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Interviews   

Municipal Waste thrives (and survives) through partying


Following the example of Tankard, the guys from Municipal Waste play thrash, drink, party, mess around and put their audience in a trance. In terms of personalities – and there really wasn’t any doubt about that –, they’re spontaneous people, whose career as the spearhead of revival thrash metal was not planned at all: « When we were starting the band we would always listen to that, it’s just a no-brainer to play that kind of music for me. « . On and off the stage, this sense of partying is also a way to survive the trying rhythm of a tour.

On the occasion of the release, on April 13th, of the excellent The Fatal Feast (as opposed to “fist”, as some journalists with their minds stuck in the gutter would think), an album which conveys the band’s passion for horror movies, we had the opportunity to talk to guitarist Ryan Waste. After the interview, our translator Chloé concluded that our minds were indeed forever lost in the gutter. Which Ryan Waste himself did confirm. And that is no small feat…

Interview.

« We just wanted the sound to reflect the live sound »

Radio Metal: Apparently you took a year off of touring to write Fatal Feast. Do you think it had a good impact on the end result compared to your previous albums?

Ryan Waste (guitars) : Yeah, it was amazing to actually get to do that, because a lot of the time before we were rushed to the studio in between touring, so it was just a very good experience to have something fresh to record. It was very nice and I think it turned out for a good album.

Your music is very live oriented, don’t you think you could have lost a little bit of spontaneity by not touring during the album’s writing process?

I don’t think so, I mean we play live in the studio, we practice, and it’s basically the same thing. We just wanted the sound to reflect the live sound, because it’s gonna be the same whether we’re gonna play the shows or not. It’s still us.

The band have left Earache Records, with which you did your last three albums, to sign with Nuclear Blast. Why didn’t you continue with Earache?

We just wanted to move on to bigger and better things I guess. I can’t say anything bad about Earache but Nuclear Blast wanted to let the band be creative. They even let us release things on other labels, for instance they let us release something with Toxic Holocaust on Tankcrime Records which is a small label our friend runs. They’re just really open to more records, more and more options, so it’s really exciting.

You’ve been quoted saying that Fatal Feast was way more aggressive than Massive Aggressive and that you try to exceed yourselves every time to make it more intense. Do you think this is what people are specifically looking for in a thrash metal album?

You know, we write for ourselves. We try to out-do each other each time, so we’re gonna step it up each record, raise the bar, and try to get it more intense as we go on. If people can relate to that, then great, but first we gonna do it for ourselves.

Isn’t there no limit to the aggressiveness metal bands want to put in their music? In short : do you think the more aggressive the better?

Yeah. We wanna make people lose their mind and jump off the stage. You can’t do that when playing some soft rock, you know.

« It’s been a few month, we’re working on our acting career as we speak. If you look at the record cover, we tried to reenact that within the video. So you will see a Waste short film soon in the form of a music video. »

Municipal Waste has always featured a strong influence from old horror movies. This time it seems like your turned a little bit toward the space horror theme. Do you think horror is even more horrible in outer space?

Yeah, by the time you get into space, I feel like you’re stuck, man. You know, it’s like the end of the world, there’s no further you can go, so we wanted to push it to another dimension with this album, so space was the first place we thought about. For me, the cool thing is having these keyboard intros that we did that sounds kinda John Carpenter-style soundtracks. I think it sets the mood for the record and then we give it some relentless thrash just after that…The best of both worlds!

Most of the time horror movies are taking place on Earth with zombies and stuff like that. Do you know some horror movies that are taking place in space ?

I think there are a lot of them… Where have you been, man? ! I think it’s more like the 80s’ stuff, like Galaxy Of Terror, that kind of thing, a bit more obscure… Everybody seems to rip off Alien, but I think there’s a lot of different space albums.. We just made one! We actually made a video for the title track Fatal Feast, I feel like we just made a horror movie. It’s been a few month, we’re working on our acting career as we speak. If you look at the record cover, we tried to reenact that within the video. So you will see a Waste short film soon in the form of a music video.

What are your favorite horror movies?

We’ve actually written songs about some of them, we’ve been talking about John Carpenter and for instance we wrote a song called “The Thing” which is based on the John Carpenter remake of the The Thing From Another World… That’s one of my favorite, it’s from 1982. That’s like the cool old school special effects, the non-CGI special effects, stuff like that. When I was writing this album, my favorite was Blood Diner which is a little more campy horror story. We did a song called “Blood Hunger” that was based on that. There’re always been horror themes put in our songs. Sometimes we create them ourselves, sometimes we base them on movies. These two are my favorite movies. From Beyond is another cool one. It’s based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story… I could go on and on about horror movies…

Like you said, Fatal Feast features some spacy sounding elements on the album opener Waste In Space and the introduction to the title track. Both were done by Steve Moore of Zombi and it actually sounds really good together with Municipal Waste’s music. Wouldn’t you be interested in developing this kind of aesthetic in the future?

Yeah it sets the tone for the record I guess. We just get a little more exterior material here and there. We’re big fans of movie soundtracks, that kind of sound. So I think it’s possible, we actually use outside contributors, so we’ll probably do more in the future.

Apart from Steve Moore, Fatal Feast features the contribution from two other guests : John Connelly of Nuclear Assault and Tim Barry of Avail who both do some vocals. How did these collaborations happen?

