Ghost Cult’s Keefy caught up with Buzz Osborne of Melvins fame to discuss his new solo album Gift of Sacrifice (Ipecac Recordings) due out on August 14th, 2020. We talked to Buzz about the follow up to his solo debut, This Machine Kills Artists (2014), working with Trevor Dunn who collaborated on the album, the different approach to this new solo album, his upcoming book of photography, his golf game, the coronavirus and not being able to tour for the first time in 30 years, and some other things he is working on right now. You can order the album here https://lnk.to/KingBuzzo, and check out our podcast.
Iconic Melvins leader King Buzzo has shared his new single from his upcoming solo album, Gift of Sacrifice due out August 14th, via Ipecac Recordings. The nine-song album finds Buzz Osborne joined by longtime friend and Mr. Bungle bass player Trevor Dunn, and is his first solo album since 2014s This Machine Kills Artists (also Ipecac). Stream to “Delayed Clarity’ right now!
King Buzzo of Melvins has opted to push his forthcoming new album, Gift of Sacrifice (Ipecac Recordings), back the summertime. Originally scheduled for a May 15 release, will arrive on August 14th. Watch the new video, the video, which was created by Jesse Nieminen for the single ‘I’m Glad I Could Help Out’ Continue reading
An oft-used phrase is that a band/song feels like it’s going to fall off the cliff at any moment. Well, Aussie Hardcore punks Idylls are back once again to make your brains descend from your earholes, actively looking for the precipice, and then some, with their new album The Barn (Holy Roar). Continue reading
We’re five days into Incubate Festival and still shivering from the impressive performances of The Melvins, Girl Band and Shining. Ready to watch some more of our favorite bands and discover another handful of new ones, we once again throw ourselves into the lively heart of the city of Tilburg.
Lumerians opens our Friday night in one of the smaller rooms of the immense theatre of Tilburg. The audience has taken a comfortable seat on the wooden tribune that opposes the stage while the band plays a hypnotizing, spacey post-punk with a light 60’s sound to it. They are dressed up as monks in robes of a shimmering, glittery material and behind them play such fantastic psychedelic visuals that we’re too mesmerized to even think about dancing along.
One big bonus point that comes with having a festival bang in city center is the abundance of good food. Overpriced hamburgers and soggy fries don’t make it on to our menu during Incubate. On our way to Hall of Fame to see Grave Pleasures, we find out that, what previously had been an abandoned industrial park crossed by rusty old train tracks, suddenly houses an atmospherically lit and freely accessible food truck festival. Dinner this weekend: sorted.
When we manage to tear ourselves away from the smell of freshly ground coffee and char-grilled hamburgers, Grave Pleasures, risen from the ashes of Beastmilk, give us a theatrical and captivating performance. Their sound is edgier than before but still has that recognizable apocalyptic feel to it. For a complete change of sound, we head off to Little Devil, where Belgian Associality shows us the fun side of punk with songs about punk granddads and a man who only drinks Jupiler beer.
We’re still singing along to the chorus of the beer song when we arrive at the biggest name of the day: Converge. In a relentlessly loud performance, the hardcore punk legends live up to their name and put down one of the best shows of the week. A few hundred people are stage-diving and dancing in the pit as if their punk credentials depend on it. Frontman Jacob Bannon radiates a contagious energy as he belts out hit after hit. Sweaty and exhausted, we call it a night.
Saturday brings about a problem of an entirely different caliber. With so many different venues with each their own selection of beers on tap, we have a bit of a heavy head on our way to the first name on our list. Finnish K-X-P’s melodic, electronic sound with a definite hint of krautrock wouldn’t feel misplaced in the vaults of an abandoned Berlin power plant. However, the wooden beams, high ceilings and stained glass windows in Dudok, create a beautiful contrast to the industrial noises and ghostly sounds of the band. They put on a captivating show that calms our heads and prepares us well for the rest of the night.
Extase’s small stage and low ceiling sets the perfect vibe for a loud, no nonsense punk band and this is exactly what we get from Priests. Frontwoman Katie Alice Greer has an incredible stage presence. She parades on stage, screaming, singing and roaring in a skintight, giraffe-patterned suit and manages to give the audience a permanent death stare that would make Courtney Love green with envy. Priests gives us precisely what we go to Incubate for: seeing a relatively unknown act for the first time, who absolutely blows the patches off our jackets.
On the final day of the festival we finally have a sunny day and immediately take advantage of it to watch a show in the Muzentuin, a courtyard of the town’s art academy. We watch Surfer Blood play alternative rock with a lovely summer feel to it, before we decide it’s time to dive back into the loudness and head to Hall of Fame where the hardcore punkers from Jesus Police are tearing the stage to shreds. With so many bands playing at the same time, it’s sometimes tough to decide which ones to go and see and we may have been slightly favorable towards Jesus Police because of their name (it was a tough decision to skip Cocaine Piss later on).
