Melvins pioneered the molasses rock dirges that defined the Pacific Northwestern post-punk/proto-grunge scene of the late '80s/early '90s - an era best summed up by the bumper sticker mantra: "Corporate rock still sucks." Since 1983 drummer Dale Crover and singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne have released dozens of albums with revolving members. Their latest five-song blast of vibrant sludge-rock, The Bulls & the Bees, bares the imprint of the hippest car company around: Scion. With his brash sense of humor, Osborne laughs at the naysayers still stuck on grunge-era rhetoric. Now about that bumper sticker....
The Bulls & the Bees EP is some of your strongest material with the four piece. You're giving it away for free?
Thanks, I think we hit a homerun with this one. We're giving it away for free and I'm still surprised when people say, "I can't believe you would do something for a corporation!" Look, we signed with Atlantic in '93! Wanna talk about fucking corporations? I did three albums with them, do you think I have a problem with that? No.
I'll never know how Scion works, and I don't give a shit. They're giving us money to make a record that they're giving to the public for free. I fail to see the bad side to that - I believe everyone in the world should like our band. I'm not trying to make it an exclusive club, but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn't agree. When you make music that's as weird as ours there aren't going to be millions of people that like it, I'll tell you that.
Did you guys really catch shit for working with Scion?
Yeah, let me get this straight: That means I can't listen to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Ramones, Sex Pistols?... There aren't enough good bands for me to be that picky. If Mötley Crüe put out a great fucking record tomorrow, I'd buy it. I listen to the Beatles all the time. Does it ever cross my mind that they were on EMI? What kind of shit is that? People complain about how much they dislike us being involved with a corporation while they're boarding a jet, typing on their iPhones. Kiss my fucking ass on the way down to hell. I have no time for that kind of teenage political blather.... Who the fuck is underwriting these little bastards to where they can complain so much?
Maybe they'll be happier when your album, Freak Puke, comes out on Ipecac, which finds Melvins back down to a three-piece?
It's a three-piece with a twist! Trevor Dunn of Fantomas and Mr. Bungle fame is playing standup bass and it's like nothing we've ever done. We're calling it Melvins Lite! People need to understand the difference because I could see them going, "What's this bullshit? I paid for Melvins!" There's a difference, but it's still Melvins.
So it's more like a one-off collaboration with Trevor Dunn?
Trevor is more of an extension to the group. That's why we did the Scion EP, so people will understand that we're not done with [Coady Willis (drums) and Jared Warren (bass)]. Unless they rob a bank and go to prison or decide to go off the deep end on drugs, I can't see any reason to quit playing music with two people you enjoy so much.... Every time we've changed members someone says, "the good old days were better." I always want to say, "Look dude, if I hadn't changed it I wouldn't be doing it at all. Dig?" I don't have any answers for that sort of thing, I just stare and go "eh ugh-ugh." [like I don't know]. Surely with a magazine like Creative Loafing, "eh ugh-ugh" could be your answer too, right?
How do you spell that?
Melvins. With Unsane. $15-$17. 9 p.m. Wed., April 25. The Loft, 1374 West Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com.
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