I have never, ever, been so conflicted about how I feel about a band.
Last week Static X came out with a new single called All These Years. It's not great, the quality is about as good as 2009's Stingwray Single.
The concept of the video is a young Wayne Static....
Oh it doesn't matter, Wayne Static is dead. He died in 2014. The remaining members of the Wisconsin Death Trip-era Static X took some old, unused vocals and built some new songs around them. Not only has Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda rebuilt old Static vocals (and added some guest vocalists) to record a new album called Project Regeneration, but they are touring in support of the project. The obvious question is how can the deceased Wayne Static sing? Are they going the hologram route? Nope, the remaining members of the band recruited a substitute singer with a leather mask and a Wayne Static wig to sing live.
I'm not kidding. Mystery singer Xer0 wants to continue the Static X legacy. Usually, I am not down with post-death hijinks by band members, but I listened to some of the shows from last year's Wisconsin Death Trip's 20th Anniversary Tour with Xer0 at the helm and they were....really good.
When Wayne Static died, he was estranged from all members of the Wisconsin Death Trip lineup. To a man, each said Static had changed with success, and especially so once he married Porn Star Tera Wray. By the time Wayne Static had released his solo effort Pighammer, it just sounded like watered down Static X. So in 2011, Pighammer was not that great, and if you watched the Assassins of Youth single, you'd know why both Wayne Static and Tera Wray would be dead by 2016.
So deep in my dark, dark heart, I know that Project Regeneration is a cash grab. Fukuda and Jay weren't doing anything else and every time Tony Campos played for Ministry, that money went into Uncle Al's pockets. All living, original members are also on the record stating that Wayne Static's family is okay with them using his old vocals, which translates into the family is also cashing checks from the record company.
If I made a list of the Top 10 Industrial albums of all time, Wisconsin Death Trip would surely be in the conversation. If I had to explain industrial music to a Middle Schooler, I wouldn't start with the inaccessible Genesis P-Orridge and Throbbing Gristle, I would start with the very accessible Wisconsin Death Trip and then work my way backwards.
With all of that being said, if Static X, with Xer0, came back to Cleveland, I would probably buy a ticket and take my own Middle Schooler if he wanted to go.
My ears say that everything will be okay, but what do they know? They're shot to hell anyways. Static X got worse and worse with the loss of each original member. Maybe the Regenerated Static X could become a beloved legacy act, like Rage Against the Machine or System of a Down....
Ugh. I'm getting so old.