Melvins’ King Buzzo Just Wants to be a Freak, Not a Grunge Forefather
A lot of people don't get the Melvins, which is fine. The ever-changing, but always loud, 26-year-old band is fine with that. But a lot of the critics behind the veil want to know why the legendary band does what they do. Why make a remix album where every song is a full album's re-tooling? Well frontman/guitarist/big hair enthusiast Buzz Osborne explained to Noisecreep why he doesn't like to answer those shrill voices. "I don't know who originally said it but if you understand what we're doing, no explanation is needed. And if you don't, no explanation will work."
If you like the transforming riff to ambient to who-knows-what of the Melvins, who cares why it happens? But back to the ones with questions. The cacophony of sounds has ended up getting the band wrongly pegged. "We are pigeonholed to some degree by unimaginative musical journalist who obviously haven't listened to our records. But that doesn't surprise me," Osborne, who is also known as King Buzzo, said. "Most people involved in the music business, and it's probably not just the music business ... aren't necessarily people that I like."
Osborne intoned further, "if what you're looking for is bright and breezy pop tunes a la Green Day, it's not gonna happen with us. If what you want is by-the-numbers heavy metal or Florida-style death metal, it's not gonna happen with us. if what you want is chain wallet stoner rock with a bunch of guys with chin beards, it's not gonna happen with us. We don't fit the suit. We have no brother bands, despite everyone who lumped us into the grunge thing. I don't fit there anymore than I do anywhere else."
Right now, if you search for Melvins reviews nearly every one will buddy the band up to the grunge paragons Nirvana. Yes, both Osborne and drummer Dale Crover worked for Nirvana as tech hands on the final tour. And yes, Kurt Cobain tried out for the Melvins and didn't get th job. But the band never really fit in with the grunge movement. "I certainly never did," Buzzo emphasized. "Certainly never felt like i did."
Always a band on their own, the Melvins do the things they want and even their most die hard fans leave after a while. "[Melvins fans] listen until they a certain age level, and then they move on. It's fine with me, our audience stays the same age."
Osborne watches this disappearing act with band, too. "Where we rehearse in L.A., there are a lot of other bands rehearsing there and they are all late teens and late 20s. They still have that light in their eyes about music; and then as they get older that light gets drained slowly. Then those people are just gone."
The Melvins, however, are not. They still play with that same desire to experiment finding music exciting and worth messing with -- even if it makes you seem the black sheep, which is fine by Osborne. "I just want to look like a freak. That's it," he said in reference to wearing turtle necks and moo moos on stage even when festivals suns try to swell him with sweat. His stage attire never the norm; it fits the songs.
But Osborne offers a thought on how he sees the band. "Were what happens when you cross the mind of George Clinton with Captain Beefheart and play heavy metal. It's a nice hybrid." He quickly modifies this adding in the humor, "We're George Clinton crossed with Captain Beefheart crossed with Lenny Bruce playing heavy metal. That's it, that's what were doing."