With a musical career which has spanned the best part of three decades, it is refreshing that The Melvins still manage to keep their fans on their toes.
The sludge / stoner rock band basically shaped the musical landscape for bands like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins and were pioneers of a genre in the late 80s.
Now in 2016 they are bringing a whole new spin on their brand of doom filled grunge by releasing a record which has been 15 years in the making as well as an album which features six different bass players.
Just An Insight was lucky enough to catch up with drummer Dale Crover to discuss the bands 23rd and 24th records, weirdos following weridos and the collaboration with Nirvana which never happened.
The Melvins release new records ‘Basses Loaded‘ is due out on June 3, but rather than being some clever concept for the album to be recorded with different bassist, it just feel into place.
‘Some of the songs we already had in the can already, like the tracks with Trevor Dunn and Jeff Pinkus,’ Crover explains.
‘We just realized that there were multiple bass players we had recorded with and that it would be funny to call the record ‘Basses Loaded’.
‘We stole that title from Trevor who always joked he would do a solo record called ‘Bassist Loaded.’
One of the names that really sticks out on the list of six for the new record is former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.
‘We’ve known him for a long time,’ The Melvins drummer continues.
‘We read somewhere he said he’d like to record with us sometime so we took him up on it.
‘His song is different from anything else on the record. He played accordion too, which is a first for us.’
2016 is also significant for a completely different reason, as the band unleash the long awaited Mike and The Melvins record, which is finally about to see the light of day.
The idea for ‘Three Men and a Baby‘ first came about in 1999 when Mike Kunka from godheadSilo started jamming with The Melvins , and eager to release the ‘next big thing’ into the world, Sub Pop Records decided to fund the Mike and The Melvins project.
However, for some reason it didn’t go much further than an idea. That is until April 1 of this year and the record has finally been put in the hands of music lovers everywhere.
Crover explains it was a record the band never expected to be finished..
He said: ‘We thought it would never be finished. Mike literally disappeared into the woods for years with the tapes.
‘About two years ago I get a message saying he’s digitised the tapes and asks if we want to finish it.
‘We’d forgotten most of what we’d done. The basic tracks were done and all we really needed to do was vocals.
‘Actually there is only about 15 days in the making with a looooong gap between sessions. We’re happy it did come out and think it’s a great record.’
Since the bands formation in 1983, The Melvins has been the flag bearers of a genre and it is their constant hard work that has led to their longevity.
During this time Jared Warren, Coady Willis, Dale Crover and King Buzz Osborne have built up quite the cult following, something Crover puts down to their audience being like minded to the musicians.
He adds: ‘Weirdos like to follow weirdos, I guess.
‘When we first came together we had a hard time finding anyone who wanted to put out our records. Not too many people were interested in our long haired bullshit.’
The name of The Melvins will forever be synonymous with Nirvana to which Crover says ‘Without the Melvins, Nirvana wouldn’t have existed as we know it.’
But something that seems like it will forever plague the drummer is the what if? As there were rumours of the two great bands working closely on a collaborative project.
‘We had plans to cover the first Knack record when Cobain was still around,’ added Crover.
‘We could never agree on who was going to do side one and who was going to do side two.
‘It’s disappointing to say the least.’
Even with two records out this year, The Melvins aren’t taking a break by any means. In fact they are hitting the throttle pretty hard in 2016, playing an extensive tour with Napalm Death and a headline performance at Temples Fest, in Bristol.
The band are very much ones for keeping themselves busy, and as Crover so eloquently puts it himself: ‘We like having a plan. There’s not a lot of sitting around with our thumbs up our asses waiting for shit to happen.’