Exclusive: Municipal Waste Stirs Up Controversy in Norway over "Church Burning"

Exclusive: Municipal Waste Stirs Up Controversy in Norway over "Church Burning"
Richmond, VA thrash/hardcore crossover gurus Municipal Waste have always been known for their revelry.

Albums such as 2005's Hazardous Mutation and 2007's The Art of Partying redefined what it meant to play expedient music about killer sharks, getting loaded and creepy magicians. To their credit, the Waste - made up of vocalist Tony "Guardrail" Foresta, guitarist Ryan Waste, bassist Philip "Land Phil" Hall and drummer Dave Witte - pretty much single-handedly inspired both a thrash metal resurgence and a new sub-genre dubbed party metal.

It seems that in Norway, however, they're becoming renowned as something else: shit disturbers.

Recently visiting the Land of the Midnight Sun to push forthcoming fourth full-length Massive Aggressive at the ؘyafestivalen in Oslo, Norway, earlier this month, the quartet landed themselves in some pretty hot water with their stage antics.

"We burned down a church," Foresta admitted to Exclaim! in a recent interview. "We had to prove ourselves as the most evil band in the world - more evil than the Norwegian black metal bands - so we burned one down."

Relax. The crew hasn't gone all Count Grishnack on us and revisited the actions of early '90s black metal bands. In the words of Monty Python, it was "only a model," set ablaze during their tune "Upside Down Church," naturally.

"We made a cardboard cut-out of a church and brought it onstage. It was hilarious but when the thing went up, it went up. I mean, it almost burned down the whole stage," laughs Foresta, who notes that the "audience thought it was fuckin' great. They had an awesome sense of humour about it and just loved it."

Unfortunately, though, while the gag has garnered plenty of Internet column inches for the Waste from fun-loving metalheads, some of the more God-loving and average Joe citizens of Oslo weren't so jovial.

Chuckles Foresta, "Oh man, some people were furious. We thought it was all in fun but they were pissed. It was on the evening news and sparked some sort of upset. I guess to a lot of people, it's still a bit of an issue. Oh well. I guess we proved our point. We are the most evil band in the world."

Massive Aggressive is due out August 25 on Earache Records