By KRISTOF G.
It’s a good thing we can count on Municipal Waste to always deliver top-shelf thrash metal—old-school, in-your-face-melting stuff—even if they keep busy elsewhere. The lads—screamer Tony Foresta (Iron Reagan), guitarist Ryan Waste (Bat, Volture), bassist Philip “Landphil” Hall (Cannabis Corpse, Iron Reagan), drummer Dave Witte (Brain Tentacles and so many other bands) and guitarist Nick Poulos (Bat)—always take good care of their MW fans, with amazing shows in equally awesome tours and consistently great releases with super-fun, gory artwork. Are you up for some seriously good ol’ flesh-ripping, toxic-wasting and head-cutting, while drinking, bruising and cruising in a junkyard at top speed? It’s all there in their new THE LAST RAGER EP from Nuclear Blast Records, dude. You might even find a bit of Kurt Russell in it too. So put your gas mask and hazmat suit on; this is the 10-minute classic thrash attack you need right now!
Municipal Waste has been blasting away for almost two decades now, and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Plus, they’re not strangers to horror. Beyond their albums’ gory cover art and in-song homages (like the 2003 TANGO AND THRASH EP, dedicated to all things Russell), they’ve done videos with Troma (“Headbanger Face Rip,” 2007) and Fangoria (“Acid Sentence,” 2010), before teaming up with effects artist Norman Cabrera last year for the video for “Slime and Punishment” (see below), their latest album’s title song, which is a homage to the video-store heyday in an Italian gore and body-horror way…as if the best bits of DEMONS and VIDEODROME were taped over a VHS of THE VIDEO DEAD.
During Heavy Montreal 2019, RUE MORGUE sat down with three-fifths of the band: first Witte and then, together, Foresta and Waste. All three are huge genre buffs and great, funny dudes to be around; here is some of their favorite horror-related stuff.
Who is your favorite horror-loving metalhead?
DAVE WITTE: Let’s see…maybe King Fowley, he is like this big horror-movie nerd. The singer from Deceased. Actually, no—Scott Ruth, the singer from Ripping Corpse, back in the day; that was the most important band to me, growing up. That guy, he goes to all the horror conventions, he’s the biggest horror maniac I know. A lot of his stuff is from H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, movies like FROM BEYOND and BASKET CASE. We would go see all that stuff in the movie theaters. We saw ARMY OF DARKNESS together when it came out.
What is your favorite monster movie?
RYAN WASTE: BLACK ROSES, ’cause, like, the musicians turn into monsters and that’s heavy metal. BLACK ROSES, hands down.
DW: Oh man, everybody loves GODZILLA. GODZILLA is amazing. But actually, PUMPKINHEAD and RAWHEAD REX. I’ve always been a big Clive Barker fan; I love all that stuff. I don’t know if Pinhead is considered a monster… I guess Barker’s NIGHTBREED had a lot of monsters in it back in the day. But you know what’s really great? THE HOST, that Korean monster movie? That’s a really good one.
TONY FORESTA: Oh, cool! I like THE HOST [without knowing Witte mentioned it] a lot.
What are your favorite slashers?
DW: Oh man, I remember this movie called TERROR TRAIN. It always kinda shocked me. And would you call THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE a slasher movie? And MOTEL HELL? No, it’s not really [laughs], but it’s a good one, a comedy, yeah.
TF: Would MANIAC work? I liked that one.
RW: I like FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER, with Crispin Glover. I love THE BURNING too; it’s got George Costanza in it, Jason Alexander.
What is your favorite Kurt Russell-John Carpenter movie?
RW: THE THING.
TF: One of my favorites!
RM: Dave just told me THE THING might be his favorite horror movie ever.
RW: And it’s the best remake of all time. It’s actually a remake. It’s all about the practical effects—the dog, man, it’s incredible. And ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is a close second.
TF: I fuckin’ love that shit!
What are your favorite zombie movies?
DW: I say, let’s go with THE EVIL DEAD, or, like, ARMY OF DARKNESS. I mean, they are kind of like zombies, in a way, right, or they are more possessed people? Also, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS had some skeletons, I liked that a lot. TRAIN TO BUSAN is cool. I know I’m jumping all over the place, but DAWN OF THE DEAD, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the classics, of course.
What is your favorite horror film poster?
TF: The RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD poster. That was in my first apartment; they had the soundtrack on the poster, with band names and shit. I always thought it was pretty cool.
RW: Can I add an honorable mention for video posters? I acquired a VIDEO DEAD one—you know, with the zombie coming out of the TV. The artwork is better than the movie! It’s like the sickest artwork.
DW: I dunno, maybe ALIEN. Probably DEAD ALIVE. See, it might be a good zombie one for me too. ’Cause I like the real fucked-up shit, when it’s so over the top, like WOLFCOP.
RW: The original BLOOD DINER poster was hanging above my bed. BLOOD DINER was one of the movies I was attracted to as a child in the video store; it just always stuck with me. It was a comedic kind of horror movie like BLOODSUCKING FREAKS or something, with the diner feeding body parts to the customers. [Our 2003 song] “Blood Hunger” was based on BLOOD DINER. I got our old drummer into it, Brandon [Ferrell], who passed away [in 2016]. He had given [the poster] to me when he moved out.
What is your favorite horrific album cover art?
DW: Carcass’ SYMPHONIES OF SICKNESS. That was fucked up. I guess they were vegetarian at the time; that was the message, from what I remember. I know Wes Benscoter did some really cool gory stuff [Slayer, Cattle Decapitation, Mortician, Autopsy]. Thinking of it, Vince Locke might be the king of the disgusting album covers. The Cannibal Corpse stuff? It got banned in so many countries, cause it’s so extreme. TOMB OF THE MUTILATED, BUTCHERED AT BIRTH…
TF: I’ve always liked the second Autopsy SEVERAL SURVIVAL cover, with the surgery room. That’s one of my favorites.
RW: The soundtrack for TRICK OR TREAT  with Sammi Curr on the front, by Fastway. And I love the album; that’s my favorite Fastway record.
Stay tuned; there’s more from Ryan Waste on movies and another exciting new projects to come…