PART 1 – Municipal Waste
Municipal Waste was at the top of a very strange bill that featured indie rock, reggae, and emo rock bands. At times it certainly seemed as though my friend and I were the only metal people in attendance at the showcase. A particularly awkward moment arose when I poised the question of "DRI – Dealing With It" era resemblance to Ryan Waste, only to be instantly introduced to Felix, former drummer of "DRI" on the "Dealing With It" album who just so happened to be in the circle of well wishers as I interviewed the group of up and coming thrashers.
Having never seen Municipal Waste in concert before, I didn’t really know what to expect. After a few grueling hours of waiting through damn near intolerable music, in a crowd that by this time included equal parts dirty panhandling street punkers, fashionable back patch laden retro-thrashers, and erstwhile beatniks who hung out to see what all the fuss was about, Municipal Waste finally took to the stage and dished out about forty five minutes of their brand of old school, party till’ you puke thrash metal.
I had recently read about the band’s raucous live shows in the band’s home state of Virginia, complete with boogey boarding crowd surfers. The bands showcase in Austin, Texas this night was no exception. Although I did not see any Waste fans in line, or wandering the venue prior to the groups set carrying around boogey boards, who am I to say that these boogey board wielding bandits were planted by the band to attract the attention of record label execs and international press coverage? Either way, brilliant!
I had the chance to speak with three fourths of the band (guitarist Ryan Waste, drummer Dave Witte and bass player Land Phil) , and take some awesome pictures of all four of them. I really enjoyed their showcase performance and I hope they make it back to town sooner than later.
MR (Metal Rules): First off, how is everything and what brings you to SXSW in Austin?
RW (Ryan Waste): We’re here to fucking rage man, party hard.
LP (Land Phil): We’re coming here to play in front of all you crazy Austin fans man. We knew it would be a riot down here, it’s been a long time since we’ve come to Texas and shit, so, it’s cool to be back.
DW (Dave Witte): We’re playing a bunch of shows for some Austin people. It’s a good time down here….we’re having a blast, we played it (SXSW) a couple of years ago, and the Relapse people were nice enough to invite us to play on their showcase, so we’re doin’ that and four other shows, and it’s gonna be awesome.
MR: It’s no secret that you guys have your watches stuck on 4:20. That is to say that you guys really know how to rock a joint. Will you be attending the SXSW High Times magazine party?
LP: Yeah man, I love smoking weed. I got a weed smokin’ death metal band called “Cannabis Corpse.”
RW: I don’t even know what that is dude, I mean, I know I know what it is, I don’t know where it is….We’re gonna be to busy, we’re playing four times so I think that’s gonna consume a lot of our free time.
DW: No. I don’t smoke.
MR: It’s been quite the year for Municipal Waste, the band continues to pick up momentum every day, and it seems like the overall reaction to last years "The Art Of Partying" is overwhelmingly positive, and then just recently it was announced that Municipal Waste would be touring the U.S. this summer with the reunited At The Gates, you must be really excited about that?
RW: Yeah, cause we’ve known those guys from “The Haunted” tour and they’re good friends of ours, and just to be on tour with a band like that is just overwhelming, and we couldn’t be happier man.
DW: Yeah, I’m really excited about that. Actually, Anders used to write letters together years ago, when I drummed for Human Remains. Municipal Waste toured last year with “The Haunted” in Europe, and we spent some time together….and we did that, and now we’re doing the “At The Gates” thing so….it’s a nice trip back to the past for me and it’s a fucking incredible band to be on a bill with.
LP: Yeah man, that’s fucking sweet, we got to know those guys on “The Haunted” tour we did with them, we got to know Anders and Jonas the twins, so we’re really stoked to go out on tour with them, after all, “At The Gates” is one of the biggest bands of all time, so I’m sure it’ll be a really fantastic tour.
MR: I really like your video for Headbanger Face Rip, the Troma footage mixed in there nicely and provided a sufficient atmosphere for the music. Seeing as how you guys have played just about everywhere in the last several months, including many overseas metal festivals are there any plans to release a long form DVD through Earache Records? Do you guys film and archive your concert footage?
RW: Yeah, eventually we might do like some bonus DVD, with all of our videos and all of us hanging out. We always have stuff in the works, so yeah, so keep your eyes out for that.
DW: Yeah, we have all kinds of stuff archived and we’ll probably be doing a DVD sometime within the next year, but there’s really nothing set in stone and we’re just compiling ideas. We haven’t really sat down and discussed what we really want to put on it yet. But we want to make it special.
LP: We’ll do a DVD eventually definitely, we got a ton of footage from the road. Lot’s of tour footage and one of these days we’ll put out a DVD and it’ll be dope.
MR: Municipal Waste has been featured on several compilation albums recently aimed at thrash and speed metal fans. While I feel that there has been a resurgence in popularity for the thrash genre as of late, you guys really give off an old school vibe, in particular you really remind me of DRI’s "Dealing With It" era, who are in your opinion your biggest influences in metal?
