Melvins’ Buzz Osborne Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs
The simple play of a record can change your life forever. That's what happened with Melvins' Buzz Osborne, who tells Loudwire's Gear Factor that it was a Johnny Winter song that made him want to pick up a guitar.
“‘I Guess I’ll Go Away.’ That riff right there, that did it," the singer-guitarist recalls. "I was in this guy named John Murphy’s bedroom and it was his sister’s record. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is that?’ I still love that record and love his playing. When I heard that riff it was like something went through my backbone.”
Osborne gives us a little bit of UFO's "Rock Bottom" and also mentions Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water." He also credits Chuck Berry and rockabilly music in general for having a big impact on his playing.
“I’ve worked a lot of those ideas into Melvins songs. I don’t think people have picked up on what a massive Chuck Berry, rockabilly fan [I am and the impact] that stuff has really had on our music." He also drops a Dead Boys riff, pointing out that there's a rockabilly influence there as well.
Osborne goes on to suggest that beginner guitarists should start off with Open E tuning, explaining, "Use Open E first so they’ll be able to play guitar today! That’s where you lose 'em, when it’s too hard and then they get lost and they put the guitar down. Whereas if you let ‘em play something they can pick up right away, they’ll be better off and the rest of it will come.”
Admitting to being self-taught and not really knowing how to read music, Osborne shows off some of his own work. The first riff he ever wrote for the band was "Set Me Straight," while he also serves up "Oven" and the Nude With Boots favorite "Billy Fish." Osborne also shows how dissonant chords and different tunings factor into his playing.
Check out Buzz Osborne's full Gear Factor episode below. Melvins have a new album en route called Working With God, due Feb. 26. You can pre-order the record here. Melvins also have a Valentine's Day (Feb. 14) livestream coming. Ticketing details for the Divine Monkeyshines Valentines Day Special can be found here.
The Melvins' Buzz Osborne Plays His Favorite Guitar Riffs