4 decades of MELVINS: How a weird band from Washington changed heavy music forever | Revolver

4 decades of MELVINS: How a weird band from Washington changed heavy music forever

Mike Patton: "They are a genre unto themselves"
Melvins cover story lead image 1600x900 Adam Jones , Adam Jones
photograph by Adam Jones

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The end of the road is never exactly the end for the Melvins. It's Halloween weekend back home in Los Angeles, and showtime is still five hours away on this final night of the band's third U.S. tour of 2022. Melvins mastermind Buzz Osborne is already thinking about next year — and taking their heavily amped walls of noise and melody on another round of gigs and recording sessions, in time to mark their 40th year as a band.

"We do 40 shows. We play for 40 minutes. It's 40 bucks to get in," Osborne says with a laugh, an explosion of gray curls piled high and wide above his impish joker's grin. The singer-guitarist isn't serious (or is he?), and as he sits with the band backstage at the Lodge Room, the man reveals nothing about how the Melvins will actually celebrate this inexplicable, monumental anniversary beyond the usual hundred or more shows they play every year, virtually without fail.

Whatever form they will take in 2023, concerts are being booked. But after tonight's show, Osborne is planning a little time off. He will return home to his wife, Mackie, and their dogs. He will sleep in his own bed for a while, and his travels will go no further than the golf course. He will be King Buzzo at rest.


Four decades is a lot of history to grapple with, and during that time about a dozen musicians and collaborators have come and gone (bass players, mostly), serving alongside the Melvins' core duo of Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, lifetime creative partners. Tonight's set in this 100-year-old dance hall and former Masonic Lodge will span a bit of that history, from 1989's slamming "Oven" to songs off their newest album, Bad Mood Rising, including the sludgy 14-minute opening track, "Mr. Dog Is Totally Right."

"Let me dream for a second," says Steven Shane McDonald, Melvins' bassist since 2016, long hair past his shoulders. He then offers his own unserious proposal for that anniversary. "What about Aberdeen in 2023, and we have all 10 of your bass players onstage?"

Crover calls that "a little Spinal Tap-ish." And Buzzo jokes that McDonald should just play a set of songs in the styles of each former bassist himself. It's not the craziest idea Osborne ever had.

The original Melvins emerged from the Pacific Northwest at the beginning of the Eighties, a trio of teenage rockers exploring the sonic universe from the middle of nowhere. They began life as a speedy hardcore-punk band, before evolving into something heavier. Largely inspired by early Black Sabbath and side two of Black Flag's My War album, they slowed down and cranked up.

By the end of that first decade, their slabs of sound were unhurried and unstoppable, a musical style as timeless and elemental as Motörhead, Slayer or the Ramones. There have been wild experiments along the way, veering in unexpected directions, but the Melvins will always be credited (and blamed) for inspiring the Nineties grunge explosion that launched Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and more from the clubs and streets of Seattle.

"We're much weirder than the bands that sold millions of records out of that. But things that I was involved in — and the way I thought music should work — helped change things completely on a global level," says Buzzo. "That's the facts. I wasn't wrong then. I'm not wrong now."

The Melvins are now one of the last bands standing from that generation, and they're still operating at full power. Buzzo stalks stages like a high priest in a custom muumuu covered in evil eyeballs and Crover pounds the drums with gloved fists — still an inspiring marvel to witness after all these years.

"The Melvins have their own sound and it's relentless. They pummel you," says Faith No More singer Mike Patton, another musical daredevil and sometime collaborator, and the co-founder of Ipecac Recordings. "When people try to describe the Melvins or compare them to someone else they always fail. They are a genre unto themselves."


THE 1980S
The Melvins' story begins in the small town of Montesano, Washington, "Monte" to locals, where 12-year-old Buzz Osborne discovered the ways of hard rock through the songs of Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and KISS in the mid-Seventies. He was a recent transplant from the even tinier hamlet of Morton, with a population of barely more than a thousand residents. Osborne felt like an outcast, the stranger with unruly hair and attitude.

"Some people would say he was kind of an outsider," remembers his friend Mike Dillard, who knew Osborne in high school and would become the Melvins' first drummer. "He looked different than what other kids did. He didn't do what everybody else did. I just instantly gravitated towards him."

