Showing posts with label Melvins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melvins. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Torche

Torche, of Miami, Florida, recently steamrolled their way across Europe to celebrate the launch of their third album, 'Harmonicraft'. They make this rad, super-heavy stoner/sludge pop music, and are now being adored by the hipster indie press as much as they are by the metal community. Suitably, everybody agrees that they're amazing. The new album is out on Volcom, so I thought I should say hello.

 Photograph by Gary Copeland

OK, introduce yourselves.
S: Steve Brooks. I sing and play guitar.
R: Rick Smith. I play drums.
A: Andrew Elstner. I play guitar and sing back ups. Jon is out eating.

You've been signed to Mogwai's Rock Action label in Europe. How did that compare to a US label? How did you get hooked up with them?

R: In 2005 - or 2006 - we toured with Mogwai in the States, and on that tour we became friends with them. I don't even remember how it came about, but we somehow got an offer from them to do the European version of our first full-length record. And we said "Hell Yeah." It was awesome. I've been a Mogwai fan for a long while now, so when they asked us if they could do the record we were excited about it. As far as the experience goes, working with the label goes, we just let them run with it and do their own thing with it.

Did you record it with them, at their studio?
R: No, we did it in the States and a different record label, Robotic Empire, actually released it in the States first. Then Mogwai released it in Europe after. So it was already a recorded record. Both records they did for us we already had recorded for another label already, they were just doing the European licensed version.

Are you going to do more with them?

R: Umm, at the moment the labels we work with have European distribution pretty heavily, so there's almost no need to, I guess, in some ways. But it was a cool experience. They're awesome dudes, and the label is very cool too. 


Is there a discernible difference between working with a conventional label, run by musicians, and working with a label like Volcom, which has kind of come to be through their dealings in skateboarding and whatnot? Obviously they've been putting out some killer stuff recently...
R: Oh yeah.
S: Yep.
A: I think it's fuckin' awesome, the Volcom thing. Obviously I have no experience - as the new dude in the band - as to how Rock Action was as an experience, apart from total respect. With Volcom - to be blunt - the reach is a little more broad and the pockets are a little more deep. And it's a label that's part of a 'lifestyle' company, you know? They've been selling clothing to skateboarders, snowboarders and surfers since like, the eighties?
S: The nineties I think.

Yeah, the early nineties.
A: Yeah, so they've been fuckin' amazing. There's been no hassle. There's been nothing but positive support from those guys.
S: Especially now, when it's hard to get the support that a lot of bands used to get from labels. They're able to market us in different ways, because of the different aspects of their company.

You're being interviewed for a skateboard magazine right now.
S: Yeah.
A: But they have money coming in from different things other than just records, so there's a little less pressure... In a positive way! It's not like it makes us lazy.
S: They gave us a good deal. And it's the same with all the other labels we've been on, we really know the people we're working with. We're friends with them and we trust them. They're pretty much of the same mentality that everyone else has been.

I know the Melvins got a load of socks and suits from Volcom when they did their record. Did you get anything cool? Did you go for a trolley dash around the warehouse?
A: That's exactly what we did!
S: They cut me off! They cut me off because I took too much stuff.
A: When we first signed on with them it was like "OK, cool, we better do some business-y stuff", but then - they have a factory store in Costa Mesa - they just went "OK, take what you want, go crazy".
S: We had to ship stuff home. We were on tour at the time, and there was just so much stuff.
A: We grabbed fuck-ton of stuff. Jeans, socks, shirts, bags, luggage, hats, headphones, underwear, belts, sunglasses, towels...
S: We were broke, and most of the clothes I was wearing were so old, that I just got me this huge bag, like this tall. Like $300 worth. The bag itself, I mean. The bag was about $300, and I filled it. It was like a shopping spree. You put a bunch of broke motherfuckers in there and tell them to go crazy?
A: By the time we were done they were like "Uh, OK. I think we should go now". We had these three huge boxes.
S: We had a pile, about the size of this room.

