Melvins are an American rock band whose early work was key to the development of both grunge and sludge metal. The band formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They have mostly performed as a trio, as well as a quartet with either two drummers/bassists in recent years. Since 1984, vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover have been constant members. The band was named after a supervisor at a Thriftway in Montesano, Washington, where Osborne also worked as a clerk. "Melvin" was disliked by other employees, and the band's members felt it to be an appropriately ridiculous name.
Melvins live in October 2006. Left to right: Buzz Osborne, Coady Willis, Dale Crover (behind drum kit) and Jared Warren.
|Origin||Montesano, Washington, U.S.|
Melvins were formed in early 1983 by Buzz Osborne (guitar, vocals), Matt Lukin (bass) and Mike Dillard (drums) who all went to Montesano Jr./Sr. High School in Montesano, Washington. In the beginning they played Cream and Jimi Hendrix covers, and also began playing fast hardcore punk. When Dillard left the band, Dale Crover took his place, and the band's rehearsals moved to a back room of Crover's parents' house in Aberdeen, Washington. Soon afterward, they started to play songs slower and "heavier" than nearly anyone else at the time.
In 1985, C/Z Records was created to document the Washington music scene. The label released Deep Six, featuring four songs by the Melvins. In 1986 the band released their debut, the Six Songs EP, on C/Z Records (later releases expanded and retitled this as 8 Songs, 10 Songs, and eventually 26 Songs in 2003 on Ipecac Recordings). The album was recorded live to a two track at the now closed Ironwood Studio in Seattle on February 8, 1986.
In October 1986, they recorded their first full-length album, Gluey Porch Treatments, at Studio D in Sausalito, California. The album was released in 1987 on Alchemy Records. Gluey Porch Treatments was later coupled with their second album Ozma for the Boner Records CD release. It was expanded again for the 1999 re-release on Ipecac Recordings with some garage demos.
Crover played drums with Nirvana (billed as "Ted Ed Fred") when they recorded a ten-song demo on January 23, 1988 in Seattle, which later formed part of their debut LP Bleach, and played a live show in Tacoma later that day. Osborne would later introduce Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic to Dave Grohl. Later that year Osborne and Crover relocated to San Francisco, California. Lukin stayed and formed the band Mudhoney. Lori "Lorax" Black (daughter of Shirley Temple) replaced Lukin on bass. The band recorded Ozma in May 1989, and released it later that year. The album was produced by Mark Deutrom, who later joined the band on bass.
In 1990, the band recorded Bullhead, which marked a slower, more drone music style for the band. The band then toured Europe; their show of January 23, 1991 in Alzey, Germany was released by Your Choice Records as Your Choice Live Series Vol.12. When they returned to the U.S., they recorded the Eggnog EP, which was released the same year on Boner Records.
Lorax left the band, and was replaced by Joe Preston. Preston appears on the Salad of a Thousand Delights (1992, Box Dog Video). The Melvins then released three "solo" EPs, following the concept and imitating the cover artwork inspired by the four Kiss members' solo albums released in 1978. King Buzzo, Dale Crover, and Joe Preston were all released in 1992 on Boner Records. Later in 1992, they released the full-length album, Lysol, which had to be renamed Melvins because Lysol was a trademarked name. Preston departed from the band, and Lorax briefly rejoined.
When Nirvana's Nevermind became a massive and unexpected success, Melvins were one of many groups to benefit from Nirvana's support. It was signed by Atlantic Records, and its first major label release, 1993's Houdini, entered the Billboard Heatseekers chart at 29. Mark Deutrom replaced Lorax on bass shortly after the album's release, as she was facing trial for drug possession and was struggling with heroin addiction. Gene Simmons of Kiss played bass with the Melvins in 1993 in a concert with Primus, on the song "Goin' Blind", a Kiss song that the Melvins had covered on Houdini.
