King Buzzo Of The Melvins On Cars, Money, And Weight; Video Available
The Melvins are the longest running band of their kind, which is probably because they are the only band of their kind. Since the early 1980s, Melvins has been influencing metalheads with their heavy riffs and intriguing the avant-garde with jazzier sections and not one, but two very talented drummers. It's difficult to put them in any one genre, and their collective sense of humor likes it that way. I was able to talk to vocalist King Buzzo, his friend and artist Brian Wallsby, and drummer Dale Crover about their albums, the Melvins Lite, and other strange stuff. You can watch the interview below.
Buick McKane: How are you doing today?
King Buzzo: Good, good.
Buick: Good, how’s the tour going so far?
King Buzzo: Good.
Buick: You just released your album “The Bulls and the Bees” last month…
King Buzzo: It’s a 5-song EP for free. So far we haven’t made any money on it. What’s the deal?
Buick: Have you lost money?
King Buzzo: I’m losing money right now.
Buick: Oh, man. We better hurry this up then. And it’s in conjunction with Scion A/V. How’d you get involved with them?
King Buzzo: What’s the A/V stand for?
Buick: I don’t know. Audio/visual? Like an A/V nerd?
King Buzzo: Audio/visual.
Buick: I have no idea.
King Buzzo: I don’t either.
Buick: I know it’s a car.
King Buzzo: As far as we know.
Buick: Did you get a car out of the deal?
King Buzzo: No. I wish. I told them I wanted a Camero, but they said they didn’t make those.
Buick: It’s kind of a nerdy car, I guess.
King Buzzo: It is? I’ve never been in one.
Brian Wallsby: There’s three of them on this tour.
King Buzzo: But I’ve never been in one.
Buick: Where are they?
King Buzzo: Parked somewhere around the city.
Brian: Probably stolen by now.
Buick: And soon you’re going to be releasing another album called “Freak Puke” with the Melvins Lite. What is the Melvins Lite?
King Buzzo: Well in the regular Melvins, it’s four people. Melvins Lite, there’s three people. So it’s a weight thing.
Buick: I see. Well what if that third person was insanely fat and made up for two people plus one?
King Buzzo: Then we’d be the Melvins Plus Size.
Buick: I see. That’d be pretty funny to see.
Brian: You better hurry up and eat a lot of food if that’s going to happen.
King Buzzo: The Plus? Trevor’s going to get really fat. The Melvins Lite is actually us with a bass player that plays a stand-up bass.
Buick: That’s cool. Does it still sound like the Melvins?
King Buzzo: When you hear the record, it will make sense.
Buick : Well if you didn’t know, today is Record Store Day.So do you think that vinyl still serves an important part of the music listening experience?
King Buzzo: Yeah, I’m not concerned with how people listen to music. As long as they’re hearing it somehow. The vehicle means very little to me.
Buick: Do you think that…some people say vinyl sounds better. A deeper sound.
King Buzzo: Some people think Madonna’s good. Do you believe that?
Buick: No. Well maybe some songs.
King Buzzo: Enough said. People say and think a lot of stuff.
Buick: They do. Just like Lux Interior said.
King Buzzo: I like Lux Interior. Now that’s rockabilly, but that’s weirder.
Buick: That’s a creppy rockabilly.
King Buzzo: They’re very good.
Brian: He’s dead now.
King Buzzo: Poor Lux. What was his real name? Does anybody know?
Buick: Who cares?
Dale Crover: Nah, as far as I’m concerned, it was Lux.
Buick: Lux Interior. Nice on the inside.
King Buzzo: I should change my name to Luz Inferior.
Buick: Why don’t you do that for the Melvins Lite?
King Buzzo: I will. I’ll be Lux Inferior.
Brian: You should be Mike Ness, Jr. Try that.
King Buzzo: Mike Nestle.
Buick: Would you ever do a Cramps cover?
All The Cramps ever did was covers.
Buick: Basically. With a few more zombies thrown in.
King Buzzo: Sure, we can do a cover of anything.
Buick: Cool. You did a cover of “Buick Mackane” which I like.
King Buzzo: We did.
Buick: That’s my pen name. Nobody knows that song.
King Buzzo: Really? That’s sad.
Buick: Guns N’ Roses covered it and Danzig so you would think at least some people would know, but nobody knows.
King Buzzo: Danzig. I’ll be damned.
Brian: Danzig covered it?
King Buzzo: I didn’t know that. I didn’t know Guns N’ Roses did it either.
Brian: Me neither.
Buick: So nobody knows that song.
King Buzzo: I know the song, but I didn’t know they covered it.
Dale: They’re ripping off the thing that we ripped off.
King Buzzo: Someone’s ripping off the shit that we ripped off.
Buick: And Slash sang on that one too.
King Buzzo: I didn’t know he sang. When you hear it, you realize why.
Buick: He was kind of in the background.
Brian: Mixed real low maybe?
Buick: Real low. Kind of like Ace Frehely in “Dr. Love.”
King Buzzo: Didn’t he sing “Shock Me”?
Buick: Right, but he sang [the chorus] in “Dr. Love.”
King Buzzo: I’ll take your word for it.I believe you.
Buick: I always wanted to ask you, a lot of NOLA bands y’all influenced them a lot.So what bands influenced y’all?
King Buzzo: Well, I think we’re a combination of Capt. Beefheart crossed with Funkadelic and Lenny Bruce. He’s not a band, but…
Buick: Musicians, anything.
King Buzzo: Playing heavy metal. That’s what we’re doing.
Buick: Did they call it heavy metal back in the beginning?
King Buzzo: No, but that’s what we’re doing. Take Captain Beefheart, Funkadelic, heavy on the George Clinton, mix it with Lenny Bruce playing heavy metal, and that’s the Melvins.
Buick: Do you go see funk jam bands?
King Buzzo: No, I hate that stuff. But I like Funkadelic.
Buick: Cool. Anything else you want to say.
King Buzzo: No I’m good. Bye bye!
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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