Melvins x Vinyl Mag

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Pinkus recorded the vast majority of that song while he was stoned on LSD. Listen to it with that in mind, and it will all make sense.

The Melvins have been very busy in 2014 making three volumes of This Machine Kills Artists and two full-length albums. All the while, they’ve have gathered a large following over the years with their indefinable style. It is part punk, a little grunge, a handful of metal, but mostly a genre all its own, Melvin. Since the 80’s, the Melvins have joined forces with various artists. For their latest album, Hold It In, Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus of the Butthole Surfers join the Melvins pot. Vinyl Mag talked with King Buzzo himself, about the collabs, music style, and hairstyle.  

Vinyl Mag: Since the 80’s, how do you think the hard rock/grunge genre has changed? 

Buzz Osborne:  Oh God, Jesus, and Holy Mother of Pearl, I have no idea. Have things changed at all?  I suppose they have, but it’s hard to see it really. I’ve hated everything since I was 15. That hasn’t changed.

VM: How have (the) Melvins’ sound changed – and stayed the same – over the years to adapt to your modern listeners?

BO: I’ve never in my life had any idea what young people want. I’ve hated children since I was a child. I’ve fortunately never concerned myself with what young people like or want. This is a good thing.

VM: Can you tell us about the process of writing and producing Hold It In?

BO: Well, lets see… Pinkus, Paul, and I each wrote a batch of songs over the course of about a year. We then gathered ourselves into studios in Austin and Los Angeles and hammered out the basics. Once we had those basics the way we wanted them, we began doing the overdubs, which took a lot of emailing and name calling. Then came mixing and mastering. The rest was easy!

VM: What is the concept of the album?

BO: There’s no concept.

VM: How has Butthole Surfers’ JD and Paul’s style contributed to your new album, Hold It In? How has the collaboration meshed with the typical Melvins sound?

BO: Both Paul and Pinkus are great players and good songwriters, so it was nice to be able to have them be involved. I let them do whatever they wanted.

VM: You seem to do quite a few collaborations; how does a collab come together, specifically this one with the Butthole Surfers?

BO: Pinkus was in Los Angeles, so Dale and I decided to jam a bit with him. One thing led to another, and a year and a half later, we have a record! We’re not afraid of such things. When you have no fear, it’s difficult to mess things up.

VM: Do you have anyone else you’d love to collaborate with?

BO: Yes indeed, but no one who’s willing to do something of that nature with us.

VM: “You Can Make Me Wait” has a different sound than the rest of the tracks on the album, kind of spacey. Can you explain the experimental addition?

BO: Spacey? I wouldn’t have thought spacey, but okay. It has a bit of a commercial vibe to it, but it’s still pretty weird.

VM: “Barcelonian Horseshoe Pit” also has that experimental sound. What was the process for making this particular track?

BO: Pinkus recorded the vast majority of that song while he was stoned on LSD. Listen to it with that in mind, and it will all make sense.

VM: Obviously, you’re very experienced in the music world.  There are so many people trying to create bands, keep bands afloat, and get to the next level. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known going into your music career?

BO: Be as weird as is possible.

VM: How has the industry changed since you started?

BO: It’s a lot harder to sell records, but other than that, not much has changed. There’s a lot of argument now about how great tape sounds compared to digital. Listen to our first 7 inch. It sounds like shit. Recording it to tape didn’t help one bit.

VM: What is your favorite part of making music?

BO: 50-50 split between recording and playing live.

VM: Do you listen to your own music recreationally?

BO: Not really, it’s not fun for me.

VM: You and Jared Warren seem to share the same taste in hair style – is there some competition going on? What’s your best hair care advice?

BO: Shave your head.

Nikki grew up in an imitation German town in Georgia by the name of Helen. It wasn’t until middle school that she started to get interested in the arts: painting, music, and writing. She wrote in her diary, sketched in art class and listened to regretful music. By high school, her tastes became a little more refined. She found Fiona Apple, Lou Reed and Giant Drag, and they remain her favorites in college. She was accepted to the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently majoring in English. Upon moving to Athens from a town with more trees than people, Nikki was a bit overwhelmed. However, there is certainly no lack of inspiration in Athens, and she appreciates its love for the arts and its service as a platform.

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