Melodic post-rockers The Black Heart Rebellion whip us up into a Seventies progressive rock infused dream as they close the night in a ram packed Little Devil. With the imprint of the happy, sweaty faces of the crowd still in the back of our minds, we dash back to Midi to catch the second half of Wire, who have called upon about twenty guitarists from other bands at the festival to join them on stage. In a haze of perfectly orchestrated noise, they temporarily form The Pink Flag Orchestra and perform their 1977 debut album song ‘Pink Flag’ in a playful and legendary conclusion of the festival.
We cool off outside, still a little high from Wire’s brilliant performance, and convince ourselves that, yes, we still have enough spirit and adrenaline to make it to the after party in Extase. Chief Developer of Incubate Joost Heijthuijsen is one of the DJ’s, so within an hour of arrival we are part of a long conga line and attempt to dance to German schlager music. What a way to end a festival! The next day we hear that Neneh Cherry, who closed the festival in the Muzentuin on Sunday, was apparently part of that conga line and had a great time at the after party. She’s 51 years old and we had to agree she definitely beat us all at being the coolest person at the festival that night.
WORDS BY CÉLINE HUIZER
The first rainy, windy days of September blow in independent music festival Incubate. But you won’t catch us trotting through muddy fields while drinking beer from plastic cups, because this art, music and theatre festival takes place in the lively heart of Tilburg city. Notoriously home to Roadburn Festival, Tilburg proves there’s more to it than just its large music venue 013. Amongst the venues used during Incubate are a church, an old cinema, a theatre and a skate park, alongside a range of bars scattered throughout the town. Each of the bars stick to their own theme; for instance Paradox has mainly jazz and avant-garde artists while Extase is the place to be for rock and psychedelic. Our home base for the week was Little Devil, the infamous metal and punk den of Tilburg.
Being a seven-day-long marathon of a festival, Incubate offers an impressive program. Every day you can pick from an incredible range of things to do: you can participate in the music quiz, watch a theatre performance, visit an art exhibition, see a film, do a beer brewing masterclass and hopefully you’ll still have time to watch your favorite bands perform. During the week, the music program doesn’t start until six so there’s plenty of time to explore the town and the entire culture Incubate brings with it.
But in the end, music is what we came here for and we didn’t have to wait long for the first excitement to creep in. Punk legends The Melvins played two exclusive shows this week, the first one rolling in on Tuesday. Big Business members Jared Warren and Coady Willis once more joined Dale Crover and King Buzzo for a loud and mesmerizing show at Midi, a former cinema where the comfy red seats are still visible stacked up behind the bar. We wish we could’ve been floating over the stage just so we could constantly watch the drummers captivatingly mirroring each other on a fused double drum set. As Jared Warren leaves the room after ending the last song with a hypnotizing “So long, we’ll never see you again”, Dale Crover pipes up to the microphone, singing “Until tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s another show, tomorrow, it’s only a day-,” Yeah, we were all guilty of singing along.
Trying to ignore the lingering realization it is a Tuesday, we pay a late night visit to Dudok and stumble right into Irish post-punk/noise act Girl Band. On the top floor of a former Catholic school, holy figures watch down on us from the stained glass windows as we try to catch a glimpse of singer Dara Kiely through the haze of legs kicking through the air. He’s suffering from a torn ligament and is determined to make up for his lack of running around, which means we mostly has view of an erratically shaking head of blond hair. Despite the religious feel to the location, Girl Band brings about an almost demonic amount of noise. Had it been up to Kiely, he would’ve crowd-surfed right with us in his wheelchair.
The best things at Incubate always happen when you get sidetracked from your plans because you accidentally run into something else. On our way into town to see Dead Neanderthals, we pass the Hall of Fame. This venue is set in a large old building next to abandoned train tracks, which nowadays houses the town’s indoor skate park. After dragging ourselves away from watching the skaters go on with their day as if Incubate is a film playing in the background, we end up in a backroom where Belgian hardcore punkers Daggers are creating the musical equivalent of a Molotov cocktail. In an explosion of noise and distortion, they took our after-dinner apathy and kicked it right up our ass.
