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1
Melvins Discussion / Re: Drumb
« on: March 16, 2019, 12:14:35 PM »
Still sounds just as cool backwards.

Plus there is another Version of DRUMB that Ive heard besides forwards and backwards, Wish I could get my man-hands on that one, it was HUGE. I believe we discussed it back a page...

Are you referring to the Flyin' Traps compilation?   Came out in '97, theres a Dale Crover track called Vomit & Orange Juice, which is a slightly faster & longer version of "Forwards"


2
Melvins Discussion / Re: Melvins Videos Thread (and much more)
« on: December 14, 2018, 05:44:56 AM »
Oh cool! Do you have the means to post it on YouTube?



I'm pretty sure that Safety Third was not played before The Bloat, sounds more like ZZZZ Best to me, but I can't identify the song played after Pigs of the Roman Empire, first I thought it was Vile but then I thought it was See How Pretty, See How Smart but I'm not sure.

I've edited the setlist and changed Safety Third to ZZZZ Best.   Who knows what the song is after POTRE, it could have been an unfinished/unreleased work in progress or just something to play in between

3
Melvins Discussion / Re: Melvins Videos Thread (and much more)
« on: December 09, 2018, 02:19:52 PM »
Oh cool! Do you have the means to post it on YouTube?



4
Melvins Discussion / Re: The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale
« on: July 05, 2018, 06:07:24 PM »
To all those who got this boxset and have received it in the mail:

Would you mind checking 'Bonus disc 2' to see if you are able play the "Buzz & Mackie interview" (and everything else after this segment)? 

My DVD freezes at this point & nothing else will play after this.  This same scenario has happened in a couple of different DVD players, so I would like to say it the DVD itself and not the players.

I'm curious to see if I am the only one with a partial non-playable DVD or if all of the them turned out like this.

Thanks !

5
Melvins Discussion / Re: in-store show at Amoeba Records, April 2002
« on: July 27, 2017, 03:17:27 PM »
I would like to see this video as well as its nowhere to be found .. I second the yt suggestion... I could also mail trade a live DVD or 2 for a copy

6
Melvins Discussion / Re: Altamont, Dale's baby. Let's talk Altamont
« on: March 08, 2016, 04:10:04 PM »

Does anyone have the Altamont "Junkie" split on MP3? I'm dying to hear it.

I do @ 320, ripped it myself.  Also have the Honky - Maid in China 7"

7
[Pledge $300 or more.  "Collectors Deluxe Edition 3 Disc DVD or Blu-Ray*. Packaged in a signed and numbered hand crafted Wooden Box, with art by Mackie Osbourne. It contains an extra disc of full length interviews, live performances and videos, behind the scenes footage and many more surprises.."]


Will the 2 or 3 disc DVD set be available to buy after the documentary is presumably released? (without the hand crafted wooden box, of course)

Or is the extra disc of full length interviews, live performances and videos, & behind the scenes footage only available to those who dish out the $300 now?

8
If anyone wants a copy of the digital version (epub, mobi, pdf) of this entire Decibel issue, send me a PM

9
(part 2 of 2)

What type of spiritual guidance did the Magic Eight Ball provide?

Osborne: We always joked that the Magic Eight Ball should make all of our decisions while mixing: Should we turn the bass drum up full blast? I think we used it a few times when we were ordering food, too: Should we get take-out from Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles?

Deutrom: “Spiritual” could be used very loosely here, for sure. Although aren’t you in contact with the spiritual realm when you use one? I think it was more of an I Ching kind of thing—something you’d turn to when you hit a stumbling block. I’m not sure if these existed at the time, but you know Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies” cards? The Magic Eight Ball was kind of a Toys “R” Us version of that. I seem to remember times where we’d just sit there and shake it until we got the answer we wanted.

Crover: Oh man, I forgot all about that. There’s a lot of stuff like that in the annals of Melvins history that’s just plain bullshit. I remember that we brought an Elvis suit into the studio with us and made one of the second engineers wear it the entire time. I think he’s even credited as “Mike Elvis Smith” on the record. That was our big rock star move—making somebody wear an Elvis suit. I think he was completely happy with it, though, and gamely played along with our silly request.

Were there any songs recorded during the Stoner Witch sessions that didn’t make the cut?

