Ex-STATIC-X guitarist Tripp Eisen has accused his former bandmates of "violating the memory" of the group's late frontman, Wayne Static, by altering some of the previously unreleased songs he wrote with Static.
Last year, STATIC-X announced plans to release "Project Regeneration", its first new album in a decade, featuring the last recordings of Wayne, who passed away nearly five years ago. The rest of the band's original lineup — bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda — will also be featured on the album and in the music videos.
Originally scheduled for release in spring of 2019, the new STATIC-X album was first intended to feature several guest vocalists, along with the original "Wisconsin Death Trip" band lineup of Campos, Jay and Fukuda.
During the recording sessions for "Project Regeneration", STATIC-X claimed in a press release that one of its producers uncovered several additional unreleased and unfinished tracks, many of which contained isolated vocal performances by Wayne Static. Because of this supposed find, the new STATIC-X album will now feature lead vocals by Wayne on virtually every song.
Earlier today, Eisen — whose real name is Tod Rex Salvador — released a statement disputing STATIC-X's explanation for where some of the previously unreleased tracks came from and claiming that his legal dispute with the STATIC-X members has led to the "Project Regeneration" album being delayed. He also took credit for initiating the STATIC-X reunion and connecting Campos with DOPE frontman Edsel Dope, who, Eisen says, is singing for STATIC-X under the name Xer0 while wearing a mask in the likeness of Wayne Static.
Eisen's statement reads as follows:
"My former band STATIC-X have delayed the release of their first new album in 10 years due, in large part, to my involvement with and legal claim to 12 songs that feature Wayne Static's isolated vocals. They are all from my era of STATIC-X.
"I have reached out to Tony Campos on many occasions to help the upcoming album 'Project Regeneration' reach the fans but he has been inconsistent and has shown arrogance to any successful resolution of my concern that fans won't get to hear the fantastic work Wayne and I put into our mutual compositions.
"I have been patient and am willing to compromise with the band and work with Tony to make things mutually acceptable.
"The 12 songs with Wayne's vocals have no songwriting from any of the other members of STATIC-X. I am the only person that collaborated with Wayne on these songs.
"Tony told me they were altering the songs Wayne and I wrote together and I've actually heard the full altered songs, because I was in the loop until March of this year. This doesn't amount to minor tweaks like bands do in the studio, which would not compromise the final product and harm a songwriters' claim to their own music: It violates the intellectual property of a 'joint work', or collaboration. It amounts to band members, who had nothing to do with the songwriting, altering its composition without consent. They've changed not only my riffs, but also Wayne's!
"I believe this is unfair to the fans and lacks integrity. But it also violates Wayne's memory.
"My heart is heavy, since I was given hope and was excited when Tony accepted my offer to reunite in 2016. This reunion didn't happen the way it's been reported. I initiated this reunion. I brought the singer Xer0 to him, a.k.a. my old buddy Edsel Dope. I was involved in the writing of every one of the 15 or more songs that began this project, which includes the song 'Road To Hell'. I also played all the guitars on the 'Wisconsin Death Trip' remake songs. I worked with Tony for a year until the project evolved into the 'Wisconsin Death Trip' anniversary tour and the 'Project Regeneration' album. Then I continued to work behind the scenes and on the songwriting. I was the one that made Tony aware of the three leftover songs from the 'Start A War' album, ….and they were finished mastered songs, not unfinished demos.
"There is a lot more to the story about 'newly discovered' Wayne vocals from 'damaged tapes' with 'little or no music' on them.
"It's a lot to take in, right? It's all true and I have it documented.
"In March of this year I was invited to play on the new album, but turned it down due to this controversy. Tony even told me to my face earlier this year: 'you're part of the family' and I was happy to hear that and things were moving in a positive direction. They had my back and believed in me. But now they are attempting to minimize my part and contributions. But worst of all they are altering songs that Wayne and I wrote.
