My dear friend Tom over at FiXT Publicity got me an interview with none other than Wayne Static. This was YUUUGE for me because I’ve been a fan for 15 years now. Wayne and I had a really great chat just before his Texas dates, and we both talked about how awesome it is when he comes to Dallas. See here:
Amps: How has everything been on the tour so far?
Wayne: It’s going great. This is the first full-length tour we’ve done in a while and it feels good to really get out there and get into the flow of things. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get into the flow of things but we’re right there right now, man. We’re locked in like clockwork and the songs are great and the band is the best they’ve ever sounded. The line-up I have right now is killer! You know, playing these old songs off of Wisconsin Death Trip, this line-up is insane, dude. We have Ashes on guitar, Andy Cole on bass, and he’s doing an awesome job on the backup vocals, and I have Bevan Davies on the drums, he’s played with a million different bands, and he’s a great drummer. He actually did the last two STATIC-X tours so he’s in there, man.
Amps: As far as this band goes what’s the dynamic, and will you record with them?
Wayne: Right now we’re just touring. When it comes time to record I don’t know if I’ll have these guys in there or not. It depends on the budget, that type of thing. I’m a big fan of just using a drum machine in the studio, that’s how STATIC-X did our first two records, all drum machine. We recorded live cymbals, though. Because we play with all this sequencer stuff everything has to be lined up perfectly so it doesn’t make sense to bring in a real drummer. You set up the drums, the drummer plays, and then you go in and chop it up, so what’s the point?
Amps: You’ve got a little Texas four-step happening right now, starting here in Dallas. You must love playing here, huh?
Wayne: Yeah, there’s a lot of great places there. Texas is a metal state! It’s its own country (laughs) and they love metal there! It’s a BIG state and there are a lot of great places to play. That’s why we’re there so much. You can tour Texas for a month, man! And the fans are so great!
Amps: Look, I have to ask…as far as a new Wayne Static record, what’s going on? Where are we, and any timetable?
Wayne: Yeah, last year I said I was gonna try and get a record out this year. Well, it ain’t gonna happen. Touring has really picked up. We announced the Wisconsin Death Trip tour and started booking dates for that, and then people started requesting more and more. Right now we’re booked pretty solid through the rest of the year so this year the focus is on touring. After that I’m just gonna say no to all show offers and just focus on getting a record out because it’s long overdue. Generally I try to put out a record every sixteen months to a year, somewhere in that time frame, and Pighammer came out, what? In 2011? So, I’m way overdue.
Amps: You’ll laugh. I used to offer a cash prize at my house parties to ANYONE who could recite “Outside stepping to inside stepping to my side stepping I wade through shit” from “I’m With Stupid” which is my FAVORITE song off of Wisconsin. I would play it three times, and no one ever got it!
Wayne: (starts laughing, REAL hard) you know the funny thing too is I don’t know my own lyrics. You could ask me to recite those lyrics right now and I can’t do it! I only know those words in the situation, they just come out of my mouth. I have a horrible memory and I can’t remember things at all. (Laughs) I don’t know how I even make it through shows! If I stop and think about it I freak out and I freeze up and I can’t remember the rest of the lyrics. If I just do it, shit comes right out of my mouth. It’s bizarre!
Amps: I used to make mixtapes for the car and that song was on about 15 of ’em!
Wayne: Oh man, I love mixtapes. I used to make ’em all the time!
Amps: How is your wife Tera (Wray), good?
Wayne: Oh yeah, she always travels with me. She’s more involved this time, she’s doing my monitors for me. She listens to my mix all the time and she knows what I like to hear. So she’s doing my monitors and bringing me my shots and looking hot as always and we love traveling together. We have our dogs with us and it’s awesome, dude. It’s all good.
Wayne: I’ve done both, and in the end it’s best to leave the writing for home. You never really have the time to delve into things fully on the road. You always get interrupted. You just start getting onto some great idea and then you have to go play a show, or do an interview, or something, you know? And when I’m at home I can just sit there in the studio for 12 hours if I want to and sort of see everything through to its end. And you just can’t do that on tour.
Amps: With all of the outside nonsense and adversity you’ve had to deal with, has this changed you as a writer, performer, and person?
Wayne: Well I’ve learned a lot of lessons, let me tell you that. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not always good to be the nice guy. I’m not a nice guy anymore, I’m all about doing things that work out for myself, you know what I mean? When STATIC-X started out I decided to be a nice guy and we’d split everything four ways even though I wrote and produced everything and did everything myself. So now I’m stuck with the biggest song of my life, “Push It” and I only own 25% of that song myself. And it sucks. It just shows that I have to share royalties with three dickheads who I don’t even talk to anymore, just because I wanted to be a nice guy at the time. I think about how I wrote back then, having no concept of a verse, chorus, or a bridge and I would just go off on these jams. And luckily, on the Wisconsin album we had this producer Ulrich Wild who really reeled me in on that one and just kind of structured the songs for us. Ulrich really helped us.
Amps: Plus, no two of your records sound even remotely the same.
Wayne: You know, I have always tried to make every record its own statement and entity. I hate band that just put out the same record over and over again, down to the sound and production of it. So I approach it that way. How can I make this record sound different and how can I change it up? So I’m not repeating myself at all, you know? Every record gets harder and harder to come up with something fresh.
Amps: How is life in the land of Wayne Static these days? Are you good health wise and life wise?
Wayne: Well, I feel like I’m fully recovered finally. It took forever before I could finally walk. And then I took about a year before I even tried to sing because that’s how I got the hernia in the first place, from singing and pushing so hard. But everything’s good, you know? I have a different outlook on touring. My wife and I travel in our camper with our dogs now and we kind of scaled things down to save money, so we ACTUALLY make money on shows. Buses are overrated anyway. They cost soooo much money!! I’ve got my own shower in here, dude.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: I had the same hernia, also from singing, and it’s a bitch to recover from!)
Amps: Say something to all the fans out there.
Wayne: You know, it’s all about the fans. Seriously, ever since our first record came out. Warner Bros. shelved it, and it barely made it out, but here we are 15 years later and I’m still doin’ it because of the hardcore fans who love the Evil Disco. I can’t thank them enough for supporting me through all the bullshit, good times and bad. Every time we roll through Dallas the fans come out in droves!! I have so much gratitude for everyone who’s supporting me through all these years. Thank you.
Wayne Static is a great guy, a terrific performer, and a consummate professional. The show last week was lights out, and I had a blast!! If his brand of Evil Disco is coming to your town, you had better go!!