Author Topic: May 2018 - Bad Feeling Magazine - Buzz interview  (Read 808 times)

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Offline jules

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May 2018 - Bad Feeling Magazine - Buzz interview
« on: September 01, 2018, 01:55:39 AM »

Melvins frontman “Buzz” Osborne wants to make one thing very clear — if it wasn’t for the nuisance of the border, we would be seeing the Melvins much more often in this country.

“If that border was easy, we would play in Canada way more,” says Osborne emphatically, speaking from the road before a show in Atlanta. “I’d add 10 shows to every single tour I did.”

Those border frustrations have been well-earned, as the Melvins have gone through the cross-country rigamarole numerous times throughout their decades-long touring career. The band is about to go through that needlessly complex process again, as their current tour hits Montreal and Toronto this week before reaching the West Coast and the Prairies later this summer.

Touring in support of their latest LP, Pinkus Abortion Technician (Ipecac), the current lineup of the band sees Buzzo and drummer Dale Crover joined by the double bass attack of Redd Kross’ Steven McDonald and Butthole Surfers’ Jeff Pinkus (the LP title is a play on the classic Surfers album Locust Abortion Technician), on one of the band’s most off-the-wall records yet, including a pair of Butthole Surfers covers and a sludgy take on the Beatles classic “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

We caught up with Buzz to discuss their schizophrenic new LP, the proper way to approach their live show, what Pinkus and McDonald bring to the band, and his long-held grudge against the “smack-shooting peabrain” Perry Farrell.

Melvins play Montreal’s Corona Theatre on Monday, May 14th at 8:00 pm with Indian Handcrafts. Tickets are $28 in advance. For more info and all upcoming tour dates, visit the official Melvins site.

How how this tour been going so far? You’re a few days in now.

Tonight’s our eighth show on the tour, it’s been great. We’re doing it with two bass players, Steven McDonald from Redd Kross and Off! and Jeff Pinkus from Honky and Butthole Surfers. Two completely different styles, both equally exciting and very fun to play with, so we’re very excited about it. It’s working great. By the time we see you, we’ll be like an un-oiled machine!

You do a lot of touring, do you still enjoy it?

We don’t mind it, it is part of the way we make a living. That’s definitely a part of the whole thing. It’s a crapshoot when you roll up to the border. If that border was easy, we would play in Canada way more. I’d add 10 shows to every single tour I did. Canada and the United States are the two most paranoid countries on Earth. It’s not any easier for us to get from Canada back into the U.S., it’s a total pain in the ass.

I never understood the logic of it — it’s not like the Melvins are taking the job of another Canadian band.

There is no logic to it. It makes zero sense, it’s totally arbitrary. And subject to the mood of whoever’s in charge at that very moment at the border. We have literally been into Canada dozens and dozens of times without any trouble, you think that would make a difference. What’s the problem? I’m not trying to pull something here. What exactly am I trying to get away with? It’s insane. What do they think we have in there, gold bars? A “Welcome to Canada” would be nice, you know? Or, “You guys were in Canada? Well, welcome home boys!”

Twice we’ve done a tour where we’ve crossed all of Canada, around Thunder Bay and all that stuff. We drive the whole entire length. The Trans-Canada Highway. I wouldn’t want to do it in the winter, but in the summer, driving above Lake Superior and all that stuff, it’s really quite interesting, I think you would dig it. I don’t think I would do any driving up there after dark because there tends to be a lot of moose standing in the road. But I’d recommend it, it’s a very interesting drive. Very, very cool tundra, you can really feel what it’s like, it’s very remote.

How did this new record come together? Even by Melvins standards this is a pretty crazy record.

Yeah, well we had both Jeff and Steven playing on it which was a lot of fun, and then the songs came out good, the record came out good. We did a double album last year, in July, so barely 9 months ago. So if you take it all into conjunction as the same kind of thing, it’s a really cool project. It should kind of be viewed like that, we recorded it all at the same time.

The Melvins in general almost seem like a continually evolving project — you don’t really fall into that standard album / tour cycle, the band seems much more prolific than that. Was that always the idea, to keep creating as much as possible?

Yeah, as much as it makes sense. If we have the material, we might as well put it out. I don’t see any reason why we should wait another year to put this record out. We have the material, we think it’s strong and good, then why not? People can handle it. It’s a luxury problem. We’re doing too many records. What is too many? I dunno.

Can you talk about the influence Steve and Jeff each had on you and what they’ve brought to the band?

They’re both superior players, which is good. They both play completely different from each other, and then they worked really hard on playing parts that are complimentary to each other. And with guys like that you just let ’em do their job, you know? I don’t have to sit there and fill in the blanks for ’em (laughs). Thank god!

They both also contributed to the songwriting for this album, was that the idea from the beginning, or did that come about in the recording process?

Since the beginning of the band, if someone has a song I’m more than willing to let them use it. But, it just doesn’t come up very often. It just so happened that it came up more on this record than normal. So it’s not a conspiracy or anything. It’s nice, I’ve written hundreds of songs, and I’ll continue writing, we just did a double album of material, most of which was written by me, not even a year ago. So it’s not like I missed out, believe me.

With the title, the Butthole cover and with Jeff being in the band, this album is almost a tribute to the Butthole Surfers, is that something you had in mind initially?

I mean if you listen to the record it’s not really a tribute to the Butthole Surfers, but it’s a funny album title. I think it’s pretty funny, we just took it from there. That’s about it.

