Static-X Bassist Tony Campos on ‘Project Regeneration’ + Honoring Wayne Static


Static-X – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Jeremy Saffer

Tony Campos of Static-X joins Anne Erickson to discuss the industrial metal band’s new album, “Project Regeneration Vol. 1,” which features the vocals of late frontman Wayne Static

Static-X recently released their new studio collection, “Project Regeneration Vol. 1,” featuring never-before-heard vocals of the band’s late frontman, Wayne Static. As the story goes, after finding some demos featuring Static’s voice, the band decided to create a new album of Static-X material using those lost vocals.

Original Static-X bass player Tony Campos spoke with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink about the new album, how the band is carrying on Static’s legacy, the group’s upcoming festival date (yes, festival) and more. Read the interview below, and listen to the full chat via the Audio Ink podcast on Apple Podcasts here and Spotify here.

Anne Erickson: “Project Regeneration Vol. 1” is out now. How does it feel to finally have this body of work out there featuring Wayne Static?

Tony Campos: It feels good. It’s just getting the validation from the fans that we’re on the right track. The fans are overwhelmingly really happy with it. All the comments I’ve seen, even people that were skeptical, are saying they’re pleasantly surprised and happy with the work we’ve done, so that makes us feel good.

You’re the one who originally found the demos of Wayne’s voice, right?

I guess you could say that. The original five demos, I received from a producer friend of ours, if you really want to get back to the source. So, I guess you could say he was the guy who found them, but I’ll take credit for it! (Laughs)

What was that moment like when you found those recordings?

When that happened, it hadn’t been too long since Wayne had passed, and maybe because of that, I didn’t dig into the stuff too much. Maybe I felt it was too soon. I don’t know, but I really didn’t dig into the stuff– it wasn’t until a few years later that I had a lot of down time at home that I revisited the stuff and really dug into it and saw the potential for that stuff. So, at the time, it was like, “This is cool, but I don’t know if I can hear it.” I don’t know what was going through my head at that time. I guess it was too soon.

Is there going to be a “Project Regeneration Vol. 2?”

Yah! We’re working on that. I’d say about half the songs are close to being finished, and there’s still a lot of work to do on the other half, but we’ll be getting that out. When, I don’t know.

Will you have guests singers on “Project Regeneration Vol. 2,” like what you initially envisioned for the first volume?

No– there’s still plenty of tracks that will have Wayne’s vocals on them, so the need for guest vocalists still isn’t really there. I reach out to another friend or two for some spots, but it won’t be like what we originally had in mind.

How do you hope Wayne would feel about everything Static-X has been doing lately in his honor, including the new record?

I think he’d be cool with it. The Wayne that we all knew– he’d be down with everything we’re doing. Wayne had a pretty morbid sense of humor, so I know some people took issue with the whole mask thing, but knowing Wayne the way we do, he would have thought it was cool. (Laughs) So, yeah, I think he’d be really cool with what we’ve done.

Do you feel like you’re kind of carrying the torch for Wayne and Static-X?

Yeah, you could say that. This whole thing was to remember all the good times we had, from the making of the record to being out on tour, and that brought back a lot of cool memories. Yeah, I guess you could say we’re carrying that torch.

You guys went on tour last year and had a secret vocalist, Do you think you’ll ever reveal who that was?

I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now, we’re just concentrating on finishing up this next volume, and then we’ll figure it out from there.

You did a great job keeping that secret.

Thanks! Yeah, we’ve been having fun with it. It’s fun to see people’s theories of who it is.

Things have been crazy this year because of coronavirus. How has the coronavirus impacted you and those around you in the music world?

It’s completely shut down touring, which is how most bands make a living these days. That’s definitely a bummer. I haven’t been home this long in countless years. I’m used to being out on the road at least half the year, so I’ve already been home that long. Who knows when we’ll be able to get back out there? It sucks having to sit home and not know when we can get out there. That’s the frustrating part– we don’t know.

Static-X is playing a festival this weekend in Wisconsin, which was originally called the Herd Immunity Festival, but it changed its name. Is that still a go?

Yeah, that was a dumb name. (Laughs) I was like, seriously? That’s what this thing is called? That’s dumb! But, yeah, so far, it’s still on. So, we’ve been assured by the promoters that they’re taking all the safety precautions necessary. I, personally, am taking all the safely precautions that I feel necessary, and I’d advise anyone going to this thing to take every precaution they can to feel safe. And, if they don’t feel safe attending, by all means, do not go. I won’t hold it against you. Scary times we’re living in right now.

Do you have any idea when traditional touring might be able to resume?

I have no clue. I’m not a medical expert, and it looks like other countries– some countries have gotten a handle on it better than others. So, it really depends on the countries. It could very well turn out that Europe could reopen for touring next year while the U.S. is still locked down for touring, or vice versa. Who knows? It’s all so up in the air right now.

What’s the status of “Project Regeneration Vol. 2?”

We’re going to resume working on it in the next few weeks, and hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll have a better idea of when we can set a release date for it. Right now– I don’t want to say something and then give people expectations and then they say, “They’re delaying this one, too.!”

What’s your favorite memory from Static-X so far?

It’s hard to pick. The band changed my life. It got my foot in the door and into my dream job. Not just for me– for all of us. Doing OzzFest for the first time, Warner Brothers throwing a big party for us for having a gold record, getting to play with Slayer and Pantera– there are so many milestones that we went through. It’s hard to pick just one. The whole thing has been an incredible ride.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Interviews, Music, Rock

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