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20 Questions with Tripp Eisen, 3/4/03

  

20 QUESTIONS WITH

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Static-X’s Tripp Eisen

 

Shortly after we did our Rewind with Edsel Dope, we got an email from former Dope & Murderdolls guitarist Tripp Eisen that said:

Metal Sludge people,

This is Tripp , formerly of the MurderDopes.

My buddy James Wright asked me to tell you to contact him to put this together whenever you guys are ready. I am available to put an end to everything, once and for all. I don’t want to talk shit about anyone anymore possibly, so don’t ask me any sensitive, provocative questions or anything controversial. I am so over that. I can be semi-forthright and partially neo-ambiguous if you like, but that’s all I can promise. No funny questions. And don’t try to pit me against my enemies. I’m not doing this for any cheap publicity maybe. But I would like to promote my new film company that specializes in bestiality snuff films and necrophiliac kiddie porn cartoons, if I could.

Truth be told: I have a new policy to respond to any interview that Edsel does that mentions my name. Reason being: it upsets him and that’s funny.

He knows to expect this because I just spoke to him on the phone today (transcription of that phone call would’ve been funny!). Then when I got home I got an email notifying me of the Metal Sludge "Rewind" interview with Edsel……………. nice timing. How long has it been up?

send questions forthwith

hail & kill, Tripp

Of course Tripp was goofing on Edsel in the first part of that email so we always enjoy a guy who’s a smart ass. We then sent Tripp our questions and this is what he sent back. It’s a good time for all. Enjoy!

 

1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to promote your shit.

We (Static-X) are working hard on the third cd. Preparing for the next step: getting into the studio & laying down the tracks. All the clich?s fit here: we want to make this one special, experimenting with some new things. We’ve spent the last 5 months honing our songs, writing tons of new material and we are very excited about it. Some announcements will be coming soon.
www.static-x.com

Otherwise I am promoting the ideas of Capitalism, Individualism, Liberty and The Free Market. Basically: the philosophical ideas of Ayn Rand and ARI. www.aynrand.com I feel that certain musicians are poisoning kids’ minds with their political propaganda, and I would like to be an antidote to all of that. I talk to kids out on tour and online and try to express what I believe to be the rational, logical pro-freedom point of view. There is an intellectual crisis in this country and it’s frightening. There are very few artists/musicians expressing things from a right-wing, individualist, capitalist view point. But that is the nature of the entire entertainment business. Musicians are basically a psychologically emotion-driven type of people. Know what I mean? Heh heh.

2. You read Edsel’s Rewind. What are you thoughts on it?

A man losing his grip on reality, so full of himself that he can’t see the foolishness that engulfs the essence of his being. I’ve heard accounts that corroborate my personal experience that he actually does believe most of the bullshit that he spews from his pie hole. As you’ve accurately taken notice throughout that interview, the guy constantly contradicts himself. I like how you guys pointed out that he says he doesn’t want to talk shit, while brilliantly still getting all hit pot-shots in! He’s a word-smith for sure. And there is a lot of bitterness because three of us "Dope guys" all went on to bands that are essentially bigger, more visible or sold more records than Dope (Primer 55, Murderdolls, Static-X). To make his band and himself look good he must devalue what former members have put into the band. I’ve lived through it with him, and I know the hell that his band members go through. It did not end when I parted ways with him. It continues. And that’s very entertaining to know?.. "you work for me, I’m your boss, I did this, it’s my band, me, me me." You play rock & roll to get away from that rant. It sounds like a day job, and I rebel against that shit. It’s a weird sick little world, the Dope camp. It drives a person to?? fire himself from the band. Or mutually quit. What the hell really happened?

3. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

Besides Dope? Probably Ratt. I’d have to do more research in that area.

4. You’re in Static-X now. How long does it take to write an album of songs that all sound exactly the same?

Do you really think "Push It" and "Trance is the Motion" sound the same? That "Get to the Gone" and "Cold" sound the same? I never thought that, even when I was just a fan of Static-X. Go back and listen to the cd’s .I guess you’re just joking though. I’m writing with them now, and my style is fitting in really well. We are taking our time with this cd, trying to make it just right. I try to be very aware of rhythms and chord changes and making sure not to repeat things that have been done. Sometimes it happens by accident. Which is something many songwriters can relate to.

5. Rate the following guitar players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a guitar player who shouldn’t even be allowed on stage and 10 being a virtuoso.

