Brutal Planet has the honor of chatting with Tripp Eisen who as of many of you know has his roots in Murderdolls, Dope, Static X and now Face Without Fear. Tripp it is an honor to have you here thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for Brutal Planet Magazine.
Brutal Planet Magazine: The first question is obviously tell us about Face Without Fear. Where did this come from and what made you decide to go this route? There are some great musicians in the band; can you fill us in on them too?
Tripp: This is a band that I conceived of and finally put together about 3 years ago. I searched for the right personnel and auditioned many players until I found this current lineup. The music will speak for itself, but the concepts around the lyrics are thoughtful and precise. There are some basic life experiences but also anthems based on liberty and individualism. As the songs are released you’ll be able to see what we’re going for. The band itself is comprised of Kenny Mantis on vocals, T.J. Cooke on drums, who has been with me the longest, and Dante on guitar, who is a multi-instrumentalist. Most of the songs have been put together by Kenny and myself, and we work so well together. But everyone in the band has input and will be writing in the future. I’ve been working on songs and compiling things for many years and a few of the songs are from my days with Static-X! The band has a great chemistry and have so much in common. We actually enjoy each other’s company and love to bust on each other, it’s lots of fun.
Brutal Planet Magazine: had the honor to premiere the lyric video for the first single “Deliverance.” The song has a distinct sound that is very much in line with what we could expect from you. What is the story behind the song? Is there plans for a music video to accompany that single? Along that line is there more and when can we expect a full album from Face Without Fear?
Tripp: We thank you for premiering “Deliverance” for us! That was really cool! This song was originally a demo I had from the Shadow Zone sessions, and Kenny (Mantis) and I completed it. I really loved this song, and I even offered it up for this current Static-X project, but Tony (Campos) passed on it. The lyrics are a collaboration from me and Kenny. It just rose to the top of our songs and we all agreed that this should be the first song out there! We areplanning a music video for it. We let people see us perform a bit of it for the teaser video, but we have some cool ideas for the full-length vid. We have a few more songs in the bull pen that will be right behind “Deliverance”, but we’re focusing on the live show right now and our debut in August.
Brutal Planet Magazine: I saw you have a show scheduled for August 25thin Newark, NJ. Can we call that the official launch of Face Without Fear? Will you be doing more touring?
Tripp: The show will be our debut, yes. We’re just taking one show at a time right now. But we are open to touring, or at least travelling for select shows around the country for now. When you come out to the show, you can expect to hear our first batch of original songs, and a few familiar songs from my past projects! Plus a few select covers that might surprise some people.
Brutal Planet Magazine: I feel we have to get this out of the way; Static-X was big part of your past and there is a lot going on in that camp these days. What is your take on the Static-X upcoming album Project?
Tripp: The Wisconsin Death Trip album was so monumental, and it’s great that they are paying tribute to an amazing event and planning a new album. I love the new stuff that they’ll be putting out, especially because I co-wrote a lot of it. It’s been said that I collaborated on someof the Wayne vocal material, but actually I co-wrote mostof it.
Brutal Planet Magazine: You wrote a lot of the music and lyrics in your time with Wayne and Static-X, but the Static-X camp seems to be accusing you of attaching yourself to their brand for credibility, shouldn’t you be able to attach yourself to it as you were a big part of the success of that band?
Tripp: Well, yeah, I don’t have to attach myself to it; I am fundamentally attached to it. It’s like a bond that can’t be broken, and won’t be broken. I joined the band at the end of 2000, so I was there in the band only a few months after the Wisconsin Death Trip tour ended. Then there were 4 solid years of touring, and the first original song I brought to the band became their 2ndbiggest hit – “The Only”. But this new version of the band …… someone might ask what my involvement was in the songwriting aside from the Wayne/Tripp songs. I worked on 12 songs with them, one of which became “Road To Hell”, the song that launched this version of Static-X back in October.
Brutal Planet Magazine: Lastly on the Static-X front, can you give us a little insight on the death of Wayne and what he meant to you as a musician and a friend?