Deutrom: Wayne Kramer came to the studio one day and we recorded the MC5 song “Poison” with him. Wayne played guitar, Buzz sang with Wayne, and Dale and I played bass and drums. I don’t know if it was ever going to be on Stoner Witch, but “Poison” was released on the Melvins Singles Club during that period. Those singles were eventually compiled on AmRep as a double CD. The version of “Poison” released by the Melvins is the Joe Barresi mix—the good mix. Wayne Kramer decided that he wanted to put it out on the solo record he was doing on Epitaph, and had somebody else remix it. That version sounds terrible.

Crover: We did a big tour with the Obsessed right before we went into the studio, so we invited them down and recorded a Lynyrd Skynyrd song called “On the Hunt” that they’d been playing live. I used to come out and jam on the song with those guys during the tour. I also ended up recording a drums-only single for Man’s Ruin called “Drumb.” That was pretty fun, too. I did it on the last day with Joe Barresi. Everyone else had gone home at that point. He had the idea to record me playing a hi-hat in a reverb chamber. It was a giant cement room with a bunch of speakers and a microphone. It was so loud in there that I had to wear earphones. We’d never record something and not use it—even when we’d record songs and couldn’t figure out the ending, we’d always use all of it.

Osborne: Our A&R guy, Al Smith, was flying in from New York to hear the record, so we mixed a totally distorted version of “Queen” to play for him as a joke. We were like, “What do you think about our new, hip sound?” He just sat there and stared at us. When he found out it was a joke, he didn’t believe anything else we told him: “Oh, that’s not really the mix!” That joke sort of backfired. “Theresa Screams” also came out of this session. We wanted to record a couple of screams, so we had one of my wife’s friends come in and do them, but we recorded the whole dialogue of us teasing her. We all thought it was hilarious, and she was a good sport about it. She gave us some perfect screams, to boot.

Was the radio edit of “Revolve” something that was specifically requested by the label?

Deutrom: I wish the band had been consulted in that decision. The first thing I would’ve brought up was “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” which was the longest song released as a single. Phil Spector had to raise hell to prevent the label from chopping that down to make it three minutes long. That’s just old thinking about the physical limitations of what you can put on a 45 and still have it sound good. That’s something like 3:30, then the dBs start dropping so much that it sounds awful. I really have no idea what happened there, but I think I might agree with that edit, if it meant getting to my badass guitar solo earlier.

Crover: The label generally didn’t mess with us and tell us what to do in the studio, but there were certainly people in the Atlantic radio department who encouraged us to go party with people in order to get more airplay. We were always like, “No thanks, we’re married.” A lot of that stuff is about who you hang out with, who you party with, whose backs you rub. Even at that point, payola still existed. That’s how bands got on KROQ or MTV. No label was ever like, “These guys are really good. You should put them on the radio!” Somebody decides that they want a band to get popular, so they offer blowjobs, cocaine and a trip to Hawaii.

Osborne: The guy in the radio department at Atlantic basically told us that we could just forget about getting a single on the radio, because the label wasn’t prepared to line a lot of pockets, and the only chance we’d have was to do an edit for radio. I never had any faith in the idea that cutting a few seconds out of a song would make it more appealing for radio. Of course, it didn’t do anything. Think about it for a second. If you’re working in the radio department at Atlantic and you had a Stone Temple Pilots record and a Melvins record, which one would you put money into? The Stone Temple Pilots made a record that sounded exactly like Pearl Jam, who had already sold millions of records. If you’re just going from a strict business standpoint, you spend the money on the radio-friendly wounded junkie band.

Stoner Witch is sequenced in an interesting fashion: It appears to be front-loaded with the more “accessible” stuff, while the weird songs follow in the second half. Was this deliberate?

Crover: That’s probably true, although we weren’t thinking about it in terms of album sides. It is pretty front-loaded, kind of like a baseball lineup, with “Revolve” in the cleanup spot. We may have toyed with other sequences for the album, but usually, we just decide to go with something and resolve to make it stick. It’s much better that way. I seem to recall that Joe was upset with this record or with Stag that they had rolled off too much low end in the mastering process. I’m not sure why we weren’t there, but I think we just trusted GGGarth and Joe to pick a good person to do the masters.

Osborne: We kind of knew that “Lividity” would be last—believe it or not, there are actually vocals buried on there. I did them as I was walking around the studio. There’s a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival called “Graveyard Train,” which is the same bass riff played over and over again for about eight minutes. I always thought that kind of stuff was cool. “Lividity” was kind of our extension of that or Flipper, and I thought it would be a good way to take you out of the record. “Queen” might’ve been my favorite song when we did the demos, and I knew I wanted that towards the front of the record to get things going.

Deutrom: It was a band decision, with input from GGGarth and Joe. I couldn’t give you the intricacies of why or how it ended up in that particular sequence. But the band was open enough to basically be accepting if anyone really got behind an idea. I can fully see somebody like Joe or GGGarth being like, “No way, man—that’s gotta stay exactly where it is” and the band being OK with it. The sequencing was absolutely deliberate and was agonized over to a small extent. One of the really cool things about us working together as a unit back then was that there was a real intuitive feeling for doing things and committing to ideas before moving on to the next thing.

What was the songwriting process like for Stoner Witch?

Crover: I remember working on “At the Stake” while we were doing the demos in London. Buzz had already come up with the song, but he was playing it much faster. At the time, we were listening to a bunch of Robin Trower, and he has a lot of slow, gloomy songs like “Bridge of Sighs.” I was really impressed by some of those slow tempos and how much space there was between the bass drum and the snare drum, so my part of that song came from listening to Robin Trower. I think “Skweetis” was probably made up as we were recording it—and you can kind of tell. I can guarantee you that we didn’t work on “Lividity” all that much, either. One of my favorite things about the album is the beginning of “Sweet Willy Rollbar.” That’s GGGarth’s dog at the beginning of the song, slowed down quite a bit.

Deutrom: When we were apart, we’d all just be working on stuff the whole time anyway. Then we’d bring all of the stuff to rehearsal and start hashing through it. Some of the songs came through in a half-completed state, so we did a lot of songwriting together. The Melvins really didn’t have somebody else who was a writer until I joined the band. We always had a lot more material that we would be using. Some of it would just get thrown out right away, other things would have more of a painful birth, and other things just fell right into place. Sometimes Buzz would just come in with a guitar part and vocals, and Dale and I would come up with our own parts to go with it. It was a very organic process.

Osborne: I remember coming up with the opening guitar riff for “Revolve” in a hotel in San Francisco. I thought it was a cool little riff, and I wrote the whole song around that. I had everything put together, up until the final riff, which was a take-off of the bass riff that Mark was playing. I wrote “Goose Freight Train” while we were on tour with Primus, and we played it at soundchecks. “Queen” is something I wrote in my apartment in Hollywood. I think I was listening to the Fugs at the time. The opening riff is another weird minor chord type of thing. Since I don’t really read music, what I generally just do is fuck around on the guitar until I find something that interests me, then I’ll record it. A lot of times, I’ll go back to those riffs and try to make a song out of them, and sometimes those riffs will sit there for years until I can figure ’em out.

Following the release of Stoner Witch, Melvins filled in as the opening act for Nine Inch Nails for two weeks, then did an extended arena tour with White Zombie. What was that experience like?

Deutrom: At the Nine Inch Nails show in Dallas, they ripped up the floor covering an ice hockey rink and threw it at us. I got hit with a piece and ended up with a bruise on my chest the size of a dinner plate. After our set, Trent Reznor came out and told the audience that if anyone threw one more thing, the show was over. The crowd just stood there and fell around on the ice for the next few hours after that. Whenever we did any of these bigger arena tours, there’d be a war between Melvins fans who’d paid $30 to see us and everybody else who hated the Melvins.

Crover: I don’t know what it is about the Melvins, but it’s really easy for us to piss people off. We did a lot of opening shows where it wasn’t that hard for audiences to instantly turn on the Melvins. That kind of stuff didn’t get us down, though. I’ve heard people say, “I went to see the Melvins open for Primus and they got booed off the stage!” Well, we may have gotten booed, but we have never been booed off a stage. Usually, if people are really upset by us, we end up playing a lot noisier and a lot longer. It was always like: “Well, our set would’ve been done by now, and they would’ve been clearing the stage for the next band, but you guys are all uppity, so here’s some more Melvins!”