Mick Mars =
7

Dan Donegan = 5

Virus = 7

Koichi = 7

C.C. DeVille = 5

George Lynch = 7

Acey Slade = 3

Eddie Van Halen = 10

Ace Frehley = 9

Jerry Cantrell = 8

I don’t accept your rating system. A virtuoso is not necessarily a 10. Fuck that. I rated on a basis of what I think is cool, with a consideration on technical ability, integrity and heart & soul. Alot of this is also based on my personal experience with Koichi, Virus and Acey. I know their actual ability, and I must say that Virus & Koichi are incredible players approaching virtuoso levels. But the elements they are/were in do not show off their true abilities.

6. Edsel Dope says he named you, dreaded your hair, and bought you your clothes. If it wasn’t for Edsel Dope, where would you be now?

For the record, I bought all my own clothes. Edsel had a vision, but we all threw ideas around regarding clothes. What you’re hearing is revisionist, warped history out of his noxious mouth. We all kicked around ideas for our "stage names". Tripp was on a list that Simon & Edsel came up with. I thought that it fit. My last name was already mine and the only carry-over from pre-Dope era. So it wasn’t like "you are now deemed TRIPP". haha It’s all so trivial.

The idea to dread the entire band’s hair was his. But everything with Dope was derivative of Marilyn Manson, and I was totally into it! I had just auditioned for Manson in ’96 and I was on hold for 3 months in case Zim Zum didn’t work out. So that gave me a boost of confidence that I would land a gig with a signed band eventually. I believed in Dope from Day 1 and gave my all. From the start it was "just use my songs to get things going", but said he was totally open to the whole band writing songs. I thought that was cool. I pulled Preston into the situation, and then me and Preston fought to get Acey in the band after we were signed a year later. Before Edsel met me, he had people in the band that bordered on non-musicians (*coughSimoncoughMoseycough*). So I’d debate whether or not Dope would have gotten anywhere (or as quickly) without me; and facilitating Preston and Acey. I think I brought Edsel up to a higher level on a lot of things, and we brought much invaluable experience to a new situation. Another person that Preston and I fought to get into the band: The Virus. (you’re welcome Edsel). And Racci came right out of my side project: the Rejects (Murderdolls) before he joined Dope. But whatever…. there’s so much behind the scenes shit that it just gets to be like "shut up already". It’s a can of worms, man. The question should be "where would Edsel Dope be without Marilyn Manson?"

7. You said in your email to us that you talked to Edsel on the phone the day his Rewind went up. What exactly did you two talk about since it seems you two aren’t on good terms and what did Edsel say about his Rewind?

I called because I really want him to stop mentioning my name in interviews. I really don’t want to argue and see all this negativity. So I told him that I would respond to anything that I saw in print or internet from now on. Whatever I have time for. The guy’s threatened to kick my ass, but I’m not a fighter and I’m not going to give him the opportunity for any publicity he so sorely needs. It’s a weird thing with him; I think he likes when I call him. He won’t hang up on me, no matter how cocky I get with him. He talked with me until his cell battery died out both times. I said: you shush, I’ll shush. You talk, I respond. But I also called him because it’s fun to hear his propaganda and warped grip on reality every now & then. It makes me feel good about myself. haha.. It’s like going back to you childhood & re-experiencing someone who really aggravated you and it can brighten your day. Very therapeutic. He never told me that he had other things out there like the "Rewind" interview. I discovered it later that same night from a friend emailing it to me. I was tempted to do a line-for-line response to his interview. But that would be just crazy. OK I’ll do it.

8. What are your thoughts on Metallica touring with Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park?

Sounds like a fun time. Mixing up diverse type of fans. It will be interesting to see the reactions, especially the negative ones! Negative reactions can be inspirational. Try playing in front of Slayer’s fans, which we got to do on the Extreme Steel Tour. I’m anxious to see how Metallica has changed. I would have liked to see D.D. Verni (OverKill) get the bass position.

9. Speaking of bands who should call it a day, what is your take on the hair bands touring as Warrant, Ratt and now Whitesnake with only a couple of the original guys in the groups?

I think the benchmark should be 50%. If you have at least half the original or classic lineup then it’s not too bad. But even that is questionable, depending on the band. Two members out of five is pathetic. Change the name of the band! What bothers me is that all these former hair bands dress the same now. You used to be able to sort of tell them apart.

