Tony Foresta is one of the hardest working guys in metal. Just when we thought 13 busy years with Municipal Waste wasn’t enough, Foresta has now taken on another band in the form of political thrash punk kings Iron Reagan. Formed just a few years ago Foresta (along with Waste bassist Land Phil) have taken a much needed break from Municipal Waste to do Iron Reagan and they are about to hit the road for an extensive tour behind their latest album Tyranny of Will.
I’ve had the awesome pleasure of talking with Tony twice before but this was our first chat as the frontman for Iron Reagan. In another hilarious phone call, Tony and I talked about his juggling of two bands, Iron Reagans’ performance at this year’s GWAR B-Q, the passing of his good friend and GWAR leader Dave Brockie, his love for Tegan and Sara, and what celebrity he’d love to see in a Wall of Death. This was another fun one with Tony and I hope all will enjoy this one as much as I did.
Tony, thanks so much for taking the time out to talk today brother.
Hey man, long time no hear. What was it? Last summer or so?
Yeah, it sure was dude. Thanks for remember me! How have you been?
[laughs] Man, I’m good. I was kind of sick yesterday but today I’m feeling a lot better. I don’t know why they scheduled like five interviews for me right after Labor Day. I totally had a raging party but I’m back baby. I’m back [laughs]. I drank my water, I’m good, and I’m healthy.
This is the third interview you’ve done w/ the Brainfart. Does this mean we’re going steady at this point? I’m guessing the next interview we’ll start necking.
[laughs] Kind of. I guess so. Do we get pass 3rd base yet? I’m not sure how this works when it comes to interviews [laughs].
Tony, I have to say that I fucking love the new Iron Reagan album. What an awesome release brother.
Oh, thanks man. I’m really proud of that one.
That album is fucking insane dude. Its 24 songs in 31 minutes. I can barely wrap my head around that shit.
[laughs] Thanks, Don. Yeah, I’m really proud of it. I think it’s one of the best sounding things I’ve ever been on. The songs are really cool and it just marks a really wild time in my life. A good friend of mine did the cover and Dave Brockie was a part of it. It’s just really cool. It was a wild year coming up to that album.
The last time we talked you told me that the band was doing well but that you were just really feeling like you were connecting as a band. With another year under your belt as Iron Reagan, what is different now?
Well, once the lineup change kind of cemented we ended up with what I hope will be a permanent line up that we want to keep. Last time we talked they had just joined the band and since then we’ve had two releases with them; the one coming out soon (Tyranny of Will) and the Spoiled Identity EP that we did for Decibel Magazine which was 13 songs in five minutes. We put it out for free on the internet and I think that push really put our music in a lot of people’s hands that normally would have never heard us. That helped us out a lot. We did two full tours with GWAR and then did our own headlining thing. We’ve been out nearly 8 of the 12 months it’s been since I last talked to you so it’s been nonstop. It’s just been all very exciting. It’s cool to see that this work that we’ve put into this is really starting to pay off.
It’s interesting to hear this. In this time where you have people like Scott Ian whining about free music on the internet and people “stealing” music is killing them, you guys managed to embrace it.
Of course it’s killing them when they’re riding around in tour busses and shit. We put out our shit for free because nobody had heard our band and people were starting to hear us. They get it for free and then all of the sudden they’re listening to our band. It’s kind of like putting out your demo cassette but having it available for thousands of people. It’s really a great thing for new bands but that’s ok because we’re going to gouge the fuck out of them with our next record [laughs].
The difference here is that this time I’m talking to Tony of Iron Reagan as opposed to Tony of Municipal Waste. Is this a “different” Tony?
Well, this one is a more sensual version of me. We play sensual thrash. I wear more purple [laughs].
So does this mean we’ll be seeing nude photos of you surfacing on the internet? Speaking of have you seen all these nude celebrity pictures hitting the net?
I saw those Jennifer Lawrence ones.
Dude, she’s fucking hot.
Yeah, no shit she’s hot [laughs]. It’s gotten so out of hand. I kind of feel bad for them but they’re also gajillionaires so whatever. I mean, I kind of feel bad for them but at the same time don’t take pictures of your asshole and send them out to your boyfriend. I’m sure there are some dick pics floating around out there somewhere but ya know what? That’s my fault. I will say that the whole paparazzi thing kind of freaks me out. Famous people are just trying to have dinner with their friends but there’s like eight assholes with cameras in their faces. It’s just weird to me.
I just thought it was funny that they dubbed this whole thing The Fappening!
[laughs] Oh shit. Is that what they’re calling it? I have to look into that more. I know there’s more famous people nude in there but if I do that I’m just supporting it and that’s kind of fucked up [laughs].
Iron Reagan recently played the GWAR BQ and I have to say that it’s so awesome that even after Brockie’s passing that it went on without a hitch. How was the vibe for you there?
I think everyone, especially in our band, just had this “let’s go insane” attitude. This one was for Dave. We just had a fucking blast. We just said, “We’re not crying today. This isn’t a bummer time. This is the fucking celebration of a friend’s life.” It was awesome and it was one of my favorite shows that I ever played. It was just really cool. It was a great weekend. They did a really great job with it all.
The Viking funeral for Dave was fucking hilariously awesome.
Yeah, that was so fucking cool and insane. I could hear Dave just laughing at it in my head [laughs]. The best part was his costume lying on that boat with his dick sticking straight up in the air [laughs]. That shit was in the Richmond newspaper. Dick sitting straight up in the air. It was fucking awesome [laughs].
How was the food and did it give you diarrhea?
[laughs] I can’t remember. I don’t think I even ate. The beer was good [laughs]. They had a Killsner which was like an IPA or something [laughs]. There were like 20 different food trucks selling stuff so I don’t know who made what. I didn’t touch any of that.
As we all know, we lost Dave Brockie recently and way too soon. Did his passing make you re-analyze some things such as how you take care of yourself on the road and what not?
Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, you just don’t fuck with hard drugs. I’m a big drinker but you have to have your limits. You also have to realize that you’re not just living your life for you. There are other people relying on you. You have band mates, family, and friends who all care about you. Sometimes you just have to think about that and not take it for granted. I’m not saying that Dave did. What Dave did was stupid but I don’t think he took anyone for granted. He just fucked up.
Anytime an artist’s starts a new band, people assume that a band is splitting up. How did Iron Reagan come to be and why?
Municipal Waste has never taken a break. It’s just how we work but we work very hard. I guess what happened for me was that it was a mental thing. Ryan (Parrish; drums) from Darkest Hour has been one of my best friends since we were little kids. I told him that if ever left Darkest Hour I was doing a fucking band with him. Everyone in Waste had a side project except for me. We had been talking about taking a break since before Waste in Space came out. When we put that album out, we heavily toured on that album for almost two years and after playing these goddamn songs and doing the same thing for like 13 years we just needed to chill out. We not only didn’t want burn ourselves out but we didn’t want to burn our fans out. When it stops being a lot of fun, it’s a problem. It’s not like we didn’t like each other, it was just too much. We’d been doing this for 13 years which is a big chunk of your life. I mean, we’re still doing stuff together but we’re just doing as much as we had been. We’ll probably have a new record out by next year though. Phil was like, “I’ve always wanted to play guitar in a band and I wrote a shit load of riffs. Ryan’s free so let’s just get into a practice space and crank out some songs.” We did and that ended up being our demo. Once all that happened it just snowballed into this fucking thing that we really never saw coming.
Is Iron Reagan something you see as more of a 2nd band instead of a side project per say?
Yeah, I think it’s just going to be a constant juggling act with both bands. Once Municipal Waste gets busy again I’ll be doing both bands full time. It’s going to be insane but I can do it.
That’s actually really cool as it will give you a break in the monotony of doing one thing too much for too long.
That’s right. You’ve got to work hard. You can’t make money playing music any more so you just have to work extra hard and hopefully pay your bills [laughs]. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to work my ass off.
What is a current trend that you’d like to see die and go away forever?
Oh man, that Dubstep shit is really awful. Its crazy [laughs]. That whole “bass dropping” sound. I fucking hate that. They use that in movie previews all the fucking time. I went and saw a movie the other day and every fucking preview had that sound effect in it at least six fucking times. Maybe that’s from Dubstep but man, now it’s ruining movies. It’s something that’s so trend and so bad in music that now it’s ruining motion picture previews. It’s in like every fucking preview. There’ll be like an Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy and it’ll be like “buuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”
Are there any bands or types of music that I’d be surprised to hear you were a fan of?
Actually, I listen to a lot of pop punk. The Copyrights just put out a new album and it’s really good. They’re awesome. I like Tegan and Sara a lot. I don’t know why I like Tegan and Sara a lot but it drives my bandmates crazy [laughs]. I’m actually wearing a Tegan and Sara shirt in the Iron Reagan video. It’s pretty stupid [laughs].
If you could put any celebrity in the wall of death who would it be and why?
Tupac Shakur’s hologram [laughs]. That would be pretty funny. Then he would fly away like an angel to rapper heaven with Eazy E.
Finally, finish this sentence: If I wasn’t a musician I would be ______________.
I’d probably have my own screen printing shop. I used to do that a lot before Municipal Waste started getting busy. I’d probably still be doing that and hating it. The one brief moment that I wasn’t in a band I did photography and I was actually pretty good at it. I was taking photos on film but now it’s all digital and shit and I don’t know what I’d be doing with it [laughs].
What’s next for Iron Reagan?
We just finished shooting a video for “Miserable Failure” with Whitey McConnaughy who did all the Red Fang videos. We just flew out to Portland and shot for three days. It was the most enormous shoot I’ve ever done for a video. I think it’s going to be really good. We have some tours in the works but nothing I can really talk about just yet. We’re going to be touring for this album a lot and get this thing into people’s hands. We’re really proud of it.
Tony, thanks so much for doing this again dude. It was great talking with you again. We’re 3 for 3 baby!
Right on, Don. 3 for 3 [laughs]. Thanks so much and have a good one. See ya soon for #4!