Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste interviews Jon “Chucker” Lewis of The DopaminesOk so both of our bands are playing the Fest this year. How does this make your balls feel?
It makes them feel like breeching the crest of the first hill on a rollercoaster. Either that or similar to getting them sucked like two jawbreakers.
That’s disgusting. I have no clue why I asked you that. What bands are you looking forward to seeing that weekend (if you don't say mine I’ll cut you)?
Well, I suppose I can’t wait until the very last set of the Fest on Sunday to rip my face off, but shit dude, I’m excited to just be there. This year I’m going to just hop around every venue and see a bunch of bands I’ve never seen before. Last year I rooted myself in one spot every day and it was fun. But other than a handful of bands I am required to see (ahem, Municipal Waste), I’m going to stumble all over Gainesville this year! Any suggestions?
I’m really excited about seeing Tiltwheel and Hard Skin. I’ve yet to see those bands and I dig them a lot. Ok, so your Expect the Worst has been out for a little bit now, have you guys started writing any new stuff?
Yeah, we’ve got like 7 or 8 jams in the bank right now. We’re recording in early January, not sure whether that means a new LP or EP, or 7”s or whatever. Maybe a Municipal Waste/Dopamines split?
You dudes are too heavy for us. You guys ever do a joke band? It seems like every band has one. What is the Dopamines joke band?
Well Jon and I used to be in this Sloppy Seconds-ish punk band called Two Inch Winky, that was pretty sweet. After every song Tom the singer, would scream, “FUCK YOU!” I’ll get you a copy. You’ve got Cannabis Corpse right?
Oh Cannabis Corpse is not a joke band, Phil takes that shit very seriously. What band out there would you guys consider to be your, "sister band" and why?
Well, I think a better phrasing would be, “What do people consider your band to be the sister to?” because we sound a lot like The Copyrights, which I disagree with the more releases we put out. I don’t think we’re popular enough to inspire any more drunk assholes to play shitty pop punk. Ryan’s Hope said that they were going to start a pop punk band because of us. They did, The Reaganomics, and they rule. Super awesome dudes too.
That really was not a better phrasing but let’s just move on. What are your upcoming touring plans?
We’re doing a few weeks with Banner Pilot to and from Fest, then we’re taking a few months off to write because we’re not good at doing two things at once, like shooting whiskey and riding a unicycle. Also we’re pretty poor, and we usually need some time off to save more “money” to “waste” on this “band.”
What’s the deal with Mikey Erg? Is he in the band? Is he not in the band? Do you just put him in your videos because he's like super hot and you want to gain a New Found Glory type following?
We’ve always welcomed friends to hang out and play second guitar. Mikey showed interest, so we we’re like, “why the fuck not? At the very least we’ll probably sell a few more records.” Turns out Mikey is a pretty good fit overall, so he’s been sorta permanent? He’s in a lot of bands these days. Like a Jason White of sorts. That’s what he’s called on the website. You know, the second guitarist of Green Day, and member of Pinhead Gunpowder (for those not familiar). As for the video? He was in town, so, “Why the fuck not?”
I notice when you play that sometimes you do head windmills even though you have short hair. What the fuck? Are you clowning us long hairs?
I’ve been rocking the windmill for a while now, and I really don’t know how that started. I sing a lot, so I don’t get to jump around and fuck off like I used to in other bands. So during the few moments I DO get to fuck around, I tend to do some pretty wacky shit. So does Jon. I suppose a pop punk band with short hair would look wacky rocking the windmill. I’ve been trying to grow my hair out for a while now but things keep coming up, like my wedding for instance, and cutting the hair is an unspoken requirement, although my wife was upset that I cut my hair and my beard. Such is life. But NO, I’m not clowning the long hairs, I’m promoting Metal moves to all hairstyles and musical backgrounds!
Oh yeah, congrats on getting married! Ok, let’s get serious here. What’s your favorite Metal album?
Tough one. Maybe Metallica And Justice [for all]…. That was the first metal album I ever heard. When I started listening to metal more I really fell in love with 3 Inches of Blood Advance and Vanquish. I also love the Ramallah record Kill a Celebrity.
What’s the song “Cincinnati Harmony” about? That is my jam by the way.