10. Rate the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of shit and 10 being a hottie.

Britney Spears =
6

Pamela Anderson = 9

Lita Ford = 1

Jennifer Lopez = 5

Elvira = 3

Kelly Osbourne = 1

Queen Latifa = 1

Gwen Stefani = 7

Christina Aquilera = 10

Juliya from Much Music’s Uranium show = 6

11. Not to beat a dead horse, but that’s what we do. Give us your best Edsel Dope story showing us what a dope he is.

I guess the most offensive thing is stealing musical ideas. I won’t name songs/bands, but he listens to cd’s and tries to rip off a riff and change it a little bit. Just enough to not get in legal trouble. He actually contacted his lawyer to get advice on this. That is seriously fucked. I think he smokes so much pot that he suffers from memory loss. The 2 songs that I co-wrote on the LIFE cd ("Die MF Die", and "Stop"), the riffs & drum programming that I wrote, he now thinks that he wrote most of that. And Acey told me a story about a song that he wrote some lyrics for on the LIFE cd, and Edsel took the credit. The guy writes most of the music & lyrics for Dope, but when it comes time for a part that someone else wrote….. ease up and give credit where credit it due, man. Ease up! I told him to go easy on the Vermin…. uh I mean the Virus.

Stupid Edsel Quotes:

"I don’t want you to play on this album because then I’d have to pay you for it". Feb. 1999 (but I did play on it anyway)

"You don’t want a war with me. I have a bigger mountain to shout from than you in the press". Nov. 2000

"Racci is happy right where he’s at in Dope". Sept. 2002

"I don’t even want a record deal now." Dec. 2002

12. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

I’d say Edsel, but you guys layed out the fact that he doesn’t really qualify in that category. So maybe Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter; for not getting their shit together and doing a proper farewell thing. It’s all so messed up. Maybe also Axl Rose for fronting a new band and calling it GnR and acting like such a freak. How refreshing would it have been to see him behaving differently this time out? How about John Entwistle and Dee Dee Ramone for dying on us? Drugs always kill the wrong people, dammit.

13. Last Of Tripp Eisen:

Last concert you saw that sucked =
Dope 7/23/02 in NJ (Acey’s final show)

Last CD you purchased = Deadsy: Commencement (2 more copies, as gifts)

Last movie you saw =Daredevil

Last book you read = Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (Ayn Rand)

Last fist fight you got in = Never have! I think I may need a gun.

Last time you went to the zoo = Philadelphia Zoo, like 10 years ago.

Last famous person you shook hands with = Charlie Benante (Anthrax)

Last time you had diarrhea = this morning, unfortunately ?? uhg?.

Last day job you had = my own house painting business (Edsel and Simon worked for me, now that was funny)

Last time you visited a massage parlor = Never

14. You did a whole parody interview on Blabbermouth.net where you responded to Edsel’s interview there as Trick Elzen of Static-F. What was the point of all that?

Mostly to entertain myself. Secondly, I plan to respond to his propaganda when I do see it. Thirdly, to inform anyone who is interested in knowing some facts about the situation. For those not interested, simply don’t read the crap. It’s a very targeted audience of about 162 people. But I do care what Dope fans think and still see them when I’m on tour. We’re all a big family, with a few feuding brothers left over. Deal with it. Let’s have some fun. But don’t ask me to "get over it". I’d be this way and have this opinion if I was in a huge band like Metallica or Korn now or if I was back to working a day job. When someone tries to destroy you, it’s good to remember it, so it doesn’t happen again. The price of freedom and success is eternal vigilance.

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Tripp with Wayne Static



15. Yes or has, has Tripp Eisen ever:

Worn a dress =
yes

Lied about your age = yes

Bought your own clothes = yes

Named yourself = yes

Fucked a fat chick = no

Wanted to cut off Wayne Static’s goatee = yes

Considered auditioning for Limp Bizkit = no

Pissed yourself while on stage = no

Learned a Poison song on guitar = no

Used Edsel Dope’s name in vain = yes

16. How much was your biggest music related check and what did you do with it?

I’m not at a level where it’s something to brag about. I’ve asked for smaller checks over time so far. But I am now officially a full member of Static-X, so the checks should be getting a bit bigger. Capitalism is great. Some extra income I get goes to toys and fun stuff. But mainly bills, music equipment and general living. What makes me sick is people who say "I’m not in it for the money". Well that’s just a self-serving statement. Fuck off with that. We’re all in it for the money, the fame, and the personal gratification of doing a great job and feeling artistically fulfilled. It’s all part of the big picture. But stop bad-mouthing the money part of it! It’s tough to get to the point where the money is good, and if you get there, I Salute You!

 

 

17. In the Murderdolls CD booklet, you thanked "all the hot girls that like to hookup with my girlfriend and I." Sounds like a good time. How often do hot chicks hook up with you and your girlfriend and what type of wacky shit do you have going on?

