Napalm Flesh: Municipal Waste Interview

Posted June 14, 2012 in

Welcome to Napalm Flesh! This week we have an interview with drummer David Witte of Richmond, VA thrash revivalists Municipal Waste. They’ll be in town on June 18 with 3 Inches of Blood and Black Tusk at In the Venue. We also have a lengthy rundown of this week’s metal happenings throughout the state.

Event Listings
Compiled by Bryer Wharton

Friday, June 15 Corrosion of Conformity plays the Urban Lounge (21+) with Torche, Black Cobra and Gaza. Tickets, $16 are available, show gets underway at 9 pm.

Also Friday, 18 and Life is calling up in Park City with Skid Row performing at Park City Live, 427 Main (21+) with openers Liberty Lush. Tickets, $17 are available, show starts at 9 pm.

Yet another Friday option: re-united nu-metal crew Spineshank plays In The Venue (all ages) with The Agonist, 9 Electric, Mureau and locals Blood of Saints and Orion's Wrath. Tickets, $15.50 show starts at an early 4:30 pm.

Saturday, June 16 The Mentors return to Burt’s (21+) with Pottymouth (members of Green Jelly), Shit and Gnawing Suspicion. Tickets, $10, show starts at 9 pm.

Also with some metal type bands playing amongst the punk and every other genre, The Warped Tour hits the Utah State Fairpark on Saturday June 16. Music kicks off around 11 am. Tickets $28 in advance or $35 the day of.

Monday, June 18, check out party thrash crew Municipal Waste with openers 3 Inches of Blood and Black Tusk at In The Venue. Tickets for the all-ages show are $15, show underway at 7 pm.

Also Monday, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd play Ginos (21+) with Heartbreak Hangover opening. Tickets, $10 are available, show starts at 7 pm.

Shake hands with beef, as Primus plays Tuesday, June 19 at the Rail Event Center (21+). Tickets, $36 are available, the show starts at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, June 20 Def Leppard and Poison play USANA with Lita Ford. Tickets, $35-$100 are available, doors open at 6, show starts at 7 pm.

Lastly, the lengthy Crucial Fest (June 20-23 and 27- 29) starts Wednesday June 20 kicking things off at the Woodshed (21+) with the Red Bennies, Danger Hailstorm, Thunderfist, Blackhole and the Suicycles. Show starts at 8 pm, wristbands for the whole shebang are available for $25.

Interview with Municipal Waste drummer David Witte

Just before their April 10th show with Legacy of Disorder, Ghoul and GWAR, I managed to snag an interview with the David Witte, drummer of Municipal Waste. As we stood outside the Saltair, the din of a sound check echoed from within, so he and I piled into my friend's car, talking the whole way about the tour, and the release of their new album, The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space). He adjusted his plastic sunglasses and occasionally tugged at his scraggly beard, but he had nothing but good things to say about the tour. On June 18th, they'll be returning to Salt Lake City to incite a riot at In The Venue, so now is as good a time as any to let you in on the conversation we had.

SLUG: Firstly, how's the tour been going so far?
David Witte: The tour's been super good, really high morale. All the bands are great, everyone on the tour is cool. All the shows have been really good. We toured with GWAR years ago, and we've played a bunch of shows with Ghoul, so we're really friendly with everyone. The new record's out now, it came out today, and people have been really into it and showing a lot of support. It's been awesome in every way possible. Lots of good food and beer on the tour, too.

SLUG: Awesome. What's it like to tour with GWAR and Ghoul again?
Witte: Oh, it's great. They're our buddies. Not only are they our buddies, but their music's cool. I get to enjoy it each night. And they both have great stage acts, it's definitely a lot to see, besides hearing. We all hang out every night. Actually, sometimes we all take turns riding on the GWAR bus. Everyone's cool, it's a good older group of people, so everyone's chill. It's a little more adult and relaxed, everyone's having fun.

SLUG: The Fatal Feast (Waste In Space) released today. How long have you guys been working on the album?
Witte: We took a year off from touring, maybe like a year and a half, and really concentrated on writing and pre-production for quite a while and abstained from doing heavy touring. A quick example, for the last five years we've done like 200 shows a year, but last year we only did 20. So we had a lot of time home, a lot of time to focus on writing really good songs. I think it really paid off. I'm super happy with it.

SLUG: What inspired you guys to go for the Sci-Fi theme?
Witte: Oh, that's something Ryan (Waste) and Tony (Foresta) thought of years ago, and it just made sense. It was kind of funny in a way, “Waste In Space”. Those guys joked about that years ago, even before I was in the band. I think it was really light-hearted and kind of happy-go-lucky. And then it just presented itself as a feasible idea.

SLUG: You guys kind of went back to your crossover roots with this album. What made you guys choose that direction?
Witte: You know, there hasn't really been any driving force. I guess the only responsive record we've written is Massive Aggressive, because after The Art of Partying we wanted to step it up and make it more aggressive. But with this one we had really nothing in mind, we just sat down and wrote. Whatever came out, came out. I think it's a perfect example of every point in time for Waste, and hits all the Waste records. The major elements that make each record good, all in one spot.

SLUG: Definitely. Tell me about your writing process. Who's involved in writing for the album?
Witte: We all write. Sometimes those guys bring riffs to the room, and sometimes they don't and we just sit there and hash stuff out, but usually Tony and Ryan and Phil get together. Phil has a lot of ideas. And they'll work on stuff. Then we'll work on it as a group, and lyrics usually come later.

SLUG: You guys have been around for a little more than a decade now, what's changed most about the band over the years?
Witte: Eh, you know. We're a little older, a little fatter. That's about it. I guess the most important thing is we know what we don't want to do already—what we've already done. We know each other quite well. We're seasoned, now. We've done lots of tours, we know how each other works. So, it all comes together and really plays a huge part in how the band presents itself live and in general.

You guys recently changed from Earache to Nuclear Blast records. What drove that decision for you guys?
Witte: Well, our contract expired, and Nuclear Blast offered us a great contract. The whole time we were on Earache, Gerardo (Martinez) would come to the shows and tell us how much he loved the band, and he goes, “I'm going to sign you guys when your contract runs out.” And we're like yeah, that's cool, whatever. And he kept his word! The contract they gave us is incredible. We're super happy, and we're in a really good spot.

SLUG: So they're supporting you pretty well on this tour?
Witte: Very well. It's really good— lots of publicity, lots of promotion. They're all behind it. They all love the record, and they all love the band, and they're all genuinely nice people. They're working really hard. It's nice to have both sides working together evenly, and pushing it so hard. It's great. Every label has issues with every band, but we were really lucky this time around.

What keeps you guys going when you're on tour?
Witte: Music. Playin'. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. The fact that people enjoy it and come out and support it makes it even better. We're all really fortunate. We're in a good spot—we're writing our own music, people like it, and we're living off it, so it's good. I'm happy.

What was your first thrash album?
Witte: I dunno, it's so hard to remember. But the one that made the most impact on me is Reign in Blood. It's the best one ever. I don't think anyone will ever beat it. I think it's impossible, actually. The only thing that comes close in my mind is Slaughter of the Soul by At The Gates. It's got interesting consistency, because it never lets up. It's a different style of music, for sure, but I got the same drive and feeling from that record that I did from Reign in Blood, but not as strong. Reign of Blood is pinnacle. Dave Lombardo raised the drumming bar for metal, forever. Being a drummer, I heard that and was like, “That's what I want to do!”