Author Topic: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019  (Read 539 times)

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Online jules

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Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« on: September 16, 2019, 04:36:27 AM »
https://thethankslist.com/buzz-osborne-melvins/

Heavy and eclectic might be the best way to describe the Melvins. While impossible to pigeon hole them into a single genre, their influence is undeniable on a spider web of bands, from Punk to Metal to Sludge to Doom. Not to mention their utter significance in the storied history of the North West/ Grunge scene. Their immense discography reads as a series of unexpected curveballs thrown to their audience, all the while maintaining an identity of their own. At the center of it is singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne, aka King Buzzo, whom I had the pleasure of talking to before the Melvins’ set at Stoned and Dusted Fest, in the Mojave desert.


What have you been listening to the most lately?
I’ve been listening to THE POLICE a lot. Yeah, that’s the truth. I don’t like all of it, but I like some of it. I saw them in the early 80’s and it was really good. Then, I just never really paid any attention. Lately, I’ve been getting into it more, which is kinda cool. I don’t think it’s anything I would ever want to do myself but that’s kind of how music works. I’ve never felt like I always agreed with the masses but it’s nice when, once in a while, you do. I’m not perversely trying to not agree but I just usually don’t agree. People like this and for some reason I don’t like it. But then the few cases where that’s not the case, I’m very excited about it. Like “wow, I like this and so does millions of other people”. I mean, to me there’s not enough good music out there to be that picky. I’m picky, but if there’s something that’s really good, I’m not gonna go “well, everybody else likes it, I don’t like it”. I’m not that guy, you know?

Is there any universally acclaimed artist that you didn’t like at first but grew to love?
TOM PETTY.

What era is your favorite?
Probably the first three records? I like that stuff. He’s obviously a big BOB DYLAN fan. His songs are always short. There’s no long songs, it’s 3 minutes max. The band’s really good. Too bad about his early death.

Yeah. Did you get to see him?
I never saw him. My wife saw him a few times. I don’t go to a lot of shows. I used to, a long time ago but now I do this like, a hundred fifty times a year. Once in a while, if I have friends playing in town or something, I might go down to the soundcheck, hang out, and then leave. You know, talk when everybody’s still sober. After the show and they’re all hammered, it’s still “ehhhh”. I mean, it’s ok for them, I don’t care. I’m around drunk people all the time.

Is there any band though, that you toured with and whom you just had to see their set every night?
On the Downward Spiral tour, we did some shows with NINE INCH NAILS and I enjoyed their show every night. I don’t know how much of it was real. I like that record. I’m surprised. I don’t like all the records but that record I thought was cool and to this day, I still think that record’s good.

It was original at the time.
Yeah, I mean, I think they were fairly unschooled in musical history. I don’t think they knew a whole lot. Talking to the guys, they certainly weren’t aware of a whole lot of the same kind of stuff that we were, that’s for sure. For some reason, that record kind of works. I don’t know why. The records after that, I never paid any attention to it. I didn’t like it. Before, maybe a couple songs. That first record is a little too disco for me. Along that genre, I believe I prefer MINISTRY a little more but I think the Downward Spiral is the best record of that sort of thing. Having said that, I think Thirlwell is much, much better and I think they’re all ripping him off a great deal. J.G. THIRLWELL, I think is one of the most uncredited, ripped off -structurally and aesthetically- guys out there, that nobody’s heard of. He’s always worked. He’s always been there. You know, FOETUS and all that stuff. People need to hear that because that’s where these guys are ripping off all that stuff. All of it. You know, they should have given him more props.

Do you have an artist that you love in a genre that you don’t usually listen to? What makes them stand out?
Nothing comes to mind. I’m not a big Rap guy. I don’t really like Rap music, it’s not my thing. I like NWA I guess, it’s funny. Maybe a little bit of ICE-T. Or RUN DMC, Raising Hell record. I think most of it is just crap. It’s one of the most played out mediums I’ve ever heard. Nothing’s changed, nobody’s doing anything new. To me, they’re not really bands. I don’t really get it. I mean, it doesn’t appeal to me. If that’s what they want, fine, I don’t care. Millions and millions of people like that stuff.

What would be the genre these days that you think offers the most inventive stuff?
I don’t know. Nothing I can really think of. I mean, no more than any other time though. I’m definitely not a guy who’s like “back in the good old days”. I didn’t like everything then either. There was no era, to me, there’s about as many good bands as there ever was. It’s like they’re all on here, on this flat table, and then some of them fall through. They’re pretty good but most of them are not very good. If you look at American top 10 from 1970, most of the stuff you wouldn’t even know what it is. Never heard of it. They were really popular at one point. The few bands to stick around like LED ZEPPELIN or whoever, The BEATLES, for each one, there’s thousands more that sold a lot of records for a few moments, but nobody even knows who they are. That’s kind of how it works. I mean, every every era is like that. I’m not a big fan of Nu Metal. It doesn’t really do anything for me. I mean, if they did something I thought was cool, I’d be into it but it just never appealed to me. It just sounds like HELMET crossed with FAITH NO MORE. I couldn’t care less.

