by Trevor Hatter
VANCOUVER – Legendary grunge metal outfit Melvins have commanded the position of High Priests of Sludgeful Matter for a good 35 years. Consistently creating new ways to annoy squares with earsplitting noise-rock and building genuinely weird albums laced with catchy hooks and sonic ricochets, the group has reimagined traditional hitmaking methods. In the process of deconstructing popular music, Melvins have generated back-to-back originals that are so good it’s impossible to imagine a world without them. Scathing and sarcastic, the members of Melvins use their sounds and voices to comment on the abundant absurdities of life and to slowly get an uptight society grooving between the ears and below the belt. When asked about their artistic endurance, disruptor-in-chief King Buzzo puts forth the modest notion that they still have something to contribute musically to the world, maintaining that they’re still having fun collaborating with musicians they truly admire.
“I’ve had fortunate experience to have always played with musicians who are really, really good,” Buzz reflects. “Steve Macdonald and Jeff Pinkus are no exception.”
This isn’t the first time Melvins have experimented with multiple bass guitarists. Their 2016 LP Basses Loaded (Ipecac Recordings) featured a myriad of former Melvins members, including a parade of six bassists who appeared throughout the album. The band’s latest effort, Pinkus Abortion Technician which appeared on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label this past April, expands on the concept of absorbing Pinkus into the group and building something new together.
“We played with Jeff on a couple tours before this where he was the only bass player. We wanted his insanity and his craziness in our band,” Buzz adds.
Citing that Pinkus isn’t afraid to try out weird things, Buzz says that he has the right attitude towards venturing into unknown territory and can cook a great steak to boot! All-important assets to a band that has conquered tours that include a punishing run of 51 shows in 51 days, covering all 50 states. Not to mention a group that has experienced major earthquakes on three separate continents and lived to tell the tale.
“That kinda stuff puts a snap to your brain!” Buzz notes, regarding the tremor terror they experienced in New Zealand and Japan while touring in 2011 and the more recent natural disasters that have plagued his home state of California.
“You don’t get out of that easily,” the veteran frontman emphasizes. “You don’t just walk away from it. I don’t anyway, I carry that stuff with me.”
Despite the heaviness of having lived through such devastation, Buzz maintains that the best way to survive these trials is to stay present and connected to the things that really matter.
“I stand on stage with those guys every single night and I get to just watch them play. I feel blessed.”
Melvins perform July 21 at Venue Nightclub (Vancouver), July 24 at Union Hall (Edmonton) and July 25 at Marquee Beer Market & Stage (Calgary).Marquee Beer Market & Stage, Melvins, Union Hall, Venue Nightclub