At the 2004 Winter NAMM show, Epi representative Will Jones got the chance to sit down with Wayne Static of Static-X. At the show to help introduce his new Epiphone Wayne Static Flying V model, he shared some of his influences, early band experiences and thoughts on the\ new guitar that bears his name

EPI: Wayne, how did you get started on guitar?

WAYNE: I grew up in a musical family and I just gravitated to the guitar. I discovered KISS at an early age and that made me wanna play guitar and do what I do. They played Gibson's, so I had to play a Gibson. I couldn't afford a Gibson so I got my parents to pony up for an Epiphone junior-size acoustic.

EPI: Tell us about your first band experience.

WAYNE: I was in my first band in 7th grade; I got together with a couple of neighborhood kids and played KISS songs. There was no other band other than KISS up until I was about 15 years old! We played 'Hotter than Hell' at a school talent show, my first gig. The principal heard us practicing and said 'you can't say hell'…so we substituted a cymbal crash whenever we got to the part…"hot, hot, hotter than CRASH! We were so nervous we messed up several times.

EPI: Aside from KISS, who are some of your musical influences or guitar heroes?

WAYNE: Alex Lifeson - Rush, Tommy Victor - Prong, and James Hetfield.

EPI: What kind of things would you like to do musically that you haven't done yet?

WAYNE: At this point, I've explored all the music genres…acoustic, electric, industrial, thrash metal, that kind of shit….I just want to focus on songwriting and specific technicalities of songwriting.

EPI: So you mentioned different kinds of music…how about country?

WAYNE: I don't feel it. I don't think I could write a country song. I think I could become a rapper…I could groove on that.

EPI: What do you try to accomplish when you write?

WAYNE: It's a feeling that you get. If I get goose bumps when I'm writing and playing then that's it. It's not something you can easily describe…it's about the feeling, the chord changes, vocal melodies.

EPI: Let's talk about your new guitar. How did your new Wayne Static Flying V come about?

WAYNE: Well, Gibson came out with the Gothic flying V back in '98 or so and when I saw it for the first time I said that's the guitar I gotta play…so I talked to Gibson Artist Relations and asked to borrow it for a while…they never asked for it back! When I got it I took off the pick guard and one of the knobs...I wanted to minimize, simplify… make it clean and sleek. On the new Epiphone V, I even took out the neck pickup, toggle switch…so I just have the bridge pickup and control knob…that's all I need…for what I do.

EPI: So what do you think of your new Wayne Static Flying V?

WAYNE: It turned out great…exactly what I wanted it to be. It's a very reliable touring guitar…stays in tune…neck stays straight…good solid guitar, night after night. It's not thousands of dollars…it's a quality, affordable guitar…great to tour with.

EPI: What advice would you give aspiring players?

WAYNE: Have fun! That's what playing guitar is all about. Don't take it too seriously. Don't worry about being the fastest guitar player in the world, just have fun.

EPI: Any other advice on gear?

WAYNE: I'm all about cheap gear. Get the cheapest head you can buy…minimalize…less shit to go wrong…I go guitar, noise gate, amp…all I use. The less crap in the line, the more pure the sound coming out of the speaker. Having a simpler setup forces you to rely on your playing than on your effects unit.

EPI: Tell us about your new record.

WAYNE: It's called Shadowzone…it came out in October, our third record...and it's good…now go buy it… ha ha!