** Scribbled by Municipal Waste lead screamer Tony Foresta. Don't forget to check the stream of the Toxic Waste split 12" on the venerable Tankcrimes label, as posted by the equally venerable Adem. It's HERE, we think. Or, the Part One of the tour diary, called Part Waste, 'cause we're cute. Click HERE. 6/1 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk Place as part of Chaos in Tejas: I usually don't get nervous before I play shows. I usually don't give a shit. For some reason I was nervous as hell all day. Maybe I was stressing because this fest had one of the best lineups on a show that I have ever played in years? Our show was killer; Drop Dead, Forward, Skizophrenia and our good friends Ghoul. I was biting the hell out of my nails all day knowing that we had to play after all these killer bands and in front of friends attending that I literally haven't seen in years. It was intimidating for me to say the least.
Regardless of a bunch of technical difficulties the sets were great from all of the bands and everyone was having so much fun that it didn't matter a bit. Ghoul thanked everyone for attending South by Southwest and Ross did one of the shittiest speaker dives I've ever seen. It was easily one of the best sets of the weekend. Forward got the award for drunkest band of the year and of course Drop Dead talked about animals and shit. I couldn't stop smiling watching all these great bands.
During our set somebody actually jumped off the balcony onto the stage during a song. A real stage dive! After we played we did our best to load out as fast as possible so we could run over to one of the Waste's favorite venue in the states---Red 7---to catch a few St Vitus songs. So many friends and so much fun that next thing I knew it was almost 6 a.m. and I had to jump on the bus to leave.
Being here and being around so many old pals got me thinking a bit. I've known Timmy (Chaos promoter) for so many years. My old band played his birthday party in Richmond back around '97 (fuck, I'm getting old). I'm really proud of that fact that he is able to put together such a fun and diverse music festival yearly as well as put out records and set up great shows in Austin all year long. So many punks and metal heads spend their time all day bitching on the Internet and constantly complaining about everything going on in their scene and life but really do little to get out there and improve it. This guy has been doing working at it and doing it almost his whole life. His way. This world needs more Timmys.
6/2 - Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves: I woke up confused and still pretty hammered from Austin and got an early visit to the venue from Doug from Clearview/Selfless records. Have you ever heard of that label? If not you should check it out. I've been buying this guy's stuff since I started collecting records way back when. He's put out so much good shit that it's absurd. He told me he had a few gifts for me but I had no idea about the mushroom cloud of cool stuff that he was going to drop in my lap. About 25 rare, insane, and out of print records. We're talking Drop Dead, Queers, Screeching Weasel and Initial State test presses as well as a bunch of killer new stuff! I was in record nerd heaven.
Still hung over from Chaos we plowed through our set then spent the rest of the evening hanging outside in the perfect weather killing a bottle of Jameson with the Black Tusk gentleman and their crew (Kim). It was a good way to spend our last night in Texas.
6/3 - Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory: Tonight's venue was the Conservatory in Oklahoma City. There isn't much to do around there so we went walking around to find a shitty Chipotle rip-off style taco joint. It was the worst tacos I think I ever had. They were cold and weird as shit. On top of that every table in this empty restaurant was dirty with lettuce and stuff all over them. Not a clean place anywhere to sit. It was clear the relatively teenage staff did not give a crap what so ever. I thought for sure that I was going to get food poisoning from this place. Regardless, I still ate all four tacos because apparently I am a glutton for gluttony.
The show ended up being really fun and lucky for me my stomach survived the Waste pre-set taco challenge. I also picked up some sweet records from my buddy Jim and managed to get some sweet people-watching in all day.
In other news Ryan is not drinking for a couple days. Liver rest. In his honor, I decided to drink twice as much this evening to keep the universe balanced. A couple of us ended up going to a bar after the gig called the Hi Lo. Unfortunately, immediately after my first shot there, I started getting the spins. I guess I went a little too big before I left the venue. I hung strong for about 45 minutes but then had to get Dave and Cartel (our tour manager) to drag my sorry butt back to the bus. My bad guys! I didn't expect that one to happen.
6/4 - Albequrque NM (Day Off): Not a whole lot really happened today. Witte and Lindsey went and saw that new Snow White movie. Ryan, Cartel, and I drank beers and watched the NBA playoffs and Phil spent his entire evening alone naked in the desert on a wild peyote journey much like the "spirit world" scene in Young Guns returning to the hotel in the morning a "changed man".*
*one of these things above did not happen.
6/5 - Tempe, AZ @ 910 Live: It was hot as all shit outside. So hot in fact that the outdoor venue that we we're loading into had water misters shooting into the air on us throughout the load. I don't know if it was the heat and being outside all day but this show seemed to go on forever. By the time Black Tusk got on the stage the crowd started waking up eventually turning the longest/hottest day ever into a pretty fun show.
During Tusk's set a fairly young girl passed out partially on the stage from what became apparent later from way too many drugs. I guess nobody really noticed her chilling there at the time and while Athon was playing he didn't see her either and accidentally stomped right on her head while playing. Whoops! Security quickly took notice after that and dragged this poor barely conscious girl (to our surprise) into our dressing room.
Imagine our surprise when all of us our standing around getting ready to play when this suddenly bursts through the door. Judging by her attempts to communicate and the fun that she still seemed to be having it seemed pretty clear that she was on drugs. Security runs off to call the paramedics leaving us in charge of her (!!!!) while she flailed around the couch. I mean I've seen a lot of people fucked up. I set up a music festival in Richmond for crying out loud and on a scale of 1 to 10 of being messed up this girl was at least a 9. I was honestly worried about her.
