The Melvins have always been a busy bunch, issuing new recordings at a rapid pace. The new year will be no different, as a pair of new Melvins releases will hit the streets by summer. March 13th will see the release of an EP, Scion A/V Presents: The Bulls & the Bees (available as a free download via ScionAV.com), and on June 5th Ipecac Records will issue the full-length Freak Puke.
“Scion is with the double drummer [lineup] – Coady [Willis] and Jared [Warren] from Big Business. That’s the normal band that we have,” singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne tells Rolling Stone. “We’ve done three albums with them already, and five live albums.”
“Then we also had done some experimenting, where me and Dale [Crover] would play by ourselves, and we called it Melvins Lite. I played with Trevor Dunn in Fantômas and really liked the way he played bass. I hit upon the idea when I saw him play with Nels Cline, and it struck me that me and Dale should play with him for a Melvins record [Freak Puke], with him playing stand-up bass.”
Both releases will be supported by live dates. Whether with Dunn or the regular lineup, Osborne says, “it’s still the Melvins. I don’t think our fans will be confused by that. They’ve understood that we do pretty much what we want, anyway.”
In addition to his Melvins duties, Osborne supplies guitar for Fantômas. Though the band is on hiatus, he says he’s always game: “I would do whatever Mike [Patton] wants to. But it’s really not my deal. It’s really up to him. Fantômas really isn’t a band – it’s more like us trying to interpret Mike’s music. And bear in mind, Fantômas hasn’t been in the studio since 2003.”
What about collaborating with ex-Nirvana bassist/onetime Melvins roadie Krist Novoselic? “We would love to record with Krist,” says Osborne. “That would be great. I don’t know what is going on with him – I see him and talk to him once in a while, but the ex-Nirvana guys, I really don’t have much to do with. It’s not because I don’t want to. Those guys are busy doing whatever it is they’re doing.”
Despite being rulers of the rock underground for decades at this point, Osborne wouldn’t be opposed to some late-in-the-game fame and fortune. “I’ve always thought that millions of people should love our band,” he says. “I’ve never beavered away trying to be obscure, or perversely trying to make it to where everyone’s part of an exclusive club. That should have been obvious from when we signed with Atlantic in ’93.
“I’m not afraid of fame and fortune, if those sorts of things happen,” he says. “I also know, on the other hand, we’re a hard sell. We’re not a normal, easy-to-fit-into-a-category type of band.”