Photograph by Gary Copeland
 
What do you think of the UK?
R: I love it. People seem really excited that we make the trip to come out, so as long as people are excited, we're more than psyched to be here. It's been two years since the last time we were out here, so I feel that with these shows, the reaction from the crowd has been awesome. everybody's super cool. I like the vibe. Especially after touring the States so many times in the last couple of years - it's refreshing.
A: During the day is cool too, you get to walk around and see some shit you'd never normally see. Like Nottingham Castle.

It's been four years since your last album. What have you been doing?
S: Every year we've put out something. We did the Songs For Singles EP, we did the Boris split, we did the Part Chimp split last year. Basically we spent last year writing this record. And recording it. And then it took six months or something to get it out. And we tour a lot. In order for us to make a living we have to stay on the road. This time we took a lot of time off in order to write the record, and between recording the record and having the record released we were just sitting at home, and working regular jobs.

Is the band your day jobs now?
A: I want it to be. I'm not good at working in retail. I mean I can do it, I just don't care. I care about this, I don't care about that.

I see you've got some XXXL shirts. Where do you sell those?

A: (Immediately) In the US.
R: It's an American thing because there's a lot of fat-ass people in America. Occasionally you'll get a ghetto-fabulous dude who wants to rock a XXXL t-shirt, you know? Out to the nightclub or whatever. So you gotta have that too.
S: Or some little tiny girl what wants it as a nightshirt. Any time we don't have them, there's always a bunch of people like "You don't have XXXL? What the hell?!"
A: Only when you don't have them, there'll be some massive dude who's 6'8" and 350lbs, going "Aw, dude..."
R: They're fat here too though...

But people are ugly here! And drunk. I'd rather have fat people than ugly, drunk people everywhere.
R: Hahaha! Oh, man...


You make a point of declaring that you're not a metal band. Can you explain this? In what way are you not a metal band?
S: We're a band that's influenced by metal as well as punk, and rock and Middle-Eastern music. We don't think like metalheads.
A: We're just a hard rock band.
R: A very open-minded hard rock band. I think bands like Bauhaus and Swans are some of the heaviest shit ever, and they're not metal bands.
S: I love stuff that's influenced by Hüsker Dü, but I love eighties metal and thrash - stuff I grew up on. I grew up listening to Sabbath and Priest and Maiden and all that, then in the mid-eighties I got into thrash. A lot of the San Fransisco Bay Area thrash bands, then the whole rise of the underground and Florida death metal. Then in about '88 I started venturing off and listening to different things. After Clandestine by Entombed I was like "Everything great has been done". In metal. For me. There are bands now, like High On Fire, and that's the kind of metal I like. Really raw, powerful metal.
A: The new High On Fire record is, to me, a fuckin' masterpiece. Dude it's so good, it's just so right. It's super powerful, and it's kind of meathead-ish without being stupid.
S: The drums sound unbelievable. They sound like a fucking locomotive. Or if you're riding a wooden rollercoaster. It's like DOOF DOOF DOOF DOOF.
R: It's cool when you hear a recording of them, and they're playing metal, but it doesn't sound like they went to the same studio that every other metal band went to, and had the same drum preset triggered in on their drum kit, and the same guitar tone... It's unique. It sounds like them. It has room to breathe, it's not prog-y for the sake of being technical, you know?
S: That's what killed metal for me.
R: It's a pissing contest. It's "Look how complicated we can be" but that shit's just not brutal anymore. You don't want to hear this brutal song then all of a sudden this guitar solo comes in and it's this beautiful thing, with all these sweeps, and all that shit.

Who else is doing metal right just now?
You did that split with Boris, do you consider them to be a metal band?
R: No way. I think they're a total rock band. They're an interesting band too, they're kinda like the Melvins, they're a band that can do anything they want to do. It's never the same thing. You can tell someone to check out Boris and they'll pick up one of the drone records, and they'll be "What the hell is this?!"
A: I think we're all of a similar mentality. We're all influenced by the Melvins. I saw the Melvins in like '91, and they had the power of a punk band, and they were just heavier than any band I'd ever heard - part from Swans of Godflesh or something like that - as far as a rock band, they were so fuckin' heavy. They changed everything for me. You can be heavy without having this strict black and white. There's this huge grey area in what they do. And with what we do. A lot of our newer stuff is kind of Krautrock-y
S: Very driving, very repetitive, very psychedelic. It's all over the board, but still sounds like us.


