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Stage Buzz: Municipal Waste at Metro

| October 15, 2019


Municipal Waste

Richmond, Virginia crossover party animals Municipal Waste return from a two-year recording hiatus with the raging four-track EP The Last Rager (released on Oct. 11 via Nuclear Blast). Featuring vocalist Tony Foresta, guitarists Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos, drummer Dave Witte and bassist LandPhil Hall, the retro-thrash quintet will be returning to Chicago on Oct. 17 at Metro with openers Napalm Death, Sick of it All and Take Offense. Foresta spoke to Illinois Entertainer about the new EP, his late buddy Oderus Urungus of GWAR and one of his fondest memories of playing in Chicago.

Mosh:  Talk about your new EP The Last Rager

Tony Foresta:  We’ve been touring so much for both bands, so it’s kind of hard to get new material out there. But we actually made it a point to get in there and write full-on and have new songs for the record and to get [them] out there. We really wanted to make sure we had some new material out for this upcoming tour with Napalm Death and Sick of It All. So, we busted ass about a half-a-year ago; busted songs out. We’ve been sitting on them for a little while. They probably could have come out about half a year ago, but we just wanted to wait for this tour because we knew it’d be a fun one.

Mosh:  What does the title signify?

TF:  Everyone thinks that we’re breaking up or something. But we think it’s kind of funny. We’re not breaking up or anything. The song title is something we wrote when we were on tour with one of our friends from Peru. Everyone stayed up all night raging and the next morning, (drummer) Witte passed out, he was one of the last guys to pass out. He woke up the next morning, and our buddy was still sitting there drinking while everybody was out. He looked over at Witte, and he said, “I am the last rager!” He was the last person at the party who was still keeping it going.

Mosh:  Is this EP designed to tide fans over till a new full-length studio album comes out?

TF:  We’re writing right now, and we’re going to take January and February off to write new stuff. We have a few new songs, and we just decided that both bands and all the other side-bands that we’ve got, we’re going to put that shit on the curb for a couple of months until we write a new (Waste) album. Because doing all that other shit made the last album come out late; it took five years to do that record (Slime and Punishment). So, we need to make sure we put enough time aside and have our shit ready to drop a new record. We’re a little bit more focused on getting [new music] out more often than we used to be, but we also did six records, so we don’t have to rush it too much. We’re never going to rush anything until it’s right.

Mosh:  You’re still on Nuclear Blast, how’s that working out for you?

TF:  We just love being on Nuclear Blast. I think we get along really well with them. I think they really get what we’re going for; actually, one of the Nuclear Blast guys kind of spearheaded this whole project and even the video. We’re used to touring so much, and that’s what we love. We love getting out there and sweating, and we always forget that there’s all this other shit you got to do. The staff is a very good influence on us as far as getting other things done that we normally wouldn’t think of.

Mosh:  The opening track of the EP, “Wave of Death,” is just a killer song. What was your inspiration?

TF:  Most Municipal Waste songs are just jam-packed with lyrics because I sing really fast, for the most part. That’s our style. So, it’s kind of fun to do something different and just kind of have a mid-paced rocker. It gives me a little rest. We’ve been playing it all summer at the festivals, as seen in the video. It’s really fun to play, and it’s one to kind of sit back and bang your head to, onstage and off. It’s a good stomper.

Mosh:  You’re also currently working on a new Iron Reagan record?

TF:  Yeah, we’re in the studio right now. We just started recording the new album about two hours ago! Yeah, it’s exciting. We haven’t really done a lot of new records, a new LP in a couple of years. We’ve got a lot of good material.

Mosh: You were good friends with Oderus of GWAR. (Dave Brockie, better known as Oderus Urungus, passed away on March 23, 2014). What do you miss the most about hanging out with him?

