Author Topic: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017  (Read 1782 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jules

  • MITROWSKI!!!
  • *******
  • Posts: 19516
  • A bad mouth betrays a bad mind
    • View Profile
Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:05:58 AM »
https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/brick-brick/201709/the-melvins-are-not-screwing-you

The Melvins Are Not Screwing With You


Pioneers of grunge discuss single-minded focus that led to their success.

Many seminal punk bands seemed to relish in shocking and challenging their audience, with everything from their music and lyrics to their live performances. Sitting back and enjoying the music was simply not an option. Whether it was Suicide’s Alan Vega intensely shrieking and rolling on the stage, The Sex Pistols’ John Lydon claiming to be both antichrist and anarchist, or Flipper deliberately playing slow, droning music to hardcore fans used to 30-second songs: Punk demanded our attention.

So it’s natural to assume that the Melvins are also messing with us.

After all, the Melvins emerged in part from the punk and hardcore scene and are considered one of the originators of grunge, a hybrid of hardcore punk and metal that came out of Seattle. The Melvins, along with bands such as Green River and Soundgarden, were part of the Deep Six compilation that is perhaps the first seminal grunge compilation and helped set the stage for the success of bands like Mudhoney and Nirvana.

And the Melvins have a long history of taking their audience all over the place. As an example, their most recent double album A Walk with Love and Death. The Guardian describes the album as “utterly uncompromising…hard not to admire the band’s continued willingness to bash at the boundaries of extreme music.”

But in talking with Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins, who have been playing together for 35 years, you soon come to realize that they are not messing with us. They are not trying to confront those who don’t get them to evoke some reaction.

On the contrary, if you don’t get them, they don’t care.

And this apathy is perhaps an even more confrontational stance and, inadvertently, messes with us the most. Because what’s more disturbing: Being confronted with someone who is trying to mess with you and so is at least acknowledging your existence? Or someone who truly does not care about your opinion?

Crover knew early on that the Melvins didn’t care what others thought. He recalled seeing the Melvins before he joined the band and being struck by their independence and originality. “Even before I was in the band, I saw how people looked at those guys. And they looked at them differently—because they were different. They were different looking from anyone else,” he described. “We’re a pretty odd band. We’re pretty odd for most people to wrap their head around.”

And receiving negative feedback did nothing but reflect and further shape the Melvins’ independent attitude. “There were a lot of people that just did not get it at all. In 1985, my first year of being in the band, we played in this place in Salt Lake City. It was this hippie warehouse place—there was a punk rock show there,” he said. “We were staying there and it was someone’s father who ran the place. And he said, ‘You guys should give up. You’re no good. You guys should think of something else to do. Don’t play music.’ We’ve been dealing with that forever.”

“I didn’t care—I knew it was good.”

Osborne concurs and, as the founder and only original member of the Melvins still in the band, he has been very clear in his vision from day one. And he has little time for people who aren’t on board. “I’m very strong in my ideas about what is good and what is bad, and vary very little off of that plane. And I think that we would not exist had I not had that idea from the beginning. I always knew I was right about what we were doing,” Osborne explained. “I’m not trying to please people. I’m just trying to do what I like. And if I like it, I figure other people will like it.

“And so far I haven’t been wrong.”

And as for people who don’t like the Melvins’ music or approach to music, Osborne doesn’t concern himself with their opinions. “There’s not much I can do about it. And there’s not much I do about it. I leave it…They’re lost in their own opinions and their own ideas about how things work. And even their own ideas about how I work. And generally speaking, they’re 100 percent off the mark,” Osborne said. “If you don’t like it, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s none of my business whether you like it or not. It means very little to me.”

One of the reasons that Osborne feels that people may not understand the Melvins is that they are conformists who do not truly understand the independent mindset of the band. “They’re conformists. The worst people for that are the ones who don’t believe they’re conformists. They believe that they are free people. And they conform in every area of their lives, all the time,” Osborne described. “The hipsters—they’re the biggest conformists of all. They can’t do anything without looking over their shoulder and see what everyone else is doing. They can’t. It’s not possible. I’ve been down that road and watched it happen for years and years and years.