Osborne: That White Zombie tour was a complete disaster. Bands like that need a lot of smoke and mirrors to cover up for how much they suck. White Zombie was a band that had sold a million records and they were arena-level, but they weren’t fill-the-arena level. For instance, we played a place in Little Rock, Arkansas that held 15,000 people and they sold 3,000 tickets. That wasn’t abnormal for that tour. Some of the band members were nice enough, but Rob Zombie was a total fucking asshole. If you add in the behind-the-scenes bastard road crew thing, then you had situations like us playing first in Toledo, where we were told to start our set before the doors even opened. They were like, “We’re running late. Start your set now! Go go go!” There were maybe a few hundred people streaming in halfway through our set. I can’t give him credit for helping us out, career-wise, in anything, other than to cement in my mind that that sort of behavior is intolerable. We toured with KISS and they never did that to us. Those guys are real rock stars and they don’t act like that—they couldn’t have been nicer.

Is it true that Melvins used to intentionally request weird shit on tour riders just to see who would comply?

Deutrom: That rumor stems from when we were in Los Angeles and had a day off during the Primus tour. The Viper Room called and asked us to play, but explained that they wouldn’t pay us. We told them that we just wanted our normal guarantee. There got to be this little back and forth, and they kept saying stuff like, “Well, Johnny Cash played here and he didn’t get paid.” We said, “Nah, we’re going to need our money.” So, they caved and told us we could have whatever we wanted, and as a joke, we sent them a ridiculous rider. We asked for a year’s worth of back issues of Field and Stream magazine, shotgun shells and champagne. We also asked for Madonna to be notified, in case she wanted to come down and hang out. None of us were drinking or doing any drugs, so it was just a bunch of stupid shit. The Viper Room got very offended, and we ultimately declined. In retrospect, it was childish. But what did we really miss out on? Hanging out with Christian Slater?

It has been 20 years since Stoner Witch came out. In hindsight, is there anything you would change about it?

Deutrom: No. I think it’s a killer record. I would not put “Lividity” on it, but that’s a minor quibble, since it probably would’ve ended up coming out in some form. It was cool to experiment with learning how to get good tones out of the bass in the studio, which I had never really done before, apart from just producing people. It’s a great record, with great cohesion and focus, and a lot of consistency from front to back. It was a product of a very efficient and productive time in the band. Really, for all of the time that I was in the Melvins, we were able to work consistently and have everyone be on board with the decisions. I would not change anything about Stoner Witch.

Crover: It’s better to just make something and walk away from it—that has always been our philosophy. We’re always looking forward, so it’s kind of hard to get perspective. When you’re making records, you don’t hear things the same way that a listener would. That’s why it’s good to make it and walk away, so you don’t let yourself sit there and critique it all day long. I think Stoner Witch ended up sounding different than the albums that preceded it, because it was all done in one session. It wasn’t like Houdini, which pieced together parts from six or seven different sessions. Doing a big record in a big studio was great. It was certainly a great luxury for us, and one we’d never had before.

Osborne: I believe that records should be like movies, where it’s a journey, rather than a bunch of songs strung together. That’s how it was planned out, and it worked. That was definitely one of the most fun records I’ve ever done, and it was a chance to do some pretty out-there stuff like “Goose Freight Train.” We really grew up on this record, in the sense that we expanded our musical horizons with stuff we’d never done before. I haven’t spent a whole lot of obsessing over the details of Stoner Witch, because I’ve moved on. Most bands only play stuff that they recorded 20 years ago, and you’re happy when they don’t do anything new. I’d like to think that the Melvins are not one of those bands. I think we’re 100 percent contemporary, and those records on Atlantic were, too.

The end.

10
(part 1 of 2)
 
dBHoF114
Melvins
Stoner Witch
Atlantic
October 18, 1995

The story of how Melvins ended up on Atlantic is one of the weirdest chapters in the band’s history. In the wake of Nevermind’s multi-platinum success, major labels scrambled to catch lightning in a bottle a second time by scooping up angular, but tuneful rock acts. Kurt Cobain had always described Melvins as his favorite band, so Atlantic’s president Danny Goldberg—who also managed Nirvana—decided to do his young protégés a solid by allowing Melvins to essentially write their own ticket.

Hindsight shows how strange and uncompromising the resulting trilogy of albums on Atlantic—1993’s Houdini, 1994’s Stoner Witch and 1996’s Stag—actually were. In the current musical climate, there’s no way that a band like Melvins would be able to release another album with major label support after the hot mess that was Houdini, but Stoner Witch melded the hallmarks of the band’s earlier work (molten tempos, guitarist Buzz Osborne’s nonsensical lyrics) with a relatively radio-friendly ear towards arrangements.