Is this change a reflection of the things you've been listening to more recently?
S: Just trying different things, and just progressing as a band.
A: It's about keeping yourself excited as well. There are certain bands who can do formulaic stuff really well, like AC/DC are still just crushing faces all around the world. It's the obvious example, but when you're writing songs and playing live you do it to please yourself.
R: We haven't changed that much as a band. The production's changed, and maybe the songwriting slightly, but we haven't changed as much as people make out. People are like "Oh, you guys have turned into a total pop band now" but we were kind of a total pop band before.
A: When people say that, I'm like "You didn't hear that from the beginning?!' It's always been there.
S: You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. People want you to write the same record over and over again, but then when you do, they're like "Aw, it's the same thing!" But we've been pretty lucky to have such a dedicated fan base. Everyone has a different favourite record, which is cool. We don't want to be one of these bands that writes the same record over and over.

Like Mogwai...

A: It's a similar vibe. I don't know what their MO is, but maybe they're still trying to perfect a certain ideal, and they want to try it again, and try it again. Some of the reviews for our new record were all "It's cool, but it's just the same" and some were "It's cool, but shit's totally changed".
S: Vice magazine said we'd changed too much, then Pitchfork said we hadn't changed enough.

What's the best band you've played live with?
S: Harvey Milk is one.
A: Big Business.
R: Part Chimp. Boris. We've been lucky, we've toured with a load of great bands.
A: We toured with Jesu.

Volcom had a 'Name a Metal Band' competition on the Sidewalk forum. What do you think of some of these? (I show the band the list)
R: 'Necropaedophilia'? Is that fucking dead children? Jesus, God...
A: 'Haha! 'Endoscope Periscope'!
S: I like 'Rectal Suffocation'... 'Dangerwankk Mumfukk'! 'Pout at the Devil'! Hahahaha! Oh, God... 'Frozen Mammoth', 'Stillborn Grandma', 'Chainmail Sexbeast'? Haha... 'inFANTASYde', that's clever. 'Cradle of Milf'! Haha!
A: 'Prison Jism Power Shower'! Dude... That can be Steve's side project. Those are fucking amazing. This is so good.
(A member of venue staff comes in, and immediately leaves)
A: He was offended.


What did you listen to in the van today?
R: The Chameleons today. Trans Am.
S: Rectal Suffocation...
A: Amps For Christ, Psychic TV...
R: Godflesh. It's all over the place. Japanese noise punk - Attack SS
S: Cock Sparrer, Black Flag, Deicide...

Do any of you skate?

R: Absolutely. I don't skate so much now, what with all the touring and stuff... I'm just scared of hurting myself now actually. I kinda had to stop when I broke my finger. I broke my finger and I realised I couldn't play. There were a couple of dudes down in Florida when I was growing up that used to skate for Element, so they'd always have product in the trunk. That was how I used to get a lot of my stuff. It's hard for me to not get on a skateboard and mess around when somebody has one, but I just can't right now. If I hurt myself I'm out of work.

What two musicians would you like to see fight each other?
R: I want to see Dale Bozzio kick the shit out of Lady Gaga.

They're both men, anyway...
S: Haha!
A: Aw, dude! Dale's awesome. Lady Gaga sucks.
S: I think just Madonna and Lady Gaga would be satisfactory. I just want to see Lady Gaga get the shit beat out of her. I feel I want to see a lot of musicians get the shit kicked out of them, by anyone. I want to see a bunch a metalcore bands fight each other and kill each other off. I hate those flat-ironed haircuts.

What's the best non-musical thing you've bought on eBay?