It’s happens from time to time, but not as often as I’d like! I like to keep my sex life as private as I can. That seems to be the best policy. I’d just like to send a shout out to all bi-sexual, shaved, breast-implanted girls everywhere (even in Iraq, lock down, prepare to be bombed, and hide your thongs). Am I making myself clear? Oh, and for the record; I am not bi-, nor have I ever been.

18. Ever see any bi-sexual activity or rumors from anyone you’ve toured with?

The only thing close is the story Edsel told me about making out with Racci (their drummer) the first time they met. And other vague stories I’ve heard about them on the road.

Funny quote: Edsel: "We can’t do the whole gay innuendos & androgyny thing cuz Marilyn Manson already did it." Simon: "No, we can’t do that cuz we’re not gay."

19. You committed to the Murderdolls and recorded with them, but just before they hit the road you said you couldn’t do it. Don’t you think leaving the band at the last minute was kind of lame?

It was sort of at the last minute, but I told them a few months before that that there was probably going to be some conflicts with Static-X’s schedule. They assured me "we’ll work it out, don’t’ worry Tripp!". Then Static-X (with some pressure from the record co.) decided to get started working on the next album right away. If I was to be part of the writing process I’d have to be in Los Angeles during the Summer months. It was a very emotional time for everyone behind the scenes, but I handled it delicately and with absolute professionalism given the circumstances. Joey will now acquiesce to Slipknot’s schedule when they do their next album. I put the entire Murderdolls band together; finding all the members, and I was prepared to find my own replacement. They didn’t need me to do that, they simply used the guy that I tried to get into the band on three separate occasions (Joey being against it) – Mr.Acey Slade. They seem to be doing fine now. If you need too fill positions in your band, please call Eisen’s headhunter service. Next project: The Murderdopes.

20. You once played bass in an Ace Frehley tribute band. Not a Kiss tribute band, but an Ace Frehley tribute band. Who’s stupid idea was that?

It was not a stupid idea, it was unique. It was a band that Preston Nash (Dope/Primer 55/ The Color Red) was in at the time, and the bass position was open and it sounded like fun. So it wasn’t my idea. There are so many Kiss Tribute bands, so as an Ace tribute band we had the ability to play all kinds of songs in a loose way. It was a take-off on Frehley’s Comet, so it is kind of esoteric. It was a really cool little project at the time. I’ve heard there is a Gene tribute band called Gene’s Addiction.

21. In a lot of your photos, you’re eyes are always looking some other direction. What the fuck are you looking at?

I’m like Luke Skywalker in Empire Strikes Back. When Yoda says to him, "always looking to the stars this one, never his mind on where he was? on what he was doing". I’m reckless. Either that or I’m looking up a girl’s skirt to see if she’s shaved.

22. You wear Manowar shirts all the time. Do they pay you to promote them so much? You don’t really like Manowar do you?

They do not pay me, but the send me free stuff. I’ve been wearing their shirts for years and I would wear them regardless of the free handouts. I would even wear them if they hated my guts. Their music means a lot to me and it’s inspirational. I don’t like all of the lyrics, but some of them are monumental. Beyond belief. Uplifting.

23. Do you really think you’re funny with all the dumb t-shirts you wear? Do you really think you’re making a statement?

Yes. Each shirt has a deep meaning or statement. There is a political or philosophical agenda attached to each one. Plus, I am a collector of t-shirts. Each shirt in my collection is precious and has a history or story behind it.

24. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.

Wednesday 13 =
good-hearted na?ve redneck ghoul

Gene Simmons = my eccentric God that I will worship until death

Kid Rock = not my thing, but totally respect what he does, great talent

Simon Dope = smelly non-musician, but I used to genuinely like this guy and we had alot in common

Marilyn Manson = visionary, revitalized shock & image rock, much respect, yo

Alice Cooper = not a huge fan, but totally respect and admire what he’s done

Joey Jordison = incredible talent, history revisionist in the Edsel Dope vein, would be sexier with breast implants

Wayne Static = a great friend and incredible musical talent

Prince = one of my biggest inspirations, not so much lately with all the Jesus crap

Iann Robinson = funny guy, great interviewer, all-around cool, likes Ted Nugent (which is cool)

Edsel Dope = let’s blame it on the drugs

Thanks to Tripp for putting effort into his answers and dishing the dirt! Seems like a guy with a good sense of humor. Hell, he has to be, he was once in Dope! Also, we’d like to say "hi" to Edsel because we’re sure he’s reading this.

For more info on Tripp and Static-X, you can go to www.Static-X.com

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