Tankcrimes Owner Scotty Heath Talks Brainsqueeze Tour, Municipal Waste and Running a DIY Label

For over two decades, Tankcrimes has been one of the underground metal and punk scene’s most consistent labels, putting out records from established bands like Municipal Waste and Fucked Up (plus long defunct powerviolence staples like Spazz and Dystopia) as well as still-growing artists like Dead Heat, Necrot and Brainoil. The Tankcrimes family will be reunited this month and next when Municipal WasteNecrotGhoul and Dead Heat tear through the country on the first official Brainsqueeze Tour.

Brainsqueeze’s origins lie as a festival in Oakland, with Tankcrimes owner Scotty Heath organizing the event loaded with Tankcrimes-affiliated band and headlined by Muncipal Waste. After two successful events, COVID-19 hit and put a damper on the third edition of the festival. Enter Municipal Waste, who were booking a tour to celebrate that fact that their debut album, Waste ‘Em All, is now old enough to legally get wasted.

“Waste is really good at booking tours in a way that, and I know this is really important to Tony [Foresta, vocals] to always try to at least give one new band a shot at learning how to be on a pro tour,” explains Heath, “And making sure that one band is already the homies, and then there’s another spot. Tony always books really thoughtful tours and he knew that Necrot was working on their new album. Necrot got the call to support Municipal Waste on this tour, and we were already thrilled about that.”

After tossing around various names for the rest of the lineup, Foresta tapped Tankcrimes staple Ghoul to play the bill. The two bands had tried to tour together numerous times over the years but 2024 is the first time it ever worked out.

“Tony Foresta calls me up and says ‘I got Ghoul on the tour, I got Necrot on the tour,'” Heath recalls. “And I go ‘Oh fuck, are we doing a Brainsqueeze tour?’ and as soon as I start to say it, he goes ‘We’re doing a Brainsqueeze tour!'”

Tankcrimes also worked with tour opener Dead Heat last year, releasing their Endless Torment EP. Heath says he first met the Dead Heat members while touring as a crew member for Municipal Waste on tour with Crowbar and Dead Heat. It was an early run shortly after COVID lockdowns ended and shows weren’t as well-attended as they are again now. Foresta agreed they deserved a real shot on a metal tour and reached out.

“Dead Heat haven’t done another metal package tour since,” Heath says. “They really exist in the current hardcore scene even though they’re a thrash metal band. It was cool to give them that shot again, they’re getting a real Waste tour. You go on after doors and the hall is packed and they’re going to get a circle pit going every night.”

Though they’re normally signed to Tripe B Records, Heath was happy to work with the band and help them “find some fans that were at the skate park and not the sports bar.”

Heath himself will be on the second half of the Brainsqueeze Tour, joining the cast of Ghoul’s live show. He’s excited to be among friends and people he knows well, but he’s also grateful that others, like the members of Municipal Waste and their booking agent, helped bring this incarnation of Brainsqueeze to life. He admits that he has a hard time asking for help and often shoulders too much of the work. Though there isn’t a set plan for what happens after, Brainsqueeze will continue in some form—probably a festival in Los Angeles next.

Before any of that, though, the tour kicks off tomorrow. Check out the dates below and grab tickets now—they’re selling fast!

Feb. 15 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
Feb. 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
Feb. 17 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Monarch
Feb. 18 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
Feb. 20 – Montreal, QC – Les Foufounes Electriques
Feb. 21 – London, ON – London Music Hall
Feb. 22 – Buffalo, NY – Rec Room
Feb. 23 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Feb. 24 – Bloomington, IL – The Castle Theatre
Feb. 26 – Minneapolis, MN- Fine Line
Feb. 27 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
Mar. 01 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
Mar. 02 – Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theater
Mar. 04 – Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre
Mar. 05 – Los Angeles, CA – The Bellwether
Mar. 06 – Tucson, AZ – Encore
Mar. 08 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
Mar. 09 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Mar. 10 – New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues
Mar. 12 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Club
Mar. 13 – Orlando, FL – The Abbey
Mar. 14 – Athens, GA – 40 Watts
Mar. 15 – Columbia, SC – The Senate
Mar. 16 – Richmond, VA – The National

Get a limited edition exclusive vinyl variant of Necrot’s Lifeless Birth here.

Get a limited edition exclusive vinyl variant of Dead Heat’s Endless Torment here.

Get a limited edition exclusive CD longbox edition of Municipal Waste’s Electrified Brain here.