Especially with the holidays coming up, this might be a stupid question, but how do you guys celebrate when you’re on the road?
We don’t. I mean, two years ago when we were on the GWAR tour with Red Chord, we [Red Chord and MW] all had Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel. You gotta do what you can do. I think it was in Nevada or Arizona or something like that, just totally out in the middle of nowhere.
A lot of people think of Municipal Waste as a bunch of partiers and jokers. You’ve obviously catered to that, especially with your music videos, but do you think people don’t take you guys seriously?
It goes both ways. People are gonna think what they think. We’re light-hearted guys who like to have a good time and there’s no denying that, that’s totally a part of who we are and some people are just too self-centered and serious to get the message sometimes. But there’s definitely a lot of technical skill and hard work behind it. People write it off cause they think it’s silly sometimes but Municipal Waste isn’t for everyone.
That’s the way I look at it. I’m playing music because I love playing music whether people like it or not. [The group] all thinks the same way.
Well, good for you guys, a number of people do like it and you seem to have a lot of support coming right now.
Yeah, we’re super fortunate. I can’t complain about anything. We travel the world and play music and people show up to see what we’re doing and [hear] songs that we’ve created and we’ve written and that’s amazing. You know, there’s not one thing in the world I could complain about if I have that going on.
Were you a little surprised at the outpouring of support especially how you’ve been received by the metal community having such a hardcore influenced sound?
I think it’s awesome. I was a little overwhelmed and every now and then I still am and it still shocks me that all the people show up from all across the board. You know, punks, metal heads, hardcore kids and they’re all there and they’re all having a good time and there is barely ever any violence when we play. It’s really a great thing.
They’re going off and having a good time and they’re not interested in punching out the guy standing next to them.
Municipal Waste is credited with being part of the big thrash revival that is going on. You guys sort of came to the awareness to the metal community at large at the same time when bands like Testament and Exodus and Kreator suddenly were releasing new albums and we noticed this wealth of younger thrash bands coming out. Was it a conscious effort to bring back that style?
No, not at all. I think you nailed it in the question when you said ‘when people became aware of us,’ cause we’ve been doing it since 2000. The band will be 10 years old next year and many people don’t know that. They think we just put this shit together last year or two years ago cause its cool, but that’s not the case at all. It’s amazing that we’re part of this thing that people are saying is a revival and there’s no effort involved in that at all.
Do you think there will be a time when you guys will try and distance yourselves from that thrash aspect?
I think we already have on this record. I think we always have been distancing ourselves. A lot of the revival of thrash seems like West Coast, Bay Area stuff. What makes us different is that no one else has the punk and hardcore influences that we have. I think that makes us a little better-rounded than what else is going on. I think that’s what makes us stick out more than other bands.
It seems very important to eat healthy when you’re on the road, especially when you’ve been out as long as you guys have. Is that something you keep in mind when you tour?
Yeah, it’s super important. Eat healthy and drinking water is the absolute key. All these dudes that, you know, live to party don’t drink enough water and they get dehydrated and they get sick and then they can’t concentrate on a good performance cause they feel like shit and they hate being there at the same time. So it’s all methodical in a way because—people are paying money to see us. You know, it’s common to hear people say, ‘Yeah, we drove like four hours to see you guys, we’re psyched.’ What are they gonna think if we suck cause we’re all hung over? Being healthy is a top priority.
So in spite of the partier image, you guys to take steps to be healthy. Do you not drink before shows?
Well, sometimes one or two to warm up and then we’ll, so to speak, go for it after the set. But I’m more of a sipper, I collect beers, let them age a little, that’s my trip. I’m not buying a tall pack of PBR and trying to drink it in a half hour.
What’s the best part of Municipal Waste band? What puts you above your peers?
I don’t know. We’re a bunch of real dudes. Our influences, I guess, what we write makes us stick out. What I said earlier, the punk and the hardcore are crucial elements to the puzzle that make us stand out amongst our peers. Not above, but amongst. You know, everyone else is working just as hard as we are so there’s no reason to say we’re better than anyone.
That’s a good attitude.
Yeah, you have to have a great attitude. You’re gonna meet people all around the world who are equally as nice to you and you’re gonna see them again and they’re gonna help you; either on the way up or the way down. It’s all the same thing all the time.
Catch Municipal Waste at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC on Dec. 9 and at the First Unitarian Church in Philly on Dec. 10. facethewaste.com.