The Cult of Static Invades Hollywood

Written by on October 25, 2012 in Live Reviews, October 25, 2012 - Comments Off on The Cult of Static Invades Hollywood

Photos by Manrique photos

I remember I first saw Static-X back in 1998 when they opened for Powerman 5000 and the Avalon was known as The Palace. They had just released their debut album, Wisconsin Death Trip, and I was so excited to be there with my best friend. From the first song they played, I knew I was hooked. Ever since then, I’ve made it a point to see them whenever they had a show in Los Angeles.

The Cult of Static

Though their debut album came out in 1998, they have been around since 1994. Wayne Static and Ken Jay were introduced to each other at a Chicago record store by Smashing Pumpkins vocalist Billy Corgan. After a few failed attempts with other bands Deep Blue Dream and Stygian (demo released under Drill), they moved to Los Angeles to find other band members. There they found Tony Campos and Koichi Fukuda. They have made a few line-up changes since then. Koichi Fukuda was replaced by Tripp Eisen (later fired for legal problems) in 2001, but returned in 2005. Ken Jay was replaced by Nick Oshiro in 2003, Marty O’Brien played live bass in 2001, and Will Hunt played live drums in 2007 and 2009 as did Bevan Davis in 2007. The current line-up consists of Wayne Static on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Ashes on lead guitar, Brent Ashley on bass and backing vocals and Sean Davidson on drums. They form Wayne Static’s solo live band, but are playing as Static-X.

Those who live in and around Los Angles/Hollywood know how hard it is to drive through West Hollywood on a Saturday night. Needless to say, it was a frustrating journey. I have to admit, I’m never happier to give up $10 for parking in my life than when I head out there.  After getting to the venue, settling the entrance and picking up a hoodie, I was ready to get things started.

There were 4 bands opening that night; 9 Electric, F.O.A., Gemini Syndrome and Davey Suicide. I only caught Davey Suicide, but what I heard from them I really liked. They had a record release party at Bar Sinister a while back that I was supposed to go to, but didn’t. They seem to have so many influences in their music. I hear Dope, Mortiis, Psyclon 9 and Marilyn Manson in there. Quite eclectic, but very nicely fused. I’m definitely going to pick up their CD so I can hear more.

It was a good 30 minutes after Davey Suicide that Static-X finally hit the stage. The crowd was so excited, but as soon as they appeared, they got a bit quiet. I know many of them were surprised because Tony, Koichi and Nick were nowhere in sight. Despite the absences, everyone was eager to hear them play. Wayne, in his signature ‘do, greeted the crowd and roared into “Wisconsin Death Trip”. Next up was “Black and White”, “Bled for Days”, “The Only” and “Dirthouse”. After that, Wayne introduced one of his songs off his solo album. The song was “Assassins of Youth” and the album was Pighammer. I was a little hesitant when I first heard about his solo album, but I’m happy to say that it’s a solid listen and worth picking up. “Assassins” is a classic Static-X type song and it was a good choice for them to play. Everyone was moving, happy and genuinely loving it. Some didn’t know the words, but it doesn’t matter. If they liked it, then it was great. “Destroyer” and “Stingwray” came up and I’m glad they didn’t play much from the Cult of Static CD because not all of the songs were solid. “Stingwray” is one of the best songs on that album. “Just In Case”, “Destroy All” and “Cannibal” were next. “Cannibal” has always reminded me more of an EBM song. It’s fast, catchy and fun, but at the same time it’s dark, destructive and intense. If you have never heard of EBM, it stands for Electro Body Music. Examples would include Combichrist and Detroit Diesel. Although “Cannibal” has a harder edge like Die Krupps and The Shizit.      The Cult of Static

The last five songs were off the first two albums. “This Is Not” was followed by their most popular song “Push It”. Of course everyone went nuts over it, but I’m glad they didn’t end their set with it. I don’t want to say it would have been cliché, so I’m going to say it would have been too convenient. “I’m With Stupid” was next and I love this song for so many reasons. First, I can play it for a friend if they’re having relationship problems, second, I can play it for myself if I’m having problems and third, it’s just an awesome song. Finally, they ended the night with “Get to the Gone”. Its ranchero music intro is a real crowd pleaser which kind of amuses me. It was a great song to end the night with and a great way to start the after parties with.

I had a lot of fun, but I was disappointed that it ended so quickly. Wayne stayed around on stage to thank the fans and all, but I missed how interactive Tony was. Both Nick and Koichi had styles of their own and knew how to improvise. It might have not been the same Static-X from days of yore, but it was a great show and I’m really happy I got to hear them live again. There was a point in the show where I realized my age though. Wayne was talking about how long they’ve been around and when he said it was almost 20 years, I think I choked on my tongue. Has it been that long? I guess it has. Does it feel like it’s been that long? Hell no, but it sure is nice knowing that Static-X can make you feel like you have never left that point in your life where you just want to dance along to the Evil Disco!

Thanks goes out to the House of Blues for hosting great artists and the Static-X merch booth for clearing up a few things for me. Thank you so much!       To find out more about Static-X and catch the remaining tour dates, please visit:

www.facebook.com/staticx