“I’m not a part of that existence.”

To further illustrate his disdain for conformity, Osborne quoted a passage from the movie Easy Rider in which Jack Nicholson discusses how frightening truly independent people can be to conformists: “‘If you start telling people they’re not free they’ll start freaking out and killing and maiming to prove that they are. But if they actually see someone who is free, it’s really going to scare them. And then they become dangerous.’”

Osborne reserves particular bile for people who dedicate themselves to critiquing others. From his perspective, it is never a good idea to feel that one has to defend their art. “As soon as you start defending yourself, now you’re backtracking...now you are weak. Only weaklings defend themselves. A f------ critic? F--- you. They don’t know me. They don’t know anything about me...What sort of person wants to criticize somebody else’s work? That’s pretty f----- up,” Osborne explained. “I cannot do anything for them and I do not owe them an explanation...If someone wants to write a s----- review about what I’m doing, there’s nothing I can do about that.”

“I’m just going to let you wallow in your own bulls---.”

The fact that the Melvins so baldly disregard the opinion of others makes the notion that they are intentionally messing with people on their albums seem laughable.

“It’ll be like, ‘They’re just screwing with us with this record.’ Well no – not at all. I’ve never done that – ever. Why would I do that? It doesn’t make sense. You think I’m going to go through all this trouble just to screw with people?” Osborne explained. “No I like what we do. I expect you to like it. If you want to like it I think you should like it.”

But the Melvins are quick to say that being independent-minded is not enough. If you aren’t going to work hard, pack it in. Because it is hard work that gives us a better opportunity for independence and freedom.

“You cannot get successful in any area of your life by only working forty hours a week. It’s impossible. It’s impossible to view your life as a 40-hour work week with weekends off. That’s the key to failure,” Osborne described. “If you want to work twice as hard at something so you can be your own boss – do that. I didn’t like having a boss. I worked 3, 4, or 5 times as much as I did before in order to not have one. I figured that out on my own. And guess what? I didn’t go to college.

“Just get out of my way and we’ll be all right.”

“It’s not always easy. It’s not for everybody. It’s hard to be away from home. It’s not always comfortable...It’s a weird life being a professional musician and traveling. It gets to people,” Crover explained. “We’ve always told ourselves—remember why we’re here. We’re working, making money. We’re not on a vacation. It’s certainly better than a lot of people’s jobs. Most people hate their jobs.”

In contrast to their feelings about people who didn’t understand or appreciate them, the Melvins are quite open about their appreciation for their fans. “We have super dedicated fans who are into what we’re doing and exactly what the story is. I’m not talking about them. Those are the people I totally appreciate,” Osborne said.

“They’re totally there with me.”

Certainly, the Melvins’ approach is working – from a commercial perspective, they have been viable for 35 years. “We keep doing what we’re doing and it keeps getting better. Even still, after this long, we can go out and tour and we seem to keep drawing more people and keep doing well,” Crover said. “We never went out and lost money—we always made money. If we had done a bunch of tours where we lost money we probably would have thought, ‘OK this isn’t working’ and would have been done.”

“If we were a money-losing band there would be no labels that wanted to do anything with us. So there you go,” Osborne said.

And Crover is always pleasantly surprised when he discovers that they’ve converted people who may not have initially appreciated the Melvins’ music.