S: I don't think I've ever bought anything on eBay that wasn't music related.
R: 'The Orkly Kid', with Crispin Glover in it, on VHS.
A: I collect - when I have money - old tobacco pipes. It's the most Spinal Tap shit ever. You can buy them all crusty and beat up, and I'm pretty good at fixing them up, and making them look new-ish. Then you sell them and make money. I had fifty or so before I moved from Atlanta to St. Louis. Made a bit of loot...

Torche are recording a new album for Volcom this Winter, for a late 2013 release, and are touring Europe again in June.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Dale Crover

Regarded by the wise as the finest band to ever come out of the American Northwest/Seattle area, the Melvins have spent the last (almost) thirty years releasing confounding, mesmeric, unconventional, smart and very often thunderous rock music. Equally as influenced by Black Flag as they are by Black Sabbath, and by Alice Coltrane as they are Alice Cooper; a Melvins record (or show) will do things to your mind that 'normal' music can not. Core duo of drummer Dale Crover and guitarist Buzz Osborne remain steadfastly two of the busiest men in music - seldom finding time between touring and recording with the Melvins and their various side-projects to even take part in interviews - so I was delighted when he agreed to talk to me. From playing drums on the first Nirvana demo, to touring the world with the Melvins and Mike Patton's Fantômas project (alongside his time with Shrinebuilder and as frontman of Altamont), he doesn't sit still for long.

Dale Crover. Photograph by Mackie Osbourne

You're just about to go on tour, and you're finishing it off by playing at Mogwai's ATP. Are you going to see any of the other bands playing?
Unfortunately I don't think we're gonna get to see Mogwai, because I think they play the day after us, and we're playing another gig in France that day. But it should be pretty crazy playing with Slayer, y'know?! But we're just there for a day, so all we're gonna get to see is our show! I think us, Sleep and Slayer is all that's happening that day, but I could be wrong.

Yeah, so you'll be in the same room as Dave Lombardo - can we expect anything special from the two of you?

Not yet. But you never know! We'll see!

You gave your last EP away for free. Is this something you'll be doing with future releases? I know you've been experimenting with packaging...
Well, unfortunately it ends up for free anyway! Haha! Pretty much every release we've done in the last ten years has ended up online before it's actually out. So one thing that's sort of cool about this, is that (label) Scion is actually giving it away free. And, also, they've paid us for that! I think it's kind of a unique situation. I don't know how much this will happen. With people being able to download illegally, it's probably going to make it so that we won't make full-length records any more. But we will be doing things like you mentioned, like special packaging. Usually it's vinyl, but we've done a couple of special-package CDs, and they're all limited edition. The way we see it, music is now free, so you're basically paying for a nice package. Nice artwork.


And you're gonna give us that?
Oh yeah. There's a bunch of different twelve inches coming out from the live record that we put out last year. Thirteen twelve inches, because there's thirteen songs on the record, and the flipside is a split with another band.

How did these splits come about? You're doing stuff with some pretty cool bands.

Yeah! Haha! We just thought "Who would be cool to do this with?", and then we thought "The bands don't even need to exist any more!", so we just thought we could use some old bands that we like, and songs that they've released already. Bands like the The Necros, Die Kreuzen, you can't really find their stuff anywhere. We figured that if they could give us an old song it'd be something kinda cool. I'm sure a lot of people haven't heard some of that stuff either.

It looks to me that everybody you asked must have said yes.
Pretty much, yeah! I don't think anybody said no. Haha! Which is great! Like The Necros, who don't exist any more, were like "I don't think we can do anything", and we were like "You don't have to do anything!" So there hasn't been much of a problem.

How did Melvins Lite come about? Is it something that's going to come and go?

