Set to play Glen Helen Amphitheater alongside Tool, Primus, Crystal Method, Clutch & Fantomas on June 24th

By Jason Hall

The Melvins were formed by Buzz Osborne, Matt Lukin (Mudhoney), and Mike Dillard in Montesano Washington. Shortly after their formation, Dillard left to drum in Kurt Cobain’s Fecal Matter project and Dale Crover took over drumming duties. Since then, Buzz and Dale have recruited many different bassists including Shirley Temple’s daughter Lori “Lorax” Black, Kevin Rutmanis (Tomahawk), Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Honky), and current bassist Steven McDonald (Red Kross). They were formed in the thick of the grunge movement and were friends with the best of the best grunge musicians, but took a heavier route.

Their first full length release, Gluey Porch Treatments, was praised by critics. Their second album, Ozma, is often a favorite of fans. 1993 saw the release of their first major label release, Houdini, which is arguably their most successful albums. Houdini featured the singles “Hooch,” “Lizzy,” and “Honey Bucket.” Prick was their next album. It was more of an experimental album.

Their newest album, A Walk With Love And Death, is a double album which sort of combines Houdini and Prick. …Death is more of a straight up Melvins album, and Love is an experimental album which also doubles as the score to the film “A Walk With Love And Death.” If you’re a Melvins fan, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It’s not often a band releases a double album with such different genres. Both the film and album will be released in July. The album features guests Joey Santiago (Pixies), Toshi Kasai, and Teri Gender Bender – who not only is the powerful singer of Le Butcherettes, but is in a side project with Buzz, Dale, and Omar Rodriguez Lopez (At The Drive In, Mars Volta) called Crystal Fairy.


The Melvins are slated to play a mini festival in San Bernardino on June 24. Maybe you heard about this show. If you haven’t, you e been living under a rock. This one off concert will see Tool, Primus, Melvins, Clutch, Fantomas, and Crystal Method grace the stage. Fantomas is a super group with members of Melvins and Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk). Crystal Method has recorded with local legend John Garcia, and rumor has it, he will join them on stage.

We talked with Buzz Osborne about this massive concert and the new album. Of course, we had to talk baseball too.

Coachella Valley Weekly: Do you think the Dodgers have a solid chance to make it to the series this year?

Buzz Osborne: “I don’t know why not. I mean, so far so good. They’ve got a lot of injuries. That’s one of the main problems they have. That doesn’t ever make it easy for a team.”

CVW: How did you become a Dodgers fan?

Buzz: “I’m a baseball fan in general. It was probably more than 10 years ago. I played baseball when I was a kid, but I kinda walked away from the sport when I was a kid because I couldn’t stand the people who played sports. Bit, o always loves to play. I still do. I love to do all kinds of things like that. I, I understood baseball… it wasn’t some foreign thing to me. A buddy of mine would come down from Washington during the summers, and I would tag along with him to Angels and Dodgers games. It kinda went from there. I got back into it pretty heavily.”

CVW: Do you ever come out here to the desert to play golf?

Buzz: “I played out there in Palm Springs or Palm Desert once. I got the invite from Dale’s brother-in-law. Other than that, I’ve never played out there…maybe one other time in a par three course. That was it. Dale’s wife is from there. They still spend a lot of time there with her mom and dad.”

CVW: “What’s your favorite movie and why?”

Buzz: “The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. I think it’s the best movie ever made. Bogey (Humphrey Bogart) is in it. I think it’s his best movie by far. It has the kind of ending I like in a movie. I think it’s filmed really cool. The story line is impeccable. It’s really, really good. It’s got a crime doesn’t pay ending. I never tire of it. I’ve watched it well over 100 times. I’m always amazed when people haven’t heard of it. I just think, ‘what the hell have you guys been doing?’ Second place would be Lawrence Of Arabia. Both of those movies collectively, I’ve seen hundreds of times.”

CVW: Those are surprising answers. After listening to the new album, and your work with Lustmord, I was expecting David Lynch or someone similar.

Buzz: “I love that stuff too. David Lynch is great. I like almost everything he’s done. Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Eraserhead… you can’t go wrong. So you heard the new record?”

CVW: I have. I got a promo copy. It’s amazing. I’ve always been a fan of Prick and the Lustmord album, Pigs Of The Roman Empire. This album has a straight up Melvins album and a noise/experimental album. How did the idea to release them together come about?

Buzz: “I don’t think anybody’s ever done that, and we’re always a fan of that sort of thing. It’s a soundtrack and a regular album released as a double album. Beyond that, we wanted to do something big. It’s all combined. Even the film is called A Walk With Love And Death; The album, the soundtrack, the movie. We’ll probably release the exact soundtrack to the movie in order with all of it. You know, soundtrack releases don’t have everything normally.”

CVW: Is there a release date for the movie? I saw the preview and it surreal, sort of like an acid trip… is that how the movie will be?

Buzz: “It’s still in production, but it’ll be right around the time the album comes out. That preview is part of the movie. It’s like that times 10.”

CVW: The show in San Bernardino is an amazing lineup. Was this something the three bands have been planning on doing for a while?

Buzz: “No, not at all. It was Tool’s idea. We found out about it and agreed to it pretty much right before they announced it. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be fun. There’s more than Tool, Primus, Melvins, and Crystal Method, but I can’t tell you who. I don’t know when exactly they’re going to announce that, but it’s coming up.”

Melvins Tour Dates:

June 24: Glen Helen Amphitheatre in San Bernardino- Tool with Special guests Melvins, Crystal Method, Primus, Clutch, Fantomas

July 5: San Diego, CA Casbah

July 6: Santa Ana, CA The ObservatoryJuly 7: Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour