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Philip “Land Phil” Hall (Municipal Waste)

Interview with Philip “Land Phil” Hall from Municipal Waste
by Josh West at 08 April 2010, 8:04 PM

It is the eve of the London show, the triumphant return of MUNICIPAL WASTE to the UK after what seems like so long away. The American thrash/punk crossover band are here supporting new album "Massive Aggressive" and as Philip "Land Phil" Hall, bassist, told me before the show, Man we are going to tear this place apart! Way before the lines of kids got let into the London Scala, who were already chanting; "MUNICIPAL WASTE is Gonna Fuck You Up! I had the pleasure of getting to chat with WASTE singer Tony Foresta. It was quite loud backstage and Tony threw the first question my way, "Where do you want to do this interview?" I shrugged my shoulders; I have never been to the Scala before "Oh dude! There are never any chicks at thrash shows. Let's do it in here."

So here I am hanging out with Tony in the girls bathroom.
Yeah man we are smoking in the girls room (laughs)

 How are you man?
I'm good man,great!

How has the tour been so far?
It's been great, one of my favorites, every show has just been fucking packed and VICTIMS are a great band and killing it live every night they are playing to a lot of people that have never really heard them before, so that's exactly what we wanted to happen, people are really into it. Tonight's going to be especially cool cause we have GENTLEMEN'S PISTOLS playing.

I did see that, thought it was a bit of an odd support choice.
Well CARCASS and VOORHEES are two bands that "MUNICIPAL WASTE" love and we used to play with a lot, and they are members of that and they are playing this DEEP PURPLE kind of shit you know? Which is shit that we are into. So for us it's perfect; it's going to confuse a lot of the thrasher kids but (laughs) we like doing that.

How long has the tour been going on?
We have been on tour for three weeks now; we only have 3 shows left on the UK run. We are here doing our thing and then we are gonna go back home and get ready for the next tour! (laughs)

Do you enjoy coming back to the UK?
Yeah we were really looking forward to it this time, we haven't done a proper headlining tour in the UK in little over a year.

Some of the WASTE shows I have been to in the past have seen certain members of the crowd go over the top in terms of stage diving, is this a common problem?
Yeah it happens everywhere, we don't mind it- but it's just when people don't pay any attention to our equipment and like fuck our shit up. It's a problem you know? You gotta pay attention to the band man, it's not all about getting your stupid stage dive off. I LOVE stupid stage dives, but you also gotta realise that people are their to see a show, you wanna see the band play. You can't just get up there and stomp all over peoples equipment. We work hard and we have to pay for that stuff and that shit ain't cheap (laughs)

Would it be fair to say that you are victims of your own success?
Oh yeah totally, we definitely got what we deserved. We talked a lot of shit and now people are bringing it.

"Massive Aggressive has seen a move away from the party vibe of "The Art of Partying" and a return to the "Hazardous Mutations" punk vibe, was this a conscious decision or a natural progression?
Yeah, I think its something we would have done anyway, but I think its something that needed to be done. It got old singing about the same shit, we did lightly on the 2 albums before that, but that album was just a little bit too much. We couldn't just write another album about partying, it would have been boring, wouldn't be interesting for us or our fans.

Did you feel that the general public and music fans took this Party thrash thing as your image and that was it?
Well yeah, because it was our breakthrough album, it was the first album that the general public first heard. The underground kids and the old-school people knew what was up and knew about us before. And I think it frustrated a lot people that were fans of ours too, because we got misconstrued people misunderstood what our band was about. It frustrated a lot of people including us and it was the right turn to take. We had to do what we had to do with this record. I think we managed to stray away from it and people understand where we are coming from now and it isn't just a party gimmick going on there. We still have fun, same guys, same band, same thing.

On the flip side of that the mainstream attention you got has got you have kids from Punk, Metal, Thrash, Hardcore, all lined up outside this, can only be good for you guys?
Exactly what we want. It took a while for it to get like that but sometimes people misunderstood us (laughs) But yeah it's good man, everyone's invited, we don't give a fuck who it is, makes the shows more fun. It isn't just one party involved it's everyone involved and that's the way I love it.

How was 2009's "Massive Aggressive" received by fans?
I think fans have really stepped up and thanked us for what we did and are really, really into it. And we have the fair weather fans who are like ohhhh they don't sing about partying anymore, ohhhhh this sucks well good riddance, I don't fucking want people who just want a gimmick. The media and the reviews have all been better then any record we have ever done. Which is good because it means we are growing. I don't wanna just stay stagnant, I wanna keep putting out good records.