I think so. We've played with (bassist) Trevor (Dunn) in the past. Before the Big Business guys were in our band he did some touring with us, and also did the Houdini live record with us. Once we got the Big Business guys in our band we said "We don't want you guys to quit your band, but while you're doing your thing we might do something else, possibly with Trevor and possibly with someone else". The Big Business guys did a big tour last summer, and we decided that - since they were gone - we would see if Trevor wanted to play some shows with us. Buzz had seen him play stand-up bass, doing a more kind of jazz thing, and he thought it was really cool. Really different. We thought that if we played with him for this, it'd make it really different from what we were doing with the Big Band. We booked four shows, and worked out a set. It was a set of old songs, and we thought it worked out really good, so we decided to do a whole record like that, and tour it and stuff. We'll be doing that later in the year. We're about to hit the road with the Big Business guys and Unsane, and then the Melvins Lite record will be out. I think in June some time.
 
                          

Is there going to be another one after this one?
Yeah, well, we recorded a whole bunch of stuff. We've got enough stuff for at least another EP, probably. Maybe more. We'll see what happens. Eventually we'd like to do a tour where it's Melvins Lite, and Melvins including the Big Business guys. We'd eventually like to do something where Trevor's playing with us as well. Two bass players. We've been playing with the first Melvins drummer (Mike Dillard) too, calling that Melvins 1983. We've recorded a twelve inch EP for that too. 
And you're working with (former bassist) Kevin (Rutmanis) again. What's that like?
We ended up doing a Roxy Music song with Kevin and Jello Biafra. We've kinda become friends with Kevin again. We knew that he had done this Roxy Music song before, with Tomahawk.

And what song is it?
Ahhhhhh... It's sort of a secret. Next year will actually be the thirtieth anniversary of the band, so hopefully we can do some sort of tour and have all three versions of the band play.

There are rumours of a new Fantômas album. Can you tell me anything about that?
Well, I don't know anything about it, and Buzz doesn't know anything about it at all. So if there is one, he's not including us. Haha! I read that some place too, like "Oh, there's a new Fantômas!", but I don't think so. It could be true, but I don't think so.

Melvins 2012. L-R Jared Warren, Coady Willis, Dale Crover, Buzz Osbourne. Photograph by Mackie Osbourne.

What about a new Altamont record then?
Yeah, I hope so. We've been recording some songs - slowly but surely we're getting stuff finished - but I've been so busy doing Melvins stuff that I just haven't really had time, y'know? Plus the other guys live in San Fransisco, so it's a little hard for us to get together and practice.

Where are you?
I live in Los Angeles.

Is anything going to happen with the stuff you recorded with Jason Newsted and Devin Townsend?
I have no idea. I haven't talked to either of those guys since we recorded that stuff. That was like... Oh gosh. I can't even remember when. That was like 1997 or so? It was when he was still in Metallica. The reason that that thing came about to begin with, was that Kyuss had split up - and Kyuss had done some touring with Metallica - and Jason had heard about it and called Scott Reader to find out what the story was, and Scott was really bummed out. He was like "Why don't you come down and we can record and have fun, and you can forget about this stuff?" That's when they thought of calling me, and having me come over to play drums. It was just this weird weekend recording/jam session kind of thing, and that was pretty much the last time I talked to either Jason or Devin. He should put it out. I don't know what he does. He's kind of disappeared off the map, musically. I'm sure he's financially set. He probably made a lot of money off the Black Album, y'know? I mean, that was huge! I guess he doesn't have to work... When I went over there and played, it seemed he was really into recording, and doing different projects, and playing a lot. I mean, he'd done a bunch of different projects with other people as well. He had his own recording studio at his house. It was really cool. I know he was in Voivod for a while, right? But now, I haven't heard anything.

Electrical Guitar Company were meant to be building you a drum kit. What became of that?
I think it's still happening. I talked to the guy not too long ago, and I think he's gonna have something for me pretty soon. He's just been so busy with building guitars that I think it's been put on the back burner a little bit. Actually, he built a bass for the new bass player from Metallica. And the guys from Cheap Trick are buying a bunch of stuff from him.

It seems appropriate that Cheap Trick would want his guitars now.

Yeah! He's having a bit of success.

What was that rototom thing you used to play?

Haha! That's exactly what it was. It was the bottom of a rototom. It kinda had a bell sound. I dunno, I think Terry Bozzio came up with that idea.

