As our mind evolves and our musical influences expand, there’s always an artist or 2 along the way that transcends the path you’ve chosen. Like many others that were in junior high and trying to find their own identity during the nu-metal era, I credit bands like Static-X, Linkin Park, Korn, System of a Down, Slipknot and Mudvayne for directing me toward the obscure lifestyle of heavier, aggressive music. If it weren’t for the trend toward the metal community, I wouldn’t have met some of the awesome people that I still have the privilege to call my good friends.
The first time I saw Static-X was with SOiL at one St. Louis’ most storied (and soon-after defunct) music venues called Mississippi Nights located on Laclede’s Landing. It was one of the only shows I had the privilege to attend at the venue, and I had a front-row spot on the barricade for the madness along with some good friends.The tour was in support of Shadow Zone, but they played a good variety of material off of Wisconsin Death Trip and Machine as well as the new album.
When Static-X came back through St. Louis in August of 2005 along with American Head Charge and Asesino, it was an even more memorable show. This time they played to a massive, intense audience at Pop’s. During Asesino’s set, someone got seriously injured in the pit and instead of stopping the show the band continued on as security staff and emergency personnel assessed the situation. More importantly, it was one of the first times I hung out with a girl named Samantha that I still call one of my best friends.
The last time I saw Static-X was at Ozzfest 2007, marking the end of an era for the traveling metal circus that entertained the masses with both new and legendary metal bands alike for over a decade. It was the first time Static-X had been on the Fest since the 1999 and ’00 versions of the tour. They were slotted halfway through the main stage and set a frantic pace that led to a punishing set from Lamb of God before the Madman himself closed out the show with a nostalgic solo performance for the ages.
The metal elitists on Facebook and the web forums will try to prove their dominance over the internet by discrediting Wayne Static and his music’s influences on the current generation of metal. That’s fine, they have the right to do so. But every time I see someone post a distasteful comment such as “good riddance” or something along those lines, I’d like to know what bands got them into metal. For me, well, you already know the answer. The music and the memories he made over the past 15 years will forever live on in those that share this same sentiment.
After all is said and done, Static-X dug themselves a special place in my heart and in my ears. I still listen to their older material occasionally – especially this past week or so. Every time I do, I reminisce of the good times I had with good friends while watching them perform on stage. The unique industrial grooviness of Wisconsin Death Trip and Machine makes them two of my favorite albums of all time. They are albums I can listen to for the first time in years and still sing every word to. If it weren’t for them and the other aforementioned bands, who knows what I’d be listening to these days!
Rest In Peace Wayne… The Trance is the Motion! \nn/