The Melvins will take the stage of UCLA’s Royce Hall Saturday night to accompany three films by Cameron Jamie. The collaboration began in 2000, when San Fernando native Jamie inserted the band’s eighteen-minute 1992 song “Lysol” into BB, his profile of backyard wrestlers.
“He edited the movie to exactly that length,” says Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne, “and we thought it was great, really funny.”
That sparked the Melvins to write a pair of original tracks to accompany the Jamie films Kranky Klaus and Spook House (both 2003). On Saturday, the band will perform the two pieces and “Lysol” as one continuous, seventy-five-minute piece of music while the films play.
The logistics in piecing together such an ambitious work proved both daunting and rewarding for the Melvins. “It’s kind of overwhelming,” Osbourne says. “But what interested me the most was the thing that’s always interested me about live music: the fact that anything goes. When people go to the movies they’re in one of the most controlled environments they’ll ever be in — well, this is taking that out of it. It’s a roll of the dice.”
But Osborne isn’t exactly seeking a new career here. “These aren’t normal Hollywood movies, obviously,” he says. “I didn’t want to do some Danny Elfman crapola. He must write that shit in his sleep. He might as well be working at a fucking bank.”