Osborne's musical horizons expanded with the help of Creem magazine, which introduced him to punk rock. He liked what he saw and mail-ordered albums from subversive, snarling acts like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. "I simply bought those records because of the way they looked," he says now. And from there he discovered essential protopunk acts like the Stooges and the MC5. Osborne shared both his love of punk and passionate distaste for Montesano with another younger local kid named Kurt Cobain. Buzz would share his Creem mags and later take Cobain to his first Black Flag show, which just might have altered the course of the future Nirvana leader's entire life.

"That's where Cobain and all of us were from," Osborne told Revolver in 2021. "It was hopeless. I have no fond memories of it, none of the good-old-days stuff. It was nothing but a hellish nightmare for all of us." Cultivating an acerbic, offbeat sense of humor was an early coping mechanism. ("We have a very, very dark sense of humor. As did Cobain. Cobain had one of the darkest senses of humor of anybody I've ever known.") But when Osborne picked up a guitar at age 17, playing music became the ultimate release.

In those early '80s days, he would often jam with friends in a little room above Dillard's garage. "Very, very primitive," says the drummer. Matt Lukin joined on bass, and by 1983 they were a fully functional punk trio, playing shows in nearby Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. Osborne wrote original songs from the beginning.

Their initial mission was to play as fast and furious as they possibly could. They called themselves the Melvins, named after the manager of a local Thriftway grocery store where Dillard and Osborne worked. He went by Pete, "but his real name was Melvin," says Dillard.

The Melvins eventually pooled what little money they'd earned from playing shows and drove out to a small studio in Olympia to record some songs (released decades later as Mangled Demos.) "The studio we went to was a couple of beer hippies from Olympia," recalls Dillard. "We just burned through our set. I'm sure they were happy to see us leave."

That same year, the Melvins performed at the Elks Lodge in Aberdeen, at a talent show hosted by the town's radio station. A recording of the broadcast that night documents the moment a couple of goofy on-air hosts prepared listeners for the noisy band about to play: "They're tuning up ... We've got some pretty high-powered electronics floating around this room. ... I'm getting frightened. ... I have a hunch we're about to get our sinuses cleared." There's also a brief moment of teenage Buzz being interviewed, impatient to rock.

Crover lived in Aberdeen, so he was there too. He didn't know Buzz or the Melvins. Outside of watching the Ramones in Rock 'n' Roll High School, Crover had never seen a punk band perform. "It was great because they played really fast," he says. "There were no breaks in between their songs. And when the guy on the radio tried to talk, they just went right into another song."

That same night Osborne also got to see Crover's cover band play the hits: Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," Loverboy's "The Kid Is Hot Tonight," Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast." Osborne watched with mixed emotions but noticed Crover behind the drumkit. "I remember thinking, This band is horrendous, but that kid's really good."

They were formally introduced by their mutual friend, Krist Novoselic, an especially tall bass player that worked at Taco Bell (and would eventually go on to conquer the world in Nirvana). When Dillard began drifting toward other interests, Osborne pulled Crover into the Melvins


Mosh pits were receptive to their brand of aggression, but Osborne's songwriting was evolving. "I switched to something along the lines of what I felt was missing in music," he says. "It was slower and weirder — more of a Captain Beefheart-meets-heavy metal vibe."

In 1986, the Melvins attempted their first U.S. tour, packing up a 1972 Dodge van, and the slow, sludgier songs were not happily received. "People still wanted to hear superfast hardcore," says Crover. "We went down to Florida and had to deal with skinheads. Going back down there in '89 … all those people had long hair. It took them a few years to catch up, I guess."

Osborne finally felt like he landed on the sound forming in his head with "Eye Flys," the opening track on the Melvins' debut album, 1987's Gluey Porch Treatments (which was released on San Francisco-based Alchemy Records). The song is over six minutes of noise, beats and aggression, with Osborne's surreal madman growl: "I lay like you/I feel the same/Eye flys like you/In touch between."

Working on that first album as executive producer was Victor Hayden, a onetime member of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band who was better known as the Mascara Snake. "He saw immediately the potential of what we were doing," says Osborne. "He was the first person. He was like, 'That is really good.'"

