History & BiographyUnlikely to have been influenced by Demolition Hammer’s Infectious Hospital Waste, Municipal Waste was formed in Virginia, USA in 2001. Its first show was on that year’s New Year’s Eve. The crossover act immediately displayed a penchant for humour.
The band issued an EP called Municipal Waste through Amendment Records. It was followed by a split EP with Bad Acid Trip called Tango & Thrash, on the same label, which was a riff on the film Tango & Cash. The lyrics covered Kurt Russel’s films. Another split, this time with Crucial Unit this time, led to the band’s first full-length, Waste 'Em All. Dave Witte had joined in October of 2004. The group next appeared on a C.O.C. tribute EP called Dark Thoughts: A Tribute To C.O.C. to pay homage to the former crossover band-gone-grunge. Earache picked the band up and issued a full-length in 2005. Nonetheless, the band independently issued a live album called Live At Alley Katz. It was later reissued and given the DVD treatment by Earache as Live In Richmond 2006. In 2008, the group opened for the reformed At The Gates. In a scene reminiscent of Spinal Tap the band burnt a miniature church on stage in 2009 apparently parodying the Norwegian black metal bands. The band would later switch to Nuclear Blast. Nonetheless, Italy’s Night Of The Vinyl Dead Records issued a vinyl EP called Garbage Pack. The songs were already heard on The Fatal Feast, but the record was released for Record Store Day 2012. Municipal Waste announced the addition of Nick Poulos on second guitar in June of 2016. Poulos played with guitarist Ryan Waste in Volture and Bat and previously played with bassist Phil Hall in Cannabis Corpse. The band was touring Europe. Exodus and Municipal Waste were touring in support of the new season of the latter’s animated series Mr. Pickles in 2018. Municipal Waste and High On Fire announced a co-headlining U.S. tour that November. High On Fire pulled out of the Speed Of The Wizard co-headlining tour of USofA with Municipal Waste, which also included Toxic Holocaust and Haunt. High On Fire singer Matt Pike was having a toe partially amputated. Municipal Waste, Sick Of It All and Napalm Death would tour the USA in October 2019. The band was releasing a new EP, entitled The Last Rager, through Nuclear Blast in October 2019. The band was booked for the Rockstadt Fest in 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Electrified Brain was released in July 2022. The line-up had been stable. Anthrax cancelled the continental Europe part of its autumn 2022 tour with Municipal Waste due to rising costs. The act claimed costs were triple the original budget. Carcass, Municipal Waste, Sacred Reich and Creeping Death were touring North America in April 2023. Municipal Waste was headlining a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland in the autumn of 2023. Gel and Undeath opened. Venomous Concept with Shane Embury of Napalm Death picked up Dave Witte for concerts. Municipal Waste announced the Brainsqueeze Tour of North America with Ghoul, Necrot and Dead Heat in February 2024.
MUNICIPAL WASTE - HAZARDOUS MUTATION - EARACHE
Take a look at the cover art for Hazardous Mutation and you will note the strong '80s influence. The bands from that era used to have actual artwork on their covers and that is what Municipal Waste has done here. This particular cover's colours remind me of Uncle Slam's Will Work For Food album. The East Coast crossover boys are also into the speedy '80s thrashing crossover scene too. Names like DRI, MDC and Venice Beach forerunners like Excel and early Suicidal Tendencies come to mind while listening to the album. These songs are all aggressive thrashcore with a singer who spits fury mix with the odd melodious passage and guitar solo to complete the effect. This might sadly be music from an era gone by, but that in no way lessens its appeal. One last thing, what is that sample on the song Mind Eraser? - Anna Tergel
MUNICIPAL WASTE - MASSIVE AGGRESSIVE - EARACHE
In just under four years Municipal Waste has gone from virtual unknown to the leader of the new-school thrash movement, a position that is both a measure of the group’s impressive albums and, paradoxically, a hindrance: like many other success stories before it, Municipal Waste has now spawned a backlash simply as a result of its hard-earned popularity. But that’s metal, and this black-clad genre that’s based on fandom from outsiders will always curse its own once they elevate themselves out of the small sphere of shows that are considered a success if 100 people, or thereabout, show up. It’s becoming clear as the years toll on that Municipal Waste will never top its monstrous finest hour, Hazardous Mutation, as that record is an absolute crossover/thrash perfection, filled to the brim with fast songs that actually play out memorably as opposed to being part of the legion of tracks that are forgotten the second they end. Massive Aggressive is a slightly bizarre effort then, Municipal Waste still retaining Hazardous Mutation’s energy but presenting the tracks in a way more slick and streamlined way: if you were a linear-thinking jerk, you’d call this Municipal Waste’s sell-out effort but, in reality, it’s not and simply can’t be as Municipal Waste is still '80s thrash/crossover obsessed and nothing has changed on that front (i.e. there are no power ballads here). Much like the sound of Mastodon’s major label work, Massive Aggressive is the same band but just with a bigger budget and though the following is a digression, it goes without saying that Mastodon’s major label cash situation is obviously way bigger than even an Earache priority. So, yes, Massive Aggressive is the mark of a headliner as opposed to that of the perennial opener but, thankfully, Municipal Waste has retained its sense of the absurd: who else would come up with a song-title like Upside Down Church? - James Tape