"I told Tony when I was in California earlier this year that I am not interested in money/fame as much as the integrity of this project. I don't care about cashing in on anything, I want it done right. Please make no mistake of my motives here. STATIC-X and the memory of Wayne are sacred to me.
"I am happy to see the 'Wisconsin Death Trip' album and Wayne's life celebrated, and do not want to take anything away from that at all. But I got this project going, and now I'm being diminished and these Wayne/Tripp songs are being bastardized.
"I considered Tony, Ken and Edsel/Xer0 as friends. But now it feels like a bunch of guys riding on the back of Wayne's memory and his music, as well as mine. Plus they are revising history in an attempt to market the band and maintain control of this false narrative. Most of what they state in their press releases are out-and-out lies or distortions. It's really unnecessary.
"Is it that hard to be fair and honest?
"The fact that I have to come out with a statement like this is sad and a result of bad choices by Mr. Campos.
"Wayne once said in an interview: 'Tripp's the first person I've ever met in my life who's very similar to the way I am.' I knew him better than most people; we were tight and everyone on the inside knows it. My five years in the band are not just anecdotal. I was there... and I know everyone involved now. I wonder what Wayne would think of this incarnation of his band and all that is going on. 'Proud and honored' don't come to mind…. Anyone can watch the singing skull in the 'Hollow' video and see how inappropriate and insensitive it is.
"I miss Wayne and I truly wish he was here."
For a more complete/detailed version of Tripp's account, go to this location.
This past June, BLABBERMOUTH.NET published an interview Eisen gave to "Totally Driven Radio" in which he revealed that he was involved in the making of "Project Regeneration". The news of Eisen's association with the LP did not sit well with many of STATIC-X's fans who objected to the fact that a convicted sex offender was collaborating with the group on new music. (More than a decade ago, Eisen served time for meeting and sexually assaulting two underage females in January and February 2005.)
Asked by a fan on Instagram if it's true that "a known sex offender" was working with STATIC-X on the band's new album, the group responded: "Listen! Let me make this very clear. Wayne, Tony, Ken and Koichi are the ORIGINAL line up of the band and we are celebrating our 20th anniversary & memorializing our friend Wayne!!! The 3 of us and Wayne are the TOTAL focus of this album and this tour. That guy was in static x for a couple years prior to HIS OWN personal troubles. His issues have NOTHING TO DO WITH US!!! ... He was a co-writer on songs with Wayne & the band in the past. Some of those old songs ended up being tracks that Tony and the producers recovered some of Wayne's unreleased, isolated vocals on. Those isolated vocals have never been heard and they are very special and some of the final pieces of art that Wayne left behind. Clearly, the guy you mentioned is promoting his new band by mentioning his PAST involvement with Static-X and he is attempting to gain credibility through his PAST association. Tony, Koichi and ken entered the studio together, along with their touring vocalist 'xer0' and they have been working diligently to craft some amazing music underneath Wayne's unreleased vocal tracks. Tony, Koichi, Kenny, and xer0 are the only people participating In the recording of this new album. Aside from Wayne's vocals and a couple guest vocalists, NOBODY ELSE is involved in the recording and production of his album. Tony, Ken, Koichi and touring vocalist 'Xer0' are the only people that have been in the studio recording and working with the bands original producer Ulrich Wild on this incredibly special new album. End of story."
Tripp joined STATIC-X in 1999 and recorded three albums with the platinum-selling band.
Two years ago, Eisen told "Totally Driven Radio" that his arrest and prison sentence was "a difficult time of my life" and insisted that he has "learned from it" and "grown. What happened to me was really bad judgment, terrible mistakes that I made, and I paid a price for 'em," he said.
Wayne Static died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner's report. The 48-year-old Static, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home on November 1, 2014.
Static founded STATIC-X in 1994 and achieved commercial success with "Wisconsin Death Trip", which included the rock radio hit "Push It".
The group issued five more studio albums before disbanding permanently in June 2013. Static had been pursuing a solo career at the time of his death.