Photo by Graham Denzler
I knew the Static-X of the Wisconsin Death Trip era. As a teenager, my friends and I used to ride around in cars, up to no good, blasting the album like we were the coolest kids in the world. It was one of the many soundtracks to my angry, hormonal years.
It saddens me that the music community has lost another member, especially at the age of 48. While it’s not confirmed, from the information that’s out there, it seems as though this is, yet again, another overdose. Drugs are stealing people left and right. I feel like, this year alone, I’ve watched people drop like flies because they like to get fucked up a little too much.
Addiction is a disease that keeps them from being able to ration what is and is not safe. It is a demonic behavioral cancer and it breaks my heart that so many are falling victim to its impairments. I am, quite frankly, tired of waking up to see another person gone and I feel for those grieving.
Wayne Static was a pioneer when it came to industrial metal side of nu-metal and along with his musical talents, teenagers with a flare for the alternative used to muse over his style. “Look at those chains!” “How does he get his hair to stay like that?” Rumors of various hair products, Elmer’s glue, hanging upside down and the works circulated around the classroom and hidden areas of the woods where we used to skip class.
Sometime in the early 2000s, Charlotte was still hosting the infamous Center City Fest. In its prime it brought contemporary giants like Ray Charles, 311, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters and one year, Static-X. I remember, my angsty teenage self, screaming along in the midst of the crowd after I ditched my boyfriend on a mission to the front. It was one of my first big concert experiences. The show was one of those you have no choice but to move with the crowd if you don’t want to get hurt situations and I was thrilled. They put on a killer show and the crowd was out of control. It was every millennial teenagers’ dream and I’ll never forget it.
After their set, I realized one of my friends was nowhere to be found. We didn’t ride together so I figured that she had headed home. I later found out that she had been knocked out by a crowd surfer and was brought backstage, where the EMTs could check her out, only to wake up with Wayne Static standing above her, apologizing for the circumstance and asking her if she had enjoyed the show before her injury. She was beyond ecstatic. As ridiculous as it was, everyone was jealous that she had been the one that got knocked out. In the days of starstruck teenagehood, she had won the experience of a lifetime just by meeting the guy. For me, this confirmed rumors that he was one of the nicest guys in the biz.
Fast forward to a decade later. In nostalgic moments, we would put on old albums and revisit that era. While my tastes have changed, there will always be a piece of me that gets excited when I hear “Love Dump”, “I’m With Stupid” or even “Push-it”. It reminds me of being young and of Angie getting knocked out at Center City Fest and how stupid we were for being jealous over her injuries. However, I will always wonder what it was like to come to consciousness with Wayne Static (and that hair) looking over her.
Rest in peace, Wayne Static. You will never be forgotten, especially by us millennial teenagers. I hope the afterlife brings you peace. Shutter 16 sends our condolences to the fans, friends and family that have the long road of grief ahead.