Still experiencing aftershocks from the deafening volume in the Hall of Fame, we ended up at the old cinema again, where Dead Neanderthals were tasked with curating the Thursday. They had invited UK noise rockers Three Trapped Tigers to open the night and Norwegian blackjazzers (is that even a word?) Shining to end with a bang. Their own show is nothing less than a wall of sound. Just layer over layer of noise. We hear dark jazz, some metal, some industrial, and all of it blends neatly into a ball of pure awesomeness. When their set is finished, we overhear a guy saying: “Wow, now there’s noise and there is noise.” Sums it up, really.
Shining shows us exactly how sexy metal can be. Frontman Jørgen Munkeby almost makes you forget there’s an entire band behind him. The rawness in Shining is by now far gone and their music is so rhythmic it’s nearly impossible to stand still and look cool. From the hairstyles and matching black outfits to the technical precision with which all the instruments collide, everything is razor sharp and ever so slick. They put up a theatrical and energetic performance in which Munkeby and his saxophone often take the spotlight. Loud and in your face but, man, so super, super smooth.
In a haze of sweat and with our hearts still beating in Shining tunes, we stumble outside, only to land in the middle of a gathering. An unplanned gathering, that is. It happens a lot at Incubate. In front of every venue, people meet in the streets. Not only is the entire Tilburg music scene present at the festival, so are a lot of people who only see each other every year at Incubate (and maybe Roadburn). Meeting new people is easy, as “wow, what a show” seems to elicit reactions from pretty much everyone present outside, regardless of the show. It’s hard to think it’s only Thursday and the main part of the festival hasn’t even begun yet. But sleep is for the weak, and the Little Devil doesn’t plan on closing at midnight.
WORDS BY CÉLINE HUIZER
The Melvins released The Bulls & The Bees/Electroretard split album this week on Ipecac Recordings. Both albums from two different configurations of the venerable band, representing all 13 songs on one CD. You can hear ‘Youth of America’ below:
1.The War On Wisdom
2. We Are Doomed
3. Friends Before Larry
4. A Really Long Wait
5. National Hamster
6. Shit Storm
7. Youth Of America
8. Gluey Porch Treatments
11. Lovely Butterflies
12. Tipping The Lion
13. Intersteller Overdrive
The Bulls & The Bees Line Up:
Electroretard Line Up:
The Melvins released Hold It In (Ipecac) last October and features Osborne and Crover joined by JD Pinkus and Paul Leary (album only) of Butthole Surfers. This lineup is kicking off an extensive tour this weekend in Tuscon, AZ with Le Buttcherttes opening. This run of dates will take the band into their scheduled European dates in September. Notable dates on the tour include The Amnesia Rockfest in Quebec, Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle and a two night stint at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg, NL.
The Melvins tour dates, with Le Butcherettes
Jun 6 Club Congress- Tucson, AZ
Jun 7 Lowbrow Palace- El Paso, TX
Jun 9 Korova- San Antonio, TX
Jun 10 The Mohawk – Austin, TX
Jun 11 Trees- Dallas, TX
Jun 12 Opolis – Norman, OK
Jun 14 The Bottleneck- Lawrence, KS
Jun 15 The Firebird= St. Louis, MO
Jun 16 The Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI
Jun 17 DTE Energy Music Theater (w/System of a Down) – Clarkston, MI
Jun 18 A&R Music Bar – Columbus, OH
Jun 19/20 Amnesia Rockfest – Montebello, QC, Canada (no Le Butcherettes)
Jun 22 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON, Canada
Jun 23 Call The Office – London, ON, Canada
Jun 25 The Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
Jun 26 The Westcott Theater – Syracuse, NY
Jun 27 Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
Jun 28 The Ballroom at the Outer Space – Hamden, CT
Jun 29 Santos Party House – New York, NY
Jun 30 Santos Party House – New York, NY
Jul 1 Underground Arts- Philadelphia, PA
Jul 2 Ottobar- Baltimore, MD
Jul 3 Cat’s Cradle- Carrboro, NC
Jul 5 Exit In- Nashville, TN
Jul 6 Mercury Ballroom – Louisville, KY
Jul 7 The Vogue Theatre- Indianapolis, IN
Jul 8 Double Door – Chicago, IL
Jul 9 High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
Jul 10 RIBCO – Rock Island, IL
Jul 11 BASH 15 at Grumpy’s Downtown w/ COWZ, Hammerhead,
Gay Witch Abortion – Minneapolis, MN
Jul 12 The Aquarium – Fargo, ND
Jul 13 The District- Sioux Falls, SD
Jul 14 The Waiting Room- Omaha, NE
Jul 16 Aggie Theatre – Ft. Collins, CO
Jul 17 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
Jul 18 Taos Mesa Brewing – Taos, NM
Jul 19 The Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
Jul 21 Crescent Ballroom- Phoenix, AZ
Aug 26 Pappy and Harriet’s- Pioneertown, CA
Aug 27 Casbah – San Diego, CA
Aug 28 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
Aug 29 The Bunkhouse Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
Aug 30 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 1 Neurolux – Boise, ID
Sept 3 The Bartlett – Spokane, WA
Sept 5 Venue – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sept 6 Bumbershoot Festival – Seattle, WA
Sept 7 Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
Sept 9 Great American Music Hall- San Francisco, CA
2015 European Tour
Sept 15 Midi Theater Incubate Festival- Tilburg, NL
Sept 16 Midi Theater Incubate Festival- Tilburg, NL
Sept 18 Le Chabada (Levitation France Festival)Angers, France
Sept 19 Le Bataclan – Paris, France
The Melvins have announced their new album Hold It In, to be released this fall on Ipecac. The first new album from the group since 2010’s The Bride Screams Murder features a new configuration of the band. Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover are joined now by famed Butthole Surfers Paul Leary and JD Pinkus. Hold it in was recorded between Los Angeles, where Buzz resides and Austin TX.