Has this record seen a return to the punk roots that bred the first two WASTE albums?
Well maybe it was a more aggressive feeling all around, more pissed off and I think that maybe comes from the Punk side of us; yeah I guess that's properly how that happened. We wanted to write something that hits you pretty hard in face but sounds different to what we have done in the past.

Did you take any modern influences going into the studio or did you take a different approach compared to "The Art Of Partying"?
A lot of us started going into our roots, that's where a lot of the thrash started from listening to the NWOBHM, I was getting way into my old hardcore records and just doing my thing and everyone kind of just dug deep from what made them want to start a band to begin with and it really shined on the record.

What's your view on a lot of the older bands coming back with new albums? Do you think you have influenced this in anyway?
If our band had anything to do with any of those bands coming back and the recent interest in all this shit going on Ιits awesome! It blows me away; it's a huge honor to be a part of it. I haven't listened to a lot of the new album of those bands; I listen to a lot of the old shit. I try not to, but a lot of the metal stuff I listen to is pretty old. There are some good bands out there like VICTIMS, they aren't really a metal band but you know.

You guys played a massive part in thrash coming back over the last 10 years, what are your plans for this decade?
We are going to do the same shit. We aren't trying to be IRON MAIDEN or anything. We are going to fucking play Punk shows, Metal shows, people's basements or big ass venues like this. We are at pretty much where we want to be, and we aren't really trying to impress anyone else if you know our fucking band then you know what to expect. We are going to write another record eventually after we get this dam touring done. After we play everywhere in the world we are go back and write another record (laughs)

Have you been out to any places outside of Europe/USA?
Getting ready to. Japan, South America, Australia, New Zealand. We have no idea how we are going to be received]; Australia we did and it was one of my favourite tours it was unbelievable. It's cool cause its like one of the only foreign country's where the girls like Americans! Because usually they hate Americans (laughs) So yeah, that was fun. Shows are so good and people are so fun and rowdy just how we like it.

How are the UK fans compared to the USA fans back home?
It's getting to be like the same everywhere which is great because our message is getting across. We just played Richmond Virginia (hometown gig), it was awesome. It was our first Richmond show in over a year and half and we are doing another Richmond show for Best Friends day in August and that will properly be even crazier. Yeah it's good man, people jumping off of baloneys and getting crazy I dunno man there is a BIG balcony here tonight I am a kinda worried someone might try to go for it; let's hope none get's hurt tonight.

Can we expect to see you at any festivals over the summer?
We literally had a meeting like 20 minutes ago, and it's still up in the air. We might stay in America because we have been over here for 4 summers in a row now. Yeah, we are not sure, just playing it by ear it seems like we are wanted out here a lot of people have been hitting us up, basically every festival you can name. But it really depends on what we want to do, s we will be thinking about it after this tour, go home and rest and for a week or two and then plan some more crazy shenanigans.

In regards to GAMA BOMB, who recently released their latest album for free digitally and then in the future released it into physical shows, is this something you have considered?
It's funny because I had these plans to do this with my other band a few months ago, I sing in a Punk band called NO FRIENDS and we are releasing a EP next month for free- a lot of the Punk bands are doing that lately. We played with GAMA BOMBΥ about a week ago and they were saying that it has really helped the record out, I knew it would, it has really gotten it out to people that normally wouldn't hear the record. For us I don't think our record company would let us do that, even though it's the same label. I think they rely on us too much financially too much for that (laughs) We will run it by Dig (Head of Earache Records) tonight, you should ask Dig, I will introduce you to him and you can be like "You should do a free WASTE album" and see what he thinks of that. (laughs)

Do you think digital downloads are the future of music?
Yeah, like I said I am doing it with my other band. I think it's a fucking great idea and I support it fully. You know if it isn't the future then its an experiment that people should try, because it isn't going to stay the same, people ain't gonna to be buying CD's in about 5 years vinyl will rule though. Vinyl will always stick around! So give it a shout and figure it out, we don't know what we are going to do with this crazy music industry!

Anything you want to add?
Nah, it's all good man, thanks for the support, thanks for the interview and enjoy the show!


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Edited 28 January 2023

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