Phone interview taken in Autumn, 2009.
WULF: So I understand that you’re back at home now in Richmond?
WULF: Is it nice to be back or are you really itching to get back on the road?
TONY: It’s great! I’ve only been here for a little over a week and I’m leaving Monday to go down to Florida to do some shows with my other band.
WULF: Yeah, I was on metal-archives.com actually a little bit ago and I noticed that you play in another band? Is it not a metal band?
TONY: It’s kind of like a hardcore band. 80’s hardcore, kind of like (inaudible) and Dag Nasty, The Descendants, stuff like that.
WULF: What’s it called?
TONY: It’s called No Friends. Yeah, we just started and we just did an LP that came out on No Idea Records. Whenever I’m off the waste tour I just go down there and write songs and practice with them.
WULF: So I’m assuming that you guys obviously do a lot of partying and stuff like that on the road, but do you do that at home or do you just find yourself relaxing and saving all your energy for the road?
TONY: I think I party more when I’m at home than I do on tour.
TONY: Touring is so stressful and strenuous, and the traveling is pretty crazy. Especially when you’re on the road for five weeks, you can’t really get too rowdy or you’re going to A- blow your voice out, or (B-) just get sick, you know? It sucks when you’re out for like three or four weeks and getting the flue, man.
I gotta pace myself on the road nowadays.
WULF: Especially for Municipal Waste, I could see that would really be shitty if you’ve got the flue or something and meanwhile you’ve gotta conjure up some energy to put on a good, energetic show. That would be awful.
TONY: Yeah, our live shows are pretty energetic and it takes a lot of out of us. You can’t really slack on that, you know? You don’t want people who payed to see your band watch you suck because you got too drunk the night before.
WULF: Yeah, leave that for the fans I guess.
TONY: Yeah, we’ll bring the party, you guys do that and we’ll watch.
WULF: So what’s your favorite city or location to play would you say?
TONY: Kansas City man!
WULF: Yeah right!
Actually, everybody that I’ve talked to consistently says Montreal, which is random.
TONY: Montreal…we’ve actually had some really cool shows there. We haven’t played there as much as I’d have liked to but…I don’t know man, usually the Bay Area, we’ve had the rowdiest shows out there but now it’s starting to be like London…London’s really crazy. Belgium’s getting really wild. We just hit Eastern Europe and that was the first time we ever went over there and the crowd was so crazy and they were just (all about) what we were doing, singing along to all the words and beating the hell out of each other. It’s cool man, so I can’t really say. Each show is special in their own way, I know that sounds kind of like a parent saying something like that, but it really is.
WULF: Yeah, actually I had just read in Decibel about you guys playing Norway and that you burned a miniature church on stage or something? How did that go over with everybody?
TONY: I didn’t realize it, but apparently after we left it was all over the news there. Yeah, we didn’t make a big deal out of it just because of the church burnings there or whatever, we just thought it would be funny. I mean, nobody in the crowd was flicking us off or (anything), I mean everybody was laughing ‘cuz I mean it was pretty ridiculous…burning a church, you know? It made the news and people were pissed off about it so I guess we did a good job.
WULF: I was actually in class, and right before class started I was reading Decibel and I read that thing about you guys and I actually laughed out loud. Especially since Varg just got out of prison and all that shit and so I didn’t know if people were gonna be all like “Oh! What the fuck!”
TONY: We didn’t realize it was going to be like a big deal in the news or anything. We were just doing it because Kylesa was there and we wanted to make them laugh. We’ve been friends with them for years and they were playing with us.
WULF: Yeah, they’re really cool. I had never really checked them out before but I got to see them when they came through here with Mastodon, and it was a really fun show.
WULF: But anyway, on to the new album. I’m a big fan of “Hazardous Mutation” and “The Art of Partying”, and I really really enjoyed “Massive Aggressive” a lot.
TONY: Awesome! That’s great, thank you.
WULF: I’m a metal magazine/online (metal news) junkie and I guess you guys (were on) the cover of Terrorizer a couple of months ago, so congratulations on that. I read in the interview that you guys wanted to tone down the whole “party-thrash” theme I guess so as not to be kind of stuck in a genre or label.
TONY: Yeah, I think it was a smart thing to do.
WULF: Yeah, I agree for sure. You don’t want to be labeled a gimmick or whatever and with this new album, I mean, all the albums are good, but this new album I really felt was cool because it had the same energy and all that but I felt it would maybe change the vibe of the live show, maybe? Just because you guys are trying to be at least a little more serious musically or whatever.
TONY: Well, “The Art of Partying” was a breakthrough album for us, and for a lot of people that was the first album they heard from us.
WULF: Yeah, that was mine.
TONY: Yeah, and they didn’t realize we had stuff before that and so doing “The Art of Partying”, when we wrote it we wanted it (to be) a concept album about partying, like the “Reign in Blood” of party albums. That album broke us through, and a lot of people heard that and thought that’s just all the band (was about), that’s all we do. Like every song is about that, which is the case on that album but it’s definitely a lot more. When we finished recording the album we were going to have this pulverizing set where we were going to play like 19 songs without talking and just crush the audience and be all serious. We did that for three shows and we were like “this is not us…this is not fun.” I just didn’t feel like I was being myself, so we ended up just doing like we normally do, playing our songs and talking to the audience.
WULF: Having a good time, yeah.
WULF: The sub-question to that would be– how sick of talking about retro thrash and stuff are you guys?
TONY: I’m pretty over it. I was actually sick of it from the last record.