In an upcoming recent interview conducted with Ghost Cult, Buzz remarked that the yet to be announced Melvins project would be “like nothing anyone has ever heard from us”.
In a further quote from the press release Buzz chimes in further:
“Hold It In is a refreshing piece of fiction in a boring world of fact and bullsh*t,” said Osborne. “Paul is one of the best guitar players I have ever heard and Pinkus has an outside the box type of approach to both guitar and bass that you just have to let it ride. I can’t believe this actually happened. I’m thrilled.”
“It’s very rare you get a chance to work with three folks from the ‘Break A Wish’ foundation, all at the same time,” said Pinkus. “I believe they’ll remember their experience with me forever (or until they finally all lose their fight with S.I.D.S).”
The Melvins kick off a round of U.S. tour dates on Oct. 15 in Sacramento at Assembly, which also includes a performance at this year’s Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. Osborne, Crover and Pinkus will be the touring roster for this run of dates.
October 15 Sacramento, CA Assembly
October 17 Bellingham, WA Wild Buffalo House of Music
October 18 Seattle, WA The Showbox
October 19 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
October 21 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
October 22 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brewing
October 23 Los Angeles, CA The Troubadour
October 24 San Diego, CA The Casbah
October 25 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom
October 26 Albuquerque, NM The Launchpad
October 28 Dallas, TX Trees
October 29 Austin, TX Mohawk
October 30 Houston, TX Warehouse Live – Studio
October 31 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Fest
November 1 Pensacola, FL Vinyl Music Hall
November 2 Gainesville, FL The Wooly
November 3 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit’s
November 4 Orlando, FL The Social
November 5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL The Culture Room
November 6 Tampa, FL Orpheum Theater
November 8 Atlanta, GA The Loft at Center Stage
November 9 Birmingham, AL Zydeco
Tickets are on sale this Friday, Aug. 1 at 10 am local time.
Osborne is currently touring in support of his debut acoustic album, This Machine Kills Artists, performing shows this week in Tucson (July 30 at Club Congress) and Palm Springs (July 31 at Pappy & Harriet’s) before heading to Australia and Europe for an additional six weeks of dates. Crover temporarily joins OFF! for the band’s August tour.
The Melvins on Facebook
There are few true iconoclasts in heavy music like King Buzzo. Of course, if you tell him that personally, he scoffs at the notion, perhaps even poo-pooing the weight of his impact in nearly thirty years of exciting fans, confounding critics and the like with his music. Obviously Buzz Osborne is known for his masterworks with the many incarnations of The Melvins (which he will at least acknowledge begins and ends with him). Arriving at the venue early to interview Buzz, he was mellow and cool as hell. Really humble to the last. Also at the venue early was Tim Bugbee, a concert photo and music journalist I look up to very much. It was cool talking shop, chatting with him and his wife all night. Check out Tim’s work.
Since I got done with the interview early I headed to grab some grub and a brew or three at my local BBQ spot in the neighborhood. By the time I got back in the venue, it was starting to fill up, although that would take some time. Despite The Melvins popularity and cred, its kind of hard to predict how full the crowd would be for a show like this on a weekday. Sauntering over to the merch table I spotted Brian Walsby selling merch and his own hand drawn wares. For those not in the know from graphic novels, Brian is author of Manchild, has done artwork for The Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity among others, played some drums in a few punk bands and has a cute daughter to take care of these days. Brian is a phenomenal artist, and has a unique POV story telling-style, and has done a fair share of music journalism via his work too. Please check him out and buy his stuff, it’s killer!