Is Bozzio your favourite Zappa drummer?
Probably. Actually, I like Captain Beefheart better. I like Drumbo. He was great.

Dale. Photograph by KRK Dominguez.

How were you introduced to ribbon crashers, and to Pete Engelhart's metallic instruments?
I found that stuff in San Fransisco a long time ago, and became a fan of it right away. I thought it was a really cool percussion piece. Very sharp and abrasive sounding. We were really into that band Pussy Galore, and he (Bob Bert) used to hit on a gas tank and stuff like that, and had all this metal stuff. We thought it was a kind of cool piece to add in with our sound. Now I use a bunch of his stuff. I really like his stuff a lot. He's great. I'm kind of surprised more people didn't catch on to his stuff. I think the people who use it are more kind of Latin percussionists. It's good for me, because it makes my sound more unique!

Where did you learn to do that 'gravity blast', the one-handed roll on your snare?

Haha! I just figured it out. I'd read this interview with Ian Paice - do you know who he is? He plays drums for Deep Purple - and he does this one-handed roll, and they were asking him about it, and he was like "I'm not gonna tell you!" Haha! So I just kinda figured it out on my own. Later, I looked up on the internet and discovered that there's a bunch of YouTube videos of people doing it.

And you can do it with both hands?
Yup.

You play brushes on one of the tracks on Freak Puke. Is that the first time you've done that on a record?

Yeah. Actually it is.

I guess it sits well with the stand-up bass, and with it all being mellower.
Yeah, it just kind of fit the song. Y'know, maybe, actually, that might be wrong... That's the first time I've played with wire brushes, but I've recorded stuff in the past where I've used these plastic brushes a bunch. But traditional brushes, yeah - that's the first time.

How's your hearing? Do you have any hearing problems?
Oh yeah, it's goin'! It's just gonna get worse and worse. Oh well.

Bill Bruford or Neil Peart?
Hmmmm... Ahhh... Jeez, I don't know... I'm probably more interested in Neil Peart.

Bill Stevenson or Robo?

That's a tough one. But Bill Stevenson. Yeah.

John Bonham or Bill Ward?
Apples and oranges. I'd say Keith Moon.

Elvin Jones or Tony Williams?
Ooh, that's a tough one. Umm... I definitely listen to a lot of the Tony Williams stuff from when he was playing with Miles Davis. But they're both pretty good. I'll tell you who the best drummer is I've ever seen. And he'll be the king.

Go on.
Buddy Rich. He's the best drummer I've ever seen, for sure. He's from another planet. Most drummers I can watch, and figure out what they're doing, but when you watch him, you see stuff and you're just "Oh my God", y'know? Keith Moon's a little bit like that too. There's some drum solos of his that are a little bit crazy. I like more the kind of radical drummers like that, y'know? A lot of people don't like Keith Moon, and think he's too sloppy, but I don't know what the heck they're talking about. He might have been drunk a few times, playing drums, but he's a great drummer. Also Ian Paice, I did see him a few times, and I was completely blown away by his playing. He's one of the best ones out there.


What's your favourite horror movie?

Hmm. Probably Evil Dead. Either Evil Dead or The Exorcist. I like a lot of the real vampire movies, from the Hammer era. Christopher Lee movies.

What would you be doing if you hadn't pursued music?
I dunno. I'd wanted to play music since I was about eleven. With it being that long, I'd have probably wanted to be a fireman or a cowboy. Or a baseball player. Haha!

How did the shoe come about? Nike SB made a Melvins Dunk.
We had a friend that worked there. I can't remember what he did there, but he was in the skateboard division of Nike. They asked a bunch of bands about doing shoes. We got Buzz's wife Mackie to do the design. There's two different ones. It's weird, there's this whole shoe-world that we didn't know existed. There are people who are big shoe collectors. Buzz was in a shoe store where they had the Melvins shoe, and this guy, this total hip-hop guy, came in and was like "No way, there's the Melvins shoe! That one's the shit!" And Buzz is looking at him and thinking that there's no way he knows anything about our band. He just knows the shoe. We've ran across a few people like that, who had no idea who the band was but were really into the shoe. We were selling some of them on eBay, and people always wanted to know that it wasn't a bootleg, and we were like, "There's not going to be any bootleg Melvins shoes, what are they talking about?" but then I saw one, somebody showed me one, and I was like "Oh my God, there really is!" There's actually bootleg versions of that shoe out there.

