announced tour dates to mark the 20th anniversary of Wisconsin Death Trip.
The trio of Tony Campos, Koichi Fukuda and Ken Jay reunited in October last year for a new album titled Project Regeneration, which will feature tracks recorded by Wayne Static before his death in 2014.
In the teaser video for the tour, footage showed a mask-wearing mystery vocalist dressed as Static – a move which was criticised by some fans. It’s led the band to respond and explain the reasons behind the decision in a statement.
They say: “This is the Wisconsin Death Trip 20th anniversary tour, therefore, these events are 100% about nostalgia for everyone involved. This was not about setting the tone for the future or about putting a new face to the band or establishing a new identity for Static-X.
“This is about experiencing the vibes of an old school Static-X show live and loud 20 years later, while we honour our dear friend Wayne Static.
“The search for a touring vocalist for Static-X was not an easy one. First, we wanted to keep the continuity that Static-X has always had on stage. It has always been four guys.
“In addition, we wanted to select someone we had familiarity with – someone who knew us and someone who knew Wayne and someone who had a connection to our community. Someone who would take this personally, because this is very personal to all of us.
“Once we found our guy, we began to discuss the stage show and the visual presentation for the tour. In the end, it was actually our touring vocalist, who suggested that he wear a mask on stage.”
The band say that out of respect for Static, the unnamed vocalist didn’t feel it would be right to be “placed in the centre of something that he had nothing to do with creating.”
Static-X add: “This struck the thee of us as an incredibly selfless and humble gesture! The truth is, he could have been very self-serving and looked at this as an opportunity for him to raise his own profile and to put his name and face out there for all of you to see. Instead, he expressed the exact opposite intentions.
“He also explained that the idea of wearing a mask would allow him the freedom to get lost in the vibe of Static-X and to completely disconnect from his own identity and ultimately serve Static-X better.
“Further, he expressed that the mask itself, along with his performance each night could act as a unique part of the memorial to Wayne. A tribute, for lack of better words."
The band report that they've shared their ideas and designs with Static’s family, who have given them their full support.
They add: “His trademark Static Electrified hair proved to be just as unique and identifiable to Static-X as his incredible voice. In time, the Static-X hair would become a signature part of the bands identity as well as its identifiability.
“The mask was already something that was decided on, so the hair just naturally followed. All of this has allowed us to channel the vibe and the spirit of Static-X through another vocalist, without taking any of the focus away from the four people who originally created Static-X.
“The mask, the hair, and the overall presentation we have chosen immediately makes you think of Wayne Static and Static-X. In the end, that is all that this is about. In closing, we know that Wayne would be honoured by all of the love and effort that has gone into this.”
The statement goes on to say: “We know that Wayne will be with us each night, in spirit, as we celebrate Wisconsin Death Trip around the world.”
No release date for Project Regeneration has been announced – but, they will head out on tour with DevilDriver this summer across North America, and then play 10 shows in the UK in September and October.
They’ll be supported by Wednesday 13, Soil and Dope in the UK.