“I mean we’re talking about ’86 and we’re playing in Florida and a bunch of Nazi skinheads show up at the show and cause a bunch of trouble,” Crover said. “Then we go back there two years later and everyone’s got long hair and saying, ‘I remember seeing you guys.’ And I thought, Huh…

“Were you one of the guys who hated us?”
'Anything doused in any kind of curry is great.'  -  spunkmonkey

'I don't take mice lightly.'  -  Dumpster D

Offline Oscar

  • sun ra was right
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2018, 02:21:35 PM »
Your formatted copy+pasting of articles and interviews does not go unappreciated, Jules


Offline vince furnier

  • speaks bocce
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
  • Gender: Male
  • see my only mind explode, when I've gone insane!
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2018, 02:23:28 PM »
how'd this stay buried for almost a year?
Welcome to my Nightmare!


"uh no, but we do know that meezer is vince furnier" - brian

Offline surfling

  • Fears SNIVLEM
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 04:20:08 AM »
Your formatted copy+pasting of articles and interviews does not go unappreciated, Jules


i second that.
"Pop music is for sheep. And we are shepherds disguised as wolves."
(Laibach)

Offline Bigval

  • godfather of grunge
  • ******
  • Posts: 1844
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 06:48:42 AM »
Good interview. I must admit that us against the world mentality that comes through in interviews with Buzz can be a bit off-putting in interviews but it's been shaped from 35 years worth of experiences and is clearly fuel that keeps his fire burning.

Another memorable moment in those Spin 51 in 51 tour diary entries was when they pulled into some town and how the appearance of Buzz was freaking people out and turning heads and Crover said something about how Buzz is a truly free individual and when people are confronted with a truly free individual who doesn't give a fuck what you think of them it freaks people out.

Offline aeustin

  • knows moss
  • *****
  • Posts: 348
  • Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents.
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 04:21:57 AM »
I've always admired Buzz's brash and, ahem, bullheaded attitude. I wish I was more like that myself.
Wake up to yourself before you die
The truth is hard but it's easy to lie

Offline ))))((((

  • godfather of grunge
  • ******
  • Posts: 1816
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 10:16:32 AM »
I've always admired Buzz's brash and, ahem, bullheaded attitude. I wish I was more like that myself.
Im not sure anyone should aspire exactly to that. Much like yourself i admire that Buzz does what he wants and his personal take on creativity, but at the same time he strikes me as far too stubborn and dismissive at times.

Offline DToxico

  • INDEEEEEED
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2018, 06:29:03 AM »
I've always admired Buzz's brash and, ahem, bullheaded attitude. I wish I was more like that myself.
Im not sure anyone should aspire exactly to that. Much like yourself i admire that Buzz does what he wants and his personal take on creativity, but at the same time he strikes me as far too stubborn and dismissive at times.

Yeah, this pretty much. People who define themselves by their contrarianism grate on my nerves big-time, especially when they've achieved some manner of personal success so that smugness and arrogance are added to the mix (or amplified when they were already there). I get where he's coming from here and with a lot of other things he says, but that attitude is still a big example of why, to an extent, I'm kind of a Melvins fan in spite of Buzz.

Offline ))))((((

  • godfather of grunge
  • ******
  • Posts: 1816
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 10:23:43 AM »
I've always admired Buzz's brash and, ahem, bullheaded attitude. I wish I was more like that myself.
Im not sure anyone should aspire exactly to that. Much like yourself i admire that Buzz does what he wants and his personal take on creativity, but at the same time he strikes me as far too stubborn and dismissive at times.

Yeah, this pretty much. People who define themselves by their contrarianism grate on my nerves big-time, especially when they've achieved some manner of personal success so that smugness and arrogance are added to the mix (or amplified when they were already there). I get where he's coming from here and with a lot of other things he says, but that attitude is still a big example of why, to an extent, I'm kind of a Melvins fan in spite of Buzz.
Couldn't have said it better myself. That's exactly the same as i see it.

