Interviews

Melvins' Frontman Sounds Off About Music, the Media, Drugs

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"We're not sludgy or slow. Those are lazy ways to describe what we do by people who have never heard us and have no idea what we do. That is more sickening than anything else. There is a tiny little percentage of people out there who understand completely what we are doing. Then there are these other people who will never understand and never get it, and you just can't worry about it. I like it, so let's just leave it at that.

"Let's say we make something on our new album that's considered weird -- weird compared to what?" he asks, continuing his rant. "Our records are not weird in the grand scheme of weird records out there. I just have to go, 'Really, guys? You don't even know what weird is.' It's stupid. I have no idea what kind of rock they live under."

Am I one of those? I don't think so, but with that out of the way, we could move on to more important things, such as Everyone Loves Sausage, a record covering artists as eclectic and diverse as Pop-O-Pies, Kinks, David Bowie, Venom, and Throbbing Gristle. (A series of 12-inch singles with bonus B-sides also was released). The new Melvins record, Hold It In, was also on the agenda.

"Everybody Loves Sausages is a record of covers of bands that are our influences. It's a record so people can see what we're into. We make records we'd appreciate as fans of bands. Would I appreciate every band in the world going out and doing Ramones-ish style, non-changing music for every record? No, I wouldn't appreciate that and don't appreciate it. If I did that, all these people that bitch and complain about anything we've ever done wouldn't care. You can't win.

"When people talk about our first album and how glorious it was, well . . . I'm sorry, people, I was there. Nobody liked that record when it came out in 1986. It was not some golden era or good old days, believe me."

Yet, Melvins frequently have been hailed as the precursor to the grunge movement. Obviously, something made sense?

"Yeah, yeah, that's great, that's great. I can totally see that. But as far as the bad reviews all of our albums have got since then, they are the same reviews as that [first] one got. And they don't like our new record in the way they didn't like that record. [The attitude] is not changing in the least. Unfortunately, most people are sad, pathetic morons. Not much we can do about. I'm often reminded of that when I have to go to Home Depot or some other place like that. I walk around going, 'These are my people.' It's sad."

Osborne, a tireless musician who -- with drummer Dale Crover and assorted other musicians -- creates music with the frequency of rabbits breeding, manages to release at least an album per year. Except for the familiar pudding-thick guitars and mostly distorted vocals (sorry, Buzz, but it's true), not one sounds completely alike (see, I do listen). With Hold It In, Osborne has joined forces with Butthole Surfers guitarist Paul Leary and bassist JD Pinkus. The addition has allowed Osborne to journey in new directions, including the ironic pop of "You Can Make Me Wait," which might sound familiar to Butthole Surfers fans. Written by Leary, the vocoder vocals of the song and almost accessible beat are unmistakable Butthole.

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Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver