Ford Models Blog

Buzz Osborne Interview Special by Damien Neva
24 December 2010, 10:46
Filed under: Music, News | Tags: , , , ,

Fashion and music are inseparable. They’ve been playing off each other well before David Bowie recorded the tune “Fashion” or Duran Duran sang “Girls on Film.” With this in mind we will occasionally feature interviews with people in fashion and music that embody the qualities that we so admire. – Ford Models Blog Editor

Considering the Ford Models Blog conducted this interview in June the only compelling explanation to possibly offer for its late December appearance is that we’re in charitable mood. So this is merry Christmas, world, and to you we give this very special interview with Buzz Osborne of the Melvins — hopefully it’s the right color and fit. If you’re scratching your head wondering just what this gift is you’ve unwrapped, then please allow us. The occasion of the interview was a pair of New York shows this past summer that the Melvins played with Ipecac Records label mates Isis on the latter’s farewell tour. Rather than needlessly recount Buzz’s biography we’ll instead somewhat cautiously highlight a solitary point in the larger constellation of the Melvins mythology: Kurt Cobain was a huge fan. Although that is perhaps the least interesting footnote to their extensive history (hence our caution), it does suggest how far back the Melvins legacy and influence stretches. The Melvins story, however does not end in the early 1990s in a two-headed puppy-shaped coda (apols. Frank Kozik). In fact it hasn’t ended at all — like clockwork they’re still writing music, recording albums, and touring.

“We want to be contemporary,” levels Buzz during the interview at the Ford Models Fifth Avenue offices, “I have no interest in dwelling in the past.” With an extensive back catalog — twenty studio albums since 1987 — the Melvins could certainly be forgiven for milking their history, even slightly. That isn’t the case, however. In 2005 Buzz admits to he and drummer Dale Crover having been unhappy with their lot. Having parted ways with their bassist of the previous six albums, Kevin Rutmanis, they wanted to completely reinvent the band. To that end Buzz and Dale made a successful approach to the two-piece outfit Big Business and thus enlisted its members, bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis, into the Melvins proper. With two drummers, a guitarist, and bassist to the good, the Melvins were reinvigorated and raring to go. Three studio albums including their latest, The Bride Screamed Murder, and several tours later the newest charges have bedded in well, which hopefully for Jared and Coady isn’t an ominous sign given Buzz’s penchant for change. This latest lineup reshuffle and others over the years, Buzz insists, have been purely coincidental. But, at the same time, these changes haven’t exactly arrested the band’s development or their ability to release new records every 12 to 18 months.

At the heart of Buzz’s involvement with the Melvins, then, is an insatiable need to write songs. Plain and simple, it’s all about songs. It is his passion and one which he has had the luxury to pursue professionally without having to hold a day job since the 1980s. That he has been happily married for sixteen years to his wife and collaborator, Mackie Osborne (she’s the graphic designer behind the Melvins visual aesthetic), maintains a rigid daily schedule waking before dawn and going to bed early, and doesn’t use alcohol or drugs definitely provides the man more than a modicum of stability to make music. And make music Buzz Osborne certainly will as he has steadily done since the early 1980s. Prolificacy is one thing, but that he and the Melvins have done it at such a high level for so many years is virtually unheard of in music today and thus what makes this interview special that we bring you today. Merry Christmas, etc and so on.

The Melvins will be performing a different set every Friday in January 2011 at Club Spaceland in Silver Lake, California as a part of a special residency. For more information please visit Spaceland online.

Credits include: Publication, Ford Models Blog; Title, “Buzz Osborne Interview Special”; Subject, Buzz Osborne; Interview/text, Damien Neva; Video, Damien Neva; Photography, Damien Neva; Music, from The Bride Screamed Murder by Melvins; Special thanks, Monica Seide at Speakeasy PR.

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

Buzz Osborne of the Melvins (Photography: Damien Neva)

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great interview & photos.

Comment by Jeff

I have looped 4:16 to 4:19 and have been listening to the

“Laugh of King Buzzo” all morning. I know there is

something else I had to do today, what was it?

Comment by wister

Buzz is the real deal, and (the) Melvin’s are one of the best bands in the known universe.

Comment by Michael


Comment by Juan

Glad to see him wearing a Flynn’s Arcade TRON T-shirt…..awesome.

Comment by Mike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: