The Melvins' Buzz Osborne: No one's dead, no one's in jail, and everyone's still on heroin
|Photo by Mackie Osborne|
This intense tour -- on the heels of their excellent Freak Puke, released in June -- is exemplary of the Melvins' relentless work for a nearly 30-year career. Gimme Noise caught Buzz on the road between Columbia, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska, where they'll team up with other members of their various configurations, Big Business.
Review: Melvins Lite at Grumpy's, 9/19/12
Steve Albini on 20 years of Shellac, handling hecklers, and AC/DC's brilliance
Big Business at Triple Rock Social Club, 9/17/12
Gimme Noise: How's the tour going?
Buzz Osborne: Its going good! No one is dead, no one is in jail, and everyone is still on heroin.
GN: Whose idea was it to do the 51-city tour?
BO: I just thought it would be a big stupid thing for us to do and we're perfect for that, big and stupid.
GN: How will you get through it?
BO: Well, we're going to take a lot of vitamins, and we're going to do our best, and do good shows in every city. But god knows what will happen!
GN: What do you do on your breaks?
BO: We don't take breaks. No days off. We drive, and we eat. Then we get to the show and play. Then we go to the hotel room and sleep. That's our day -- that's it. We're professionals, you know. Nose to the grindstone. One hand in the air, and holding on to the brass ring.
GN: Any crazy incidents so far on your shows or during tour?
BO: We had a guy gushing blood out of his face in Denver -- through no fault of our own. He was so oblivious and drunk; he acted as though he had no problem at all, or really knows about it. I had to calm him down from the stage, so that was weird. We walked him through it, and hopefully he was arrested.
GN: How has the reception differed from city to city?
BO: We get about the same reaction everywhere. It doesn't matter if I'm playing Cheyenne, Wyoming or New York City. I play the same shows in every city. The show tonight we play in Omaha will be the same as in Chicago. Every show is important. No question
GN: How do you feel about playing Minneapolis?
Update: Review of the Grumpy's show and photos are here.
BO: We like Minneapolis. We love Grumpy's. Grumpy's is a great place to play. Tom [Hazelmyer] is a great guy -- he puts out a lot of our releases [via AmRep Industries], which we are really happy about. He's not really a label anymore, I don't think. He just does stuff like he does with us. All the stuff we do are very hands-on and a pain in the ass. So we're always happy to be part of a pain in Tom's ass. At Grumpy's we know we probably aren't going to get as burned as we would at a normal club [laughs]. We can trust Tom a little bit more than a normal promoter. He's a good guy.
|Photo by Dan Raymond|
GN: How would you describe the artistic progression of Minneapolis compared to Seattle?
BO: What happened was, people in Seattle started wearing flannel. As they did in Minneapolis. When that all happened, that's when I decided I was going to start wearing a dress. And the only thing I could do to worsen that was wear a flannel dress. Then I'd be accepted in Minneapolis and Seattle. I figure there are just as many heroin addicts in Minneapolis as Seattle. If not more. I think that actually improves most of those boring bastards there. You wanna improve something, develop a monstrous heroin habit. That's the way to do it.