To be honest, I have outgrown rock concerts. I have no interest in paying money to be packed into a large room filled with cigarette smokers, beer drinkers, and shit talkers. I am a reclusive man who enjoys listening to the high vibrational frequencies of his own mind.
However, there is one band that I will never pass up the opportunity to see live, and that, my friends, is the Melvins.
The Melvins are the greatest living rock 'n' roll band ever. They are the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Flipper, Black Sabbath, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Black Flag, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and the rest of whatever rock 'n' roll, modern art, beautiful poetry, science fiction, and all of heaven and hell mixed together blaring out of a wall of amplifiers could possibly be described as at this juncture. They take you into their vortex, which is where you want to be. It is such a beautiful place.
I was blessed to be able to schedule an in-person interview with the band before the show. This is what Charlie Sheen may have referred to as "WINNING"! I brought a whole film crew, and we have captured some amazing footage of this Melvins Master Mind Seminar featuring Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and J. Pinkus.
However, that video is being edited as we speak, for your future enjoyment. So stay tuned!
Before we get to the music, here are some topics that were discussed over the course of our almost two-hour interview:
Golf. Dale and Buzz are serious golf players. Buzz has made seven hole in ones! They play on the same golf course in L.A. where Larry David goes.
Art. Buzz has sold paintings (under a different name) at New York City galleries. He has a large collection of modern art at his house in the Hollywood Hills. He believes that everyone needs to watch Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle.
Phillip K. Dick. After satisfying the rock 'n' roll gods, Buzz goes back to his hotel room and reads books on his Kindle. We both love Phillip K. Dick and had a deep conversation about his work.
Speaking of work, they discussed the execution of ideas. "Making music is easy," said Buzz as we stood eye to eye. "The hard part is getting the audience to believe in it as much as you do."
Their lyrics. Although (to the casual observer) Buzz's lyrics seem to make absolutely no sense, they really do mean something. Even this line from the song "Oven": "Pez are gonna let it slide gonna burn what cotton decides are applee." Read it again; it will start to make more sense.
Fatherhood. Dale has two kids, and he gave me some great pointers regarding the whole raising-a-kid thing. Apparently, I love changing diapers more than he did.
Butthole Surfers. Awesome, awesome band. The Melvins (and Honky) current bassist J. Pinkus is a former Butthole Surfer. We discussed this one Butthole Surfers song, "Kuntz," saying that word aloud many times, and it felt pretty, pretty good. Kuntz.
We were able to talk with the Melvins team: Their tour manager, roadies, merch guy, etc. One man who stood out was Brian Walsby. He is a "merch guy" who has been touring with the Melvins for almost ten years. He draws these amazing little posters of the Melvins and sells them for 20 bucks. He has also done cover artwork for some legendary albums, including one of our all-time faves, 7 Seconds Walk Together Rock Together. Check out his website brianwalsby.net.
And now, to the music.
Honky is 2/3 Melvins (Dale Crover and J. Pinkus) and 1/3 Bobby from Down. To put it mildly: Honky is a crusty punk version of ZZ Top. That is a great thing to be. The set seemed almost choreographed as they tipped their cowboy hats, shook their booties, and filled the room with extra-heavy Texas sludge. You could almost smell the beer on their breaths as they screamed into the microphones.
Some friends and I then went to this amazing restaurant next door called Hot & Soul. Great food, great conversation, and an ambiance that totally reminded us of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. By the time we got back to the Culture Room next door, the Melvins were onstage and in that vortex mentioned above.
I have seen the Melvins at least 20 times, and I don't ever recall seeing a mosh pit. But alas, there was one last night.
King Buzzo had one of his beautiful muumuus on.
They played an extended version of "Night Goat."
Can you say, I love the Melvins?