Tripp: Wayne was the best person I ever met in the music business. He was honest and fair. He was easy to work with and so creative. We became a team. But beyond that, we naturally became good friends since we found we had so much in common. We had similar backgrounds and interests, similar world-views. He even stood by me when I got in trouble and had to leave the band. Until the pressure became too great on him and all the complex circumstances ended up hurting our friendship. We had a genuine bond, though, and his death was a horrible shock to me. I intended to reconnect and reconcile with him someday; as I did patch things up with Tony Campos and Ken Jay. And I like to consider them as friends. I have dreams about Wayne on a regular basis. It’s very strange, and I appreciate that he lives on in my heart. It’s still hard to believe he’s gone.
Brutal Planet Magazine: You were played in Dope too. Both Bass and Guitar correct? What was it like back then playing with them?
Tripp: Dope was a great experience with all the crazy touring we did. It was intense and high drama. I played bass in the beginning of the band; 1997-1998. We brought in my best friend Preston Nash on drums. Then I convinced Edsel to let me switch to guitar; it was for the best. Then, Preston and I petitioned hard-core to get our friend Acey Slade in the band. And the rest is history, right? While on tour with Dope I got to meet and become great friends with Joey Jordison and Wayne Static. Both led to amazing collaborations and great music being created. I will always be grateful to Edsel Dope for the opportunity to create, perform, spread my wings and make great memories. Though it was very volatile at the time, it was a groundbreaking band and a moment in time! Edsel and I co-wrote one of their most iconic songs: “Die Motherfucker Die”.
Brutal Planet Magazine: Lastly, it would not be a complete interview to not mention your time in the Murderdolls. That band helped carry a torch started by the great Alice Cooper. What was it like to be working with such a motley bunch of guys and creating some great music?
Tripp: Well, when I met Joey out on tour in 1999, he invited me to join the project called The Rejects. He and his buddy Dizzy had this glam-punk project back in Iowa. He wanted to bring it to a wide audience and use his new-found fame to launch it. I brought in my friend Racci Shay on drums, and then a year later brought my buddy Wednesday 13 in on bass. It’s a longer story, but we all know the result. It evolved from glam-punk to glam-horror-punk and into the Murderdolls. It was another amazing moment in time. I played 4 live shows with them, shot a video (“Dead In Hollywood”), but then unfortunately I had to leave due to the Static-X songwriting / recording schedule. But I was glad to round out the band and bring in my dudes Eric and Ben on bass & drums, and then get the band launched. And on that note, I was so very sad to hear the news about Ben Graves’ passing, as well. I was at the Murderdolls very first live show (after I left the band) and actually Ben was the highlight and strongest point of the show!
Brutal Planet Magazine: Are you still in touch with Wednesday? I am just curious what he thinks of Face Without Fear?
Tripp: That’s a good question! Someone should ask him. It’s been a while since I’ve talked to him, though we were pretty good friends back in the day. I’ve seen him play a few times over the years and he’s got a great band going. He’s carrying the Murderdolls torch and he keeps it burning!
Brutal Planet Magazine: Lastly I am curious what makes Tripp tick? What makes you appreciate every sunrise you get to witness? Conversely, what does Tripp not give a fuck about when it comes to life?
Tripp: I appreciate each day wherever I am, because we’re not guaranteed the next day. Thank God for each day I live, and each person in my life, and each opportunity I am given. What’s unfortunate is people who judge me unfairly, and I have to live with that, but I do care what people think. I am sorry for everyone whom I hurt, and I try to make amends and prove myself worthy of forgiveness. What keeps me going is faith, hope and love. It sounds cliché, but it works.
Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for Brutal Planet Magazine. We look forward to covering a show and seeing Face Without Fear tear it up.
Tripp: Thank you. And I want to say thank you for all the support from old friends and fans that have been reaching out to the band. We look forward to seeing everyone in August at the first show, if you’re on the east coast!