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Nu-Metal band STATIC-X scored success with the 1998 debut album 'Wisconsin Death Trip' selling over half a million copies and attaining gold sales status. The band had been formulated when Shelby, Michigan native vocalist/guitarist Wayne Static (a.k.a. Wayne Wells) and drummer Ken Jay of Jamaica, Illinois were famously introduced to each other in a Chicago record store by SMASHING PUMPKINS frontman Billy Corgan. The duo relocated to California where, advertising for band members, they hooked up with Osaka born guitarist / programmer Koichi Fukada and Californian bassist Tony Campos. STATIC-X, in particular Wayne Static's image of towering hair-do, rampant sideburns and goatee, soon made an impression. Rapidly building a loyal fan base on the West Coast club circuit the quartet was signed to Warner Brothers Records in February 1998. Promoting the 'Wisconsin Death Trip' album, European dates in December of 1999 saw the band packaged with COAL CHAMBER and TYPE O NEGATIVE.

STATIC-X , with new ex-TEEZE, ROUGHHOUSE, LOVESICK and DOPE guitarist Tripp Eisen (a.k.a. Tod Rex Salvador, 'Rex Eisen' or 'Rick Eisen') in tow, replacing Koichi Fukada who had opted out to prioritise his family, opened for SLIPKNOT's 2001 European tour prior to hooking up with the American 'Extreme Steel' billing headed by PANTERA and SLAYER to promote the 'Machine' album. During September of 2001 bassist Tony Campos injured himself badly in a motorbike accident. To maintain touring momentum Marty O'Brein of KILGORE and METHODS OF MAYHEM deputised. The band announced a run of co-headlining dates with SOULFLY for America during January of 2002, support coming from SOIL and ONESIDEZERO.

Campos involved himself in a BRUJERIA and FEAR FACTORY offshoot ASESINO which sprang up in late 2001 cutting the 'Cyco Maton' album for Roadrunner. His partners for this outing being guitarist Dino Cazares and drummer Raymond Herrara.

The band would announce touring plans for summer of 2002 billed as 'Locobazooka' and comprising a package billing of POWERMAN 5000, SEVENDUST and NONPOINT. The group would also contribute their souped up version of ELVIS PRESLEY's 'Speedway' to the NASCAR 'Crank It Up' album. Other studio activity found the band appearing amongst a genuine all star cast donating their take of 'Gimme, Gimme Shock Treatment' to the 2002 Joey Ramone and ROB ZOMBIE assembled RAMONES tribute album 'We're A Happy Family'. A further cover, a live take of MINISTRY's 'Burning Inside', was contributed to the August 2002 compilation 'Mad Mike Jones Presents: Mototrax 1' issued by Sanctuary Records. STATIC X's June American dates would see Campos' project ASESINO as support.

In mid 2003 former STATIC-X guitarist Koichi Fukuda unveiled his new band project dubbed REVOLVE. Having completed their third album, the Josh Abraham produced 'Shadow Zone' using the GUNS N' ROSES, A PERFECT CIRCLE and THE VANDALS credited Josh Freese on drums, STATIC-X announced their new drummer in late June, former SEETHER man Nick Oshiro. The album sold just under 50,000 copies in its first week of release to enter the Billboard charts at no. 20. Meantime former drummer sticksman Ken Jay teamed up with GODHEAD. An initial burst of touring in North America saw the band as openers to STAIND's July dates.

STATIC-X would lend support to FEAR FACTORY and KORN for a short burst of Australian gigs in February of 2004. Unfortunately a high profile show at the UK METALLICA headlined 'Download' festival in June was curtailed when the band's tour bus broke down, stranding the band in Germany.

The band's 2004 release 'Beneath, Between, Beyond' would comprise rarities, alternate mixes and demos, included amongst which would be a cover of BLACK SABBATH's 'Behind The Wall Of Sleep' and 'Burning Inside' featuring Burton C. Bell of FEAR FACTORY. A US tour commencing in July, dubbed the 'Family Picnic Tour' saw supports going out to LO-PRO, SOIL and MOLOTOV. 'Beneath, Between, Beyond' registered on the US Billboard charts at no.139, selling just over 9,000 copies in its first week of release.

STATIC-X, being rejoined by former member Koichi Fukuda, commenced work on a new album with producer Ulrich Wild in October. In January of 2005 both Wayne Static and Tripp Eisen donated their talents to song 'Forever In Our Hearts', conceived by GODHEAD's Jason Miller as a benefit effort in aid of the Indian Ocean tsunami victims.

STATIC-X was dealt a huge blow on 10th February when Tripp Eisen, under his real name of Tod Rex Salvador, was arrested in California on charges of "crimes against children." Orange County Police apprehended the 39 year old musician as he was found asleep in a car with a young girl. Salvador was charged with committing a lewd act with a child and was released after posting $100,000 bail. The arrest came after the guitarist was allegedly involved in an incident in January when he met a 14 year-old girl from Sayreville, New Jersey through the internet. Reports claimed he journeyed from Pennsylvania and sexually assaulted her in an Old Bridge shopping center. Salvador was charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, luring to entice a minor through the internet and endangering the welfare of a child. Apparently part of his ruse to lure the minor was to state that, under the chat room alias of "Groverygodadat" and the heading "never married male looking for female", he was impersonating Tripp Eisen.

Within days of this revelation the band issued a staement "STATIC-X has parted ways with guitarist Tripp Eisen, effective immediately." Shortly afterward it was revealed that original guitarist Koichi Fukuda had rejoined. Apparently Fukada had been working with the band in the studio since the previous October. The resulting album, 'Start A War', sold over 35,000 copies in its first week of US sales to land at no. 29 on the Billboard charts. Summer 2005 US touring had the band partnered with AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE and BLOODSIMPLE in June. The group would be back on the road in November, backed by ILL NINO and OPIATE FOR THE MASSES.

That same year Campos guested on the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS project album 'Day Of The Dead' assembled by BODY COUNT bassist Vincent Price, and guitarist Andres Jaramillo and drummer Alfonso Pinzon from the Colombian metal act AGONY. Australian gigs would be conducted in late February / early March 2006, once again partnered with ILL NINO.

STATIC-X announced the release of its first full-length live concert DVD, entitled 'Cannibal Killers Live', for 7th October 7 2008 via Reprise Records. The 17 song footage footage was shot during a show in Spokane, Washington on 2nd June 2007. A complete promotional video history was also included in the special package along with an audio CD of the concert. In addition, a limited-edition package included a bonus DVD featuring the band's 1997 concert at Hollywood's Whiskey A Go-Go club.

Best Buy versions of the 2009 album 'Cult Of Static' hosted two exclusive extra tracks, 'W.F.O.' and a cover of MÖTLEY CRÜE's 'Looks That Kill'. A single launched to promote the album, 'Stingray', was inspired by frontman Wayne Static's wife, former adult film star Tera Wray, and the Corvette Stingray she drives. Album track 'Lunatic' featured feature a guitar solo by MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine.

Wayne Static revealed in October 2009 that the band was on hold whilst he pursued solo recordings in league with his wife. Tony Campos renewed activity with both PRONG and ASESINO.

Garry Sharpe-Young

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