TF:  I went to [visit] his memorial (in Richmond, VA) a couple of days ago actually. We were out of town when they unveiled the memorial, so me and Ryan went down there. It was nice. Yeah, I miss him a lot. I think about him around football season especially, and around October. I spent a lot of Octobers with him and a lot of winters and stuff. We had a lot of good times. I can still hear his voice; he was just such a memorable character. He’s still around, you know? He left his mark on Richmond, and I’m still here, and it keeps me going, and it keeps me influenced to work hard and make sure you’re having a good time while you’re doing that. That was kind of what that guy was all about.

Mosh:  Speaking of football season, is your team still the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

TF:  My team is Tampa Bay, but I’m just kind of disenchanted with them lately. Especially since Tampa Bay sucks so bad, I didn’t even watch the opening games. I’m kind of still pissed about (their last couple of bad seasons). Not that I’m a fair-weather fan, but it’s just been a rough few years.

Mosh:  What do you think of da Bears?

TF:  Oh, I like the Bears! Well, the ’85 Bears are my favorite team. I’ve actually worn Bears shirts in a couple of Waste videos, which is funny. In the “Sadistic Magician” video I’m wearing a Bears shirt. I actually grew up in that era. That was like my all-time favorite team since I was a kid. I’m 43, so I remember that shit. I remember McMahon rocking the headband, Refrigerator Perry and Mike Singletary. That’s my favorite team besides the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Warren Sapp. [The Bucs] were kind of a group of characters too, you know? But not as much as the Bears were back then. It was almost like a comic book; a group of rag-tag misfits that got all the way to the Super Bowl and won it!

Mosh:  You’ll be at Metro on this Thursday, October 17th. What do you like the most about playing in Chicago?

TF:  The energy of the crowd is always a little bit more than most places. Every time we’ve played there, with both bands, it’s always been one of the best shows of the whole tour. My favorite memory in recent years for Municipal Waste is when we played, fuck, you have to help me out here. It’s not Reggie’s; it’s the other one we played with Exodus like two or three years ago. I want to say it’s the Side Door? I think it’s Double Door. You’ll have to fact-check me on that (it was Bottom Lounge — Ed.). But anyway, we played there and out of nowhere, I don’t know how the fuck they did it, but someone snuck in an inflatable mattress. So, they were crowd surfing on this gigantic fucking mattress, and the crowd was having fun. One of these kids bought a brand-new Waste t-shirt and somehow got it caught in the rafters. And the guy was standing up on the inflatable mattress, and then the crowd started chanting, “Get the shirt, get the shirt!” And they held him up and pushed him up while he stood on the mattress, and he actually reached up in the rafters and pulled the shirt down, and the crowd went nuts. It was just some weird freak moment that happened on that tour, and it was one of the most memorable. The Exodus dudes were standing on the side in tears laughing because it was just such a fucking weird, ridiculous experience. And I know that those people reading this will still remember the mattress!

Mosh:  What’s the camaraderie like between you and Napalm Death, Sick of It All and Take Offense?

TF:  We’ve toured with those bands multiple times. At this point, they’re just old friends of ours. I would say eight years ago Municipal Waste, Napalm Death and Take Offense did a full U.S. tour, which was amazing. That was one of my favorite tours, so that was part of the influence of doing it again. Last winter we did a show in London, and it was the same lineup. It was Take Offense, Sick of it All, Napalm and Waste, and there were about four other bands on tour and, we’re all just sitting backstage, and we were like, why don’t we make this a fucking tour instead of just a show? Napalm Death and Sick of it All guys – we go way back, too. I don’t know if you’re familiar with this, but Sick of it All and Shane did an album together. They did some weird industrial record together. Not a lot of people know about that. I think that was on Earache (Records), and that was in the nineties. So, those guys go way back, too. And we’re all in the room going, “Why the fuck don’t we make this a whole tour with us?” Because we’re friends and that would be like the easiest tour ever because we know each other so well and we always have fun together. So, this was like a piece of cake; a no-brainer. I think it’s going to be a really fun tour.

Appearing: Thursday October 17th at Metro with Napalm Death

-Kelley Simms


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