Osborne left the Pacific Northwest for San Francisco, inspired by a new relationship with Lori Black, bassist for the punk band Clown Alley. She called herself "Lorax," and was the daughter of '30s child star Shirley Temple. Crover soon followed, but Lukin was left behind. (Within a year, Lukin co-founded the explosive Mudhoney.) Before Crover left town, he sat in on some Nirvana sessions with his friends Cobain and Novoselic. Three of those tracks would appear on Nirvana's debut, Bleach, in 1989.

In San Francisco, the Melvins were resurrected as Buzzo, Crover and Black, and were welcomed in ways they'd never experienced further north. They played shows at The Covered Wagon, and connected with a supportive local record company, Boner Records. The alternative scene was just beginning to take off up in Seattle, but Osborne never looked back.

What followed were three albums in quick succession, starting with 1989's Ozma, which established the Melvins' reputation for possessing a new and ominous sound — colliding the heaviest metal with an uncompromising punk ethos. Many songs on Ozma were under two minutes, but left a lasting impression with downtuned guitars, relentless beats and upstrokes on bass from Lorax that helped lock in Osborne's weird time signatures.

"She could do it and that says a lot," Osborne tells Revolver today. "There's a lot of guys that we played with who would have a hard time with that stuff. It was right at the edge of what all of us were capable of doing. I was writing wacky stuff that was out of the middle of nowhere."

THE 1990S
The nineties is when the Melvins brought their weirdness to the world at large. It was a prolific, highly successful era in which Buzz and Co.'s creative output cemented their legacy as alternative-music heroes. And that all started with 1991's Bullhead.

Fittingly, the Melvins' third studio album kicked off with a massive eight-minute-plus statement. "Boris" opened with a creeping, heavy riff and Crover's prominent, chopping beats — sounding as bleak as Sabbath at their scariest and as bizarre as a David Lynch film. What Buzzo was singing about is anyone's guess.

Before he was in Mastodon, singer-bassist Troy Sanders first heard Bullhead after guitarist Brent Hinds shared a copy. He was converted for life. "I've always been especially attracted to raw, dirty, hairy, unpolished, rock & roll," he says. "I just recognized that they were carving their own unique path."


When the Melvins began recording Lysol, Black was not in the band, replaced by Joe Preston. Songs were organized on the release not as individual tracks but as one continuous piece of music. The final song is "With Teeth," featuring deliberate, muscular drumbeats that left a mark.

"That's where Dale's drumming style really shines," says Coady Willis, drummer for Big Business and, later, the Melvins. "There's this tension where it feels like he's just waiting until the last possible second to smash these drums. And when that beat finally hits, it just destroys you."

When the Lysol company objected to use of its registered trademark, the 1992 album was eventually redubbed Melvins and later repackaged as Lice-All. That same year, the Melvins dropped a trio of solo EPs in the style of the solo records KISS released in 1978. Likewise, each Melvins EP cover had the face of Osborne, Crover or Preston (who was destined to be the Melvins' bassist for just one year).

By now, the scene in Seattle had exploded into the mainstream, led by their old friends Nirvana, and the music of the Melvins was rightfully credited as hugely influential on the grunge movement. Osborne and Crover were first to deliver a particular brand of sludge. They were also part of a continuum of raging underground rock known to generations of outsiders and misfits, stretching from the Stooges and the MC5 to Black Flag and Sonic Youth.

The Melvins watched the grunge explosion from afar — at first from San Francisco and later from Los Angeles (the latter of which remains their home to this day) — but it hardly mattered that they were no longer based in the rock & roll hotspot of the moment. Their old friend Cobain openly championed them, just as major labels desperately searched for their own lucrative grunge ambassadors. They got nearly 20 offers, including from labels that had previously turned them down. The Melvins signed to Atlantic and were given total freedom.

"I want to be on the same label as the Stones and Led Zeppelin and Aretha Franklin," says Osborne. "The ironic nature of all that makes total sense to me."

Cobain signed up to produce. It was his first time in that role, and he knew enough to lean toward the Steve Albini approach, looking more to capture the band's sound rather than shape it. "I think he came into it thinking, OK, I like this band. I don't really want to fuck with what they do musically," says Crover. Even so, Cobain was clearly distracted by drug issues and the demands of his own band, and barely completed recording half of the songs before the Melvins moved on without him.