For that mix or for each of those bands individually?
I never cared about either one of those too much. It was never my thing so I don’t need to hear a hybrid of it. Although, I think, Helmet and Faith No More are fairly uncredited for that. Unfairly, I think. I don’t think a lot of Nu Metal bands even know that that’s what the ripping off.

Talking about bands falling through the cracks, do you have a hidden gem that you think fell off the map but really should be credited?
Oh, lots of stuff. I like this band from Oklahoma called DEBRIS’ from the mid 70’s. It’s really good. I really like it. I think probably stuff like CAPTAIN BEEFHEART. Fairly uncredited. But then you know, guys like them and TOM WAITS were super into like HOWLIN’ WOLF and stuff like that. I don’t know. Lots of bands, most of the stuff I listened to, accidentally isn’t necessarily really popular music.

What is the record you’ve listened to the most in your life?
Hmmm. I go through phases. Tres Hombres by ZZ TOP. Revolver by The BEATLES. My whole life, probably Bayou Country by CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL. I’ve been listening to that since I was a little kid.

Has it stuck with you to this day?
I like massive amounts of music but I still also like all the bands I liked when I was 12. I feel like I had really good taste when I was 12, for some reason! Those bands are all still good. There’s nothing I’m embarrassed about. AEROSMITH and ZZ Top and ALICE COOPER. PINK FLOYD.

So no phase that you’re looking back on yourself and go “what was I doing?”
No. HENDRIX you know, that’s all the stuff I liked when I was 12. KISS. I don’t know. I then included a lot more other stuff but like, I really liked Aerosmith’s Rocks when I was 12 and I listen to it now and go it’s still really good. So be it, you know?

What would you say are the first few records that really got you into music? That really got you thinking “yeah, that’s my thing.”
Well, I didn’t start playing guitar until I was about 18. So I was a big music fan long before that but it didn’t occur to me to do it but music, I would say stuff like ALICE COOPER was really a big deal to me.

Was there a show you saw that suddenly made you go “I gotta do this now.”
I liked any Rock show, pretty much, I would have went just for the experience of seeing a live band play. I lived down the middle of nowhere. There wasn’t that kind of thing around where I lived really. I’m from the coast of Washington state. Very, very small town that was not very friendly to that sort of thing. So in order for me to see a rock show, I’d have to drive for probably over 100 miles, which was not going to happen when I was a teenager. No fucking way. My parents were not gonna do that. I didn’t know anybody. Until I got mobile, it wasn’t gonna happen. We were into Punk Rock stuff as well as Rock stuff at the same time. We would go see VAN HALEN and BLACK FLAG in the same week. Loved those shows.

I got into BOWIE and from Bowie, I got into weirder and weirder stuff and just went on from there. Seeing pictures of bands, magazines, like SEX PISTOLS and the CLASH. I had no idea what those bands sounded like and I bought mail order records strictly by the way these people looked. That was it. Bowie, I bought Hunky Dory because of the way he looked. It looked weird. The Sex Pistols got me into the STOOGES which got me into the MC5. All in the 70’s, and it went from there.

How did your taste evolved through it all, from Rock to Punk Rock, Hardcore, etc?
In the 70’s, Hardcore wasn’t really around then. It was bands like the DEAD BOYS, and you know. Then Hardcore bands, I liked BLACK FLAG and all that stuff. I really enjoyed all of it, CRUCIFIX and CONDEMNED TO DEATH and weird bands like FLIPPER. I still like all that stuff. Nothing’s changed.

Overall, what would be some of the most memorable shows that you’ve seen? What puts them on top?
IGGY POP in the early 80’s. That was really good. Early 80’s BLACK FLAG was really good. VAN HALEN was really good. JUDAS PRIEST. Combination of great songs and the energy, I would say.

Being professional?
Not necessarily. I mean, bands like TSOL I really liked a lot and they weren’t necessarily professionals.

What’s your favorite way of discovering new music these days?
Word of mouth. Check this out. I like this band SHITKID a whole lot. They’re from Sweden. I really enjoy them. Dale (Crover-Melvins’ drummer) found them and was like “Oh, check this. What do you think of this?” That’s kind of how we got to touring with them. I like that a great deal. Word of mouth is the best way. People that I know will know what I might like and they’ll suggest stuff.

Can you name three perfect songs and explain what makes them so special to you?
I like Little wing by HENDRIX. I think the way he plays the guitar sounds crazy and really soulful somehow. I like this song called Kentucky avenue by TOM WAITS, on the Blue Valentine record. I think it is a very very very powerful song lyrically, far more than people might imagine. And another one would be Fun house by the STOOGES. They really hit something on that one. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I’m never tired of that stuff.

