Thrash metal invaded Brooklyn as Municipal Waste headlined Warsaw on November 11th. While the group were initially scheduled to co-headline with High on Fire, Matt Pike and the rest of the group had to drop off from the run due to having part of his toe amputated. However, that didn’t seem to affect ticket sales. The near-sold out crowd were there for an evening filled with waste as Nuclear Assault were added to the NY date. Prior to the show, we were lucky to catch up with Municipal Waste guitarist Ryan Waste to discuss High on Fire’s absence, sharing the stage with Nuclear Assault, looking back on one of the nastiest drinking experiences, and more.
It’s a bummer to hear what happened to Matt Pike, having to have High on Fire drop from the tour. How’s everything been going since?
It’s actually great. I mean, it’s a real shame about Matt. The people are still coming out so it’s kinda like a test that we unintentionally played on ourselves. But we’re packing the room still. I think maybe people that wanted to see High on Fire didn’t return their ticket, they’re still coming out. They’ve shown a lot of support too. We’re pretty stoked.
How does it feel to perform with Nuclear Assault tonight?
That’s one of our favorite bands growing up. The names kinda have gone hand in hand when people compare Waste. We played with them, it’s funny, we played with them in 2002 and I remember being really excited. John Connelly wanted to borrow my amp and I was like ‘yes’, we’ll dial em in. And tonight he wanted to borrow my amp and I said ‘use my other guitar player’s amp’.
(laughs) Shows how much time has changed.
Yeah, it’s like 16 years can kinda make a difference. I’m just kidding with him though.
Before signing to Nuclear Blast, you guys used to release a new record every two years. Within the last two, there is like a five year gap. Can you explain what happened?
We wrote a record and we weren’t really happy with it, like it seemed kinda uninspired. So we trashed the whole record maybe besides a few riffs and a few songs, and rebuilt and kinda did the whole thing over. That’s why it took twice as long.
We also got Nick in the band, my best friend, on second guitar. So we changed tuning. We tried to tune down a little lower to E flat and that sounded kinda weird for us. Bringing the two guitars in we could do a little more harmonies and solos and stuff. We just kinda like tried to add a little something extra to the sound, so it just took a little while. And we didn’t like being on a schedule like every two years to do a record. We were touring the whole time. It’s just like, let’s just take our time with this one.
The label was flexible with that?
The label’s been so cool to us. They’ve never pushed us or pressured us to get something out on time. It’s a cool relationship.
Have you started writing anything new recently?
We just wrote a new EP. Well we just wrote five songs for that. It’s recorded and we’re just waiting on artwork right now. I mean that’s five new ones that, yeah, will come out a lot quicker than five years. EPs are cool, you know. You don’t have to over do it, just pack it all in.
It’s kind of a thing a lot of bands are doing, I’m noticing. You can release whatever, whenever now since the whole market has changed.
I don’t think of it like that. I still think of it as vinyl records. I’m a big record enthusiast. It can get to people quicker on the internet of course, but I don’t think it’s real unless it’s on vinyl.
What are your plans for next year?
We’ll go on to Europe. We’re working on a tour right now. Some stuff I can’t announce. I know my year, but a lot of it you can’t really say until …
There will be stage diving at the shows. It’s a given.
How do you push through despite all of the curveballs life hits all of us with?
Well it’s easier with the alcohol sometimes. Sometimes actually alcohol makes things harder I’ve found. I guess some of the hardest stuff is like being in a party every night, so I’ve kinda slowed down on that a little bit. We played Richmond last night so I’m completely hung over. I hadn’t played drunk on stage in a while, but last night I realized why I stopped doing it. We are just happy to be playing music and doing what we love and being able to barely support ourselves on it. It’s nice.
For fun, what’s one of the worst beer experiences you’ve had?
This is gross. Are you ready it?
So we played Philly in this church. It’s like a unitarian church so they do a lot of alt hardcore and DIY shows. We’ve played there about ten times. So back to drinking, we were day drinking and I think I’d drank like I mixed a lot of alcohol. Drank some nice beers but also whiskey and Jager and then ate like a big Philly cheese steak. I gave this big monologue. I was drunk on stage and I gave this big monologue before “Terror Shark” and I’m warning the crowd about the danger of sharks. Talked a lot and then I’m kinda out of breath. Jumped on the crowd, I kinda did like a stage dive while playing guitar and I was getting carried playing. I had just winded myself. I got back up onstage and puked all over the whole stage. It was like black vomit because of the cheesesteak and the Jager and whiskey combo. And it smelled so bad I thought it was going to be one of those chain reaction vomits like Stand By Me or whatever. There was a band after us that had to play with all my puke on the stage. That’s pretty gnarly.
That is pretty disgusting, but amusing story. I love it.
I still played the song. That’s the thing. I puked on my guitar. I didn’t miss a note on the song.
You didn’t miss one note?
Puked right through it. That’s actually the punchline.
You know, some people would just give up at that point, so that’s great.
The look on people’s faces, I thought I was going to induce like a chain reaction of vomiting.
For fun, if you can categorize your career as a movie genre, what would it be?
Heavy metal horror. It’s my favorite. I’m actually writing a movie. I’ve actually..
You’re writing a movie?!
A heavy metal horror movie. I’m actually meeting with someone in New York, this producer, to talk about it.
And does this involve your music videos that you guys do? Or at least inspired by?
Well, actually, the guy who did our last music video, Norman Cabrera, is a good friend of mine out in LA and he’s like an effects guy. He’s going to collaborate with me on it, so it’s funny you say that. Just recently we kinda got together. We got together for that video. We have similar tastes in old horror movies and heavy metal. He’s like the perfect guy to combo with.
Is there anything else that you want to say or add to your fans?
Thanks for supporting us, thanks for coming out even though High on Fire dropped off. We really appreciate it and I’m very hungover. I meant to lead with that.
I guess I have to catch up.