I was working at a pizza place and my boss was always bragging about how much money she made and all this shit that she bought her kids. I think it was because she had no friends and is a piece of shit. Just a theory. It got pretty annoying after a while so the idea for the song came from that. It developed into hatred toward all the people who are so eager to tell you how great their lives are, and they act like they care about what you have going on so that they can feel better about themselves. I’ve been tossed around a lot by past and present employers, and kind of betrayed by what is considered a career and all that bullshit. So yeah I found out a beer and some friends kinda takes the sting away from that. The title of the song came from Roger (one of 2 dudes who recorded our record) made fun of us because sometimes Jon and I like to do dual vocals without harmony. Roger calls doubled vocals a “Cincinnati Harmony”, which is mildly funny because all the doubled vocals have harmonies in this song.
Tell me about the Cincinnati punk scene? I haven't been there in a while. What the hells going on over there? What bands should we be looking out for?
I don't feel like answering this question. I love Cincinnati but when we’re in other cities with a bigger history of music it makes me wish we had more going on now to push the scene. We do have a lot of great bands and venues here though.
Heathers or Pump Up the Volume?
I've never seen these two movies, and I don't know if that makes me cooler or more lame, but I’m not very cool as it is so it's a moot point really. But Christian Slater's only worthwhile acting effort was that Robin Hood flick, which is funny because that's Kevin Costner's only good flick. Well maybe he did a few good movies but neither of them have actual functioning dicks unless they are in eye shot of each other. I can't stress it enough how useless Christian Slater is. Did you see that Alone in the Dark flick? I'd rather eat my own feces.
YOWSA! What was the all time worst Dopamines gig? Spare no one.
Hmm. Well one time Michael got real high and convinced himself that one of our songs ends one minute earlier than it really does. That wasn't a bad show though, that was just funny. Well one time in Columbus some Juggalos (who were really into us) ended up starting shit at the show and one of them pulled a gun out and fired it into the ground, . Another one threw a brick through a window at the house and another stabbed a kid. That was pretty fucked up. The show was great though. My worst tour experience is the first time we've ever played Richmond, oddly enough. Short version is that we got our window busted out, GPS stolen, I got food poisoning and shit all over the floor of a hotel bathroom.
Yeah, that sounds like a normal night in Richmond.
Jon “Chucker” Lewis of Dopamines interviews Tony Foresta, of Municipal WasteWhen we were hanging out in Richmond, I recall a mutual friend telling a story about you guys, "eating someone’s rent money" in Gainesville back in the day. I didn't get the whole story, but it seems like you guys probably have your share of insane tour moments. You can't escape this interview without recalling at least one......go!
Oh man that story is really old. So old I can barely remember. I may fuck the facts up on this one but here it goes... We used to be hated in Gainesville. Not by everyone but there was a lot of people that wished we didn’t exist. This was in the Waste Em All days. We were a younger more reckless band and Gainseville was a different place 10 years ago. That 90’s PC shit was still very prominent in the scene there and a lot of people wanted to have drawn out discussions about the “dick and fart” joke you just made. We made it our point to terrorize these poor folks as much as possible. One night after we played a gig at the Ark with Tragedy we decided to head over and crash someones acoustic show down the street by running in screaming/moshing and wrecking stuff. Basically just making jerks out of ourselves. So of course we got kicked out in a matter of seconds and we retreated back to our old VA friend from Swanks house (Tony Winebender) and proceeded raid his and his roommates fridge. I eventually passed out but from what I gathered the next day that said refrigerator also contained a shitload (I mean A LO
of mushrooms that belonged to one of Tony’s roommates. Anyway, from what I recall the next morning I wake up to a bunch of people yelling and my band mates are all sitting around me still awake tripping balls poking my head and telling me we need to leave. I think one of the things Tony’s roommate yelled was, “Dude you guys ate my rent money!” I thought those guys hated us for years. Tony didn’t give a shit. So yeah, one of our first times ever in Gainesville we had to flee town because we ate all of someone’s drugs.
What are your thoughts on the Slayer record God Hates Us All? Answer wisely...
Honestly, I’ve never heard the entire album. We played with them last summer and I remember when they kicked into that song 40 seconds later I decided I would use that time to go get another drink. I just recently saw them perform South of Heaven in its entirety and it was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever seen live. I fucking love Slayer.