In terms of lyrics, what would you say are some of your favorite lyrics? Can be a line, a song, a lyricist…
I like Tom Waits’ lyrics a whole lot. DYLAN. Actually, another perfect song, It’s alright ma (I’m only bleeding). It’s probably one of my favorite songs ever. Dylan, I think, is on a far higher level than most and a lot of people don’t get that. I just think they’re not using their heads. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

What would you say are some of the heaviest songs or riffs of all time?
The song Black sabbath by BLACK SABBATH is really good. I think it’s a super powerful song. Riff-wise, I like this song called Victims of changes by JUDAS PRIEST. It’s really good. And maybe Tomorrow never knows by the BEATLES. That’s really good. That’s a fucking great song. It’s hard to beat them.

Is there any bands that you’ve always wanted to see but never got a chance to? Could be an old classic show too.
HENDRIX. I’d like to see TOM WAITS but I doubt I ever will. I’d like to see PINK FLOYD but not Roger Waters. I don’t care about seeing Roger Waters too much. To me, it’s all about David Gilmour. I know Waters was the driving force behind it all but vocally, they’re not in the same league. And Gilmour’s licks are just untouchable. Yeah, he’s amazing. But what turns me away from the ROGER WATERS thing is his political stances. Hating Israel and stuff like that. Fuck you buddy, you go live there. It’s crazy. The one place in the Middle East where women walk around freely, where they’re not treated like shit. You might have a gay rights parade. There’s none of that going on anywhere else in the region and you’re gonna think they’re the enemy? It kind of ruins it for me and I don’t want to go to one of these shows and be subjected to that sort of fucking bullshit.

What band would you say has the most perfect discography?
That’s really hard. Every single TOM WAITS record, I would say. THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, that’s really good. I like BIG STAR a lot. They only have two or three albums. I could say the STONES but I don’t like all of their records. Some I like but not all. BEATLES probably but that’s really easy.

You can you think of an artist or band with only one release that’s perfect?
I really like DEBRIS’ from Oklahoma. I think that record’s really good. I think they only had one record? One album. Hum. I like this band from the LA early Punk Rock scene called the SALVATION ARMY. I like them a lot. They only have one album. TALES OF TERROR from Sacramento. They had one album. Really good. CRUCIFIX from San Francisco, I really like the one album they did. They did have a couple of seven inches though.

Is there any up and coming bands that you’d like to recommend? Maybe a band that you discovered live and blew you away?
There’s this band from the northwest called HELMS ALEE. It’s a three piece I think they’re really really good. And SHITKID a whole lot. Both of those.
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Offline kingdiamond

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 12:49:07 PM »
Ewww….. King Buzzo listens to the Police. I absolutely hate Sting. To each their own though. Besides the Police, Buzzo has great taste.

Offline deatheats

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2019, 01:32:11 PM »
...I absolutely hate Sting...

That's only because you haven't felt his sweet, warm, tantric embrace!  :lol:

Offline kingdiamond

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 02:55:14 PM »
 :shock:

Offline PepsiMike

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2019, 02:56:46 PM »
 :-&

Online black stallion

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2019, 04:05:17 PM »
 :lol:
Charmicarmicat:Bastards

Offline Dumpster D

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 07:00:22 PM »
Hey these guys are cool...never heard this stuff, Thanks Buzzo man!

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Offline Mints

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2019, 09:40:16 PM »
Good read. Thanks, Jules

Offline sadcorps

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2019, 09:45:52 PM »
Best Buzzo interview in a long time. I am soooooo digging this Debris song. Damn!
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Offline Mount Ambulance

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 12:31:20 AM »
The Police and Tom Petty ... Dad Rock, not just for Dads anymore!

for sure those first three Police records are good shit ... not solid gold, but lots of great tunes throughout. Same deal with the first three or four Petty records; and even beyond those, at least Tom never got to Tantric levels of cringe worthy. That shit was current when I was a little kid and always dug a lot of those tunes.

As for Tom aping Dylan? I hear him riffin' real heavy on Roger Mcguinn.
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Offline Chief Ten Beers

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 05:08:21 PM »
 The Police have A LOT of great songs that don't get played on FM radio. It's all about the deep cuts with that band. Their "hits" are pretty annoying though - ie: Roxanne, Message In A Bottle, Don't Stand So..., De Doo Doo Doo...,. The main obvious thing that made The Police great was having an awesome drummer. Stu Copeland was sort of too good for The Police.

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Re: Buzz Osborne interview on The Thanks List - July 2019
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2019, 10:32:17 PM »
Best Buzzo interview in a long time. I am soooooo digging this Debris song. Damn!

Debris! New to me, too, and it's been knocking around the inside of my skull a few days now. Great stuff.
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