Perhaps the biggest band no one has ever heard of, Static-X certainly isn’t wasting anytime making a name for themselves. Fortunately for them, the fame and fortune that turned Michael Jackson white and put Gene Simmons and his make-shift Kiss band on stage for private parties at retail stores has missed Wayne Static and his cohorts. Although their last album, Machine, is certified platinum, you can still find the boys in the parking lot signing autographs and taking a breather pre-and post-show. Touring constantly, Static-X visited Clutch Cargo’s for their final show of the year and drummer Ken Jay took a little breather to speak with The Daily.
TMD: Static-X is an excellent live band, but when are you going to haul it into the studio and start recording a new album?
KJ: Actually, we just started writing because we were off a couple months right after the tour with Soulfly. We were busy with other work but fortunately we still had time, so we wrote and got three or four songs down. A couple of ideas for new ones and we probably will start recording next January or February We are so efficient in the studio that we can be done in a month and a half.
TMD: Where would you say you are progressing towards?
KJ: The first album was a band on the right track and a band learning to do something different than what was out there. On that Ozzfest in ’97, there were like 15 bands that sounded the same and they did what they did extremely well, but it had a lot of the same vibe to it. That caused Machine. I think it kinda caused it because it shows a little bit of growth as songwriters, definitely as players. It’s a good sounding album. The one thing I like about ministry is it’s a perfectly natural progression from album to album. I think that we capture that too. For the new one, we’ll have to see. It’s heavier but melodic, so I don’t know.
TMD: Would you consider making a record like cooking or perhaps making a salad? Like a process?
KJ: Probably more like lasagna because it definitely is a layering technique.
TMD: What would you say is the main ingredient?
KJ: Well the drums of course …. Well no, its all really important, obviously now its the vocals by far.
TMD: Do you take advantage of your “famous privileges” and do cool things?
KJ: You know, not really. Its not like we decide to go to Acapulco one day and just go. Wayne is my best friend so even when were not on the road. We just got bikes, so we go out with those. So no, not really. I like to write: Lyrics, poetry, and I have written a few columns for friend’s magazines. I don’t think there is enough wit and sarcasm in writing. You read entertainment magazine for two weeks and you feel dumber for it. What have you learned? Nothing.
TMD: Do you rely on any additional methods, also known as backup tapes, to aid your live performance?
KJ: We have backing tapes, but they have no vocals guitar or drums on them. So many people use it now and I really hate it. We have the weird noises, spoken word and percussive sounds but that’s only so we don’t have to hire a keyboardist because keyboardist are idiots. They are such a different breed. Some of those bands that go out there and cant crank it, you know they shouldn’t be doing this.
TMD: Machine is a bit heavier than Wisconsin Death Trip. It touches more colder industrially driven vibe. Would you say it was a concept album?
KJ: Concept album in the point in that we were all sick of being on the road. Like an organic concept album, yes. Were definitely a “1984,” “Metropolis,” “Bladerunner,” “Terminator” type band. I think that is well reflected in the comic book that is coming out. The book is more like a graphic novel about us, but it is written in the comic book sense. The cd that comes with it probably won’t include anything new, but it will have some live tracks.
TMD: What’s the worst thing about being on the road?
KJ: The facilities. I have had to fix three toilets.