In fact, Stoner Witch—the title springs from a term that drummer Dale Crover and his friends used to describe the stoner chicks at their high school—may be the most accessible record Melvins ever wrote. Although the term “accessible” is strictly relative, because, along with the megaton riffs of bona fide radio singles “Queen” and “Revolve,” there’s a host of indefatigably bizarre—and much looser—alternate-universe jukebox staples like the Tom Waits/Birthday Party homage “Goose Freight Train” and the droning epic “At the Stake.”

In stark contrast to the piecemeal approach of Houdini, the band spent 19 days recording Stoner Witch with Garth “GGGarth” Richardson and Joe Barresi at the legendary A&M Studios in Hollywood. Most of the songs were captured in a single take, and all of the tracking and mastering was completed in a single, continuous session. Stoner Witch was the first time Melvins had the luxury of recording in a massive studio, and the trio relished the opportunity to cycle through a ton of gear, tinker with tunings and explore the dramatic effect that an acoustically perfect space had on a series of very ugly-sounding compositions.

Recollections of seeing the band live in this era continue to paint Melvins as punishers and provocateurs. Melvins always created a thunderous racket, and had zero patience for gift-wrapping themselves to audiences. “There are bands that like to hide behind volume,” explains Crover. “They aren’t very good, but they’re fucking loud! We were pretty fucking loud back then, but we definitely weren’t hiding.” The basic concept behind Melvins remains true to this day: You’re either with them or you’re against them. There is no middle ground.

Houdini was the first record that Melvins recorded for Atlantic, and the band’s best-selling effort at that point. What kind of expectations did this create for Stoner Witch?

Mark Deutrom: I’m not convinced that there were any expectations for Stoner Witch. The band basically had a three-album deal, and I think there was some hope that some of the Nirvana magic was going to rub off on the Melvins. I don’t think anybody was going to come out and say it, but there was probably optimism there—for Houdini, anyway. Once Houdini came out, hopes were tempered. I don’t think they ever thought that Stoner Witch was going to be more accessible than Houdini. Atlantic realized that it was going to be a hard sell, no matter what happened. The Melvins weren’t going to be put into the “feel-good grunge” slot, and they couldn’t be put into the “heavy metal” slot, so there was sort of a drift.

Buzz Osborne: Houdini may have been our best-selling record ever, actually. From the get-go, when we got signed to Atlantic, I never thought we would sell millions of records. I just thought it would be hilarious to be on the same label as AC/DC and Aretha Franklin! I didn’t have lofty ideals about Nirvana-esque type sales. Honestly, I was surprised that they wanted to do a second album. I figured that we’d do Houdini and that would be the end of it. Then, when they wanted to do a third album [1996’s Stag], I was shocked. I had come a long way as a songwriter, and I felt like Stoner Witch was going to be more cohesive—more like a “real” album. I just wanted to make as good of a record as we could. I can’t remember how much we spent on it. $20,000? In comparison to most people, it wasn’t much, but it was a king’s ransom for us.

Dale Crover: When we signed to Atlantic, we were already generating enough money from doing records and touring to make a living. That doesn’t mean that we had tons of money. But at least we didn’t have to keep our fucking day jobs at Round Table Pizza. We could actually concentrate on writing music and touring 24/7. We toured non-stop for eight months after Houdini came out, and after that, we were ready to make another record. Most major labels will have a band put a record out, get them to tour as much as they possibly can, and release a single every two months or so to try to stretch things out. In the ’60s, bands like the Beatles and the Stones were putting out a new record every six months. That’s the way we wanted to work. We didn’t want to wait three years between records. Somehow, we convinced Atlantic to give us money to make a new record. It wasn’t even a year after Houdini came out that we were back in the studio.

Two months prior to the release of Stoner Witch, Melvins released an experimental LP called Prick on Amphetamine Reptile, and the band’s name was allegedly printed in mirrored type due to contractual obligations. Did this cause any friction with Atlantic?

Osborne: Our contract specified 100 percent artistic control, so Atlantic didn’t have to put the record out, but they couldn’t stop us from turning it in and getting paid for it. I didn’t really see any reason to do that. Initially, Atlantic asked to release it, and we said, “You guys are not gonna want to do this.” Eventually, they figured out that that was true and told us to do whatever we wanted to do with it. I didn’t feel like Prick would jeopardize the chances for Stoner Witch to sell, and it really didn’t.

