Wayne Static Reflects On Static-X’s Troubled Past, Says “Machine” Should Have Been His “First Solo Record”


Wayne Static of Static-X fame had a chat with that ran the gamut of his career, providing insight to the various highs and lows he and the band experienced. Along with a revealing look at various periods and incarnations of the band, there’s also some shots thrown at past members of the outfit—not surprising given legal mess involving the Static-X name. Some excerpts from the lengthy chat can be found below.

On writing the follow-up to the platinum selling “Wisconsin Death Trip“:

“I spent that whole two years [touring] writing “Machine” in the back lounge of the bus. ‘Cause my whole mindset was, “Holy shit. We’ve got a platinum record and we’re gonna go home after this and we gotta get in the studio and people are gonna expect another platinum record.” So while everybody else was out partying and having a good time, I was sittin’ in the back of the bus writing “Machine.” Which I wrote 100 percent by myself. That caused a lot of [problems] and that was when everything just went to shit with the band.

“The band got really pissed off because we had split “Wisconsin Death Trip” four ways ’cause we were all broke and we had all worked our asses off and everything. Then the time came to record “Machine” and I’m like, “Fuck you guys. I’m not splittin’ this four ways. You guys fuckin’ partied for two years while I sat and wrote this record by myself. This is gonna be my first solo record.”

“That’s what I told them. I’m like, “Fuck you, guys. This is my first solo record.” Finally we came to an agreement where I got 2/3 of the record and then the rest of the band split the other 1/3 of the record, which was still being very generous. ”

“But that was where all the problems started from that point. I should have broken up the band at that point and not even bothered to continue because it just got worse from there. Trying to keep people together and Kenny quit after that. Koichi quit right after the last show from “…Death Trip.” He quit immediately. It was impossible to try to keep the band together.”

“I did it [kept the band together] for the fans because I knew they were attached to certain players. I just did my best. In retrospect, it was just kind of all a waste of time really. “Machine” should have been my first solo record really.”

When asked if he would have let the other band members contribute to the songwriting:

“Oh yeah, I always did. I always wrote by myself and even “…Death Trip” I wrote by myself. But people contributed and handed me a CD with a guitar riff on it or something and I would take and incorporate it into a song. Or someone would hand me a piece of paper with some lyrics on it and I would try to fit that into a song and shit like that.”

On the first breakup that ensued:

“…It just fell apart. No one had the same goal anymore. Like Koichi got married and had a baby so that’s all he cared about was the baby. He didn’t care about the band anymore or going on tour or making a record. Nick, all he cared about was his rehab shit and turned into a complete dick.

Me and him were like drinking buddies and we were friends on the road and me and him hung out all the time. He turned into this total dick who would lecture me about drug use all the time. And then you got Tony who thinks he’s the coolest guy in the world because he hung out with Al Jourgensen for a year and suddenly wants to be a part of everything when he never was before. Everything was just like a mess, man. It was just a mess.”

On playing with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins in the pre-Static-X outfit Deep Blue Dream:

“…At the time, Deep Blue Dream was much more like what the Pumpkins were like in the early days. Much more melodic and hippied and poppy and nothing at all like Static-X. It was really totally a whole different thing. But the funny this is we used to call Billy ‘Little Wayne.’

“He played the same amp as I did – the Roland JC120 and he had a smaller version of the Roland amp. Mine had two 12-inch speakers and his had two eight-inch speakers. His hair wasn’t quite as long as mine, hah hah hah. He would try to sing backup but his voice was just horrible. We wouldn’t let him sing. We’d be like, “Stop trying to sing. It sounds horrible. It just doesn’t fit.”

“He’s got one of those voices where like when he sings on his own, it’s got a charm to it and it really works with his songs. But it didn’t work with my songs, hah hah hah. Pretty funny that we used to call him little Wayne”

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