Tim from Avail is from Richmond, Virginia, just like us. He was in the neighborhood that we recorded in and our singer Tony [Foresta] pretty much surprised us with that one. He had an idea that he hasn’t been saying and he came in the studio without us even knowing that there were other bands in it. Tim did some vocals and we were very surprised and very impressed at the same time. It fits the song very well. That’s more of a political song, so we get the political punk-rocker to work on that one. As far as John Connelly, we met him years ago, we’ve been friends with all the Nuclear Assault guys, they’re really cool dudes. When we put the offer out there, he was happy to sing. Having them on the record is like paying homage to some of our biggest influences.

What’s the story behind the song « Residential Disaster »? I read somewhere that a guy thought it was the name of the band…

Yeah [laughs] it wasn’t related to that song, but a friend of mine in Canada said that a friend was asking him “what’s the band Residential Disaster?”, and they were like “do you mean Municipal Waste?” and he was like “oh yeah that’s it!” But that happens all the time, we thought it was sounding like a Waste song so, it’s turning to the last track on the record.

« When you tour for a living, you gotta entertain each other, or you all lose your mind […] If we’re not being crazy we’re not gonna make it, we will lose our minds. We don’t care, yeah, we’re a bunch of dumb teenagers at heart. »

Your live shows are like a big party on stage and you guys have a strong sense of humor. This fun side really is one of the main characteristics of Municipal Waste, but do you think you will be able to maintain that spirit as the band grows older? I mean all thrash metal bands from the 80’s have become much more serious as they grew older…

I think we always gonna have the sense of humor. I got up on stage and I wanna break the ice for the audience, I wanna make them feel comfortable, like basically we can have a conversation from the stage. I just think that’s the point, you know? If you leave people with a smile on their face up there, on a metal show, they’re gonna remember your band. We look at ourselves at entertainers, that’s what we wanna do. And I drink a lot, and the more I drink the more I talk on stage. Sometimes it has a double effect, it makes the show harder for me, that’s the hardest part of our plans [laughs].

We actually saw you guys backstage at the Hellfest last year and you were just wandering around and doing stupid things like a bunch of teenagers. You guys really seem to be a bunch of undisciplined dudes who like acting stupid.

Well thank you! [laughs]

So what are the stupidest things you guys have ever done while on tour?

Well, back to Hellfest we actually filmed a short film called Destinations where we walked around in different destinations in the back stage where anyone helped us. We even got Schmier from Destruction at the end of our video, he was featured in that. But we just like to have fun, I mean when you tour for a living, you gotta entertain each other, or you all lose your mind. I can’t even think about one specific thing we’ve done this crazy because it’s just like, if we’re not being crazy we’re not gonna make it, we will lose our minds. We don’t care, yeah, we’re a bunch of dumb teenagers at heart.

By the way Tony Foresta was wearing some funny sunglasses. What’s the deal with those? Were did he get such horrible looking sunglasses?

These was the weirdest sunglasses I will have to say, I myself like big sunglasses and he really wanted to have some so… That’s his style man, I can’t control that!

I heard Tony Foresta got arrested and put into jail one day for stealing a picnic table. That sounds pretty crazy to me, why did he do that?

I think he made that up [laughs].

Do you feel close to a band like Tankard that is also a very partying band on stage and on tour?

Yeah. I met the Nuclear Blast service and we were just listening to Tankard actually. Yeah, I would love to tour or even do some shows with them, because they’re one of the first thrash metal bands I got into and I definitely think that there’s an influence from always from Tankard. Now that they’re signed on Nuclear Blast we might actually be able to do some shows or tour together.

By the way we talked to the guys of Tankard and they said that most of the band do music to get chicks while they do music to get beer. Is it the same for you?

No, I’d rather… I’d take the chicks. The beer comes with it too… I would go with both [laughs].

« It’s an honor that people say that we brought it back […] When we were starting the band we would always listen to that, it’s just a no-brainer to play that kind of music for me. It’s cool to see younger bands coming up and start a band for the right reasons »

You are today considered the initiators of the thrash metal revival as many bands have followed in your footsteps reviving the 80’s crossover thrash spirit. What does that inspire you?

It’s an honor that people say that we brought it back. For me, I feel like it never really went away, at least as far as my musical tastes go. When we were starting the band we would always listen to that, it’s just a no-brainer to play that kind of music for me. It’s cool to see younger bands coming up and start a band for the right reasons, they understand where all this comes from. I hope they understand we didn’t started this, we’re just keeping it going. We play the music we grew up on, that’s all we do.

Now the stupidest question of the interview: I can sometimes have some twisted thoughts and the first time I said the name of the album « Fatal Feast » on the radio it immediately made me think about the « fist », you know, that you do with your hand. Could that be by any chance a play on words?

Like fisting? Like someone being anally fisted with your hand? [laughs] You know what? You’ve got a dirty mind because I hadn’t even thought about it like that. That could be a way to die for sure if it’s too much [laughs]…

Interview conducted on march, 2nd, 2012, by phone by Metal’O Phil
Questions by Spaceman & Metal’O Phil
Introduction by Metal’O Phil

Transcription : Chloé

Municipal Waste’s website : www.facethewaste.com

Album : The Fatal Feast, sortie le 13 avril 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records.



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