Crover: The record was done when we were writing songs and doing demos for Stoner Witch in London. We decided that we were going to do a record on the side. We’d come to the studio every morning and do something for Prick. Most of the songs on that album were “experiments.” One of the experiments was that each band member would record a song by themselves. You’d do one track by yourself first, and when you were recording your next track, you could not hear what you did previously. Danny Goldberg was the head of Atlantic at the time, and he seemed to understand what the Melvins were all about; I think he was the one who suggested that we alter the band’s logo on Prick.

Deutrom: The whole idea that the band couldn’t use the name “Melvins” on Prick is a misconception. It was just a funny thing for the band to do, to print the logo in mirror type. It was a little joke for fans, you know? Atlantic didn’t care, and they figured that the more the band’s name was out there, the better it would be for everybody. A behemoth like Atlantic isn’t concerned with some little label putting out 2,000 copies of what amounts to an audio masturbatory session. It was barely on their radar. They had a floor full of people running around trying to figure out if somebody was doing that with their AC/DC or Crosby, Stills & Nash product, but the Melvins? Not so much. They were sort of like, “This is interesting and fun, and nobody will ever hear it.”

Melvins have always prided themselves on an economical approach to the studio. What did you do with the money left over from the budget for Stoner Witch?

Deutrom: We lived on it. That’s one of the things that anybody with a brain does. There’s no reason to spend all of the money you get from an advance on recording, unless you’re hiring orchestras or the label assigns you a producer whose fee is 75 percent of your budget. This was the band’s sixth or seventh record, so they knew how to go into studios and be efficient. We toured virtually the entire time I was in the band, but it created a safety net. We drew the line immediately and said, “We’re not going to spend more than this much on this record,” and we stuck to it. We bought a little gear, too, like road cases. I’d love to say that we spent it all on drugs, like the Dickies. But that didn’t happen.

Crover: We bought a bunch of gear. We bought four SVT cabinets, two Hiwatt stacks and road cases for all of our gear. Then we went on tour with L7 and had a massive amount of gear every night. That was back when we thought it was a good idea to have a bunch of gear like that. Of course, the older we get, the less gear I want to carry around. I remember that there were a couple of gigs where there wasn’t enough room onstage for all four SVT cabinets, but our sound guy was determined to get all of them up there, so he ended up stacking the cabinets on top of each other, and it ended up looking like Black Sabbath’s old backline. That’s how he got his nickname, “Old School.”

Osborne: We always wrote some money into the budget for ourselves. We figured that it was all we’d ever get, and I wasn’t wrong about that. We each got a little bit of money. It’s not like I went out and bought a Bentley or anything. If you consider what your living expenses would be for two years, we didn’t even get that. So, we went out on the road and worked and made up the difference. I’ve always been pretty prudent with money. To this day, I approach everything from the standpoint that it’s not going to work out. I’ve never had the idea that the tap’s not going to shut off. That way, you’re a lot more careful and less aggressive with the decisions you make. Nothing kills a band faster than having no money at all.

How did Mark Deutrom join the band?

Osborne: We had worked with him on a number of occasions, and we’d also used him as a soundman, so we knew that he was a really great guitar player. We were between bass players, because on the eve of signing with Atlantic, we decided that we did not want to be on a contract with Joe Preston, so we ended that relationship right there. When you sign a legally binding contract with somebody, you’re pretty much married to them for life. Me and Dale were the only ones that ever signed with Atlantic. The vast majority of Houdini is just the two of us, and Mark joined after the record was complete and we were getting ready to go on tour.

Crover: He actually produced our first record and was involved in our first record label, Alchemy. He was also in a band with our former bass player Lori Black called Clown Alley. We met both of them when we signed with Alchemy. He more or less replaced Lori in the band, because Lori played on a couple of songs on Houdini. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t a bass player by trade—he was a guitar player. But, attitude-wise, we thought he could relate to us better than anybody else. We really loved playing with Mark. Most of the bass players we’d had before were pretty much following the guitar line. Not too many strayed from what Buzz was playing. Mark was more like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got a different part for that!” He was quite inventive.

Deutrom: During the recording of Houdini, they found themselves without a bass player, and realized that they were going to need one for subsequent touring. I had produced Gluey Porch Treatments and Ozma, and had also done front of house sound on a few tours with them, so they knew what I was like to work with in those situations. Buzz called me and asked if I would consider playing with them. We had already been friends for six or seven years at that point, so it was an easy decision to make.