Offline DToxico

  • INDEEEEEED
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 01:55:08 PM »
I will say I never get tired of that "some guy's dad" story from early in their careers. Buzz or Dale both seem to bring it up every so often and it's funny, but also interesting how it clearly had an impact on them (even though it may not have been the intended one)

Offline (PAUL)

  • MITROWSKI!!!
  • *******
  • Posts: 6350
  • Gender: Male
  • YEAH
    • View Profile
    • My music
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 02:15:44 PM »
I will say I never get tired of that "some guy's dad" story from early in their careers. Buzz or Dale both seem to bring it up every so often and it's funny, but also interesting how it clearly had an impact on them (even though it may not have been the intended one)
Yeah I'd say it had the opposite effect of what the dad was aiming for.
Hail, not fail.
PS:  fuck him.

Offline ))))((((

  • godfather of grunge
  • ******
  • Posts: 1816
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 02:17:17 PM »
I don't think i've ever heard this one actually. I assume it was someone telling them NOT to tour or perform music?

Offline Fureon Nectarmoon

  • knows moss
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
  • Gender: Male
  • RAIN-BOOOOOOW!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 02:22:59 PM »
Reminds of how the band D.R.I. got their band name from practicing at one of the members' house and his dad calling them a bunch of dirty rotten imbeciles.
Needless to say they rolled with it.

Also, being a Melvins fan in spite of Buzz? Come on.
I agree he can be a bit too stuck up, but he's still a huge inspiration.
If he wasn't who he is, Melvins wouldn't be Melvins, so that's a really silly thing to say.
One has to be stubborn to get to certain things in life.
I don't see anything wrong with aspiring to not to take shit from anyone, work hard, and learn on others' mistakes.

Offline Bigval

  • godfather of grunge
  • ******
  • Posts: 1844
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 01:42:30 AM »
Also, being a Melvins fan in spite of Buzz? Come on.
I agree he can be a bit too stuck up, but he's still a huge inspiration.
If he wasn't who he is, Melvins wouldn't be Melvins, so that's a really silly thing to say.
One has to be stubborn to get to certain things in life.
I don't see anything wrong with aspiring to not to take shit from anyone, work hard, and learn on others' mistakes.

That's all true but it can get a bit much with Buzz sometimes. I understand that mindset of his is in large part due to the band's early days when they were rejected by their local scene and they especially Buzz developed a steely resolve in that they 'knew' they were right and everyone else (their scene) was wrong. There's also a lot of a punk DIY mentality in there too go out and do what you want fuck the establishment (major record labels etc).

That doggedness and single minded mentality permeates his interviews it's clearly a large part of what drives him and keeps him going but I do think his taking shots at other bands/artists over the years (speaking the truth as he would see it) has also hurt them and burnt a number of bridges. Not just Dave Grohl Buzz had a falling out with Patton at one point where they didn't speak for a few years despite being on his label then all the bass players they've gone through too.

It's the negativity and/or taking shots at other bands that I've never liked with his interviews. He's not as bad as he used to be with that stuff these days and that's probably age.


Offline Fureon Nectarmoon

  • knows moss
  • *****
  • Posts: 326
  • Gender: Male
  • RAIN-BOOOOOOW!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Melvins article in Psychology Today - 26 Sep 2017
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 10:38:24 AM »
I could do without excessive negativity aimed at others as well.
But that's just how it is, you take the bad with the good.

The thing is, brilliant songs like You've Never Been Right, or The Fool, The Meddling Idiot come from the same emotional source as what we're talking about.
It's crucial. If it wasn't there, the Melvins' songs just wouldn't sound the way they are.
Obviously it's best when Buzz channels his spite into creating great music, and not so great when he takes it out on specific people.
But still. It would be hypocritical to like the band "in spite of" his character, because that part of his character is one of the things integral to their music.

Also, I've learned that it's much, much better to never completely idolize or demonize people.
Life just doesn't work like that. There is often duality and shades of gray.
A few bad traits or flaws in ideology don't necessarily make a bad person or an invalid example.

That being said, I do understand not being able to stand certain traits that get on your nerves.
I've met some people I tried my best to be friends with despite some things in them pissing me off, but ultimately had to distance myself from.