I love me some Melvins. I’m blasting Stoner Witch as I write this music blurb. One of my favorite music moments was seeing Melvins in 1994, performing a fully electric inside Champaign-Urbana’s Record Swap before their real show upstairs at the infamous campus club, Mabel’s. Buzz advised the crowd, much to the horror of the staff, to “Go ahead and just steal anything you want – the label will pay for it.” Buzz has never been one to mince words or have a hard time stating his view. That’s where we meet him today.
The Onion’s A.V. Club recently gave Buzz a chance to sound off on bands that blew it. Of course, the monolithic Metallica tops his list. Buzz was quoted harshly, but politely.
“Metallica is a good example, because when their first record came out, I thought, ‘Oh, wow! This is a nice breath of fresh air.’ From the first time I saw the back cover, it was like, ‘Those guys are ugly!’ These guys aren’t winning any beauty contests. Clearasil could use that cover as an ad, and it was great. Here’s a band where people are going to remember what the heavy metal music scene was like. There were finally bands that were emerging that were against the glossy look. AC/DC was too glossy, even though most people don’t understand that. The best band along those lines was probably Judas Priest, even though they were glossier at that point than Metallica was. Still, there were bands coming out at that time called Venom and Raven that were starting to get a bit more aggressive. Then Metallica came out, and I thought they were a great marriage of what Judas Priest was doing and whatVenom was doing. It was teen angst mixed with heavy metal. What I’ve always loved about heavy metal is that it’s rebel music. Regardless of whether you like these guys, they’re pissed off. That was a total plus to me… They started off so promising and ended up so ridiculous. It’s an Elvis scenario: You give any penniless hick $1 million and they’re going to go crazy. I’m sure Metallica is surrounded by sycophant yes men who do nothing but agree with them. Nobody is there to go, ‘Guys, this is fucking horrible and you guys are acting like idiots!’ Although the new bass player has certainly been insulated from that, because he wasn’t around for some of that stuff. I met him and he was a super-nice guy. Those guys from Metallica are nice. I’m just pointing out their failures on a musical and functional level. That’s it—nothing personal.”
I think most of us agree. I’ll still love Kirk and consider him legit until the day I die. Buzz then went on to dish on the Rolling Stones.
“I said millionaires should work harder than ever, but they’re certainly not working harder on their craft. Mick Jagger decided he was going to put out those horrendous “She’s The Boss”—or whatever the fuck it was—records that were just God awful. Maybe Keith Richards should restart the New Barbarians, and call them The Even Newer Barbarians.
It’s horrendous, horrendous garbage. And the reason they’re on the list is that they went from being one of the best bands ever to whatever they are now. I still listen to that stuff. I think that stuff is unbelievable. I’m never tired of it and I never have been. Those records should be in every collection. If you don’t have Sticky Fingers, then you really don’t like rock music, because that’s where it all started.”
Not even Black Flag was bulletproof.
“Black Flag was certainly one of the biggest influences on our band of any of these bands. We were super excited about Black Flag from the beginning and then they went through this period where I thought they were unbelievable. That song “Jealous Again” is the song I want to play. They went from that to the Damagedalbum—which I thought was really great—into the My War record into Slip It In,which was unbelievable. In a matter of years they’d changed their entire direction, which made sense to me. I thought Slip It In was great and the tour was unbelievable. They’re one of the best heavy bands I’ve ever seen. To this day, it remains one of my favorite concert experiences.
The albums they’ve put out after that went from unbelievable to believable, and the shows were absolutely limp. When they got rid of Bill Stevenson as a drummer, they went from being one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen to one of the most boring in just a couple of years. So that’s how they blew it. Then they broke up, but they were really bad at the end. I thought they were fucking horrendous. I cannot listen to those last albums. I’m not into it. I like everything through Slip It In.”
Go buy some Melvins albums and in the meantime, you can read the complete article here at avclub.com
Now, this is how you do it, kids.