That first Atlantic album, Houdini, remains their best-selling release, a grunge-era epic stretching from the quiet-loud-quiet pummeling of "Lizzy" to the whiplash riffing on "Honey Bucket," as Osborne rages in a gibberish tongue. Sessions were scattered across studios in San Francisco and Seattle, producers coming and going. Lorax had returned briefly to the Melvins, but even Buzzo is uncertain whether she is on the final album. "That record was made in pieces and kind of all over the place," Osborne says now. "Most of that's me and Dale."

Lorax was gone from the Melvins by the time Houdini came out in 1993. Her substance issues were a distraction, but not the reason, Osborne says. Their romance had ended. "I would never have kicked her out because of her health issues. When me and her weren't an item anymore, it just became obvious that wasn't going to work," he explains. "She played on great records. I learned a lot from her. The good times were more than the bad times."

That same year as Houdini's release, Gene Simmons from KISS wore a "Melvins Army" T-shirt designed to look like the KISS Army logo at a magazine photo shoot. Soon after, the singer-bassist joined the Melvins at the Hollywood Palladium. Together, they played the bottom-heavy 1974 KISS song "Going Blind," which the Melvins covered on Houdini. The performance shook the old dance hall as Simmons and Buzzo roared: "You're much younger, can't you see?/There is nothing more for you and I/I'm ninety-three, you're sixteen/And I think I'm goin' blind!"

"If you told me when I was a kid that something like that would happen I would never have believed it," says Osborne. The Melvins have remained friends with Simmons and KISS singer-guitarist Paul Stanley ever since. "Those guys have only ever been totally nice to me. They have not been the rock-star fuck-heads that a lot of other lower-level jerk-offs have been to me."

Osborne and Crover appeared on MTV's Headbangers Ball in 1993 to talk up Houdini. Host Riki Rachtman wanted to know: "How many bass players have you had in this band?"

"Uh, a lot," Osborne answered, clad in a Blondie T-shirt, his hair a globe of dark curls. Buzz held up a snapshot of their new bassist, Mark Deutrom, notably absent, and explained, "This time we got a guitar player to play bass, because we realized that bass players are inherently dumb." He was joking (probably).


Deutrom was their 10-gallon-hat-wearing bassist for the next few years, but he already had a history with the band, producing and engineering their first two albums, Gluey Porch Treatments and Ozma. (He was also co-founder of Alchemy Records, which released Gluey.) He joined Osborne and Crover on their next Atlantic album, Stoner Witch, long a favorite of true believers. It was recorded at A&M Studios in Los Angeles.

"It was the same studio that the Stones recorded in," Crover says, still marveling. "U2 recorded The Joshua Tree in the same room we recorded Stoner Witch in. It's funny to think about."

The band's third and final Atlantic album was Stag. It opens with "The Bit," Crover building a mysterious ringing tone on sitar, leading into Buzzo's growling riff. For the future members of Mastodon, Stag was unforgettable, and the band recorded their own studio version of "The Bit" for a Record Store Day release.

"Stag came out and really blew my mind," Sanders remembers. "When the four of us in Mastodon met in the first week of the year 2000, one of the few questions that we asked before we got in a room to jam was: 'Do you respect and love the Melvins?' All four of us said, 'Absolutely.'"

Sanders says he once had a vivid, memorable dream of being a member of the Melvins, and in 2008 it came true when the Melvins joined Mastodon for "The Bit" during their encore at All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, England. "We're playing this song and the crowd is going ape," Sanders says. "In my mind, I'm losing it, but I'm trying to be solid player. We're jamming with the Melvins right now in front of people. Let's do this! I remember turning around realizing, holy shit, this is a literal dream come true. For this three-and-a-half minutes, I'm in the Melvins."

The Melvins ended the Nineties with a new musical home. In 1998, Osborne began moonlighting in Fantômas, a new band with the all-star cast of singer Mike Patton, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Amazingly, this promising new act got an especially insulting rejection from a prominent indie hard-rock label. Patton and his manager, Greg Werckman, were incensed enough to create their own record company for the album called Ipecac Recordings.

Osborne immediately wanted the Melvins to be part of it. He also wanted to immediately release three albums in rapid succession: The Maggot, The Bootlicker and The Crybaby. Ipecac has released most Melvins projects ever since.

"When the Melvins asked to be part of Ipecac, before we launched, it instantly made it a real record label," says Patton. "Of course, the first thing they requested was that we help them commit career suicide by releasing three albums in one year. We happily agreed — 23 years later they are still very much alive."

