(The) Melvins, embarking on a 30th-anniversary tour (in both standard and Melvins Lite variations, depending on date) on July 12 alongside Honky, is releasing a covers record April 30. Entitled Everybody Loves Sausages, the album showcases the band’s many talents by covering artists as diverse as David Bowie, Queen, The Jam, and Venom. It also features myriad guest stars, including JG Thirlwell, Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Jello Biafra, and more.
Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.
This interview appears in ALARM #40. Subscribe here to get your copy!
Twenty-one studio full-lengths could spell one thing: redundancy. But the Melvins, whose back catalog reads like the Library of Congress, has recognized and conquered this plague with two tools in hand: reinvention and unpredictable match-ups.
As if writing with Lustmord and Jello Biafra wasn’t enough, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover recently joined forces with famed Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn to form “Melvins Lite.” The trio’s first effort, Freak Puke, has it all: bowed and plucked upright bass, metal riffs, classic-rock flourishes, pick harmonics, punishing drums, and Osborne’s distinct vocal delivery. And to bring it to the masses, the band undertook an ambitious fall tour of the 50 United States plus Washington, DC, in 51 days. We chatted with King Buzzo about the band’s (latest) new direction.
“Leon vs. The Revolution”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Melvins_Leon_vs_The_Revolution.mp3|titles=Melvins: “Leon vs. The Revolution”]
It’s another year, another set of releases from the incomparable Melvins, whose five-song EP The Bulls & The Bees (with its Big Business lineup) preceded Freak Puke, a new full-length album as Melvins Lite with Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn.
Melvins: “The Water Glass”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/melvins_thewaterglass.mp3|titles=Melvins: “The Water Glass”]
Last year, sludge-rock band the Melvins released its 20th album (and third since linking up with Big Business members Jared Warren and Coady Willis). That album, entitled The Bride Screamed Murder, is emblematic of what the band has done its whole career: tweak its signature sound — part anthemic classic rock, part avant-garde heaviness — to present something entirely new yet quintessentially Melvins. That willingness to shake things up has been a major factor in the band’s longevity.
After last year’s release, the band undertook a tour in early 2011, playing a different album from its back catalog each night. As the saying goes, you get what you give, and in this case, the Melvins’ 30-year history of experimentation has continually rewarded the band with new experiences. Dale Crover, drummer and founding member, recounts the band’s some of the most memorable recent experiences below.
Endless Residency Tour
by Dale Crover
The Melvins did a residency every Friday night last January in Los Angeles. To make each show unique, we decided to play a different record from our ever-growing catalog of releases. It seemed to go over really well, and since we took the time to learn all these records, we decided to take it on the road. Here are some highlights from the “Endless Residency” tour.
Austin Texas: Austin shows are always great, except for the heat. It’s 100 degrees out, and of course we’re playing outside! The show goes well, but by the end, the “costume” that I’m wearing feels like a soaking-wet sleeping bag. The next day we meet up with our friends from the band Honky to get lunch. Everyone I know that lives in Austin says that the BBQ downtown is average, and they know where the best is. We drive miles out of town to a place in Spicewood, Texas, called Opie’s BBQ. We’re greeted by a guy who opens a large trough with 10 different kinds of smoked meat. We let the Honky boys order for us, then sit down to stuff our faces. It was certainly worth the trip, and I highly recommend the spicy corn! After the feast, we stop by Willie Nelson‘s recording studio. Honky just recorded there. No Willie, but we got the full tour, including seeing the tape vault with Red Headed Stranger master tapes! I was also highly impressed by the nine-hole golf course next door. Maybe we’ll do our next record there!