Monday, December 5, 2011

Municipal Waste

At times, I can't help but be skeptical of Eastern thought.  Was the Tao Te Ching nothing but a way for the Chinese nobility to placate the lower classes?  Buddha tells us to renounce all of our earthly possessions, but that guy doesn't look like he's missed too many meals.  Plus, that look on his face really makes you wonder whether he's laughing with you or laughing at you.

The world of music isn't a pass/fail dichotomy.  This is a common truism that amateurs like myself tell ourselves, each other, and the rest of the world.  "I do this for myself, it doesn't matter if anyone else gets it!"  Let's face it, though.  You're either spending the next morning wondering what city you're in while washing encrusted champagne and vaginal fluids out of your hair with a sample bottle of hotel shampoo, or you're not.

In order to achieve the Western idea of success in music, there are three prime factors. 
The first - and least important - is good old, Yahweh-bestowed talent. 
The second most important factor is timing.  This is relevant in regards specifically to style of music: the Cherry Poppin' Daddies would never have broken the 200 attendance mark if not for the swing revival in the late 90's.  Some bands are able to predict trends and catch the crest of the wave before it breaks. 
The third - and by FAR - most crucial factor in determining a band's success is hard work.  Pick a style, find like-minded individuals that can handle living in a van for a decade or so, and dig in your claws.  Persevere.  Have band practice twice as often as every band you've ever heard of (except of course for Van Halen, who practiced 7 nights a week before they got signed).

Municipal Waste is a textbook example of the above factors.  Tony Foresta was (I guess is?) a few years younger than me, but I recall seeing him at punk/hardcore shows for as long as I can remember.  I don't remember him actually being in any bands before Municipal Waste, which leads me to believe that for several years he collected information about what kind of band he wanted to be in, while many others went for a more "trial and error" approach.  I don't personally know the other guys in the band that well, but the guitarist had his name legally changed to Ryan Waste.  That's dedication.

Municipal Waste started around the time that I left Richmond, so I only caught the very beginning of their ascent.  I used to write for a local Richmond weekly called Punchline, and (if memory serves) reviewed their first demo.  It reminded me of all the things I liked about bands like DRI and Septic Death, but with more of a sense of humor: one of the songs was about scanning the pit for items that people may have dropped.  Tony included a hilarious picture of a guy at one of their shows covered in blood with a big peace sign on his shirt.  Fileden has been giving me problems, so I can't upload the demo right now.  Here's their first 7", which actually might be the same recordings.

01 Thrashing is My Business
02 Detention Mosh Session
03 Rat Bite
04 Rock Hatchet Knife
05 Floor Score
06 CxMxD


  1. tony was in a band called james river scratch with some other guys. they played at my old house in blacksburg a few times and w/ suppression some in roanoke. if you google them it think there's a myspace and page.

  2. Wow over 10 years later and I reread this. I think also a member of Hallelujah and Flesh Eating Creeps Was an early Waste member much like Ben White was in The Sword