THE 2000S
"My job is to not be normal," says Buzz Osborne, and he's good at it. Nearly two decades into their career, the Melvins showed no signs of slowing down as they kept adding strange new layers to their story.

The band recorded two albums with former Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra: Never Breathe What You Can't See and Sieg Howdy! The San Francisco punk pioneer hadn't worked regularly with a band in many years, and the Melvins admired his history and stand against music censorship.

"We felt like he should be in a band and playing," says Crover. "We spent a lot of long hours working on stuff. Practices would be super long because half of them would be just bullshitting the whole time. He likes to talk; we like to talk. We never really worked with anybody quite like that before. It was pretty interesting."

Biafra is also an insomniac, so their sessions would begin in the afternoons at the earliest. The Melvins spent the rest of those days working with another unexpected collaborator, electronic musician and experimental composer Lustmord. Colliding sludge and dark ambient waves, the result was 2004's brooding epic Pigs of the Roman Empire.

In 2005, they parted ways with their bassist Kevin Rutmanis, who had been Deutrom's replacement since the late-Nineties but had started slipping deeper into substance-abuse issues. Though traumatic, Rutmanis credits his forced exit with saving his life. With his departure, Crover and Osborne were wary of adding a new face yet again, so their attitude going forward changed. "Basically, we want to have an open relationship," Crover explains. Osborne adds: "We're not getting mired down ever again with one guy."


After a rare break from active touring, the Melvins took another left turn: absorbing the metal duo Big Business into the band. Singer-bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis joined in 2006.

In the final days of Nirvana, Buzz says the Melvins had talked with Dave Grohl about a dual-drum collab that "was supposed to be on the Stoner Witch album." That never came together, but Big Business fit right in with their own frazzled walls of sound. In the double-drum setup, Willis and Crover played in tandem or layered their beats, depending on the song. Because Willis is left-handed, and Crover is right-handed, onstage they were often a thundering mirror image of each other.

"I don't think they've ever been afraid of anything creatively," says Willis. "They are pretty fearless in that realm. Once they decide on doing something, they jump right in and they do it, and they don't look back."

Big Business made four full albums with the Melvins, starting with (A) Senile Animal in 2006. And on the road, the longtime Melvins fans within Big Business dove headfirst into the depths of the band's huge catalog. But some mysteries remained forever unsolved.

"I had questions, and people I knew had questions, about lyrics. Like, 'What's he saying?'" reveals Warren, often called on to sing backup on the classic material. "I never got a straight answer about what the lyrics were. There's a bunch of songs that are notorious for sounding like he's making up words. I was never told any different, so I just sang the made-up words I thought he was singing and that was that."

THE 2010S
The Melvins stretched forward and backward during the 2010s. They toured as Melvins Lite with Trevor Dunn on acoustic double-bass and pulled him into one of Buzzo's craziest ideas yet: touring all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) in 51 days in 2012. They launched from Alaska and closed in Honolulu, a colossal challenge of routing and endurance.

Buzz and Dale also reconvened with the band's original drummer, Mike Dillard, who had remained close with them over the years. As Melvins 1983, the new trio was described by Osborne as a project "as close to the original lineup as we're willing to get." Working around Dillard's vacation days from his job as a machinist in Washington, they began recording new music — Dillard on drums and Crover on bass — so far releasing 2013's Tres Cabrones and 2021's Working With God. "The fact that [Buzz] brought me back into the fold was an amazing thing for me," says Dillard. "I honestly couldn't believe it."

After nearly a decade, the band's time with Big Business concluded without angst or even much of a discussion. Warren and Willis were told the Melvins were going to tour with McDonald the following year, which didn't seem out of character for a band that had recently toured as Melvins 1983 and Melvins Lite. But it was soon clear they were parting ways with Big Business, at least for now.

"I had one conversation with Buzz ... about royalties," Willis recalls. "I was like, 'Oh, I was just wondering because we're not in the band anymore ...' And he said, 'Who said you aren't in the band anymore?' I was like, 'Oh, OK.'"


They last appeared on 2016's Basses Loaded, a collection of songs recorded with six different bass players. One of them was McDonald, best known then for his work with Redd Kross and OFF! Also on the record were Dunn, Butthole Surfers' Jeff Pinkus and Krist Novoselic. (The ex-Nirvana bassist also played accordion, a first for the Melvins.)

"It's almost like a Spinal Tap joke about bass players with them. Instead of drummers, it's exploding bass players," says McDonald, who first met the Melvins at a 1996 Yoko Ono concert at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood. Osborne and Crover joined Yoko onstage for a show-closing jam session.

Prior to that, the Melvins mostly knew of McDonald for his decades of work with Redd Kross, the genre-blending punk/rock/pop/psychedelic band that he formed with his brother Jeff when they were 11 and 15, respectively. Crover has since signed up as drummer for Redd Kross as well. "There's a lot of musical common threads," says McDonald of Crover's playing. "As beastly as he can attack the drums, he can also have a light touch and be groovy and he can Ringo it up too. He's a really broad drummer and he's got deep taste."

The trio's first full-length project together was 2017's A Walk With Love & Death double-album (one record of songs, plus a second of soundtrack music for a 33-minute experimental film directed by Jesse Nieminen), which was followed by 2018's Pinkus Abortion Technician (which also featured bass contributions from Jeff Pinkus). "Anytime people think they've got his number, he changes it," McDonald says of Osborne's adventurous creativity.

Fittingly, the first post-pandemic album by the Melvins was absurd. The previously mentioned Working With God, released in February 2021, kicked off with a joyously madcap cover of the Beach Boys' "I Get Around," reworked as "I Fuck Around." "We'd been saying we should do an exact replica because it would be hilarious," Osborne told Revolver upon its release. "And then what we realized was replicating the Beach Boys is not that easy of a task." In October, they unleashed Five Legged Dog, which included acoustic reworkings of songs from throughout their entire catalog.

One year later, the indefatigable Melvins surprise-released their latest album, Bad Mood Rising, while on the final leg of their 2022 U.S. tour. These days, the trio is fully in sync onstage. McDonald describes the well-known glowering stage presence of Buzzo in his evil-eye garb as "grim disapproval." He laughs. "That's his equivalent of Paul Stanley blowing kisses," says McDonald. "He's a showman and he's been very encouraging for me to flex that muscle as well."

And no matter what wild moves they unveil to celebrate their forthcoming 40th anniversary, it will no doubt be an entertaining, unpredictable experience … one that only the Melvins could cook up.


Osborne and Tool's Adam Jones — who shot the photos for this cover story — have been close friends for years. Even their dogs are related. They met when Tool and the Melvins opened for Bad Religion a few decades back. "He says I was mean to him, which is total bullshit," Osborne says. Tool and the Melvins have occasionally toured together, and Jones has appeared on Melvins tracks. "He sees the viability of my insane playing in a way that some people may not. He under-stands it on a level that most people that are on the level he's at don't really get."

Floating around the internet is an undated photograph of Osborne, Jones and Patton sharing an intense moment, tipping over the falls together on Disneyland's Splash Mountain ride. At the rear of the canoe is Buzzo, eyes bulging and his black curls streaked with a bolt of gray. In the middle is Jones, in shades and a Motörhead T-shirt, facing the abyss like a man enduring a wind-tunnel test. And up front is Patton, face caught in gnarled mid-scream.

"All Melvins band meetings take place at Disneyland," Patton says. "Adam and I have both been summoned to several Melvins band meetings over the years. Is there anything better than going to a band meeting and getting a pineapple whip and riding Space Mountain? It's the Melvins' way."

After 40 years as a band, the Melvins are still far from the end, operating on instinct and unexpected left turns, facing mosh pits with gray heads vastly out-numbered by newer generations of fans. The lineups change, and there have been personal losses along the way (Cobain, Chris Cornell and more), but the commitment of Osborne and Crover to push forward and stay weird never wavers.

They are a remarkably self-contained operation, and they like it that way. At home, Buzzo's wife Mackie Osborne continues to design all album covers, singles, posters and more, as she has since the mid-Nineties. And the band still maintain a space on the outskirts of Los Angeles that they share with musician-producer-engineer Toshi Kasai. It's where the Melvins rehearse and record without interruption.

"It's a DIY thing. I think we're probably the biggest DIY band there is. We put the 'D' in DIY," Buzzo says with a laugh. "DO."

Photo Assistant: Travis Shinn; Contributing Designer: Mackie Osborne