Music Features

Dale Crover Is Back in Action With Melvins and Redd Kross

Don't let the look fool you. Dale Crover is a very serious dude.
Don't let the look fool you. Dale Crover is a very serious dude. Shervin Lainez

There's always some trepidation when meeting a hero.

You start to wonder, "What if they don’t like me? What if they are a terrible person? Or worse, what if they are an amazing person, and you’re not up for being an amazing person at that moment?"

This is exactly what it's like being a music journalist in some ways.

Other times, you get the best possible outcome when you meet someone who is a hero to you.

Luckily, Dale Crover of the Melvins and now, Redd Kross (among a multitude of other projects he’s done or is involved with), is just a great dude. He's down to earth, thoughtful, and one of the best drummers on the planet.

He’s also a very loyal guy. He could have probably been the drummer for Nirvana (check out his work on “Floyd the Barber” off Bleach, for example) if he hadn't committed to working with Buzz Osbourne, his partner in the Melvins.

If he were that guy, Crover could branch out and join his pick of bands. He could walk away from the progenitors of noisy, sludgy, grunge music. But the band from the state of Washington are still truckin’ four decades and countless releases later.

”We never had some major plan. We didn’t know how long this would work out, but I guess we always stuck by it, and knew it was something cool and we shouldn’t quit,” says Crover over the phone from Kansas City.

Crover’s utter coolness is surprising because of how utterly intimidating he is when he plays drums. To say he hits them hard would be like announcing the oceans as vast. Crover looks like he wants to destroy his kit when he plays with Melvins' bassist Steven McDonald and Osbourne.

Crover enlisted McDonald for his killer solo album The Fickle Finger of Fate in 2017. He's touring with McDonald's band Redd Kross and played drums on their latest record, titled Beyond The Door.

Over the last several weeks, Crover has been playing on the road with both bands. Redd Kross are supporting the Melvins on their current tour, including their show at Crescent Ballroom on Monday, November 4.

This is no small feat considering Crover was forced to scrap some tour dates in Europe over the summer due to a herniated disc in his back. To his recollection, the only other Melvins shows he could remember canceling was when he had a 104-degree temperature, and when his father passed away.

Fortunately, his back is doing much better.

“My back is really good, actually. I was sidelined for over a month and had to rest and do a lot of physical therapy. I kind of woke up one day and it was totally fucked. I’ve had issues with sciatica, but now it has gone away,” says Crover.

click to enlarge (Third from the left) Dale Crover and his Redd Kross band mates bask in the sun. - JULIAN FORT
(Third from the left) Dale Crover and his Redd Kross band mates bask in the sun.
Julian Fort
Crover’s bandmates were worried about him being able to do two sets in a night. He says, “They should know better than to doubt me.”

It’s one thing to be in one iconic band, but the coolness of joining another legendary band like Redd Kross is not lost on Crover.

“I’ve been a fan (of Redd Kross) for a long time, and it’s really strange. I saw them when I was 18. They played a now-legendary show in Tacoma and pretty much smoked everybody. I remember running into the Nirvana guys there and Kurt (Cobain) was like, ‘Why are these guys so happy?’ I think he was mainly thinking about Steven (McDonald). It must have been the southern California thing,” says Crover.

Melvins and Redd Kross are scheduled to perform Monday, November 4, at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $28 via Eventbrite
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon