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Iron Reagan: Municipal Waste Frontman Gets His Crossover On (INTERVIEW)

Wendi Shwendi

“One of the things I love about playing in this band is that we get to do cool stuff like play house shows. It’s definitely bringing me back to my roots when I would book a tour using that Book Your Own Life guide that Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll came out with back in the day. This isn’t something new to me,” vocalist Tony Foresta tells Noisecreep, referring to Iron Reagan, the new crossover band he’s fronting which also features his Municipal Waste band mate Phil Hall (guitars), plus former Darkest Hour dudes Paul Burnette (bass) and Ryan Parrish (drums).

Using the name of the former U.S. President is fitting since Worse Than Dead, Iron Regan’s debut album, recalls a time in the ’80s when metallized-punk groups like D.R.I. and Crumbsuckers were getting nonstop action on this writer’s boombox. “Ronald Reagan came off, to me, like the ultimate super villain. He’s a symbol for people who grew up during that era. It might come off a little ridiculous to some people now, but it stuck. His face was used by so many punk and metal bands back then. It was like he was this evil symbol.”

Iron Reagan hooked up with Noisecreep favorites A389 Recordings for the release of Worse Than Dead. “We had a couple of different labels that were interested in doing the album, but Dom (Romeo, owner of A389 Recordings) seemed really into the band the more than anyone else. He didn’t just want to talk about record sales and how he was going to market the band. He was more like, ‘These songs rule, man!’ [Laughs] I love the label. He’s been putting out some killer shit lately.”

Worse Than Dead is one big riff party from the start. Foresta credits fellow Municipal Waster Phil Hall for a lot of the mayhem. “Everyone in the band threw in their ideas and contributed to the writing process. But I gotta say, Phil is a riff machine. He’s so excited to be playing guitar in a band for the first time. He’s super into it! He writes guitar stuff for his other band, Cannabis Corpse, so he’s been doing it for a while. But yeah, there are so many cool riffs on the record.”

Iron Reagan is based in Richmond, Va., a city synonymous with Foresta and Municipal Waste. “I actually thought about moving three years ago. I was all ready to move to Orlando and all my friends were bummed and couldn’t understand it. But I wanted to be closer to my family and do something different. I came close. I had the money for the down payment and was ready to meet the guy to do the deal, but I had this second thought and decided not to do it. Immediately after that, all of these cool things started happening. I got a sweet deal on a house. Waste started really clicking more and now all this Iron Reagan stuff is happening. I guess I’m staying [laughs]. I live right in the city and my mortgage is very cheap. It’s a huge house with a nice backyard. I get to live a decent lifestyle since it’s so cheap to live here. That’s probably why so many artists live here.”

Watch Iron Reagan Live

Worse Than Dead is out now via A389 Recordings and available at this link.

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