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Chatting with Melvins mainstays Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover

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The Melvins are coming to rattle your rib cage.
Chris Bitonti

Why are you playing 51 shows—all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.—in 51 days? Dale: We wanted to do something big and dumb (laughs). We had heard George Thorogood attempted [50 shows in 50 states] but never completed it, so we thought it sounded like a cool idea. I guess George’s people got wind that we were attempting it and said “Oh, no, we finished it.”

Do certain shows stand out, or is it all just a blur at this point? Dale: Well, we’re getting to play all these places that we’ve never been before, like Casper, Wyoming. We played like a VFW there, which was a little odd but it turned out to be a great show. Last night we played in this old theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, and obviously we love playing theaters because the sound is so good. Overall, it’s been a really positive experience. When we get to Vegas, it’ll be Vegas, LA, Hawaii and then we’re done. Oh, and the Vegas show is on my birthday, so that should be fun—a Vegas birthday. The show has been moved, like, three times, because for some reason we started selling tickets. Vegas is usually a bust for us, so that’s great news.

The Details

Melvins
October 23, 9 p.m., $25-$30.
LVCS, 382-3849.

You guys have been writing, recording and touring almost nonstop since 1983. What drives you to continue so relentlessly? Buzz: Yeah, well, anything worth doing is worth overdoing (laughs). We like what we do … and dogs need to be fed; the mortgage needs to be paid.

Has the way you guys write changed through the years? Buzz: Nothing stays the same, thankfully. I try to remain as open-minded as possible in all areas and not concern myself how it will be perceived by the general public. I make things that I like, and I don’t particularly care what our fans think. I think they should like it. That doesn’t mean they will like it, but I can’t concern myself with those kind of details.

Buzz, you’ve described the Melvins’ sound as “Captain Beefheart, playing heavy metal” stemming from a punk background. What do you think makes music punk? Buzz: Attitude. That’s it. There’s a lot of bands that consider themselves punk rock that I don’t think are at all. But that’s me. I’m a different kind of person. I see things differently. Honestly, I have no idea what motivates people or why they do what they’re doing. I usually don’t trust their motivations, whatever they may be. I can’t fully explain it. I know it when I see it, but we are definitely [punk] more than anything else. In the grand tradition of it, like the Sex Pistols or whoever.

Dale: Punk is doing something completely outrageous and against the grain. It's as simple as that.

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