RW: Well, I gotta mention that we were just hanging out with Felix a second ago from DRI (yeah, well he used to be Ryan) so it was great to just reminisce and hear about how they started out. So I’m gonna have to give DRI a big shout out.
(As far as influences) I have to say a lot of Canadian stuff, like Razor, Sacrifice….they had a big influence on me guitar wise. Anvil of course, Infernal Majesty, Slaughter, all the good Canadian stuff. I always gotta give respect because they don’t always get it in the media. So definitely Canadian thrash, our obvious DRI influences have gotta be there. So….I’m just really, really excited to be hanging out here, and like, soaking it all in.
LP: Tom Petty, Toto, Boston…..metal wise? Shit, Toto is about as metal as it gets. I like fucking Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Psycroptic, Abrutus, Deeds Of Flesh….I like death metal.
DW: Well, thanks for the compliment. I mean, me personally, my biggest influences in metal would probably be Ripping Corpse, Iron Maiden, you know, Slayer.
MR: Dave, you mentioned that you were going to get an Iron Maiden tattoo while you’re in town?
DW: I hope to. I wanna get the Derek Riggs artist symbol.
MR: How did you guys enjoy your first appearance at the metal mecca that is the Wacken Open Air festival? Any plans to make a repeat appearance this summer?
RW: One of the most ultimate shows we’ve ever played. Just to see that many people from all over the world in one place, circle pitting like 300 deep, the circle pit was amazing in itself and the response….just like….it was probably one of the most fun shows I’ve ever played. I can’t say anymore….I mean, I’ve always wanted to go to Wacken just to see it, and I got to play it the first time I ever was there, so I couldn’t be anymore excited.
DW: It was totally amazing. We wanted to go back and play again this year, but they wouldn’t let us play two years in a row, so we’re officially invited already for 2009 and we can’t wait to get back there.
LP: They actually filmed us….The Wacken people, you know, they did a professional shoot and shit. It’s really awesome but we had to pay them thousands of dollars in order to be legally able to release it so, we didn’t have enough money to put it out.
MR: Tell me about your Cannabis Corpse side project, were you guys just unbelievably stoned when you came up with this group? How do you guys actually find the time to practice your material in between bong hits and frisbee golf?
LP: Well I’m the only one in Cannabis Corpse. We do it because we love death metal and Cannibal Corpse. We’re putting out a new album called “Tomb Of The Resinated” and it’s coming out on 4:20 (April 20th???) of this year. So be on the lookout.
MR: If Municipal Waste starred in a stoner movie similar to "Cheech and Chong" or "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" what would the plot of the movie be?
RW: I would star in the remake of “The Stoned Age” because that’s the best stoner movie ever made. I could recite every form of dialogue in “The Stoned Age”….B.O.C. til’ death man.
LP: We would take a huge bong hit and then start killing people. The weed would cause us to murder human beings, and that would be the movie. It’d be like a weed smoking horror movie.
DW: To not party at all. I’m just kidding, I don’t know we’d go nuts and stuff.
MR: When you guys are on the road and I’m assuming totally baked on the bus, what is your favorite cds to listen to when you are partying, and what is your munchies of choice?
RW: You know what? We break out shit that’s not even thrash, we’ll play some Toto in the van, and it’s fucking….you wouldn’t expect to hear that on metal-rules.com that we listen to Toto, but I like to eat salty shit, but I’m more of a drinker. So the saltier, the spicier the food….I’m down man, some hot peanuts….some hot wings….and I’m fucking sneakin’ beers in the back of the van. Other than that, we’ll jam some feel good music man.
LP: I love Taco Bell dude, we eat a shitload of Taco Bell and we listen to a shitload of Howard Stern. But as far as music goes we listen to everything, you know? Me personally, I’m just a death metal freak. I listen to a ton of Immolation, Incantation, just all that fucking early Tampa death metal shit.
DW: I don’t know man, it’s kind of hard. Everybody listens to their own I-Pod all the time.
I guess, Tony and I listen to, believe it or not, we listen to “Killing Joke” and “Queens Of The Stone Age” almost every tour. But, you know, everybody listens to everything. Favorite munchies? I’m a chocolate maniac. I like chocolate more than anything. Dark chocolate, Belgian chocolate.
MR: I’d like to thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, is there anything else you’d like to tell the rabid and crazy Municpal Waste fans before we wrap this interview up?
RW: Keep coming out, and impress me. Impress me with what you can do on the dance floor and fuckin’ jump off the highest shit and hopefully your friends are down there to save your ass, so….
LP: Man, keep coming out to the shows and keep coming to see us, cause every show is a total rager when you guys come out. I’m sure that all the shows in the future will keep getting better and better, I just want all you fan’s out there to keep coming to the shows and buying t-shirts. Fuckin’ rock on dudes!
DW: I love Tom from Nokturnel. I do….for real. He’s awesome, he’s like five feet away from me right now, I haven’t seen him in years. He can play the ukulele pretty well.
Onto Part 2…