Do you think people always get the sense of humour behind the Melvins?

Oh, I don’t know what they get. Probably not. But we always love that kind of stuff. One of my favourite bands is The Fugs. So, that’s kind of a go-to band for me, and has been for 35 years, at least. They would have thought it was funny!

You must have played with the Butthole Surfers many times over the years, what kind of influence did that band have on you?

They had a massive impact on me. The first time I saw them was about ’83, maybe. They only had their first EP out, that was it. And I was instantly hooked, and it’s never ended. I love that stuff, I think it’s really good. I’m a fan, I will remain a fan, I will never tire of that stuff. I like their attitude, and their individuality, all of that’s very important. And the weird nature of how they perceived music is always interesting to me. We did an album a few years ago called Hold It In with Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus, which was really great for me, I was very excited about that, and happy to have it happen, and really honoured and accepting of those guys writing songs. Paul wrote three songs for that record, it was great. It’s an honour and a privilege. If you had told me in 1983 that some day I’d be playing with these guys, I wouldn’t have believed it, you know? Or that some day I’d be in a band with the bass player from Redd Kross and the bass player for the Butthole Surfers. That’s very odd.

Redd Kross is such an amazing band but not an obvious match with the Melvins’ sound, did you always know that would be a good fit together?

Well, it didn’t happen until Dale played with Steve. Dale replaced the drummer for a tour in Off! So he toured with Steve, and then he said, “You know, after touring with them and playing with him, I think Steven might be a guy that we could play with.” That’s all it was. I took Dale’s recommendation and we gave it a shot. And Steve’s an exceptionally amazing player. He’s really good, and I don’t understand why he’s not in a huge band, why some huge band hasn’t picked him. He’s played with a lot of people, he’s played with Beck, Sparks, a bunch of people.

Melvins fans always seem along for the ride with you, was that always the case? Or did it take a while to cultivate that kind of fan base?

No, our first albums were met with violent hatred, that would be a good way to put it. Hatred, I mean massive hatred. So we had to be pretty sure of ourselves, for years and years and years before that turned around. Andy Warhol said, “You plant the flag and you let the world revolve around you,” re-assemble itself around you, and that I believe.

When bands have been around as long as the Melvins there’s often a heavy nostalgia factor, with album tours and re-releases, but it seems like the band don’t really go for that much — is that a discussion that comes up often with the band?

We’ve done a little bit of that, we did a thing where we did two nights in a bunch of cities where we did two albums per night. That was fun. But we’re not a slave to our audience. We don’t have any hits. We approach it more like performance art. As we put the set together, we feel like the whole 70 or 80 minutes is important, not just the songs. The whole, entire thing is what is good. So if you come to us, it’s silly and more difficult to understand it if you look at it from a specific song idea. We meticulously put the set together in this order for a particular reason, sometimes that’s lost on people.

That’s an interesting way of looking at the set, I wish more bands would do that instead of just throwing things out there.

I honestly think that bands should play about 30 minutes. 30-40 minutes, let’s say 40 minutes. I’d rather see them play a really good, solid 40-minute set. I’m satisfied with that, but we have to give ’em over an hour, you know?

You also generally seem to do with just one opener as opposed to a large tour package, is that your ideal setup?

We’ve never done a travelling tour, we just did like Ozzfest with Tool, but Ozzfest didn’t want us. Ozzfest didn’t want us at all, but we were there on Tool’s insistence. And Ozzfest themselves, the powers that be, made sure that we understood that we were not wanted there. There you go!

And we did the Lollapalooza tour, but Perry Farrell didn’t like us, and so the year Metallica did it, he steps down because he didn’t want us to do it, and then we were able to do it. Yeah, it’s always great when you have a smack-shooting peabrain talking about ethics to people, you know?

And there’s our headline!

What’s he going to do to me? Would that be misinterpreted by someone? Could it be? Oh remind me, has he not talked about drugs, is that right? He brought it up, not me. I guess a more outrageous thing to say about him would be, “When I’m not spending time at the local orphanage helping out…” Oh, that’s less likely. But, whatever, look — he’s the one that said he didn’t like us. He said that, not me. I didn’t say a word about his band. He brought it up and made sure the world understood that he was not behind it. So fuck him.

Did you enjoy that tour apart from it? You at least had the Ramones on there.

It was fine, we had an easy time of it. When someone starts shit-talking us, I’m not just going to sit here and take it. “But you’re right. Oh Perry, you’re so far above me. Gosh, you can just treat me like shit.” Honestly, I don’t think about it a whole lot. I don’t really want to focus on that, I don’t give a shit, it was a long time ago, and I really, honestly, couldn’t care less about that guy. If he liked us, I might be more worried.

What would be your ultimate lineup for your own festival?

If I could do it from history, I would put everybody from Buck Owens to Judy Garland and Jimi Hendrix to you know, Pink Floyd and the Sex Pistols. That sounds fun. My dream bill. We can throw Junior Brown in there too. And the Butthole Surfers. They played not too long ago. I know they’re working on a new record.

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Offline surfling

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Re: May 2018 - Bad Feeling Magazine - Buzz interview
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2018, 05:12:45 AM »
excellent interview. thanks for posting!
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Offline Dumpster D

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Re: May 2018 - Bad Feeling Magazine - Buzz interview
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
Yeah when will the Melvins stop their smuggling racket?  :lol: