Municipal Waste Interview

Unless you’ve been living under a rather hefty rock for the past year and a half, you’ll need no introduction to Virginia’s latest high quality metallic export.

A cocktail of beer bongs, boogie boards, and some of the most enjoyable thrash-punk anthems since D.R.I. broke the speed barrier have gained the foursome a reputation as one of the most fun and enjoyable live acts on the planet.

From one Ryan to another, Ryan Bird gets the low down from guitarist Ryan Waste regarding the party animals’ recent tour with heavy metal masters The Haunted.

You’ve just wrapped up the UK leg of your European tour alongside The Haunted. Are you happy with how it went?

It was fucking incredible, man! The crowds were really rowdy. Lots of circle pits, stage dives and generally kick ass old-school thrash shit.

With Wolf being a straight forward metal band, The Haunted a Scandinavian thrash band and yourselves a thrash-punk outfit, it was an eclectic line-up to say the least. Did you ever feel out of place?

Musically we’re all very different but as people we got along great. We all seemed to have a lot in common and got on really well personally, so the musical side almost became secondary. I really dig Wolf’s music as well. Those guys were just killer every night.

I saw that in both London and Oxford you managed to get Wolf beer bonging during your set. Have you managed to get The Haunted involved yet?

We’re still waiting on them! As you saw we’ve been showing Wolf how it’s done quite a lot, but The Haunted have promised us that before the tour is out they’re going to get up and do a beer bong onstage.

How did the beer bongs and boogie boards work their way into your routine?

To be honest it’s not something that we actually did ourselves. Fans would bring the boogie boards to the shows themselves and stage dive into the crowd on them. We never really wanted to have gimmicks or anything, but I guess this is one we’re probably stuck with. It’s cool though, it’s all about having a good time.

Something must have gone tits up at some point?

Well, I’ve definitely seen a few things go wrong! Nothing overly serious, just people landing on the barricade rather than the crowd or people not being caught and wiping out, that sort of shit. Beer bong wise the worst I’ve seen is people not being able to finish it. You shouldn’t waste beer!

You come from a very healthy scene back in Richmond. What makes it thrive so much?

I don’t know if anything in particular makes it “thrive” so to speak, but there’s definitely a really good sense of community within a lot of the local bands. Everyone’s very much about helping each other out and getting each other’s backs. It’s a really small city, everybody knows everybody else.

Are there any bands in particular that people should look out for?

There’s a new band that has the drummer from Alabama Thunderpussy in it that are awesome. I can’t remember their name for some reason, but they’re kind of like a really dirty sounding Metallica. There’s also a pop-punk band called Pink Razors who are really good.

Your new album ‘The Art of Partying‘ is out next month. I’m guessing you didn’t have to spend much time thinking up such a title!

Yeah, it wasn’t too difficult. We’ve actually been sitting on that title for a long time, and a lot of the song names as well. We’ve got a load more for the future as well.

What would you say people will find most different compared to your last record ‘Hazardous Mutation‘?

It’s better! As a band we definitely feel like more of a solid unit than we perhaps did when we recorded ‘Hazardous‘. We’ve had a couple of line-up changes since then and things definitely feel better and more positive now than ever before. It’s almost like a completely new band.

Did you approach anything differently in the writing and recording process this time?

We actually demoed the entire album ourselves on an eight-track recorder. We just hammered it out, got everything laid down and used it for pre-production.

It worked really well because it meant that as soon as we got into the studio we knew exactly what we had to do. We got 3 weeks to record the whole thing and did it in 2, so I’d say it worked pretty well for us.

What does the rest of 2007 hold for the Waste?

Um, I think we’re hitting Japan for the first time at some point this year. We’ve been to Australia before which was amazing, but we’ve always wanted to go to Japan. I think we’re also going to do a tour across North America right after the new record is out, and then we should be back in the UK and Europe around the end of summer.

Municipal Waste’s new album ‘The Art of Partying‘ is released on June 11 through Earache Records.

Live photos by Marie GC.