What appeals to me most about your band is that it seems like everything is fun and honest, something that I believe is most important when being in any band. Assuming I’m correct about you guys, how would you say that's affected everything from your sound to touring, recording, opportunities etc.
Hmm thanks! I that’s one of the things I like most about you guys as well. Something about Ohio bands are super real and honest and I think you guys bring that too. The honesty thing goes a long way. There are a lot of bands that put up this, “I’m better than you,” front especially in metal and I never really understood that. We’ve always tried to stray away from that and just be ourselves. We also use those ethics in our business practices. We have always been good about paying our debts whether it’s from labels or touring etc, even if it has left us hungry in situations.
Being honest has also hurt us in ways, for example some, “bigger bands” would ask us to tour and we would tell them no because, “we think your band is not very good”. Not that we’re better than them or anything, we just don’t want to spend a month of our lives seeing their band live every night, haha. I think we’ve burnt a couple bridges doing that in the past and we would probably be “bigger” if we took some of those tours but that’s something I think I can live with.
What's the greatest thing the band's ever collectively bought with band money while on tour?
Damn this is a great question. I would say our old van “Pablo”. We borrowed 1,500 bucks from my friend Erin and bought it from a local landscaping business. They used to store lawnmowers in it. It smelled like dirt, body odor, gas and grass. The side door didn’t work (and still doesn’t) and it had dents all over the place. The van was so fucked up but it ran like a champ. We ended up driving that thing around the country over 5 times. Even Baroness used it for a U.S. tour. We bought the van like 7 years ago and the thing still runs great. Landphil ended up buying it and he still uses it for Cannabis Corpse tours. That thing’s a beast.
You've just purchased a new house! Any chance of making it haunted or perhaps metal for this upcoming Halloween?
Yeah I just bought the crib that you guys got trashed in during BFD remember that night? The house is over a 100 years old but unfortunately no ghosts yet. I was planning on murdering a pop punk band in it someday to maybe conjure up some evil. So if you guys ever need a place to crash again while you’re in RVA hit me up bro!
Some bands dress up for their set at The Fest in Gainesville, which you are playing. Any plans to steal Gwar's gear? Maybe a giant bud of chronic? What's the scoop?
Halloween shows for the Waste are really important. We try to go big every Halloween that we play. Our plans are top secret this year. But if people you unaware we usually get pretty outrageous with our costumes and this year should be no exception. I don’t know if you recall a few years ago but I dressed up as a gay Klu Klux Klan member for my costume when we played at Common Grounds. That was pretty silly... I had a sweet rainbow striped Klan mask and I looked like a jerk. We were really hoping to piss off some uptight people but nobody even gave a shit. Gainesville is so laid back nowadays. I will have to say that my favorite band that dressed up in costumes for the Fest that I’ve seen was when Dear Landlord did the Skinhead/Conehead thing. I laughed so hard I almost cried.
I missed that and I was so bummed. But I saw Brett right after the set and I thought he made a good skinhead/conehead. Alice Cooper now spends his retired years golfing and drinking tea with my wife's grandmother. I consider this to be very metal. What are your thoughts on the many retired legends of rock/metal and their hobbies?
I think Bruce Dickinsons hobby is the best. Dude flies frickin’ 747’s! That’s pretty bad ass. Much better than that dickhole in Aerosmith hosting American Idol. Fuck that guy.
Both bands (Municipal Waste/Dopamines) seem to thrive on crowd interaction, involving mostly beer, throwing shit and fucking with the crowd. What are some of your "go to’s" during any given MW set to assist in crowd reaction/interaction.
We still do the, “Wall of Death” a lot. I know it’s pretty played out and about 8 million shitty bands do it nowadays but it’s just so damn fun. Me and my band mates have the best seats in the house as well. It’s so fun night after night to stand up there and watch people in the audience fearlessly wreck themselves and each other.
I take about 10 NOFX shirts on tour, kind of a tour ritual thing, and to piss off Jon W. Now I also never leave for tour now without a poker set. Do any of you guys have any creepy/interesting tour rituals?
The Gwar dudes always bring a poker set! I’ve played some real fun poker games on the road. The only actual ritual that has been consistent that no matter what tour we go on, whether it’s flying or driving somewhere Dave always brings a really strong/fancy beer that he cracks open in the van (or vehicle we are in) the second we leave his house. He shares it with the rest of the band and it kind of sets the mood for the fun to come. It almost puts you in a mind frame like a vacation’s about to start.