Showtime was upon us and opener was Boston native Mary Halvorson. Her amazing solo-guitar performance brought out her own fans on this night, including one rabid kid at the front who was basking in her twangy glory. She played it cool, and played a set of interesting covers, mostly Jazz and Americana type track from what I could tell. Using the guitar not just as an instrument, but as an emotional foil for the source material, she is a master. Her between song, self-effacing banter was hysterical. I stood for most of the performance next to her mom, who was totally stoked and entranced as the rest of us were. If you love outside of the box thinking, and great guitar work in general, please do yourself a favor and check Mary out!
After Buzz’s tour manager set up the stage (an incognito Dave from Unsane), Buzzo hit the stage casually with the lights up. Got himself together and ready to play and scanned the audience. Stepping in to his familiar stage walk, a gait akin to how a monster stalks his prey, Buzz started the jam the familiar first notes of ‘Boris”. The crowd immediately picked up on this, let out a whoop, and sang a long. There was even some rigorous headbanging, but no moshing tonight. Lots of bro smiles in the front and confuzzled looking girlfriends. Is Buzz unplugged girlfriend metal? I hope not. Meanwhile the man was up on stage doing his usual thing, just quieter. His playing immaculate, the acoustic holding nothing back as he roamed the stage between verses. I am a massive Alice Cooper fan and so is he, so it was no surprise that ‘The Ballad of Dwight Fry’ was next. He would later joke that we all better have known what that song was, and it seemed like people in the house tonight were fans, and had a clue. Alternating between some Melvins gems from across his career and his new solo album ‘This Machine Kills Artists’ (Ipecac), he constructed a killer set, full of twists and turns.
About a third of the way through the set Buzz took a break to tell a story and he joked with the audience about which story to tell. When he settled on a “Mike Patton” story, he then had to decide which one to tell, since he apparently has many. What followed next was one of the funniest tales I’ve ever heard. I’d relay it here, but I could never do the delivery justice. You will need to see Buzz on tour and maybe you’ll hear it.
Settling back into the music newer tracks like ‘Drunken Baby’ and The Melvins ‘Evil New War God’ meshed well, and in general it was just killer to hear this presentation of these songs. During another break, he made jokes about himself, touring, and imitated his wife picking on him pre-tour about the pretentiousness of doing a solo-acoustic tour. Classic. Ending the night with a spirited closing set of Melvins tunes, ‘We Are Doomed‘,
‘Hooch‘,‘Revolve‘, Buzz closed it out in rousing fashion. It was a really fun time and an interesting look into the mind of a genius, in a way we never have before.
King Buzzo Set List:
Story break #1
Story break #2
Enigmatic. Abrasive. Obtuse. Confounding. Musical genius. A creative juggernaut. There are some compliments that serve as heaps of false praise from the fakery of the music industry machine, and there are some that need to be taken to heart. When the latter is true, you know we are discussing true artists and most conventional thinking can be left at the door. Whom we are discussing is Buzz Osborne, and what we have described is his 30-plus year career making music, mostly with The Melvins. Never short on imagination, the prolific King Buzzo in this guise thrills us all these year later on his new acoustic masterwork and first true solo album, This Machine Kills Artists (Ipecac).
Although it may seem odd for a guy on the surface who has built a career on obnoxiously loud, often experimental, over-driven guitar work, like everything in Buzz’s story; the truth has a way of sneaking up on you. At the heart of this idea is this: a great written song will work in any musical guise, and Buzz has always been a master at song craft. These unpretentious songs are not little ditty’s to be harmonized around the campfire like ‘Kumbaya’. They are as menacing, uncomfortable, and interesting as anything in The Melvins catalog. From the lead track ‘Dark Brown Teeth’ through out the final notes, Buzz takes the listener on a journey through his mind. A scary place sometimes, true, but weirdly comforting too. Tracks like ‘Rough Democracy’, ‘Drunken Baby’ and ‘New River’ are flawlessly played. These songs are not lacking for riffs either, with a lot of baddass licks on display. When Buzz does add his backing tracks, he takes the kind of care cleverness you have come to expect from him.
Then let’s talk about vocals. Coming off as rough and ethereal as ever, this presentation adds a sorrowful deepness, with a triumphant delivery that will over-power you. The wistfulness of some of the lyrics like on ‘Drunken Baby’, ‘The Vulgar Joke’, ‘How I Became Offensive’, and ‘Useless King of The Punks’ may have various meanings to Buzz, but they stirred my soul listening to them.
There have been some similar albums like this one of quality lately, but This Machine Kills Artists has raised the bar. As he has done at every stop in his career, Buzz will continue to inspire, frighten, and change.
KEITH (KEEFY) CHACHKES