Melvins released its second album for Atlantic in 1994, Stoner Witch. Due to its experimental nature, Melvins took its next album, Prick, to Amphetamine Reptile Records. Record label conflicts prevented the band from releasing any records under the name "Melvins", so the album was released with the band name written in mirror. The band returned to Atlantic one last time for 1996's Stag, which entered the Heatseekers chart at number 33. Melvins were dropped by Atlantic Records in 1997 after three albums.
The band signed with Amphetamine Reptile Records and released their next full-length album, Honky, in 1997. They recorded an August 1997 concert in Richmond, Melbourne, Australia as Alive at the F*ckerclub in 1998. The same year, Melvins opened for Tool. (A picture on the Tool website depicts the Melvins along with the words "Melvins say...Tool Sux!" spelled out in lunch meat. The photo was taken while on tour with Tool in 2002 in Australia.) In 1998, Melvins played the second stage at Ozzfest.
1999 saw the beginning of a partnership with Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings, which began remastering and reissuing much of the band's back catalog. The band also released three full-length albums dubbed (and later packaged together as) The Trilogy: The Maggot, The Bootlicker, and The Crybaby. The latter featured a number of guest vocalists and musicians. Kevin Rutmanis, formerly of The Cows, was bassist during this era.
In 2001, the band returned to their experimental tendencies for Colossus of Destiny, a live set of synthesizer and sampler experiments presented as two tracks (one clocking in at 59:23 and the other at five seconds). The album was described approvingly by one critic as "more like avant-garde electro-acoustic than anything else."
In 2003 Atlantic Records (UK) released Melvinmania: The Best of the Atlantic Years 1993–1996, a compilation of recycled tracks from the band's three major label releases. This release was unsanctioned by the band who had no input into the track selection or (occasionally inaccurate) liner notes.
In 2004, Osborne and Crover toured to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, and also released an art book Neither Here Nor There. The book is a collection of art by creators of their cover art as well as friends of the band, and also contained retrospectives on the past twenty years of the Melvins. The book included a CD with selected tracks from their albums.
In 2004, Melvins collaborated with ambient artist Lustmord for Pigs of the Roman Empire and with Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra for Never Breathe What You Can't See and Sieg Howdy! released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Never Breathe What You Can't See was supported by a mini-tour with Jello Biafra and Adam Jones from Tool. A planned European tour was canceled in early October 2004 reportedly due to unknown complications involving Rutmanis. Following the tour cancellation, Melvins finished the year playing a few shows with David Scott Stone supporting the work of filmmaker Cameron Jamie in Europe and the United States.
When asked about Rutmanis and the canceled portion of the tour. Osborne and Crover stated that Rutmanis had "disappeared". Fans feared that Rutmanis had departed like so many bassists before him; however, Rutmanis returned temporarily in early 2005. In June 2005, Rutmanis officially left the band. When Melvins toured with Jello Biafra in October and November 2005, David Scott Stone filled in on bass.
In early 2006, Crover confirmed rumors of the members of the band Big Business joining the Melvins. Commenting on adding another drummer, Crover said this about Big Business drummer Coady Willis: "He's left-handed, so we want to do this 'mirror image' type of thing. We've kind of fused our two drum sets together, and we're going to try and do some crazy thing with it. We're sharing these big toms in between us."
The band toured the U.S. in the fall of 2006 in support of their album, (A) Senile Animal. The Melvins also toured briefly the United Kingdom in mid-December 2006. Two new songs entitled "Suicide in Progress" and "Billy Fish" were played during the 2007 tour, and appear on their next album Nude With Boots.
On June 16 and 17, 2008, a lineup of Osborne, original drummer Mike Dillard, and Dale Crover (playing bass) played two shows at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco in honor of Jello Biafra's 50th birthday. Both sets were composed of songs from The Mangled Demos, a collection of early material released on the Alternative Tentacles record label in 2005.
In July 2008, their new album entitled Nude with Boots was released. In December 2008, along with Mike Patton, the Melvins co-curated an edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties Nightmare Before Christmas festival. They chose half of the lineup and also performed themselves.