The Nike SB Melvins shoe.

People download your music for free, and now they bootleg your shoe...
Haha! I mean, since they're 'collectible', they go for a lot of money, so I could see why people would do that, y'know? I could tell the rip-off because the label was different, and some of the material, wasn't the same. But that was a real surprise. I couldn't believe it.

I think it's great that you did it. Dinosaur Jr. have one too. Whether people are interested in music or shoes, it's cool that people are into something. Was it a hard decision?
It was a no-brainer! "We want to do a Melvins shoe." "OK!" "We'll pay you guys in shoes." "OK! Sounds good!" We had no problems with it at all. 
What other Melvins albums would you like to perform live?
Well, actually, we're going to do the whole EP on this tour. So, the new one! But as far as a special performance, I don't know, but I think we're gonna make it over to Europe and do that whole residency thing that we did here. Eventually.

Do you have any plans to play either Hospital Up, Inhumanity and Death, P.G.x3 or I'll Finish You Off live?

Umm... I'd like to do Hospital Up, at least. That'd be good, but it might be kinda hard.

Do you have any pets?
 I do. I have a dog.

A loyal, noble dog? Or a wild, ferocious beast?
He's a very well-behaved dog. He's very mild-mannered. His name's Arthur.

Have you ever posted on themelvins.net?

Have I ever posted there? Nah. I wouldn't post there.

Have you ever had a scary encounter with a crazy fan?

Well, there's certainly people who are very enthusiastic, and that you see at a lot of shows, but nobody's stalked us or anything. Which is good. There's crazy people out there for sure, there's fans of ours who are nuts, but that's OK.

Melvins 2010.

What's your favourite Nirvana song?
Favourite Nirvana song? Hmm... Smells Like Teen Spirit! Haha! No, actually I think my favourite one is In Bloom.

Did you hear that 'mash up' of Revolver and the Beyonce song Single Ladies?

No! Is that on YouTube? I'll need to check it out.

It's not bad, it sounds kinda 'right'.
Who did it?

Just some guy in his bedroom I think. Nobody famous or anything.
How did you get hooked up with Volcom?
Through Totimoshi. Those guys had a record on there, and they asked us to do a split. We figured it'd be cool. I guess I don't really know too many of the guys there, but I worked on the record by that band Tweak Bird, and Volcom put that out. They gave us suits a couple of years ago. Haha! For those times that I have to wear a suit. I still have a bunch of their socks too, Volcom's good for clothes.


It's cool that you get shoes and suits just for playing music. Apart from Tweak Bird, is there anybody you think people should be listening to?
I don't know... I've been doing a bunch of recording. The engineer that works for the Melvins and myself have been trying to work with other bands, doing either performance or production. Or both. I've worked with a bunch of bands that I've done drum parts for, or percussion overdubs, and one of those bands is a band from Canada called Indian Handcrafts. They're pretty good.

Is there anybody you'd like to work with?

Not particularly. I would work with pretty much anyone who was serious about doing something. Even if it was something completely not what I'm used to. I don't mind. It makes it more interesting. I always thought that hip-hop should have real drums. That would be something interesting.

The Roots do it quite well, but it's still just hip-hop drums. It'd be good to hear something a bit more out-there.

Yeah. The normal hip-hop stuff just now, it's not very exciting. I just think it could be way better. I used to listen to N.W.A. a lot, but they seem like a punk rock band, y'know?


Massive thanks to Kevin Parrott and Kurt Midness for helping me arrange this, and the good people of themelvins.net forum for the best questions.