The members of Richmond, Virginia’s Municipal Waste took a good long time — for them — to write and record their newly released punk-metal crossover messterpiece “The Fatal Feast.” To prepare, the band gave themselves a window of time when they weren’t under a pressing record company deadline and weren’t burned out from trying to wedge recording in between tours.
Guitarist Ryan Waste says the extra time spent preparing “The Fatal Feast” made a big difference in the band’s state of mind and in the songs.
“It was more relaxed,” Waste said. “We took a year off and got our heads together in general. We came up with stuff without being so tired from the road; we were excited to write and I think it shows.”
“The Fatal Feast” is fast, nasty and pummeling and combines traditional Waste gory dark humor (“New Dead Masters,” “Jesus Freaks” and the cannibalistic title track) with moments of Dead Kennedyesque political consciousness (“Standards and Practices”) and wacky party time insanity (“Covered in Sick/The Barfer,” “You’re Cut Off”). Musically, “The Fatal Feast” is brutal stuff, like a faster tongue-in-cheek “Reign in Blood.”
“We put the bar pretty high on ourselves,” Waste said. “I think, for our own sanity, we wanted to take a little time off and going between labels (from Earache to Nuclear Blast) was the best time to do that — and the end result is one of our best albums.”
If not as consistently politically active as the band’s last album for Earache, “Massive Aggressive,” it’s clear from songs like “Standards and Practices” that Municipal Waste has a political cutting edge. Waste said the band likes the dichotomy of mixing wacky horror tales with moments of social consciousness.
“We want to have fun — but you have to touch on the serious stuff,” Waste said. Any resemblance to the sentiments in “Standards and Practices” and the Occupy Wall Street movement, however, is purely coincidental.
“We wrote that before all of that (Occupy Wall Street) was coming down,” Waste said. “Maybe that was the Waste predicting the future.”
The album is classic Municipal Waste, Ryan Waste said. “It’s almost like a Waste best-of, with the old-school feel,” he said. “But, we’ve covered new ground and I got to do some new leads.
“There are some Motorhead tempos,” Waste said. “That has always been our specialty — its like A.D.D. speed metal.”
The band strives for its brand of musical perfection, Waste said. “We’ve never been a technical band, but we do want to keep you on your toes,” Waste said.
The band recently finished up a string of dates with GWAR and will be hitting the road for another trek across the U.S. in late May. After that, the band will play a June date in the U.K. and a few shows in France in July.
“This year is going to be the year of the Waste wasting the world,” Ryan Waste said. “We’re doing our own headlining tour and we’re going over (to Europe) to do the festivals.” When not touring with Municipal Waste, Ryan Waste will be touring with his side-band, Volture. Meanwhile Waste bassist Phil “Landfill” Hall will also be touring at times this year with his side project, Cannabis Corpse. Drummer Dave Witte, who also plays with King Generator and Birds of Prey, will also be touring this year.
Side projects, Waste said, do not interfere with Municipal Waste.
“There’s no jealousy,” Waste said. “Everyone wants to give that creative freedom. It’s what keeps (Municipal Waste) fresh.”