Former STATIC-X guitarist Tripp Eisen has confirmed that he was involved in the making of the band's upcoming album. Titled "Project Regeneration", the disc will feature the last recordings of the group's late frontman Wayne Static, who passed away more than four 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.
During an appearance on the "Totally Driven Radio" podcast to promote his new band FACE WITHOUT FEAR, Eisen — whose real name is Tod Rex Salvador — was asked if he had any advance knowledge of STATIC-X's reformation and plans to release new music.
"Oh, yeah," he said (hear audio below). "I was tight with the guys for many years, so I knew every step of the way as it was going on. I'm privy to what's going on, and I think it's really cool. Obviously, we've all heard a lot of the music on their teaser, videos and stuff and what they sampled out for people to hear. The cool thing about it is I love it — I love the music; it sounds great, 'cause you hear Wayne's voice and stuff. But something that's kind of cool is there's a lot of my material in this project — some of the old songs I wrote with Wayne, going back to that, and even a new song. So, [it's] pretty cool."
According to Eisen, he was "working together" with the surviving members of STATIC-X's original lineup "for a couple of years" on the music that will appear on "Project Regeneration". "I was in the mix working on the stuff, so it definitely has my input in it," he said. "It goes back, so it's very emotional and it's very personal, because it's stuff that me and Wayne wrote together. Like the first three songs that you hear that were exposed to the world — 'Road To Hell', 'Something Of My Own' and 'Hollow' — those are all three songs I co-wrote with Wayne. Actually, 'Road To Hell' is a brand new song, so I was involved enough to work on some new music too with these guys. I'm proud to hear it, and it's exciting that this stuff is coming out."
Eisen also talked about STATIC-X's upcoming North American tour, which will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band's platinum-certified "Wisconsin Death Trip" album.
"Obviously, 'Wisconsin Death Trip' is near and dear to our hearts," he said. "That was such a monumental album. When I went out on tour with those guys in '99, that was the album. I saw it go from doing pretty good to breaking and going platinum. I was in the band at the time, so I saw the whole thing break, and we were right there when they got gold and they got platinum, and it was amazing. So a lot of this stuff is really personal, and it's cool to see it out there, and it's cool that these songs that were never released are now [seeing] the light of day and we get to hear Wayne's precious voice on it. So it's pretty cool."
Regarding STATIC-X's decision to enlist a vocalist who will wear a mask in Wayne's likeness during the band's upcoming reunion tour, Tripp said: "It's definitely a situation where Wayne's not here, so there has to be a decision to do something, and that's what they decided to do. It's gonna be out there. I mean, it's exciting. That's what they said it's about — the idea of recapturing 'Wisconsin Death Trip'. That album puts you in another world. Every STATIC-X album was unique in itself. 'Wisconsin Death Trip' was its own thing. 'Machine' was a different thing — it wasn't trying to recapture ['Wisconsin Death Trip']. Then 'Shadow Zone' was a different thing. 'Start A War'… So, each thing took another step. 'Wisconsin Death Trip' was its own thing, and that's what this anniversary and celebration is about — 20 years. So it's cool. 'Cause that music is just so magical, that album — the whole thing; front to back."
In addition to Eisen, FACE WITHOUT FEAR features Ken "Mantis" Hoyt (CRUSHPILE) on vocals, TJ Cooke (METHODICAL) on drums, and Dante on guitar.
FACE WITHOUT FEAR will make its live debut on August 25 at QXT's in Newark, New Jersey. An EP is tentatively due this summer.
Eisen has kept a relatively low profile for more than a decade since serving time for meeting and sexually assaulting two underage females in January and February 2005.
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.