Like a dog’s jaw clamping down determinedly on a small, dead animal and refusing to let go, the Melvins continue to solidify their reputation as sludge-metal gods.
The band’s latest, The Bride Screamed Murder, features more of the weird, dirty grit and experimentation that has come to typify the 25-year-old outfit, but this time around, it comes with a marching chant, whistling, a cappela harmonies, and a take on The Who‘s “My Generation.”
Singer / guitarist / resident weirdo Buzz Osborne recently answered a few queries about the band and the new album, which came out earlier this month on Ipecac.
How is this album different from your last one, Nude with Boots? What was the recording process like? After 25 years or so together, do things get any easier or is it even harder?
Different? Who knows. I like both records and think they are some of our best stuff ever. I know everyone always says that, but for once, I’m not telling a bullshit story. Well, maybe sort of a bullshit story.
Believe it or not, that’s kind of a hard question, and I wish you had asked me something different, but I don’t always get what I want. It’s not that it’s a bad question; it’s just a little difficult for me to answer.
Things were never easy in the songwriting or recording process, and I spend a large amount of time just thinking about what sort of stuff I want to do with the Melvins. We had a good time recording it, though, and we worked at a steady pace for most of the tracking and mixing.
How does having Jared and Coady (of Big Business) in the band change the Melvins’ sound? Jared has said he really likes the way his bass sounds on this record. I notice that it is farther up in the mix than what I’ve noticed on past Melvins records. Was this a conscious decision?
Jared and Coady are good players, so that part is easy. We let the sound develop with them instead of trying to make them bend to our will. I tend to think that this makes the music better. Jared is happy with his bass sound on this one? Well, that’s good to know.
As for us intentionally mixing his bass louder for this record…that would be a no. We mixed it how we thought best.
The material on The Bride Screamed Murder seems a bit more “friendly” than most other Melvins records. Do you agree with that? If so, are you hoping to maybe draw in people who wouldn’t normally be interested in such a style of weird heavy-metal music?
I suppose it’s more friendly sounding, but who knows? Imagine it on the iPod of a typical young music fan and compare it to what they normally listen to…and I think you might see it as nothing that will attract too many normies into our musical realm. I’ve always thought our stuff should sell tens of millions of records, and it was the general public who disagreed. So be it.