Failure can set you up for success, according to Municipal Waste's Tony Foresta. The singer was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show, and he revealed that lesson reflecting on how the band's rough attempts at setting up shows early in their career proved to be a learning experience that helped them in the long run.

Foresta and Municipal Waste are in a reflective period in 2024, with the band hitting the road on the "Brainsqueeze" tour that recaptures the spirit of their early years and also celebrating the 21st anniversary of their early standout Waste 'Em All album.

Within the chat, Jackie and Tony reflect on that pivotal album in the band's career and what influences helped the shape and mold that record. The singer also shares some of the craziest things he's seen from the group's overly enthusiastic audiences. And he talks about his varied tastes and why the band has often booked shows with groups outside the thrash metal genre.

Plus, Tony gives us an update on where the band stands with new music. Check out more in the chat below.

With us this week is none other than Municipal Waste mainman, Tony Foresta. Happy to have you back on the show. The band just kicked off the "Brainsqueeze" tour named after a fun tradition the group had back in their early days. And Tony, in what ways will this tour help in recapturing the spirit that came from the original "Brainsqueeze"? And will it differ from a traditional Municipal Waste show?

Well, this one's kind of curated by us and our friend Scotty. It's the 21st anniversary of our first album, Waste 'Em All. So we're bringing out a bunch of bands. Well, we've been trying to bring out Ghoul on a proper tour of the U.S. probably for like 15 years now. So it all kind of came together on the 21st anniversary and turning 21 is a big one for everybody. We can drink now. The album can drink legally now.

We got Necrot coming out, Dead Heat are California dudes that we like a lot we've actually toured with them as well. So all these people have been associated with the band at one point or another. Necrot, I mean I've had history with with some of those guys for before I was even in Municipal Waste. So this is definitely a friendly outing, but it's also bands that are pretty relevant and are actually putting out killer music currently. So I think it's gonna be an exciting run for sure.

One of the great things about Municipal Waste shows is that the audience often gives as good as it gets from the band. Have you ever been surprised by anything you've seen at a Municipal Waste show? And what are some of your most favorite moments you've ever had onstage?

Oh man, that's a lot. There's a lot to take in there. It's always good when the crowd's interacting, going back and forth. We've seen people set themselves on fire on purpose, jump off of balconies, which I'm not saying you should do. it’s more like friendly violence as Exodus likes to say.

We've had people make things, create things... they had a giant shark on Warped Tour one time that was on different sides of the room. One side was the front of the shark and the other side was the back of the shark. And when it was like in the pit swirling around, it just looked like a monster shark in the audience.

People like to throw around trash cans and it's general chaos, but everyone's looking out for each other there. It's not a tough guy scene for sure, so that's that. Those are the shows I enjoy when everyone's having a good time but getting excessively rowdy.


Tony, this tour, as you mentioned, also gives you a chance to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the band's debut album, Waste ‘Em All. It struck me as having more hardcore moments than I remember listening back to it, knowing that thrash would be more prominent as your career evolved. What do you remember about that time and what was influencing you musically and making that album?

Dang. Oh, that's a cool question. Going back and listening to it, my vocals are crazy. I was like way into power violence bands such as Despise You from L.A., Capitalist Casualties from the Bay Area. And then of course bands such Exodus, Anthrax, old COC [Corrosion of Conformity], all that was kind of combined.

We were also very young. I don't think Ryan [Waste] knew that he could do more than one guitar track. So most things were done in like one or two takes. We only recorded that in a day and I think maybe mixed the second day. I don't even think the original version was mastered.

We were very young and literally just there to have a lot of fun. Brandon, the drummer who's no longer with us, was 17 years old on that record, so we definitely were not really thinking that this was going to be a thing that progressed to 21 years later. But going back and listening to it, it's a little emotional and kind of exciting to see where our heads were at back then because it was literally raw, aggressive and fun.

Municipal Waste, "Mutants of War"

Tony, it's interesting to look at a band's career and feel like you take a little something with you from each album. What stands out to you in either a positive or negative way from that initial record in terms of how you would approach your future albums? Did anything carry over and remain a constant or were they like the "let's not do that again" discussion.

Well, I think it was just more of being green and not understanding how a studio works. That thing was actually done on tape too — before Pro Tools. We were at a weird transition. Our band just in general was at a weird transition in being a band from the early 2000s.

We booked our first tour on my mom's phone line on her landline. There was a magazine called Book Your Own Effing Life and it was just where punks would call other punks on landlines and ask to set up shows in their towns.

I actually just moved and found old scrapbooks that had scribbled directions to shows, like one show in Buffalo. It's like, "Take a left at the third stop light and call me from this payphone," and stuff like that.

So even stuff like that as far as recording goes and stuff, like as far as we moved on and we learned recording changed and the way people make music  [changed]. It was all new to us. It was a classic trainwreck — how we tour and how we do everything. You learn by absolute failure or the risk of absolute failure. So yeah, we still don't know what we're doing. We're still trying to figure it out.

It's easy to think a band is a fan of the sound of music of the scene in which they play. But I was checking out a piece you did for Loudwire last year in which you named your favorite vocalists right now. And one of your picks was Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which might not be the most obvious choice.

How much does having a grasp for music from other genres inspire and even inform what you'd like to do as a musician?

It's a huge thing. People get different influences from different creative outlets. As a band, we always made it a point when we do headlining tours that we bring out thrash bands and we never did.

This is one of the most thrash tours we've ever really booked as far as us as being the band picking the bands. Necrot are obviously not a thrash band, but they're influenced at least. We brought out pop punk bands back in the day. We brought out Brutal Truth. We just always try to be a mixed bill. I feel like creatively, when you go to a show, do you really want to just see four of the same style [bands]?

We used to always try to mix it together where you'd go and see a punk band, a death metal band, a rapper even — I don't care. So this was weird for us because this is very different to bring out mostly thrash bands. But Ghoul bring such a show and Necrot are definitely more on the death side.

It's just cool to feel like it's a creative mix even though it's still a thrash tour.

Influence wise, I love all kinds of stuff and I don't think it's being a poser or whatever to listen to stuff that's not just thrash music.

READ MORE: Municipal Waste's Tony Foresta Picks His 12 Favorite Vocalists Right Now

With this new tour and it being a couple years since the last record, might we be looking at some new music this year? What's on tap for the group this year?

We just kind of started writing stuff, so hopefully we'll have something, maybe an EP or just work on a new record for the following year. Right now we're dipping our toes into writing again and that's fun.

It's a real fun thing for us to create a process of writing a record. We've got to get in the mind frame of it. Usually, the first couple things we start writing are a little weird, but then you get in the zone with it. We have a little bit of time off this summer to really lock down and focus on writing. So we're gonna try our best, but we never really like set a time for something to be released until we get like 10 or 12 songs written that we're comfortable with releasing. So we're working on it. It'll be a while, but yeah, we're on the case.

See Municipal Waste on the "Brainsqueeze" tour and Tony, great to catch up with you. Can't wait to see you out there. And thanks again for taking the time.

Yeah, I really appreciate you helping us out and cheers.

Thanks to Municipal Waste's Tony Foresta for the interview. You can stay up to date with the band through their website, Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

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