Interviews : Municipal Waste
Relentless hardcore mixed with 80s thrash metal, done right! Not quite like Wasted Youth or Suicidal Tendencies but more in the vein of D.R.I.'s "Crossover" record, Municipal Waste is set to take the world by storm with its brand new full length, first for Earache, "Hazardous Mutation." Vocalist Tony was cool enough to answer our questions on all things band related and not. Enjoy!
How did three comic book nerds/horror movie fans/bay area thrash freaks come together to form Municipal Waste?
There's actually four of us haha. The Waste started on new years eve at some crazy house show in Richmond V.A. We were pretty much just four dudes that hung out together that all agreed that our town really needed a fast band. Our first show was a blast and we've pretty much been thrashing ever since.
When you first started, what were some of your initial goals to accomplish with Municipal Waste? How, if any, have these goals changed since getting signed to Earache?
We all set a common goal to thrash people's faces off, travel, tour, record, party and have fun doing it and even though we've had a couple line up changes through the years we have always kept true to it. The Earache signing hasn't really change much as far as our goals are concerned. The only thing that's different is now we have money to do stupid videos and shit.
For a relatively young band with only one full-length under its belt and a handful of splits, how much pressure did you feel during writing/recording sessions of Hazardous Mutation?
It was actually really easy. Its amazing what we can do when we actuallypractice 3 times a week! We were all very focused on writing this record so by the time we got in the studio all of the new songs were so tight we pretty much blew threw em. Plus Corey Smoot was cool as shit to work with and there was really no pressure going on at all.
What were some of the things you wanted to achieve sound/music wise on Hazardous Mutation that you feel Waste Em All lacked?
Waste Em All was an all around rushed record. I think it would have came out better if we had more time to work with it. That's why we we're so prepared when we went in the studio for Hazardous. We didn't want to have any regrets on this one.
The first thing that jumps out is the artwork by Ed Repka (Megadeth). His work is above and beyond anything the band has had before, especially since the cover of Waste Em All is a bit amateurish. How did you get in touch with Ed?
Waste Em All! Amaturish! How dare you! We got ahold of Ed because we felt he was the perfect man for the job and when Ed heard our music he felt we would be a perfect match as well. I couldn't be happier with the outcome the man is a living legend!
Continuing with the artwork topic, who is an idiot who did the promo layout and covered up Repka's signature?
Im not sure. We were not pleased with the promo art either. I don't think that guy is working at Earache anymore. Besides what are you bitching about? It's not like you paid for the damn thing!
Municipal Waste is a band that does not hide its musical influences but rather embraces the sound of 80s thrash metal, hardcore, and punk. If you could choose one, what scene do you feel the closest to?
We embrace them all with a big fruity bear hug.
While your music is fun and energetic, there is still a strong political/social message heard some songs. As a primary lyricist, how important is the message? Could Municipal Waste be as successful with being simply a fun/party band?
Strong political/social message?!? What bands lyrics are you reading? We mostly write songs about monsters and shit because we find most political oriented song writing is played. I wrote "I wanna kill the president" because that's some personal shit I had going on at the time... as a matter of fact I still want to kill that fucker...fuck that guy! Oh shit, what were we talking about again?
Because the music is so energetic, do you have to be in a certain mood to write songs for Municipal Waste?
Usually Im drunk and sometimes Ryan has to be horny. But that may be to much information for this interview.
Speaking of energy, your live shows are notorious for occasional mayhem breaking out. What's a typical Municipal Waste show like? What's the craziest thing to ever happen at one of your shows?
There's been a lot of crazy shit that has gone down. I've seen people jump off of second story balcony's, shit lit on fire, broken nose's, wizard's, 2 story beer bong's, naked chicks stage diving and that was just the last time we played Richmond! It seems like people are trying to one up each other by doing something crazy. It's pretty unbelievable sometimes.
While as a whole Municipal Waste line up has been stable, you've had some drummer problems in the past. Is Dave Witte a permanent member orjust temporary? With him being in so many other projects, do you feel that could affect the chemistry of the band?
Dave loves this band and he really whipped our ass into shape since he joined. His other projects don't really affect what we have going on since everyone else also has there own projects as well. We've all pretty much realize that this band takes first priority. We have a lot of shit going on within the next 6 month's and we're ready for it.
I won't ask you what bands have inspired you or what you are currently listening to but, what are some bands/artists, metal/non-metal, that not many would expect you to like?
Dillenger Four, Dj Assault, Hall and Oates, Mars Volta, Huey Lewis and the News. We listen to some pretty weird shit. People don't know what to expect to hear when they get in our van.
The band comes from Richmond, Virginia - home to a large metal/hardcore scene bands like Darkest Hour, Lamb of God and GWAR to name a few. How difficult was it to fit in and play shows when your style is not exactly the "flavor of the month" so to speak?
In Richmond it's not really about fitting in. Nobody gives a shit. There are so many different bands from Richmond that its almost impossible to put on a local show with a bunch of bands that play the same style of music. That's why Richmond rules because the scene is so diverse it constantly keeps things interesting.
To follow up, you still managed to do quite a bit of touring in the past. What are some of the best/worst things about touring for a rather young and somewhat unknown band?
Best: Meeting people. Partying. Not working. Seeing different towns and country's. Trying different beers. Seeing awesome bands. Eating good food.
Worst: Meeting stupid people. Being Broke. Being sick. Seeing shitty bands. Sleeping on dirty floors. Eating fast food.
You have been known to use movie samples in the past, with no exception on the new album ("Guilty of Being Tight"). What are some of your favorite movies?
Street Trash, Repo Man, Toxic Avenger, Stoned Age, Phantasm and anything with Kurt in it.
As I have previously mentioned, Municipal Waste embraces the 80s sound. In your opinion which of the so-called "reformed bands" or those who are still together that need to hang it up or should have never reformed?
There is way to many shitty comeback's to name. But I am stoked on the new Exodus, Dr. Know and Nuclear Assault that just came out.
To conclude, lets play a little "what do you think" game. I will name a band and their album and you tell me the first thing that comes to mind:
Sepultura "Arise" - Desperate Cry!
Exodus "Bonded by Blood" - Classic.
Metallica "Black Album" - When the world was introduced to crap.
Tankard "Chemical Invasion" - Fight for the right to drink your beer!
Slayer "God Hates Us All" - Haven't heard it. I hope it's not rappy.
Tankard, for example, called their music "alcoholic metal." How would classify Municipal Waste?
Rappy Bass Metal.
With members of Municipal Waste still in their mid twenties, what does the future hold for the band?
Hopefully the future will have people getting our ages right.