Everybody was like “how does it (feel to be) the forebearers of this new genre?” And it’s like, “well, I don’t really want to be that.”
WULF: Yeah, that sucks.
TONY: And it’s like… we’ve been doing this for nine years, you know? We were doing it before the “Thrash Revival”, before that phrase was even invented. We were doing it. I don’t know. It gets old. I’d rather (talk) about other stuff.
WULF: Yeah, I understand. I mean you read the interviews and you’re like “oh, God, these guys…these poor dudes.” ‘Cuz you know, the music is a lot different, at least to me, than the the music in the retro-thrash scene, or whatever and you guys just kind of got lumped in somehow.
TONY: Yeah you know, I think a lot of those bands will die off in a few years and I think the really good ones are the ones that are true and stick around and last.
WULF: Get their shit together and evolve, yeah. So one of the catchiest songs I think I’ve heard this year is definitely “Wrong Answer”. I like a lot of the songs on the album a lot, but “Wrong Answer” is the single and you (have) guys got a video for it which is pretty badass also. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun making the video, and so this might be kind of a naive question but as fun as it looked filming it was it stressful at all making it or was there (any) behind the scenes drama or technical difficulty or anything like that?
TONY: It wasn’t really stressful…it was kind of stressful because we had the concept idea for the video but we didn’t really know what we were doing. We went up there a day before and then the director kind of discussed what we wanted. Each band member made their own costumes, like that whole thing I was wearing, I totally made that myself, like I rented the tuxedo.
WULF: Oh, I didn’t know that! That’s cool.
TONY: Yeah, everyone made their own costumes. The girl in the video is actually Ryan’s girlfriend. It’s all us in the video and the one thing that we didn’t really know what we were going to do was how we were going to kill each member, so we kind of just threw all that together. It was a little stressful but it was fun, it was really hot and ugh! We were in this warehouse, without AC and we just stopped for five minutes and (would) be in front of the fan cooling down because we had the stupid costumes on and they (were) really hot.
WULF: Yeah because looking at it, I didn’t know if meanwhile you guys were like “fuck!” But I guess you guys were just really hot, but that’s cool though.
TONY: Yeah, it was really hot that day.
WULF: So with “Massive Aggressive”, what was the most difficult track for you guys to record, would you say?
TONY: The hardest song Dave nailed on the first take, I think it was “Upside Down Church”, maybe? It was weird, he nailed one of the songs on the first take and we were like “damn!” But you know, we were pretty prepared…there wasn’t anything that we really were stuck on, everyone just kind of bullied through the tracks. I have problems singing because I got sick, of course, it was the winter and my throat got all funky so I had to like take it a little easier right off the bat because I didn’t want to blow my voice out, so that was pretty difficult but just trying to keep my voice healthy was the hardest thing for me at least.
WULF: Well it’s good that you guys got through it and you didn’t blow out your voice or anything.
TONY: It came out good, I’m happy with it.
WULF: Yeah, I think it sounds really good.
TONY: Zeuss, the producer, pushed us pretty hard.
WULF: Oh yeah, he produced “Art of Partying” didn’t he?
TONY: Yeah, he did the last two records.
WULF: What would you say is your personal favorite track on this album?
TONY: Oooo. “Masked by Delirium” and I think “Wrong Answer” are my two favorites on there. And “Acid Sentence” too. My favorite to play live is “Acid Sentence” because it just pulverizes the audience, everyone goes crazy when we play that song!
WULF: Yeah it sucks, because the past couple of times you guys have been through I’ve missed it every time and so it sucks because I’ve heard the live show is a lot of fun, so I wanted to say that if you guys get the chance, try to come through Kansas City or Lawrence or something because we’d love to have you, for sure.
TONY: I want to, but on this tour I don’t think we are.
WULF: Yeah, I don’t think you guys are either. The Midwest is like, you know…it’s not the greatest scene in the world, it’s the middle of nowhere, so I don’t really blame bands when they don’t really want to come around here.
TONY: We had a really good show in Kansas City with Gwar.
WULF: Yeah that was the first time I heard of you guys, actually. It was a little while ago.
TONY: We had the flu that night though, everyone in the band. So we were so exhausted after we played I remember we turned the lights off in our dress room and everyone just laid there, totally sick with the flu.
WULF: Oh, that’s shitty!
TONY: It was brutal man, and that was my first time in Kansas City and I was really stoked to get there, and then everyone got nailed (with the flu), everyone on the tour got that illness.
WULF: That sucks, yeah you wanted to go get some barbecue or something like that?
So, my last question– any plans for the future or a DVD or anything like that?
TONY: Right now we’re planning on doing the few tours we’re doing, a full US tour and we’re doing a Europe tour, and after that Brazil…a lot of touring, and the plans for a DVD, actually, me and Ryan the guitar player have been stockpiling footage over the past nine years and we have some really hilarious stuff.
WULF: Nine years?! Holy shit!
TONY: We got stuff to do the DVD, we just gotta find a person to look through all that shit and figure out what’s good and what’s not.
WULF: Especially since bands don’t really come through here that much and I feel like Youtube doesn’t really do bands justice as far as the quality being shitty and stuff, I like DVDs. I’m looking forward to that for sure.
TONY: Yeah who knows, it might come out in five years from now.
WULF: Well that’s all the questions I have Tony, thanks so much giving me a call and taking time out of your day.
TONY: Glad I finally got ahold of ya.
WULF: Well, you take care and hopefully one of these days we’ll be seeing you in Kansas City or Lawrence or something like that.
TONY: Definitely, thanks a lot.