Given your reputation, I bet you get a lot of requests for good horror flicks. What's your favorite romantic comedy film?
Hmmmm, I would have to say Captain Ron because it has Kurt Russell in it.
What's the one record that you guys dislike that everyone expects you to like?
Everyone assumes I love Megadeth and I know that people will hate me for saying this but I don’t. I’m not really sure why but I just can’t get into it. Maybe because I hate the vocals, not saying that I’m a great vocalist or anything but that is just what I listen for when I hear a band. Megadeth just seems more guitar driven to me. I will say that after seeing them play Rust in Peace I just recently went back and gave Peace Sells a listen again and I admit I do like it more than I did back in the day but I would much rather hear Fistful of Metal or some Vio-lence.
Would you agree that most contestants on The Price is Right need to fuck right off?
Drew Carrey can kiss my ass in the crack. I never though he was funny. They need to get Patton Oswalt really drunk and have him host. On a similar note, did you know that Bob Barker makes millions of dollars selling low cost toiletries to prisons all over the country? Apparently he has a nearly a monopoly on the market and there’s some really shady stuff going on with his business practices. So fuck that guy too.
I want to take this moment to apologize for breaking one of your glasses at your house.
Haha, yeah I noticed you hid the glass in the trash can outside. Well played. I’m sorry I rubbed my balls on your head while you were sleeping. At least I think that was you... it was dark and I was horny. Ok I didn’t really do that. Since we’re getting honest here, who banged in my living room while everyone was sleeping? There was defiantly some weird stinky stuff going on down there.
Someone fucked in your living room? There was a ton of dudes and few girls down there so I can’t pinpoint any fucking. I don’t remember hearing any fucking either, but this chick totally got up to puke and tried to use your window as the front door, so I directed her outside and she came back in and pissed in your bathroom, then passed out on my sleeping bag, and after telling her to quote, “get the fuck off my bag,” I slept in the van for a few hours and then came back in and woke her up, but she just got in my sleeping bag instead of laying on top of it so I had some whiskey and passed out in the van again. She apologized heavily the next morning. It was a bummer, I needed sleep bad. She really liked The Muffs which is cool, if you like The Muffs. I think they’re pretty good.
Oh, haha well at least nobody banged on my furniture. I just bought that shit. That Muff’s fan you were referring to I think was Abby from the Teenage Softies. She can rage pretty hard. You’re lucky she didn’t barf in your sleeping bag!
Thank Lucifer. Moving on, what records have you guys been spinning lately?
Ryan has been obsessing with anything New Wave of British Heavy Metal related. I can’t keep track of what Dave and Phil are jamming, it changes daily. We are all huge music fans (isn’t everyone?). I’ve been listening to this demo of a band from Orlando called Grave Return I can’t stop listening to it. Total Adolescents worship. Oh and the Low Threat Profile 7” is the shit.
In Thrasher magazine, you described the question, "If you could describe the future of the band using a happy-hour well drink as an analogy, what drink would it be?" as the weirdest question you've ever been asked. I would really like you to answer this question.
Shit, um ok. I guess we would be a Kamikaze. Good as shit but still destined for failure.
I just did this shot the other day called a “hate crime.” I would use this as our analogy. You take a shot of whiskey and then the bartender slaps you as hard as he/she can in the face. It was kinky. Jon did one too. He didn’t seem to be as turned on by it as I was. Have you guys ever heard some shit that you thought was fucking amazing (music), only to find out it was something you would be embarrassed to admit that you liked?
Oh man you just totally reminded me of the Pickle shots you guys introduced me to! A shot of Jameson followed by a shot of Pickle juice. Yum! Hmm, it’s hard to say what you would call embarrassing music. I like ridiculous amounts of music that some people would think is bad. Especially for someone in a metal band. Haha, I don’t care anymore. One time I almost got arrested for rushing the stage and hugging the bass player of Chicago during their set. I have hours of stories involving bands and music that some people would think is “embarrassing” but I don’t give a shit I love that stuff, I’m a fucking moron.
I’m obsessed with the Beatles right now. I’ve never listened to any studio album up until a year and a half ago. I get a lot of love and hatred for that.
Ewwww the Beatles! Gross. I hate you now.