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40 Years of Being Peculiar: The Melvins

Music | August 24th, 2023

By John Showalter

john.d.showalter@gmail.com

The Melvins formed in 1983 Montesano, Washington, founded by singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne. The group is known for its heavy sound mixed with a dose of punk, forming its own subgenre.

In those 40 years, they’ve released 30+ original albums, including live full lengths and countless singles. They've collaborated with Jello Biafra, Mudhoney, and Fantômas for individual releases and toured the world more times than Burgum has gift cards.

We had a chance to catch up with Buzz prior to their upcoming show at Fargo Brewing.

High Plains Reader: Tell us about this upcoming tour. How did it come about that you toured with Boris? Did you have a prior working relationship? Why "The Twins of Evil"?

Buzz Osborne: This whole tour was Boris’s idea and their concept included us doing the Bullhead record while they played a heavy rock album. So we said good, we’ll do it. Of course, the Bullhead album isn’t that long so we’ll be playing songs from across our discography.

HPR: The Melvins are still incredibly prolific with tours and releases after 40 years. How do you keep that flow of inspiration going?

Buzz: We only look prolific because all other bands are lazy.

HPR: You've come through Fargo fairly regularly despite it not being as major a population center as say, Minneapolis or NYC. What keeps bringing you here?

Buzz: It’s on the way to somewhere else. Might as well stop. The audiences are good, we’ve been playing there for years.

HPR: Tell us about your most recent releases. Wasn't one of them a tribute to Throbbing Gristle?

Buzz: Yes, we did a hyper-limited album of covers of Throbbing Gristle songs but weirdly a lot of the songs weren’t even Throbbing Gristle covers and we just said they were. Guess what? Nobody noticed.

HPR: You've shown up in some other media in recent history besides the albums you've recorded, haven't you? I seem to remember you showing up in a cartoon.

Buzz: Yes, that’s true. The cartoon you’re thinking of is Uncle Grandpa, from 2016. We haven’t done a lot that’s not music-related, but we’re up for doing lots of things.

HPR: What do you think of the current state of the music industry, now that streaming is more prevalent than ever and it has become easier than ever to self-release?

Buzz: Prior to streaming bands didn’t get paid. Now with streaming, bands don’t get paid. Nothing has changed.

HPR: Any advice for up and coming/struggling musicians?

Buzz: Be as peculiar as you possibly can.

IF YOU GO

Twins of Evil Tour featuring Boris and The Melvins

Tuesday, September 5, doors 7pm

The Hall at Fargo Brewing. 610 University Dr N.

Cost. $35.00; ages 21+; seating: General Admission.

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