Melvins: “I’m just glad we’re still kicking”

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Interview: Elena Koubaraki

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Melvins. I’m also positive that you’ve heard some of their music over the years. It’s impossible not to.
What you might not know, however, is that the Melvins got back together with the near-original crew of 1983.
“Working with God” is their latest album release and it definitely made an impact.
Elena Koumparaki had the chance to interview Dale Crover to find out more about what’s inside their heads!

How does it feel to be the near-original Melvins since the early days?
What was the rationale behind forming this lineup?

It’s awesome! I love this version of the band and am happy that it co exists!
We formed, or reformed with this lineup to play at Jello Biafra’s 50th birthday party. From doing that we decided we could just write new songs.
It’s our second record with Melvins 1983 now.

In what ways has the pandemic affected your musical ideas?

It’s obviously ruined any touring plans for the time being.
I’d say it’s going to be quite a set back. Not just us but for everyone. It’s still going to be awhile before we can play any shows.
I do see the light at the end of the tunnel though.

Now that there is no touring involved; how do you plan to support and promote your new album “Working with God”?

We’ve been doing Melvins TV through Veeps.
It’s 5 songs for 5 bucks, plus a bunch of goofiness.
We just aired volume 2 and hope to do more.

Is Melvins a full-time job or is it a side project for you nowadays?

I’m absolutely a full time musician, and have been for years.
Of course it’s not easy. It’s hard work!
I seemed to have managed raising a family while still doing this.

All the music you have created is some piece of statement—characterized as fearless and totally nuts. Many would say it is a constant experiment.
However, you have always been extremely
successful.
What is the key to this success?

We haven’t always been successful. We had lots of haters in the beginning.
Believing in what we do and working hard, I guess.
Not wanting to have a regular job. That’s a big motivator!

King Buzzo has insane energy levels. Is he like this every day or is this just a Melvins’ persona?
How hard is it for the rest of the band members to follow this attitude?

Oh yeah! We have to take PEDs just to keep up.
I’m thinking maybe he’s from a different dimension all together!

A cliché— what was the inspiration for this album?
Melvins’ music is like living on a constant drug trip, and I can’t help but wonder how
this inspiration never ends.

Is it like that for you too? It’s a trip alright. A long, strange trip!
Oh, there’s a cliche right there! I’m just glad we’re still kicking!

Why a “Negative No No” and not a “Positive Yes Yes”?
All the titles of your songs are extremely creative and catchy.

How do you come up with such ideas?

Negative No, No is more fun to say than Positive Yes, Yes!
Most of these genius ideas are just dumb, inside jokes that we’ve laughed about for so long, we’ve forgot why they were funny in the first place.

How have the Melvins and the whole scene have changed since 1983?
As your audience never stops growing, what are you expecting from the younger generations which are fixated on social media trends and lifestyle?

What’s changed? Only everything!
What do I expect? For them to get off the device and empty the dishwasher, like I told you to an hour ago!

It sure takes massive guts to follow a no-bullshit attitude. What is your advice to young artists to reach success and make an impact to the alternative music industry?

For starters, don’t be an asshole. Nobody likes that. Be nice.
But watch out for assholes, cause there’s lots of them.
Learn how to navigate this and all will be cool!

Have you noticed any new artists lately that have a lot of potential?

Always searching for new music. Sometimes that new thing is something old I’ve never heard before.
I love music history. Sometimes it’s an older artist making new music that I like.
Loving Alice Cooper’s newest, as well as B.O.C and Cheap Trick!

Thank you for this interview and I definitely hope to see you again in Greece at some point.
Until then, what does the future hold for the Melvins’ gang?

Would be great if we could come back someday!
The future? If I only had a crystal ball. All I have is a magic 8 ball, and it says “Answer hazy, ask again later”