By Brandon Judeh (Music Reporter)
For more than 30 years Buzz Osborne has been the King of everything weird, heavy and sludgy with his highly influential band the Melvins.
Now, King Buzzo is looking toward another outlet as he’s releasing an acoustic solo album titled This Machine Kills Artists set for a June 3 release via Ipecac Recordings.
To the casual fan, this raw, bare bones record may seem strange. But to any hardcore Melvanite, this will come as no surprise.
“Nothing we do is universally accepted, to be honest sometimes I think we drive away as many people as we bring in with every new album,” said Osbourne. “We’re not a band that sells millions of records, I would find it hard pressed to find someone who’s three favorite bands were Nirvana, Green Day and the Melvins, you know?”
Osborne admitted he knows the Melvins aren’t the type of band you would hear played at the prom.
“I can’t imagine any of our songs have ever been played at a prom or anything, but I bet they have proms themed around Green Day or bands like that. I don’t know though because I didn’t go to my prom, I hated teenagers then and I still do now,” said Osbourne.
Osborne’s hatred of some critics also strikes hard within him, as one writer recently bashed his guitar skills by saying, “he needs to listen to Jimmy Page.”
“I thought that was really funny, I mean really, does he think I have never listened to Led Zeppelin?” laughed Osbourne.
On This Machine Kills Artists, the singer shows his knack to make any guitar, acoustic or electric, sound heavy and sludgy. And Buzz’s distinct booming voice sounds heavier than ever overtop of the acoustics. This is something Osborne was aiming for and he nailed it, especially on songs such as “Drunken Baby” and “Instrument of God.”
Folk rock has never sounded so good.
“It certainly works well and I’m happy with how it turned out,” Osbourne said. “Some people have told me how it sounds like the Melvins, well I’m in the Melvins so what the fuck did you expect? (Laughs) But there will always be people bashing my music and bashing music in general, no one is ever 100 percent happy.”
Though undoubtedly countless musicians have influenced King Buzzo, he said that he really can’t pinpoint just a few. He certainly found some inspiration from Woody Guthrie, whom he gave a nod to with the album title, as well as everyday life.
Some things stranger than others.
“I can’t really say I have any particular influence, really anything can influence a person, from a barking dog to a bowl of cereal, I just try to do something different every time I make a record,” said the 50-year-old.
One glaring difference on his upcoming tour will be the fact that Buzz will be up on stage alone, without his drummer and close friend, Dale Crover, or anyone else for that matter.
But when Osborne got into the music business a little over 30 years ago, he knew that sometimes he would have to go on stage prepared to make a complete idiot out of himself.
“If you’re scared to go on stage and look like a complete moron, then you shouldn’t be in this business. I’m up for the challenge and I always look like an idiot on stage anyway,” Osbourne said.
Buzzo will have plenty of opportunities to embarrass himself as he will be playing nearly 70 shows across the US, Europe and Australia.
Touring almost stopped completely for Buzz and side kick Dale 28 years ago after a tour in 1986 took them through the south.
States like Texas and Florida weren’t very accepting of the band, as insults such as “Faggots!” were hurled at the band.
After being roughed up by some skin heads, Buzz and Dale decided not to do a full tour of the states again for a while, it wasn’t until around 1989 that they hit the road on a full out tour again.
While on tour, Buzz unwinds by watching and listening to baseball games. Anyone who follows Buzz knows of his love for the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball in general. Early on in our conversation Osborne went on about how much he loves the game.
“Baseball is really the only sport I can watch, I mostly enjoy watching it in person. As much as I love the Dodgers I have to say I just enjoy watching the sport no matter who is playing, especially National League ball,” he said.
He even shared a Cleveland Indians story as well.
“Back in the 90’s when Cleveland was a powerhouse we were in town and wanted to see them play, but they were always sold out. So we had the opportunity to buy really shitty tickets for like $60 a piece and at the last minute we decided not to pay that much. But I would love to go to the stadium sometime and see them play,” Osborne said.
Despite the extensive touring behind his new disk, Melvins fans need not worry that their front man is going to focus solely on solo material.
The band will be releasing an album sometime in October (Their fourth in under two years) and are planning a tour and some other surprises.
Stay tuned, as the Raw Alternative will be sure to talk to King Buzzo this fall.