Wayne Static, lead singer of the metal rock band Static-X, knows that bands sometimes have to spend money to make money.
Or, at least, they have to play some free shows.
That's why Static along with bandmates Tony Campos (bass), Koichi Fukuda (guitar, keys) and Nick Oshiro (drums) decided to tour with Ozzfest this summer. For the first time in its 12-year history, Ozzfest is now a completely free festival for its attendees.
That means the bands aren't getting paid to play.
"In this business, sometimes you make money and sometimes you don't," Static says. "I look at this tour as an investment. We're having a good time, playing for 20,000 people every day. We'll make up the money in other ways."
The other ways include selling merchandise on the road and booking paid shows during the tour's off-dates like the one Static-X will play Friday at The Black Sheep. That won't bring in the sheer crowd numbers that Ozzfest will, but Static says he's prepared to put on a great show either way.
"We're used to working wherever," he says, "whether there's 500 fans or 20,000."
The band's summer tour consists of almost 40 shows, including the Ozzfest appearances, in a six-week period. Still, Static is confident all the performances will be fresh, crediting his bandmates as the best players Static-X has ever had.
Fukuda, the original guitarist, took a four-year break in 2001 to focus on his family. But after his replacement, Tripp Eisen, was arrested in a 2005 sex scandal involving minors, Fukuda returned. In the meantime, the band ran through drummers like Spinal Tap. Somewhere along the way Josh Freese of A Perfect Circle got involved he played drums on the Static-X album Shadow Zone.
The journey has been so tumultuous that, during Static-X's 13-year life span, the group has never had the same members for two albums in a row. But now, with three-quarters of the original lineup back on board, the band is hoping its fifth album, Cannibal, will start a sea change.
"I really like the way Cannibal turned out," Static says. "It's arguably the heaviest record we've ever made, and I want to pick up where we left off."
So Static has already started planning the next album and, since he knows what he wants to do, there won't be any guesswork. Static, a self-proclaimed control freak, usually starts the process by writing all the songs and allowing other members to add their own flavor later on. He hopes it will be out some time next year.
"Everyone knows the band is my thing," he says. "It was my concept, but I'm not an asshole. Everyone has their input. Everyone's happy."
The group has no plans to slow down any time soon. After its stint with Ozzfest, Static-X will hit the road for a U.S. tour with Shadows Fall and then head to Australia with Megadeth. The members are also producing a live DVD of shows from previous tours and hope to kick off their next album's release tour in Europe sometime next year.
"We're on a roll," Static says. "Every tour is bigger than the last and things are going really well for us.
"We'll just keep pushing full steam ahead."
Static-X with In This Moment and Ankla
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Friday, July 27, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 day-of show; visit ticketweb.com.