InterviewsFor fans of pure, unadulterated thrash/crossover, Municipal Waste's latest record, Hazardous Mutation, is an absolute godsend. Despite a ridiculous band name and equally cheesy album cover (but maybe that was the point -- have you looked at Overkill's record sleeves lately?), Municipal Waste has put out one of the best albums of 2005, an effort that is incredibly listenable and energy-filled. Every track on Hazardous Mutation is a speedy anthem, the group not resting for a single moment; Municipal Waste is essentially the bastard child of Anthrax, Slayer, Minor Threat and DRI, an ensemble that knows no light-hearted moments, to be sure. Metallian's James Tape had the chance to interview Municipal Waste drummer Dave Witte, who filled us in on the comings and goings of the Virigina residents. - 26.10.2005
METALLIAN: Do you think there's a market for crossover in 2005?
DAVID WITTE: Maybe, maybe not. That's not why we are doing what we do
though, and that's the last thing we think about, if at all.
METALLIAN: The record cover -- it's very 1980s. Was that done on purpose, to coincide with the band's sound?
DAVID WITTE: Of course, we wanted to do everything to make sure that we liked the record overall and the artist Repka was the perfect choice this time around.
METALLIAN: Is Municipal Waste a homage to '80s crossover or trying to add a new chapter to it?
DAVID WITTE: Some people feel both ways and that's fine with us, but at the end of the day, it's still us doing what we like and enjoying it. We do, however, totally love and respect '80s crossover obviously so being included with the greats is quite a compliment to us.
METALLIAN: Do you feel metalcore is simply a 21st century version of crossover?
DAVID WITTE: Hell no, metalcore is not the current version of crossover. I can see some people saying it is, but that's just because you're combining metal and hardcore, but it's from a different set of roots. Crossover to me was fast, furious and fun without all the violent dancing and fashion sense that the metalcore scene seems to thrive on today. It seems the metalcore scene thrives on success and image rather than having a good time, with respect to each to his or her own I know there are many different categories and sub-genres to both metal core and crossover. I know I'm kind of generalizing, that's just how I feel.
METALLIAN: Your influences seem to be Anthrax, Minor Threat and DRI. Are you fans of these bands?
DAVID WITTE: Not at all. Never even heard of them! Just kidding, yes we are and they were very influential to us.
METALLIAN: "Guilty of Being Tight"... is that a play on Minor Threat's "Guilty of Being White"?
DAVID WITTE: Yes, you are a smart cookie.
METALLIAN: The songs are all of extremely high quality... do you place a special emphasis on the song-writing process?
DAVID WITTE: Thank you and yes. We write for ourselves and we make sure that we have everything in our songs that we would want to hear. We also care a lot about musicianship, making sure all the songs are very tight and played well. The trick is to have a good time while you are doing it (playing) and we sure do.
METALLIAN: What are the goals for Municipal Waste?
DAVID WITTE: To tour as much as possible, have a great time, see the world and to keep writing songs and music that we enjoy playing.
METALLIAN: There are no slow tracks on the record, only speedy ones. While I think that's awesome (slow tracks be damned!) did you worry about a lack of dynamic on the record?
DAVID WITTE: Again, we write for ourselves and as long as we are happy with the outcome that's fine with us. We don't set out to write a certain set of songs, it just happens and whatever comes out, comes out.
METALLIAN: Where does your brand of aggression come from? Every day life? Existential angst? Other areas?
DAVID WITTE: Everyone has their personal ups and downs we know that, we don't really have much to complain about besides the everyday political bullshit but, then again, we aren't really a political band so I guess the love of our playing happens to tide in with so many bands doing the same thing over and over and over. By no means has the Waste 'chosen' to play 'crossover' to do something different, it's just what we do. So I guess the aggressiveness in our music is just us kicking ourselves in the ass to do better. No agenda. No nothing.
Check out http://www.facethewaste.com for more.