The long rumored (since 2003) remix CD Chicken Switch was released on September 29, 2009 via Ipecac Recordings. Unlike usual remix CDs where the remixer is given a single track to work with, for Chicken Switch each remixer was given a full album to work with and pull from to create their track. Melvins joined with New Orleans' super group Down and Weedeater for a North American tour in the summer and fall of 2009. Melvins released their follow up to Nude with Boots, entitled The Bride Screamed Murder, on June 1, 2010.
Melvins started 2011 with a series of unique shows. Four of the shows were every Friday at Spaceland's in California. January 7 featured the current line-up playing Colossus of Destiny, Lysol, and Eggnog. Jan 14 featured a Melvins 1983 set followed by the band playing Houdini. Jan 21 featured a two-piece Melvins set followed by the current lineup playing Bullhead. Jan 28 featured the band playing a normal set followed by Stoner Witch.
In early 2011 the band was on tour first in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake then in Tokyo, Japan at the time of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Melvins supported Slayer at the All Tomorrow's Parties 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival at Alexandra Palace, London in May 2012. Melvins formed a lineup called Melvins Lite (Buzz, Dale, and Trevor Dunn) that toured through parts of 2011. This line-up released an album, Freak Puke, in June, 2012 on Ipecac Recordings. The main four-piece lineup remains active as well and released a digital EP, The Bulls and the Bees, in March on Scion a/v.
In 2012, Melvins Lite completed a record-breaking  tour, having performed every night for 51 straight days, once in each of the 50 United States and once in the District of Columbia. The tour started on September 5 in Anchorage, Alaska and ended in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 25, 2012.
In 2013, Melvins marked 30 years as a band with an extensive summer tour supported by Honky, Die Kreuzen and Negative Approach. Grunge pioneers Mudhoney also joined the band for two shows on the 30th anniversary tour. Rutmanis reconciled with his former bandmates, appearing on the 2013 album, Everybody Loves Sausages and a 2014 7" single.
Melvins were featured on the 2013, Joyful Noise Recordings flexi-series. On August 5, 2013, Melvins announced a new album, Tres Cabrones, featuring the "Melvins 1983" lineup with Osborne and Crover joined by the band's original drummer, Mike Dillard. Crover replaced Dillard in 1984 and plays bass on the album. Tres Cabrones was released on November 5, 2013 on the band's longtime label Ipecac.
Jeff Pinkus had aided the band in 2013 as a touring bassist, filling in for current member Jared Warren who was on paternity leave. Afterward Pinkus joined the Melvins full time to begin a collaboration with fellow Butthole Surfers guitarist Paul Leary. The collaborative album Hold It In was released in October, 2014. The lineup for this album was Osborne and Crover joined by Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus of the Butthole Surfers.
A collaboration with godheadSilo's Mike Kunka, Three Men and a Baby, was released in April, 2016 through Sub Pop. The album, started in 1999 and shelved, was recently finished. Another album, Basses Loaded, was released in June, 2016, which features a rotating cast of bass players including regulars Dale Crover, Jared Warren, Jeff Pinkus and Trevor Dunn as well as Steven McDonald (of Redd Kross), and Krist Novoselic (of Nirvana).
In July, 2017, the band released the double album A Walk with Love & Death. One of the discs, Love, is a 14 song soundtrack to a short film of the same name, by Jesse Nieminen. The other disc, Death, is made up of standard Melvins songs.
The band released Pinkus Abortion Technician in April 2018. The album features dual bassists, Melvins' regular bass player Steven McDonald as well as Butthole Surfers' Jeff Pinkus. The title of the album resembles the Butthole Surfers album Locust Abortion Technician, and the album features a cover of the Butthole Surfers tune Graveyard, which can be found on the aforementioned disc.
