Melvins Lite finish world record attempt in Hawaii
King Buzzo is a man of the moment.
Buzzo, aka Buzz Osborne, the 48-year-old frontman for the Melvins, could’ve wallowed in rock nostalgia as part of the original Seattle grunge movement, trumpeting to anyone within earshot, “Hey, if it weren’t for me, there wouldn’t have been a Nirvana!”
Here are the facts: Osborne played in Kurt Cobain’s first-ever band, Fecal Matter, way back in 1986. Cobain was part of the roadie crew for the Melvins. Melvins drummer Dale Crover played in an early lineup of Nirvana. Osborne introduced Dave Grohl to Nirvana.
But to Osborne, really, so what? He and Crover are much too busy making new music for their band with the patented metal/sludge sound. And they’ve been doing it on a consistent and impressive basis that’ll reach three decades next year.
Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Cost: $20, $35 VIP
Info: 855-235-2867 or groovetickets.com
The Melvins are true independents and play without compromise. The band’s current lineup includes two power drummers. But that’s not what you’ll see Thursday night at the Republik.
No, instead, you’ll see the specially assembled Melvins Lite — “lite” only in the sense that it’s just Osborne, Crover and double bassist Trevor Dunn who, unfortunately, will be converting to a more portable electric bass, as flying such a bulky instrument to the islands would be cost-prohibitive.
Those in attendance will see a record-breaking effort. Hawaii will be the last tour stop of a “51-shows-in-51-days” attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest U.S. tour by a band. (The solo artist record is held by singer-songwriter Adam Brodsky, who accomplished the feat in 2003.)
Osborne admits that the tour is a publicity stunt — the band’s trying to generate interest in its new record, “Freak Puke.”
But he takes it all in stride. “We do the same kind of show whether we’re in New York City or Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” he said by phone during a tour stop earlier this month in the indie rock haven known as Hoboken, N.J. “There’s not much difference to me. And I gotta say that we do extremely good shows.
“The audiences that we’ve played to have had no complaints. And I think there’s nothing wrong to call what we’re doing a publicity stunt. All of showbiz has a little Barnum & Bailey in it. That’s what we do for a living, selling a record, ALL of our records, above and beyond what you can get on the Internet. I believe in the human element of music.
“That, and I care about what we’re doing. It’s significant. It’s not normal to tour at this pace. If we get to the end — and we certainly intend to — it wouldn’t matter if I, say, broke a leg in Albuquerque, because there’s a certain joy in what we’re doing.”
Osborne looks at what the Melvins (or Melvins Lite) do on stage as “more like performance art.” he said. “Another part of my brain switches on, and I feel completely spontaneous.” (For proof, check out his playing on his aluminum and Plexiglas-body guitars.)
“I think the band is much more focused than before, because we know we have a job to do, main thing. We’re all a bunch of oddballs, and, yes, doing this tour has been a lot of fun. I’m sure when I look back on it, the memories will be sweeter.”
On the Net » themelvins.net
–Gary Chun / firstname.lastname@example.org