‘We tried to make the summer party record’: Municipal Waste’s Tony Foresta Talks Electrified Brain, Sci-Fi, And Thrash Metal

Municipal Waste Singer Tony Foresta Talks Electrified Brain
Electrified Brain cover art: James Bousema/ Tony Foresta: Stefan Bollmann, S. Bollmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia
Published on:

When it comes to the music of Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste, it is impossible not to have fun. For over two decades now, the crossover band have put out a tremendous amount of releases that embrace and exude pure thrash and punk thrills. As of today, the band released their seventh studio album, titled Electrified Brain.

We love this record, and to celebrate its release, we conducted a special two part interview with Municipal Waste singer Tony Foresta. In part one of our interview, Foresta speaks to the band’s new album, his creative process, his enjoyment of science-fiction (and how that genre works into Municipal Waste’s music), and much more. In part two (which will be out in the near future), we talk all things wrestling! Tony is a big wrestling fan and has worked for the WWE, so we wanted to pick his brain a little. Without further ado, here is our interview with Tony Foresta!

The Pit: There is a great lyrical range to that of Municipal Waste’s music; while you do provide a lot of fun and comical narratives, the band also has its moments of touching upon serious stuff. In creating Electrified Brain, was there a particular vibe you wanted to present?

Tony Foresta: I didn’t want to do the bummer COVID record, like everything sucks, fuck this. I just kinda thought that would be what a lot of people were doing. It was a shitty time for everybody, you know. So we tried to make the summer party record. You know, like I feel like a lot of people have been itching to go outside again and get back to normal and I just wanted to put [out] a fucking stand-out Waste record to be the soundtrack of that summer. So hopefully we pulled it off. I mean, we sing about grim shit sometimes, but I feel like now more than ever, a proper party record needs to happen. 

The Pit: What tends to be your writing process? Especially in the case of creating this new album. Did COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders happen to play any role in making this record?

TF: I definitely used [it] as a creative outlet for me [referring to the down time he found himself with during COVID]. We had not most of [the album] written, but a large amount of it written before the pandemic. Once we realized that we weren’t going on that tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and Testament, we fucking we’re like “Okay, let’s just back up a little bit, reassess everything, and kind of like, go through all this stuff and see what we like and what we don’t like and what we can do to make it better.” I relocated to Florida, so this record, as far as like writing and arranging songs and shit goes, it was challenging at first, because I live like 12 hours away from my bandmates now; so we had to figure out up until even the tracking with how to make things work with me being like far away now. Once we figured it out it was fucking great. [Burps]. I just burped, sorry [laughs]. Please put “burps” in the transcription; “Once we figured it out, [burps!], it came out great!” [Laughs].

Anyway, alright, like even tracking the record, like, we struck out a couple times; I worked with a couple of friends that I thought I was going to be able to track vocals with and it just didn’t really work out. There was even a point where I was driving to Orlando, which I thought would be easy, and it ended up being like a two-to-three-hour commute everyday [to] track vocals. And we just scrapped it, like, we figured it out. It [ended] up being the best scenario. So when we figured out how to demo the record and record the record through everything, it worked out fucking great and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had. But it was a growing one for sure and there was a lot of trial and error. 

The Pit: Of all the songs that are on Electrified Brain, are there any that stand out to you as really funny?

TF: There’s a couple – “Grave Dive” was one of my favorites and [I] laugh when we talk about it because – I’m actually sitting in my car doing this interview in the parking lot, and it’s exactly the same spot where I wrote “Grave Dive” with Ryan. This happened earlier in another interview too, where I was asked about this. So, I was sitting in this car, right in the same fucking parking spot where I’m talking to you. I was writing lyrics for “Grave Dive“; Ryan was like, “I wanna write a song about digging up our fans and throwing them in the audience. We’re gonna call call it “Grave Dive,” I’m like, that’s fucking hilarious, so I wrote the first verse.

You know it’s like we dig up our fanbase, we take other corpses and toss them all out. [While writing the song], I’m texting Ryan what I wrote, and I’m like “This is what I got so far for ‘Grave Dive,’ write the second verse.” Like just fucking around, you know, like texting and shit talking [with] your friend right? [So then I’m curious to] see what he does [for the next verse]. He was walking down the street in Europe, like in Germany or something with the Eyehategod guys. He’s walking behind them texting me the lyrics. He wrote the second verse and I think the second verse in “Grave Dive” is one of the best like lyric things. I have [the lyrics] right here in my lap because I’m gonna fuck it up, but it’s like: “Limbs hit the concrete/ Bones scattered round, skulls, cracking quickly as they hit the ground/ The body count rises/ Each fan that we slay, adding grave divers each night that we play.”

He fucking wrote that shit on the fly walking down the street [while on the phone with me] and it’s like my favorite fucking line on the record. I like that we have that magic still; sometimes it’s where we write lyrics to each other or like to our fans – who we’re almost fucking with – where it’s like an inside joke that gets funnier and funnier over the years. And that’s cool. And I’m not saying the band’s a joke or like our lyrics or you know, but it’s like a weird play on [a] back and forth with your band members that makes shit fun like that to be creative. I love that we still have that vibe. 

The Pit: That’s a great segue actually ’cause we wanted to talk to you about younger thrash and crossover bands that have been inspired by that vibe Municipal Waste is known for. Are you familiar with a band called Belushi Speed Ball

TF: Oh yeah, they [wrote] a song called “Ripping Of Municipal Waste” or something? 

The Pit: Yeah – we wanted to ask you if you heard about that or if you have listened to it?  

TF: I heard it. It’s pretty funny, they’re cool. 

The Pit: How do you feel about the modern age of crossover bands? How close do you keep your ear to punk today? 

TF: Oh yeah, I mean, I’m a big fan of like a lot of newer bands. I like Spy a lot, there’s Intoxicated. I like bands that are doing their thing, you know? We just did a list for, uh, I think it was Revolver or something I can’t remember. But we just did like a little list of like our top newer thrash metal bands that are out right now and there are a ton of them, like there’s a lot of young kids doing their own shit. And it’s inspiring,

But yeah, like it’s funny ’cause Intoxicated has been a band for like as long as we have, but they just released a record. So I’m like – Well, they’re technically a new band, ’cause they’re just now putting out music, [though] they have been playing together for like 20 years. But I [also] like Enforced, and I like Spy a lot. There’s a band called Sanity Control. There’s a lot of cool stuff that’s exciting. I love to see that young kids still getting into it. 

The Pit: To conclude this portion of our interview, we did want to shift back to a question regarding your lyrical content. Sometimes when we listen to one of your songs or see one of your music videos, we get a Troma vibe (Troma as in the independent film studio who predominantly works in the genres of science-fiction and horror). We wanted to ask – What is your personal relationship with science-fiction and horror?

TF: Well, We’ve actually done a music video with Troma before in the past; I think it was “Headbanger Face Rip” or “Art of Partying,” but we did a video with Troma. So yeah, I mean it’s very very influential on us. Lyrically, we kind of try to get in the middle of like Slayer meets Beastie Boys meets Troma movies meets comics meets a keg party. That’s kind of like where we’ve always directed our shit, at least [for] me personally, I don’t want to speak for the rest of my band. But yeah, I mean I love science fiction. I like Star Wars a lot and the new Dune rules. I mean yeah we [are] movie nerds; Troma is a great great comparison for us. I would take that as a big compliment.

We would like to thank Tony for his time talking with us! Stay tuned for the second part of our interview with the Municipal Waste singer where we talk about his passion for wrestling and working for the WWE! Municipal Waste’s new album Electrified Brain is out today!