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Holding it in with Melvins

By Vanessa Krystin Wong

Melvins are a band that need no introduction. Having been a band for over 30 years, they’ve influenced the likes of Nirvana and Mastodon and experimental genres such as ‘Sludge Metal.’ Throughout decades, Melvins have not stopped making music – releasing 22 albums including last years release ‘Hold It In.’ Ahead of their upcoming Vancouver date, BlueprintLIVE caught up with Buzz from the Melvins to talk about their longevity and a certain incident that took place the last time the Melvins rolled through Vancouver.

It’s great to see you guys back in Vancouver, we are thrilled that you guys have decided to stop here since that last incident. Have you fully forgiven us as a city?

I never had it in for the whole city, but just to set the record straight… It’s been said that the last time we played Vancouver, I got upset because someone hit me square in the chest with a beer glass. This is totally untrue. I don’t know how things could have gotten so blown out of proportion. What REALLY happened was during our last song a butterfly landed on my arm. I’m not sure why but this infuriated me beyond anything I’ve ever experienced and I stormed off stage. There’s even video footage of the incident and you can clearly see that it was indeed a butterfly landing on my arm and not a pint sized beer glass being thrown at me from the crowd. I think the incident was even described in a local Vancouver paper as being a red plastic kegger cup but this is also untrue.

It was a butterfly.

Being from the Pacific Northwest, could you tell me what the music scene was like for you guys in the 80’s/90’s compared to now?

In the 80’s, it was mostly crap but by the 90’s things had started to sharpen up for us in the Northwest. I’m not sure what changed. For the better part of 25 years playing in the northwest has been a treat. Maybe all the assholes overdosed or decided to simply chill out. I hit the road out of there in 1986 and never looked back. Nothing to look back at really. I can’t imagine living there again. I’m Los Angeles to the core.

What is your all-time favorite Pacific Northwest band and currently favorite Pacific Northwest band?

Maybe the Kingsmen or the Ventures. Current favorite? Jimi Hendrix.

The Melvins have worked with a wide range of artists in their long career such as Gene Simmons. Any favorite artists you have worked and meshed well with?

We’ve had a great time working with Jim Thirwell. He’s a very talented guy and a good friend. I’d love to do more with him somewhere down the line.

Speaking of which, how as working with members of the Butthole Surfers for the new album, ‘Hold It In’?

A dream come true. I’ve always been a big fan anyway and the whole idea of actually getting to record with them was nothing sort of wonderful. I’m sure we’ll do more recording at some point but I don’t know when.

What were some of your influences for the new album?

Influences? They could be anything. I suppose I was willing to just let things happen this time around and trust the universe.

Are there any differences in your live shows back in the late 80’s vs. now?

We’re a much better live band now. That’s a big difference. Things get better for us and I love that.

The Melvins have influenced many grunge bands and now, more sludge metal bands. Do you have any favorite Sludge bands?

My favorite band of that nature is Weedeater. They’re what Flipper would sound like if they played heavy metal.

I know you guys have heavily influenced Nirvana. Have you seen the new Kurt Cobain documentary and what are your thoughts?

I wrote a review of it for The Talkhouse here.

What is the key to your band’s longevity?

The key to longevity is never breaking up. In fact, that’s the key to longevity in anything you do. If you keep on living then it’s called longevity. Simple really.

Catch Buzzo and his wild ways with Melvins at VENUE on September 5th!

By Michelle Swami

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