Next thing we know, this other girl starts pounding on the door, "I'm her friend Let me in! Let me in!" We do so and she says something along the lines of, "Oh, she's going to be alright. She's just fucked up. Do you guys want to party with us after the show?" (What?!?!?!)
We promptly kicked her out of our room while her friend got treated by the paramedics. Wow, that was something. Did I mention that it was hot? OK, cool. After the gig I packed up my shit and hopped in the car with a friend and headed over to the airport for a really early flight to Richmond to begin tending to my Best Man wedding duties for the next four days. I'm so excited!
Richmond VA (4 day tour intermission):
6/11 - Anaheim CA @ Chain Reaction: This was my great return from almost five days away from my bandmates. Reunited! Woo hoo! I woke up at 5 a.m. to catch my cross-country flights from Richmond to L.A. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got to the venue, but I was still excited to hear about all of the adventures everyone had while I was gone. Not to mention that it was Ryan Waste's birthday too! Not only that, it was 3 Inches of Blood's first night with us.
My big arrival was squashed seconds after showing up. Right when I walked up towards our bus all I can hear are weird moans in the distance. I drop my bag and jog toward the back of the bus only to find Phil laying upside down on the ramp on his back clenching his teeth and grunting in a lot of pain. Apparently, he twisted or sprained his ankle really bad trying to unload his gear.
So instead of saying hello to everyone I just swing the door open in the venue and yell, "HELP! SOMEONE GET SOME FUCKING ICE!!!" Phil looked like he was in some major pain at the time.
After a few minutes of us icing his ankle up and in a chair Ryan comes in and delivers the heartbreaking news that our pal Jeff from Voetsek passed away in motorcycle accident the night before. Fuck. We weren't closest friends of Jeff's by any means, but he was definitely one of us and the times we spent together on tour were amazing. He was such a fun and stand-up guy. I can't imagine the heartbreak our friends are going through in Oakland right now. It's pretty heavy to think about and we we're all pretty upset.
Shortly after that goes down 3 Inches arrived and we all introduced ourselves. It must have been a pretty weird scene for them to roll up on us like that having never really meeting us before. They seem like really cool dudes and I'm looking forward to getting to know them over the next few weeks.
The show ended up going off. Like really going off. Southern California never disappoints and the sold out crowd of really young kids were really going for it tonight. I love this part of the country!
Black Tusk and 3 Inches of Blood were fucking great tonight. I'm pretty stoked to have the full package together finally. This tour is going to be sweet. Our set was one of my favorites, Ryan was birthday drunk and being hilarious and Phil toughed it out and played his butt off even though barely being able to walk. We also got introduced to LP guy that night (watch the video you'll get it). It was so much fun and there was so much positive energy happening, but the whole while I couldn't get the passing of Jeff and the health of our friend Nikki out of my brain. I really hope his girl pulls through and I hope my friends in Oakland are doing alright.
6/12 - Los Angeles @ The Key Club: We arrived at the venue to learn that the moron promoter booked seven local bands onto the gig. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with local bands. That's how I usually discover tons of good music. Not only that but making friends with those bands and returning the favor when they come to town is something that this band has been built on from the start. When we go on a tour like this, we not only request one or two local bands every gig for these reasons, but we demand it...but what kind of asshole adds seven freaking bands to three band touring package?! That's right ladies and gentleman; ten bands on a Tuesday night. Brilliant!
There are promoters like this all over the country. They 'work' their gigs by making local bands sell tickets, promote and basically do all the work for them while they take the cash, make a Facebook event page and reap the financial rewards. If your band doesn't sell $x worth of tickets then your band doesn't get to play the show. Lame.
This guy left the band and our booking agent completely in the dark about all these locals and what was going on. We didn't have a clue of what was happening until we got to the venue the day of the show.
The bratty punk rock side of me wanted to tell everyone in the building to fuck off, leave and head up to Oakland for an extra day of drinking at Eli's and being with close friends. But you can't let folks down. It's not their fault because of how one creep works. It's not the other bands' fault either; they just want to play with some bands they like or because they felt it would be a decent show to play and it could help them. It's just one lazy ass behind a laptop scheming small bands to do his work, cover his costs and to put some coin in his pocket.
I was so pissed about what was going on that I kind of separated myself from the show for a while. Eventually, I chilled out and came back to check out an amazing set from a band called Witchhaven. One of the best newer thrash bands I've ever seen. Lots of fun with some great riffs. I'm definitely going to hunt down a recording of them when I get home from tour.
Black Tusk and 3 Inches sets were great too. I got to watch them from a killer wide screen TV set up in the dressing room. It was tight. I really like this venue. I just wish they got their shit straight promoter-wise. It's such a shame.
Regardless of all of that, our set was so much fun. There we're time when there was up to 10 people flipping out on stage at once. Hundreds of drunk smiling faces beating the crap out of each other. Lots of ladies kicking ass too. There we're times where I had to stop singing because I was cracking up so hard at the sheer insanity of it all. I freaking love this town. I think L.A. might have the craziest Waste fans in the world. It's great and they were really going for it tonight.
Afterwards we ended up doing our traditional after show hang out at the Rainbow Room and caught up with our pals in the Poor Kids Radio crew, Day by Day and a couple of old Richmond friends at the bar. It was a really, really good ending to a pretty stressful and long day. Oh, and I met Ron Jeremy.
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** Municipal Waste's split with Toxic Holocaust, the so-called Toxic Waste 12", is out now on Tankcrimes. Order HERE or face the municipal holocaust, so to speak. Municipal Waste's Fatal Feast is out on Nuclear Blast. It's available HERE, and unless you wanna end up like a C.H.U.D., you'll click the link. Sick