8 Modern Bands That Influence the Melvins
Photo: Mackie Osborne

Photo: Mackie Osborne

For thirty years, weirdo-metalers Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins have been laying the groundwork for other bands and influencing countless musicians. Kurt Cobain, an early follower of the band, used Crover on the first Nirvana recordings. Mastodon root their songs in the sludge-metal tone invented by the long running band, and even cover the Melvins’ jam, “The Bit” live. High on Fire, who follow in the Melvins tradition of thick, powerful riffs, recorded a cover of the Melvins track “Oven.” Japanese sludge experimentalists Boris even named themselves after one of the Melvins heaviest drones. Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham said “the Melvins were just a huge inspiration to us in the beginning” and name checked the band in the liner notes of David Comes to Life. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. But, the Melvins are constantly evolving, so the inspiration is not a one-way street. Hive recently asked Osborne and Crover to name eight newer bands that are influencing them.

1. Weedeater

“These Hillbillies from North Carolina have their own brand of stoner rock, leaning more towards Flipper than Sabbath. When they play live, the drummer sets up sideways so he can do kicks and the bass player sips Tussin between vocal howls. We just played with them at the Maryland Death Fest and they absolutely destroyed!”

2. Tweak Bird

“Tweak Bird is brothers Caleb and Ashton Bird from Carbondale, IL. The first thing we noticed about Tweak Bird was their amazing voices. Their music is heavy, poppy, psychedelic and weird! They played 46 shows in a row with us on our record setting tour last year and Caleb sings on [our new album] Everyone Loves Sausages!”

3. Big Business

“No duh! These guys are so good that we asked them to join our band! When we quit playing with our bassist Kevin Rutmanis, we were pretty discouraged fellows at that point. We didn’t have much interest in the idea of doing something conventional 25 years in. So, we got a new bassist and a second drummer. We didn’t need another drummer. But, we did it because it adds another level of excitement to what we’re doing. And keeping up with Crover? Good luck. Big Business have an epic new song called “Lyle” that they’ve been performing live. Their new record titled Battlefields Forever should be out later this year.”

4. Helms Alee

“Melodic and harmonious, heavy, distorted guitar and bass. Unconventional drumming. Meandering and expansive one second, bludgeoning and crushing the next. Very unique, always captivating.”

5. Indian Handcrafts

“They sound a little like Big Business, but we don’t fault them for that. Hey, they’re Canadian! Buzz and Dale guest star on their new record. Dale and Toshi Kasai recorded it. Buzz contributed guitar parts.”

6. Gay Witch Abortion

“Minneapolis has always produced great noisy/arty bands that we dig. The drummer plays like Keith Moon, which we also dig! You know you’re not getting light and breezy pop music with a name like Gay Witch Abortion!”

7. Qui

“They were a two-piece, but then they added David Yow of the Jesus Lizard. They kind of sound like Jesus Lizard crossed with Throbbing Gristle. Weird music for weird people made by weirdos! ‘Nuff said!”

8. Hepa-Titus

“This band features our old bassist Kevin Rutmanis. Kevin was in our band and we always liked Kevin’s sensibilities. When he was in the Cows, before the Melvins, we always thought that he thought outside the box, and he still does. We never kicked Kevin out of the band because we didn’t like the way he played. That was never the issue. He seems to have conquered some of those demons, and we brought him back in to play on our Roxy Music cover of “In Every Dream Home a Heartache.” As for Hepa-Titus, they’re sort of like a cross between the Cows and Throbbing Gristle. What was that we said about more bands making weird, interesting music? Ol’ Swivel Hips has done a fine job of that with his new band!”

The Melvins new album, Everybody Loves Sausages, is out now on Ipecac.

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