Variously described as a sludge metal, grunge, experimental rock, alternative metal and doom metal band, Melvins explored a variety of different styles throughout its career, including noise rock, dark ambient, noise, jazz-rock, avant-garde music, electroacoustic music and punk country. Initially starting out as a hardcore punk act, its sound eventually started to absorb influences by Black Flag's mix of punk and metal on their My War and Slip It In albums, the Butthole Surfers, slow punk acts like Flipper and the Wipers, industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle and also by hard rock and metal bands such as Kiss and Alice Cooper. Since the 1990s, the band has occasionally touched on electronic music, as on Prick (1994), Colossus of Destiny (1998) and Pigs of the Roman Empire (2004) -- the latter a collaboration with dark ambient pioneer Lustmord.
Melvins' sludgy sound was an influence on grunge music, especially Nirvana, Soundgarden, Green River, and many other bands from Seattle. Melvins have influenced artists outside the grunge scene, including Tool and Mike Patton of Faith No More (both of whom are friends with the band), Boris (who took their name from the title of a Melvins' song), Pig Destroyer, Helmet, Full of Hell, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Earth, Sunn O))), Lamb of God, Mastodon, Neurosis, Eyehategod and Isis. AllMusic wrote "their ability to combine punk with a strong Black Sabbath influence had a major impact on everything from grunge to alternative metal to doom metal and stoner rock." In 2017, Metal Injection ranked Melvins at number 2 on their list of "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands".
|1986||Melvins (EP, aka "Six Songs")||C/Z Records|
|1987||Gluey Porch Treatments||Alchemy Records|
|1994||Prick||Amphetamine Reptile Records|
|Stoner Witch||Atlantic Records|
|1997||Honky||Amphetamine Reptile Records|
|1999||The Maggot||Ipecac Recordings|
|2002||Hostile Ambient Takeover|
|2004||Pigs of the Roman Empire (with Lustmord)|
|Never Breathe What You Can't See (with Jello Biafra)||Alternative Tentacles|
|2005||Sieg Howdy! (with Jello Biafra)|
|2006||(A) Senile Animal||Ipecac Recordings|
|2008||Nude with Boots|
|2010||The Bride Screamed Murder|
|2012||The Bulls & the Bees (EP)||Scion A/V|
|Freak Puke (Melvins Lite)||Ipecac Recordings|
|2013||Everybody Loves Sausages|
|Tres Cabrones (Melvins 1983)|
|2014||Hold It In|
|2016||Three Men and a Baby (with Mike Kunka)||Sub Pop|
|Basses Loaded||Ipecac Recordings|
|2017||A Walk with Love & Death|
|2018||Pinkus Abortion Technician|
The misanthropic sludge metal outfit Eyehategod was [...] heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and the Melvins.
Boris is a song by The Melvins on their 1991 album, Bullhead. The song is a fan favorite and appears on the Melvins retrospective album/book Neither Here nor There and the live album Alive at the Fucker Club. The Japanese doom/drone metal band Boris named themselves after this song. The Boris song "Vomitself" from their album Amplifier Worship has a similar but slower riff at the start of the song.The song was covered by Isis and Agoraphobic Nosebleed on the 2005 tribute album We Reach: The Music of the Melvins. This song is no relation to the song by Boy of the same title.Buzz Osborne
Roger "Buzz" Osborne, also known as King Buzzo (born March 25, 1964), is an American guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He is a founding member of the Melvins, as well as Fantômas and Venomous Concept.Coady Willis
Coady Willis is a drummer and a member of Big Business, White Shit, and the Melvins.
Willis previously played in the bands Dead Low Tide, Broadcast Oblivion and The Murder City Devils before Big Business.
Willis and Big Business bandmate Jared Warren both appear on the Melvins' albums (A) Senile Animal, Nude with Boots and The Bride Screamed Murder and have officially been members of the band since moving to Los Angeles in January 2006.
