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Wayne Static

An Interview with Vocalist/Guitarist Wayne Static

Vocalist/Guitarist Wayne Static CD: Pighammer
Record Label: Dirthouse Records
Artist's Facebook
by Aaron Manogue
October 2011

There have been very few voices and guitar riffs that have been as noticeable as Wayne Static’s signature metal howl and “evil disco” sound in the past few decades. He has mashed and molded a unique combination of hardcore metal with industrial sounds dashed with a side of disco to form a brand that has sold thousands worldwide. Now that Static-X is on an indefinite hiatus, Wayne is back at it, doing it solo but still bringing the signature sound to rape and pillage your ear drums. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with Wayne Static to talk about his new solo album Pighammer, his favorite music he listens to and his pyshco dog Brutus that would protect his wife and himself, in case of a zombie apocalypse.

Maximum Ink: Talk to me a little bit about where the name Pighammer came from for your latest solo album?
Wayne Static: It’s kind of just a word that popped in my head years ago and I’ve wanted to use for something for a long time. I finally figured out we’d call the solo record Pighammer and me and my wife had a good time thinking of what Pighammer means. At first, we were going to say it was a sexual position, but we thought that might be too much for the kids. So we came up with this whole story about the mad plastic surgeon with this big hammer tool that he uses to change women into pigs. That kind of went along with the whole lyrical theme of the record too, which is transformation.

MI: Tell me about the album itself in your own words.
WS: For me it means the freedom to do whatever the hell I wanted to do without having to compromise with any other band members or listen to what the record label said about this or that. I spent a year living in the studio, writing and recording. This is the first album I’ve ever written and recorded at the same time. In the past I would write everything and then give demos to the band and then we would rehearse it. I’d spend months in the studio before I actually recorded it so I was sick of the songs already. My goal was to come at it at a whole different perspective and make it really fresh and exciting not only for me but for the listener as well. I did this on twenty-four tracks. No pro tools. No editing. All the vocals are first or second take. It really has a lot of excitement to it. I think you can really feel the excitement in all the lyrics and all the songs.

MI: How was it different writing a solo record as compared to writing for Static-X?
WS: I always wrote everything on my own anyway. I made demos then gave that to the banned and they kind of learned their parts and added their own stuff so I’m very accustomed to writing by myself. This time though, I had the freedom to not worry about can my drummer play this song, or can my guitar player play this song. There are some songs on the record that there aren’t any live drums, it’s all programmed stuff so it really gave me the freedom to explore the whole darker side of things and the more electronic side of things which I’ve been wanting to bring back for a long time.

MI: Now that your record is out, is it what you envisioned and what you wanted it to be?
WS: I had a general idea of what I wanted to do when I set out to start making this, but as with any projects, it takes kind of a life of its own in the end. Everything I did was kind of in the same realm because I know what I do well and I know what I don’t do well. I played off of my strengths and I think the record turned out exactly how I wanted it.

MI: My favorite song on the album is “Thunder Invader” by far. To me that’s the best song and I kept listening to it over and over. The maniacal drums and the guitar riffs on it are nuts. Tell me about that song.

WS: That song was a long work I progress. Some songs come to you in a couple days and that song I started in early 2009 and it was one of the last songs I finished. That song really sums up “Evil disco” to a tee, you know? It was a real challenge to have this like, really driving guitar, metallic kind of song, but the drums riffs kind of chugging along. Then there’s dance floor feel and then getting it to morph seamlessly into a cold, brave ending was a lot of work. Actually during the recording process, we were out in Joshua Tree in the High Desert in California and it’s normally very peaceful. It’s also right next door to the 29 Palms Military base and every once in a while they just go off doing these bombing exercises. Shooting all of these flares up into the sky and you can actually see the fake village they built for war games and all that. That song tries to capture that whole vibe.

MI: You were out with Eye Empire and Kyng a few months ago. What was it like to tour with those guys?
WS: Yeah, we actually had a barbeque with all the bands a few days ago. They’re all cool guys and it’s so funny how things go around in circles. Some of the guys in Kyng were in other bands I’ve toured with and you end up touring with the same people over and over. It’s a small World, you know?

MI: This is a question from one of our readers. Is there a band out there that you really admire and listen to?
WS: As far as new bands go, because I listen to my old standbys like Audioslave or Rage Against the Machine and things like that. We listen to some old stuff like Journey or Led Zepellin when we’re chilling out. I’m still a big fan of metal-goth or industrial music. I don’t really follow the new music scene too much. I know there are some good bands out there and I hate to generalize but for me it’s hard to listen to some new music because everything is made in ProTools and it all sounds the same because their voices can be made perfectly in-tune. I’m definitely a fan of older music.

MI: It’s the zombie apocalypse and you only have one weapon to protect yourself and your gorgeous wife. What would it be?
WS: I only get one weapon?! Man, we would be fine if anything ever happened out there because we have several off-road vehicles that are capable of getting over or through any terrain and we have two German shepherds that would kill anything that kills the fence into our compound. So I guess I’d say my dog Brutus because he’s fucking crazy and he’ll kill anybody that comes into our yard!

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