By Joshua Ford and Ryan Meehan (with all images by Josh Ford Photograpy)
King Buzzo is indeed alternative rock royalty. As the founding member of the Melvins, he has influenced future generations of rock guitarists for years to come with his unique brand of sludge-based doom metal. Originally based out of Washington State, the Melvins were a huge part of the underground scene going on in the Pacific Northwest in the late 80s and early 90 that spawned such bands as Mudhoney and Nirvana.
Ford’s Take: MTV gave me Melvins. I said it. Thats right. How do I feel about being spoon fed Melvins via Music Tele? Just fine, here’s why: In the early 90′s, you had to dig wherever you could to find shit, kids. Its not like now where you can pull up the entire discography of any band ever in 2 seconds, and then be on to the next passing trendy band in 2 minutes once you’ve skimmed their entire oeuvre on your fucking mobile. We had to work for our shit. Is MTV “working for your shit”, you ask? I don’t know, but I sought out new artists through both major and local avenues in the 90′s. There was a decent collection of mutant audio oddities broadcast weekly on Planet 93.5 FM. I’d tape this radio show, “Off the Beaten Track” with DJ Roberto, every Sunday and write down the track list. I’d also watch MTV’s Headbangers Ball (and 120 minutes) weekly on saturday nights, and it was the best hour of programming all week, natch. So in 1993 Melvins release Houdini, and a video for “Honey Bucket”, a scorcher. Look it up. All I remember from this video was being leveled by a nassssssty riff, and a bunch of swine running around with giant balls like people hang from their trailer-hitch now swinging in front of the low angle cameras. So MTV gave me Melvins, thanks MTV. Houdini was their major label debut on Atlantic. Amazing. Cover to cover a great record, killer artwork from Frank Kozik. A modern classic. I don’t listen to many of the same bands I was into in the early 90′s, because 1) my tastes have changed and my palate developed, but more importantly 2) no bands from that era continue to thrive or remain relevant. With one exception: Melvins. This far into a career, most bands are drooling into their Frosted Flakes record after record, after years of drug/road abuse. Not the case with Buzzo/Dale – still relevant, and not burned out. I’ll go ahead and say this too, without caution: they’ve done some of their best work ever in the last 5 years. ”A Senile Animal” and “Nude With Boots” both have tracks that I’d call their best work to date, 30 years into their career. They’ve toured the shit out of these records too, and I’ve seen them 9 times in the last 5 years (with some partners in crime Gannon/Richards/Whitney). If you haven’t checked these records out, and you like heavy music, run along, grab your mobile, and skim their recent catalog on your way to get Starbucks tomorrow morning. Enjoy your latte, you got it easy now. Continue reading