King Buzzo and his rotating lineup of oddballs are most often remembered as the band that wouldn't let Kurt Cobain join because he wasn't good enough at guitar (he also was their 'roadie' for a while.) Though the band's most popular releases came out in the grunge era, they've been cranking out a steady stream of albums ever since. Sometimes 2 or 3 a year(!)
Fans of the band might have noticed a bit of stagnation in the past 5 years or so as the group's lineup stayed relatively steady, and they put out three albums that sounded virtually identical. While that might qualify as 'stagnation' for most acts, in the Melvins' world it's pretty unheard-of.
Maybe in order to combat this normalcy, the group has done a string of bizarre things in the past year. For one thing, a cover songs album was released towards the end of spring, which features guests as varied as Scott Kelly (from Neurosis) and Clem Bure (from Blondie.) It also features a demented set of tunes by David Bowie, Queen, Divine (the 300-pound transvestite know for his roles in John Waters films) and obscure hardcore bands like Tales of Terror.
As if that's not enough, the band also announced their upcoming 'Tres Cabrones' album, which finds longtime drummer Dale Crover switching to bass so original 80's drummer Mike Dillard can step in. This is the nearest thing to a throwback 'reunion' the band has ever done, and the album is set to be released on November 5th.
On top of all this studio stuff, the band made time to do an impromptu show in Chicago in front of an ice cream truck as part of a promotion involving free ice cream. The show basically consisted of them covering Butthole Surfers' classic track 'Graveyard' while children struggled to get in on the sweets being given away. Weird, weird stuff. One-time Buttholes bassist Jeff Pinkus was also present at the gig.
And ALL of this has been going on while the band finishes up their 30th anniversary tour. Needless to say, Melvins are NOT a group who sits still for very long...
Photo by Peter Alfred Hess.