We talked to Tony Foresta about the band's controversial new shirt design, and why he's more afraid of his mom than a Trump presidency.
Photo courtesy of Municipal Waste
Things have been fairly quiet in the Municipal Waste camp for the past couple of years; the band's members have been keeping wicked busy with their other bands (Iron Reagan, Cannabis Corpse, Volture, Bat, No Friends, and drummer Dave Witte's million and a half projects) and a follow up to 2012's The Fatal Feast (Waste in Space) LP is still forthcoming. However, these Richmond thrash heroes just blew up the Internet with their bloody new T-shirt design, featuring Republican Presidential candidate, racist extraordinaire, billionaire baby, and all-around mangy Pomeranian of a human, one Donald J. Trump.
While the shirt seems to have gained a ton of support from metal and punk's left-leaning, T-shirt-buying public (many of whom I imagine were stoked on this All Shall Perish pro-Bernie Sanders design, too), some of the Waste's own fans are aghast, which is understandable: after all, who'd have thought that a band who put a song called "I Want to Kill the President" on their debut album would entertain political opinions of their own?
I hit up Municipal Waste vocalist Tony Foresta (who also sings in Noisey faves Iron Reagan) to see what the story was. I caught him just as he was waking up on the West Coast, so he answered my questions via email to ensure clarity. If you're anywhere near Los Angeles tomorrow, we highly recommend you head to the Regent Theater to catch the Waste with a slew of killer guests—Repulsion, Terrorizer, Ghoul, Gravehill, and Night Demon—as they bang out their classic Hazardous Mutation album in its entirety!
Probably best to leave your TRUMP 2016 buttons at home, though.
Noisey: It's something of a Municipal Waste tradition to use shirt designs featuring various shitty people getting their just desserts. Trump is definitely one of the shittiest people going right now, so why did you decide that now was the right time for this shirt, instead of later this year (or earlier this past year when he announced his campaign)?
Tony Foresta: We havent' really had any shows for a while. We've basically been inactive and working on our other bands, and slowly writing a new record over the past two years. There wasn't really any point in making any new shirt designs if we aren't doing any tours or anything. We just printed these for this LA show on Saturday, and didn't realize it was going to be such a thing. We're a bit shocked actually.
How have people been reacting to it? Is it a big seller?
It's kind of crazy. We're making so much money off of it that we might actually turn into Republicans! Okay, not really ,but it's selling pretty good. A lot of people don't like that guy. I've been reading some of the comments from people that are "shocked" that we would say something bad about Trump. We talked about killing George Bush on our first freaking album! People need to read the lyrics of the bands they listen to before they get butthurt about the things they have to say. Who knows, you could be listening to some Nazi shit and not know it. If you're going to get worked up over a band you "listen to," at least pay attention to the things they have to say in their songs. I mean, I know 80 percent of our Waste songs are about drinking and all, but I swear, there's some content in there, dammit!
I saw a music blog post the story with a (fake) headline, "Donald Trump is going to sue Municipal Waste over their new shirt." That's obviously just a clickbait thing, but have you thought about how you'd handle it if you ever were contacted by someone from his camp about the shirt?
My mom called me yesterday and yelled at me about the shirt. That's never happened to me before. We've been writing offensive songs and putting out fucked-up imagery of politcal figures and religious dicks for over 10 years now, so it's kind of weird that this is the first thing that has actually caused a big stir. I mean, if you look at the past Waste art and our other bands' imagery, this shirt is kind of a no-brainer. It's weird that now, after all these years, this is what gets people worked up. But yeah, if Trump gets pissed, bring it on. I doubt he can yell as loud as my mom.
Which of Trumps policies do you think are the most harmful and potentially dangerous for the American people and our overseas allies?
I don't really think the fact that he's a blatant racist who constanly puts his foot in his mouth on a daily basis is really going to really jive well with international relations. I think the whole immigration reform thing is insane and frightening. What's really scary to me is the fact that some of the people who support it are distant relatives of immigrants themselves. That's just sad and confusing.
You have your fair share of light-hearted songs, but MW has always railed against oppression and political/religious corruption in your more sociopolitical lyrics. What kind of advice would you give to young punks and metalheads who are interested in learning more about politics?
I would say not to be intimidated by what other people try to push on you. Don't just hate Trump because our ridiculous band did a shirt. Read up on it, ask questions and form your own opinion.
Do you have anything good to say about Donald Trump? The worst presidents tend to inspire the best aggressive music, so I guess that's one silver lining...
Yeah, the Richmond hardcore scene was the shit when George Bush was president. I blame Obama for Wasted Time breaking up. The only thing I really enjoyed by Trump was when Stone Cold stunned him on WWE. I also got drunk in one of his casinos by accident once. That's about it.
I read a meme that said Bernie Sanders listens to Discharge, so it has to be true. I'm going with that.
Have you decided who you're going to vote for in 2016? Which presidential candidate has the official Municipal Waste endorsement?
I dont really want to get into politics here, Kim. ;)
Kim Kelly is voting to wall of death the system on Twitter.