Stoner Witch was one of the first layouts by Mackie Osborne, who has done most Melvins art in the last two decades. What’s the story behind the album art?

Crover: The front cover was originally a piece of 1950s-era wallpaper from a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogue, I think. Atlantic made her change it because they didn’t want whomever originally designed it to come out of the woodwork and say, “Hey, pay up!” I don’t know how much it was altered—I never saw the original. But it’s similar in spirit to a lot of our previous art. The Bullhead cover was a tablecloth we found at a store in San Francisco. We always had album covers that weren’t very “heavy metal.”

Osborne: If you look at the name of the band and glance at our artwork, it’s clear that we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. I have always loved the found art aesthetic, so it was consistent with Bullhead, Lysol and Eggnog. When we did Stoner Witch, we were able to work with my wife, who is a graphic designer by trade. It was a piece of wallpaper, but she completely redesigned the whole thing to make it work for the cover. It may be one of my favorite record covers we’ve ever done. The funny thing is that once we told Atlantic that we didn’t want to use their designers, their staff got really pissy about it. But I visited the office in New York, and what did they have right in the front of the art department? A blow-up of the Stoner Witch album cover! I took that as a compliment. It meant that we weren’t wrong.

Melvins co-produced this album with Garth “GGGarth” Richardson, and spent 19 days at A&M Studios. In an interview with Guitar World in 1995, Buzz described Stoner Witch as the “first time the band had worked with a producer in the classical sense.” What do you recall about the studio experience?

Deutrom: All of the arrangements were set before we even went into the studio—one of the reasons the record sounds really good. Virtually none of it was written in the studio, except for maybe “Lividity.” GGGarth was a great technician and brought a lot of really cool things to the table. As far as I’m concerned, Joe Barresi, the engineer, is really responsible for the sound of that record and its cohesion; I learned vast amounts of technical knowledge just from watching him at work. The studio was wonderful—the gear that they had was great, and the guys running it were a joy to work with. It was really a privilege to work in that kind of an environment at least once in my life. I have very fond memories of that time.

Osborne: Joe and GGGarth were completely open to our ideas, and offered really good input about ways to record instruments and how to do solos. We really viewed it as more of an “art project” than making a big rock record, and we laughed our way through the whole thing. Once we got a take that we liked, we were done. We didn’t end up with 10 takes of every song, or any of that crap. A lot of the band’s philosophy about making records was spawned while we were making Stoner Witch. The funny thing is that people think we only do things one way. I used a bunch of different guitars, effects boxes and amps on Stoner Witch, and Dale had three different drum kits set up so he could test each to figure out which one sounded best.

Crover: Keith Richards’ bong was still in the main room at A&M when we got there. The Rolling Stones had just finished recording Voodoo Lounge, and apparently Keith got so high that he hallucinated having a conversation with John Lennon, then dismissed a series of engineers who didn’t want to do lines of coke with him. One of GGGarth’s ideas was to do another Alice Cooper cover and try to get Alice to sing on it. The connection was that GGGarth’s dad owned a production company in Canada where they recorded the first three or four Alice Cooper albums on Warner Bros. I think GGGarth’s dad was the one who got Bob Ezrin, who was a young recording prodigy at the time, to record those Alice Cooper records. Bob Ezrin also did The Wall by Pink Floyd. Somehow or other, the bass that he owned was in the studio, so we used the bass from The Wall on Stoner Witch.

(cont. on next post)

11
Liar?  narc?  I bought it from Barnes & Noble when it came out.  Even though its just a magazine, it's still copyrighted material.




12
I have digital versions of this issue, but it might not be appropriate to post any links

13
Melvins Album Discussion / Re: Melvins/Steel Pole Bathtub split
« on: January 25, 2014, 07:04:23 PM »
I am looking for this little slice of heaven.  Anyone willing to sell or trade their copy?
there are copies for sale on discogs.com, starting at $28 + shipping

http://www.discogs.com/marketplace?master_id=105558&ev=mb


14
Melvins Discussion / Re: Conversation on Divorced
« on: September 11, 2011, 04:13:38 PM »
I'm pretty sure it's Maynard & Danny Carey of Tool

15
Melvins Discussion / Re: Venomous Concept video clip!!
« on: June 08, 2011, 08:36:55 PM »
is this it?



just search youtube for other clips

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