Interview with Dave Witte of Municipal Waste: Wasted Again

With Massive Aggressive, the latest album from Municipal Waste, fans witnessed a 29-minute thrash tribute to the golden age of metal. A thrashback, if you will, Massive Aggressive pays tribute to late ‘80s thrash and crossover legends while light-heartedly riffing into new territory and inspiring kids all over the world to follow in suit.

Given their name, it’s ironic to think that just one member of Municipal Waste is from New Jersey. Nevertheless, the Garden State’s own Dave Witte, skinsman for one of metal’s goofiest acts, checked in to shed light on what makes The Waste so lethal and how there’s more to his band than meets the eye.

You’re originally from Jersey, but the band is based out of Virginia. How did you initially hook up with Municipal Waste?

I moved [to VA] for my lady and since the band I was currently in wasn’t touring as much as I wanted—I became friends with Tony [Foresta, vocals], first of all. My girlfriend introduced us; she was friends with those guys—[their] drummer bailed on them and I went out and did a weekend and helped them out. I had such a fun time and said I was gonna join and that was that.

Let’s move on to the album. Massive Aggressive is slower in parts than some of the band’s previous material. Where did that come from?

I guess it just came out. A musician can only use the same formula so many times until you start branching out and as you get older as a musician, and in life in general, your influences and interests grow so I guess from all the touring and being subjected to all kinds of stuff worldwide, your tastes are going to change and its going to show up in your music.

One thing that it helps with is certainly just being able to distinguish the songs from track to track, just having some variance in the tempo.

Yeah, well we concentrated on songwriting this time. We didn’t concentrate on ourselves, we concentrated as a whole. I think on this record we’ve become the best songwriters that we have so far. We’ve spent so much time together and most importantly we eliminated what doesn’t work right off the bat.

What are some of the things that don’t work?

Well, just what you’ve done already. That’s a good example. Like, for what we’re doing there’s no reason to jam in a million notes into one part. For us, we like it catchy and it’s still aggressive, it’s still fast and it’s memorable. That’s what we like to do.

What are some of the side projects that the members of Municipal Waste are involved in?

Well, I also play in Burnt By The Sun; we just had a new record come out on Relapse and just finished a European tour—I’ve got New Jersey to thank for that.

Phil [Hall, bass] is doing Cannabis Corpse, they just did a U.S. tour and they have two records out. Tony is in a band called No Friends; they just put out a record out on No Idea.

So, you’re doing all that and at the same time, it seems like Municipal Waste has been on tour forever.

Yeah, since March [laughs].