He also sometimes plays drums in the live incarnation of Dale Crover's side project Altamont (also his bandmate and fellow drummer in The Melvins).Dale Crover
Dale Crover (born October 23, 1967) is an American rock musician. Crover is best known as the drummer for the Melvins. He's also been the drummer for Men of Porn, Shrinebuilder, Crystal Fairy, and, for a brief time, Nirvana. He is also guitarist and vocalist for Altamont. He has also toured with Fantômas (filling in for Dave Lombardo), Off!, and Redd Kross.Here She Comes Now / Venus in Furs
"Here She Comes Now"/"Venus in Furs" is a split single from the American rock bands Nirvana and The Melvins. It was released in 1991 and includes the songs "Here She Comes Now" performed by Nirvana, and "Venus in Furs" performed by The Melvins. Both songs are cover versions of Velvet Underground songs.
The single was limited to 1000 copies and was available in up to 20 different colors. The cover art resembles the albums where each of the songs first appeared: the cover of The Melvins side resembles the cover of 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico while the cover of the Nirvana side resembles White Light/White Heat.
Nirvana's cover later appeared on the Velvet Underground tribute album Heaven & Hell – A Tribute to The Velvet Underground, and on the 2004 Nirvana box set, With the Lights Out. This version also appears on the 2011 Nevermind 20th Anniversary Deluxe edition. While on their European tour in November 1991, they recorded an acoustic rendition for Dutch station VPRO which remains unreleased but appears on bootlegs and in trader's circles.Houdini (album)
Houdini is the fifth studio album by the Melvins, released in 1993 on Atlantic Records. The album was the band's major label debut after releasing their previous albums on the independent label Boner Records.
The album features a cover of the 1974 Kiss song "Goin' Blind". The songs "Hooch", "Lizzy" and "Honey Bucket" were released as singles with accompanying music videos. "Night Goat" is a partial re-recording of a song the band had released as a single in 1992. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain is given co-production credit alongside the Melvins on six tracks, for guitar on the song "Sky Pup", and percussion on the song "Spread Eagle Beagle".Jeff Pinkus
Jeff 'J.D.' Pinkus is an American bassist best known for his work with American punk band Butthole Surfers from 1985 to 1994 and the 2009 reunion.In 1990, he and Butthole Surfers' lead vocalist Gibby Haynes released Digital Dump, the only album from their psychedelic house music side project The Jackofficers.
Upon leaving Butthole Surfers, Pinkus worked full-time with the Austin trio Daddy Longhead, which he had assembled during his waning months in the band, and which included longtime Atlanta associate Jimbo Young on guitar and Rey Washam on drums. Daddy Longhead retired after 10 years, leaving Pinkus free to explore other projects including Skinny Leonard and Areola 51. Pinkus played with Helios Creed on his albums 'NUGG: The Transport' and 'Activated Condition' , and has also collaborated with Bad Livers frontman Danny Barnes several times in a live setting.
He currently leads Honky and as of January 2008 plays weekly on Monday nights at the Jackalope, in Austin, Texas, with an assortment of other musicians called the Guit Down Syndrome.
Pinkus also performs with Pure Luck,who released a self-titled release in 2017 on Heavy Feather Records. He leaves his bass to play Banjo and Guitar in this project.
On their 30th anniversary tour in 2013, Pinkus joined the Melvins in place of Jared Warren (on paternity leave) as well as performing with the opening Honky. He subsequently joined the Melvins full-time, touring with them in 2014 in support of the album Hold It In, which also featured Butthole Surfers founder Paul Leary, and again in 2015. He also plays on the song "Captain Come Down" which was first released in 2015 on Chaos as Usual, a split release with Le Butcherettes, and later included on the 2016 album Basses Loaded.
In 2018, J.D. Pinkus released a solo album, "Keep on the Grass" on Cassette tape on Minner Bucket Records and Compact Disc on Heavy Feather Records. It was recorded entirely on banjo and features a rendition of the song "Bride of Crankenstein" from the Melvins album Hold It In. The C.D. release show is with Sleep in San Pedro on September 15, 2018.
