EDSEL DOPE responds to rumors he is STATIC-X's singer XER0
"The idea was to create an entity. So, Edsel Dope is not the singer of STATIC-X."
DOPE leader Edsel Dope, who is widely believed to be Xer0, the masked frontman of STATIC-X, was asked in a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio if he is in fact the person who has spent much of the last three years performing and touring alongside bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda. He responded: “This is a fun question, and I can answer it for you like this. I would say that I’m certainly involved with STATIC-X. I produced the record (2020’s ‘Project Regeneration Vol. 1’) and I’m in the process of producing another one for them right now. I kind of like to consider myself to be the creative director for STATIC-X, because there was a big void left by late STATIC-X frontman Wayne Static, and somebody sort of needed to step in that has that sort of capability. But as far as who’s singing for STATIC-X under the mask, I think that it’s important for me or for us to say that the goal was that for there always to only ever be one living, breathing singer of STATIC-X, and that’s Wayne Static. And as long as we don’t put another face to STATIC-X, then Wayne will always be the face of STATIC-X, and I think that that is ultimately the goal.”
He continued: “The idea was to create an entity, for lack of better words, a masked entity that could allow STATIC-X to live on and to go out and perform while keeping the focus on the three guys that helped start the band with Wayne and somebody there to represent Wayne as opposed to replace Wayne. So, I’m definitely involved with STATIC-X. They’re my friends, and I’m here for them. But the last thing that I’m ever interested in seeing is Edsel Dope being the vocalist of STATIC-X. That’s not something I’d be interested in being. So, Edsel Dope is not the singer of STATIC-X.”
Back in October 2019, a photo was posted online clearly showing that Dope and Xer0 shared the same neck tattoo. However, Edsel later posted a lengthy statement on his band’s Facebook page attempting to quash the rumors, implying Xer0’s distinctive body ink was in fact a Photoshop job. Dope even provided a photograph of himself supposedly observing a STATIC-X performance sidestage to prove he and Xer0 were not the same person.
STATIC-X’s recent tour celebrated the 20th anniversary of the band’s platinum-certified “Wisconsin Death Trip” album and paid homage to Static, who died eight years ago.
Two years ago, Campos discussed STATIC-X’s comeback during an appearance on “The SDR Show”. Speaking about how the idea of Xer0 wearing a mask in the likeness of Static came about, Tony said: “When we were trying to figure out how we were gonna do this live, the first thing that came up was the hologram thing, and that got shot down pretty quick.
“The thing about the band for us was the energy and the vibe that we all got from the interaction the four of us had on stage, and you just don’t get that with a hologram. So that got chucked out the window pretty quickly. So we figured out it had to be somebody. Once we found Xer0 and saw and heard that he could do the job, we were, like, ‘Cool. How do we present this in a cool way that doesn’t make it about…?’ ‘Cause we didn’t wanna come out and, like, ‘Hey, here’s STATIC-X with their new singer.’ That’s not what we were trying to do. It was about remembering Wayne and remembering the good times we had back in the early days and remembering the fun we all had together 20 years ago touring on ‘Wisconsin Death Trip’. And so we really wanted to keep the focus on that and not on the new singer. So the idea of a mask came.”
Campos continued: “Initially, we came up with a helmet that looked like the robot from the ‘Push It’ video and even shot some video footage of Xer0 wearing that, and it looked great. Logistically, it wasn’t gonna work, though, ‘cause you’re blind in the thing. And so, what are you gonna do? Have somebody walk him out to the front of the stage, make sure he doesn’t fall off the stage? So we were, like, ‘Okay, what else can we do?’ And so we thought of all these different merchandise items that we had, with skulls, with Wayne’s hair and beard, and thought, ‘Well, let’s try something like that.’ So we gave the idea to a friend of ours who designs masks for the SLIPKNOT guys, John 5, various other people, and she came back with that Xer0 mask. And then once we put the hair up, we were, like, ‘Oh, yeah. Dude, that’s it.’ And so we went with that.”
Asked if STATIC-X was still keeping Xer0’s identity a secret even though “everyone knows” who he is, Tony said: “Yeah, but I still like to keep that distinction, ‘cause, again, I’m trying to keep the focus [on remembering Wayne].”
According to Campos, Xer0 wasn’t the only singer who was in the mix for the STATIC-X frontman job. “I had a few ideas in my head, but he was the first to come up and actually demonstrate that he could do the job,” Tony explained. “So I was, like, ‘I don’t think I need to look any further.’ [Laughs]”
Campos went on to say that he “knew there would be some negativity” on the Internet once STATIC-X had announced its comeback. “It was definitely a talking point, for sure,” he said. “But I think once people heard our story and heard that Wayne’s family had given us their blessing to do what we were doing, and then once they actually saw it, I think that was the big turning point. Once people came out and experienced the show and saw what we were doing, I think it made most of those people turn around.”
“Project Regeneration Vol. 1” came out in July 2020. The first of two volumes, “Project Regeneration Vol. 1” featured 12 brand new tracks, containing many of the final vocal performances and musical compositions of Static, along with Campos, Jay and Fukuda. Both volumes are being worked on by longtime STATIC-X producer Ulrich Wild.
Static died after mixing Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, according to the coroner’s report. The 48-year-old, whose real name was Wayne Richard Wells, was found dead in his Landers, California home on November 1, 2014.
The group issued five more studio albums before disbanding permanently in June 2013. Static had been pursuing a solo career at the time of his death.