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Tripp Eisen

Ex-Static-X/Dope Guitarist Tripp Eisen Gives First Interview Since Prison Sentence For Sex With A Minor


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Former Static-X/Dope guitarist Tripp Eisen has spoken out for the first time since his release from prison for having sexual relations with a minor. Back in 2005 he was convicted of having oral sex with a fourteen-year-old girl. He was 39 at the time of his arrest. The charge was one of two he faced in early 2005 for incidents with two separate underage girls.

He was said to have posed as his own impersonator online at the time to lure at least one of the girls (more on his original charges can be found here.) Originally he was released in 2007 and later returned to prison for a parole violation in 2008.

Recently Eisen had returned to the stage with his previous Teeze bandmates who are now going by the name of Roughhouse. Speaking with Totally Driven Radio below, Eisen said of his original exit from Static-X due to the charges:

“Well, my exit from the band was tragic, and that caused a lot of rift between me and Wayne. At first, he was supportive of me—when I got arrested, he was supportive at first—and it got to be too much. The pressures all came down, and I don’t blame him for anything. It was a difficult time, a very difficult time, and I feel bad for any injury I caused the band.

Definitely tough. But I respect Wayne a lot and how he dealt with everything. How he dealt with everything, I feel like he did the best he could. It just got ugly, because of what happened. Things can’t help. It was a tough situation. But it was a difficult time in my life, but I’ve learned from it, and I feel I’ve grown.

Horrible judgment. What happened to me was really bad judgment, terrible mistakes that I made, and I paid a price for ’em. So I felt like when I exited the band, they had to go on, I was happy to see it go on and recover from that and do some really good albums after that.”

On the arrests and moving on:

“There were two cases. I had to deal with both things. And I got through it. Yeah, there was two cases. People can… It’s been out there. It’s been so long ago. That’s why it’s kind of hard to talk about it. But I’m here, I’m alive, I’m well, I survived it.

And the fact that… Just dealing with it was difficult. But I’ve grown. It’s been ten years. I’ve written a lot of music in the interim. I’ve grown a lot since then. I reconnected with a lot of former friends, partners in the industry, different people I’ve worked with.

I’ve been rebuilding some of my relationships with people, and it’s been a blessing. I feel grateful for all the people that stuck by me. Sometimes it’s hard to mend relationships, especially with a lot of the press that I got—very hurtful and stuff—but I understand it; I understand where people come from.”

On reconnecting with musicians he was friends with or that he played with prior to this arrest:

“I was just hanging out with Tony [Campos, ex-Static-X bassist] the other night—who’s playing with Cavalera Conspiracy—so I was out hanging out with him the other night in New York City. It was great to see him.

They did a sold-out show at the Gramercy Theatre. So I go out and I hang out, I see people and I’ve been getting a lot of positive reactions. Sometimes it’s awkward, but most of the time it’s really nice to see people, it’s really nice to see people again.”

He went on to say that he hasn’t faced much negativity amongst his former peers and such since his release and further went on to discuss his state of mind during his initial arrest:

“I felt like I lost everything. A lot of people have an earth-shaking or a life-changing event in their life, and if you lose everything, you can survive it, you can bounce back, you can grow. And I’m not gonna even say I lost everything, ’cause there’s people that stuck by me. I had my family, was very supportive, and there’s people that stuck by me. There’s friends that came out of the woodwork—people I was just acquainted with, all of a sudden they’re sending me letters, very supportive. Some people shied away, and then when I got out, I mended those friendships or re-established those friendships.

It’s awkward, but I think that you can bounce back. It’s something that you can be inspirational. And I was inspired by a lot of people that have overcome even greater odds than I have. I’m here, I’m alive, I have music to play. My art is important to me. I’ve written songs. I’ve never given up hope. If I never was successful in music again, I have to be okay with that. But I feel like I’ve got something to say. I’ve got music I’m writing. I’m collaborating with people, writing lyrics, writing music, so…”

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