MUNICIPAL WASTE // Home Among The Bong Trees

municipal waste

Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta is chilling somewhere in Florida. He’s surrounded by memorabilia from tours past, a million or so records, and a couple of stray beer cans. “It’s my fun place,” he says.

MORE: THE OFFSPRING: Smash … Shaping A Generation REVIEWS: NOFX: Half Album // DRAGONFORCE: Warp Drive Warriors // THE GHOST INSIDE: Searching for Solace // HOT WATER MUSIC: VOWS

As one of the founding members of these world-beating thrash crossover slumlords (as well as Iron Reagan), he’s had beers with crust punks and rusted-on metalheads, something that few bands could dare to pull off. Returning back to party hard in Australia (as well as freeze his ass off), we ask him why the band has stayed away for so long, how they’ve managed to charm two of the most humourless scenes to embrace them wholesale (if you get mad at that, you’re just encouraging him -ed.), and if he really did work the same job as a thrash metal version of Al Bundy.

Hysteria: According to this official piece of paper I hold in my very hand, it says you haven’t been here in a decade. Say it ain’t so.

Tony: I know. It doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t. I went over there once with Iron Reagan, but I think that was like five years ago. Maybe longer. But yes, I mean it’s been a while for sure.

COVID? No offers? Banned by the government? Wouldn’t put it past those assholes.

It was on the cards a couple times and then it just fell apart and then I think it was planned during all that COVID fun, so that kind of fucked everything up. By that time we had a new record out, things started opening up and a million US tours that we needed to do and Europe and it just ended up going to the wayside also. It’s hard to find a promoter there. So glad we lucked out this time.

In the mean time, we’ve been able to enjoy your music videos, such as Electrified Brain. I say this because a lot of videos now is just like ‘some dudes in a warehouse’ or those fucking lyrics that come up over coloured squiggles or some shit. It’s just like, ‘What was the point of this?’ But you guys actually put a bit of thought into it and have a bit of a concept. Where does it all come from?

Shit, I don’t know. I think me and Ryan [Waste, guitarist]. I mean everyone in the band grew up on Headbanger’s Ball. You would wait up late at night for it to come on and you watch just loads of videos. I think every kid that was in the metal or punk back then always wanted to be in their own music video, so we wanted to make sure if we were ever to get that opportunity that we wouldn’t squander it. So we always wanted to make sure we had pretty interesting videos. They may not be the most big budget videos, but we like to put all we can into our videos. They seem to be pretty fun to do.

Since it’s been ages since you have been here, you’ve got eight albums under your belt which means a million songs to choose from. Is it hard to pick them?

Oh yeah, we have a hard time cutting songs. There’s stuff that we want to play from every record, and the more records you get, the more you can’t do that. This tour is going to be cool. We’re going to just do shit from every record to kind of something for everybody. I know there’s people that we’ve had four releases since the last time we were over there, so we have to dip into a lot of that shit too because a lot of these people have never seen us play those songs, so we have a lot of work to do, but the live set’s just going to be pummeling. We talked about it, we just played in Milwaukee. We flew all the way to Milwaukee Metal Fest for a 35 minute set, so that kind of reminded me of when we went to Australia the first time and played for 25 minutes. We couldn’t do that now, we’d get killed. [laughs]

Another insane aspect of Municipal Waste is that you fit on bills with Circle Jerks as much as you do Obituary. That’s no easy feat.

Yeah, then we did the Carcass tour. That was awesome. Yeah, that’s what we do, man. Oh shit. We try to mix it up. I know that there’s people from all walks of life that listen to our music. We’re not just a metal band, we’re a punk band, and people that listen to death Metal like us, and we just can kind of slide into most genres of music. I mean, I’d like to do a hip hop tour, but nobody’s asked us yet, so we’ll see what happens.

We flew all the way to Milwaukee Metal Fest for a 35 minute set, so that kind of reminded me of when we went to Australia the first time and played for 25 minutes. We couldn’t do that now, we’d get killed.
[ Tony Podesta, Municipal Waste ]

You never know. However, is it true you used to be a shoe salesman like Al Bundy?

Yeah dude, for a day. I think it was in Long Beach. I walked out, I was like, ‘fuck, this is crazy.’ It was a bad time in my life where I was just doing anything. I was actually stealing to eat. It sucked. It wasn’t a fun time, I was just trying to get by. I moved across the country and just literally, I slept on the floor of my friend’s apartment for a year. It sucked just trying to make rent and stuff, just being the poor punk kid. But yeah, it was cool. I made a lot of friends over there and the memories were awesome, but it was rough living for a while, let me tell you. After that I worked at a screen printing shop. I ended up working there for 15 years or something crazy.

Is that why you have so many god damn shirts? I swear you guys have more shirt designs than any other band in existence.

[laughs] Yeah dude, exactly. Our first show, we had flip up hats and stuff. Nobody even knew how to print those because Suicidal Tendencies wasn’t super active around that time and they were the only people that were doing those really back then. So I was doing ’em by hand. I knew how to do it. I was a printer and then we were playing house shows and we would have five colour T-shirts, shit, and we were selling ’em for ten bucks. I could just print all that shit when I got off work. Yeah, nice. So that was cool. That was right when I got back from California, I just dove into the screen printing stuff and then my music and I worked with a bunch of musicians, so that was awesome. Because everybody kind of looked out for each other. I mean, I don’t think anyone knows the amount of shirts we made in the history of our band. It’s just hundreds, hundreds of different designs.

you me at six hysteria

Who comes up with them all?

Yeah, I do most of it. I come up with most of it and just bounce ideas back and forth with artists. I was actually just talking about this the other day. It’s like now we just have this well of ideas from just our song titles and concepts from our records alone. We have seven records out, so there’s always something to pull from if you want to make a shirt design. But yeah, I don’t know. It’s just like people throw ideas around. I like getting with an artist I like and just kind of bouncing ideas back and forth. Do something like this. Oh, what about that? Oh, fix this, do that, do that. And then you come up with something really cool. That’s a fun thing about being in this band where most artists enjoy working with us. We come up with some pretty dumb ideas that you can make into something exceptionally crazy looking.

I know you can tell some artists like, “I want you to put a fucking skull on top of a dragon and fucking have pus spewing out of its asshole” and they go and draw it. Enough said.

Yeah, actually that is awesome. I’m going to steal that one. Thank you!

Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing when you come back down under?

The people there are so fucking awesome. I mean, I say it every time, but it’s just different. It reminds me of a rowdier version of where I live. I live in Florida. I don’t know if you’ve heard about that place, but it’s pretty rowdy and I, I don’t know, Australia’s got a vibe where everyone’s so infectious and glad you’re there and it’s just a good feeling every time we go there. So I’m just excited to see everybody, to be honest. Hopefully y’all haven’t changed.

MUNICIPAL WASTE July 2024 Australian Tour Dates

Friday 5th July MELBOURNE, Northcote Theatre

Saturday 6th July SYDNEY, Liberty Hall

Sunday 7th July CANBERRA, The Baso

Wednesday 10th July BRISBANE, The Triffid

Friday 12th July ADELAIDE, Lion Arts Centre

Saturday 13th July PERTH, The Rosemount

Tickets are available now.

Latest News