On February 12, 2018, the Melvins announced that Pinkus would be joining them, alongside current bassist Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), on their next album and subsequent tour. Released on April 20, 2018, the aptly titled Pinkus Abortion Technician features both bass players and four songs written or co-written by Pinkus.Joe Preston (bassist)
Joe Preston (born 1969) is an American rock music bassist and a former band member of Earth, Melvins, Men's Recovery Project, The Need and High on Fire. Preston has also played with Sunn O))), and has a solo project called Thrones. In 2007, he joined Harvey Milk in the studio for the recording of Life... The Best Game in Town and toured with them during their 2008 US and European tours. He is the uncle of actor Dominic Janes.Kevin Rutmanis
Kevin Rutmanis (born October 17, 1958) is an American bass guitarist. He is of Latvian descent. Before getting into music, he was a student teacher. In late 1985, along with his younger brother Sandris Rutmanis, Thor Eisentrager, and then Jayhawks drummer Norm Rogers, he started the band The Cows. After the dissolution of The Cows, Rutmanis was the bass guitar player for The Melvins from 1998 to 2005. He was also the bass guitarist in the supergroup Tomahawk featuring Mike Patton. Kevin played bass on Tomahawk's first two long play releases, titled Tomahawk and Mit Gas, and played for two world tours supporting those albums. He has recently recorded with Hepa-Titus.Live from London 2006
Live from London 2006 is a DVD by the Fantômas Melvins Big Band that was released on August 26, 2008.Lori Black
Lori Black (born April 19, 1954), also known as Lorax, is an American musician born in Santa Monica, California. She played bass for Clown Alley and for the Melvins. She has since left performing and has become a photographer to take pictures of Uganda, Africa.
Her mother was Shirley Temple, the well-known 1930s child actress who became a diplomat in adulthood.Lysol (album)
Lysol (also known as Melvins, Untitled and Lice-All) is the fourth studio album by the Melvins, released in 1992 on Boner Records.
The album cover is a painting based on a sculpture by Cyrus Edwin Dallin named Appeal to the Great Spirit. The image also appears on The Beach Boys in Concert, on the logo for Brother Records, and on the cover of The Time Is Near by the Keef Hartley Band.
The album was recorded in less than a week, according to the band's official website. The album consists of six separate tracks, which were mastered and assembled as one "megacomposition". It also features covers of Flipper's "Sacrifice" (from the album Gone Fishin') and Alice Cooper's "Second Coming" and "The Ballad of Dwight Fry", both from the album Love It to Death. The album has been credited as an influence on the drone doom genre and the band Sunn O))).Matt Lukin
Matt Lukin (born August 16, 1964) is an American musician, best known as a bassist and founding member of the Melvins and Mudhoney.Melvins! (album)
Melvins is the eponymous debut EP by the Melvins, released in 1986 through C/Z Records. The original release was a vinyl 7", commonly referred to as Six Songs. A later edition, taken from a different recording session, was released as 10 Songs in 1991 on CD with an equivalent 12" vinyl EP called 8 Songs, which leaves off the last two tracks from the CD.Millennium Monsterwork 2000
Millennium Monsterwork 2000 is a live album by Fantômas and Melvins taken from a New Year's Eve 2000 performance at Slim's which was released in 2002 through Ipecac Recordings.Ozma (album)
Ozma is the second studio album by the Melvins, released in 1989 through Boner Records. It is the first Melvins album to feature Lori Black on bass guitar and was recorded when the band relocated to San Francisco.Stag (Melvins album)
Stag is the eighth studio album by Melvins, which was released in 1996 through Atlantic Records.The Crybaby
The Crybaby is the 12th studio album by the Melvins, released in 2000 through Ipecac Recordings. It is the last part of a trilogy preceded by The Maggot & The Bootlicker. The trilogy was later released on vinyl by Ipecac Recordings (The Trilogy Vinyl. IPC-011, November 27, 2000), although "Divorced" was edited down and the last four tracks were excluded.