The Melvins aren’t the household name they deserve to be.
Hopefully, time will favor the American rockers, but if not, at least they will go down in the record books: Appearing Saturday at Opolis, the Melvins are in the midst of becoming the first band to play all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C.) in 51 straight days and will earn a Guinness World Record upon completion.
“I thought it would be a cool, fun thing to do. I realized that with this lineup, it was something we could make happen,” said leader Buzz Osborne. “It was a good opportunity for a big, silly, stupid publicity stunt … why not? Some people have a problem with us saying that it’s a publicity stunt. I don’t know why. What else could it possibly be?”
The Melvins’ underrated influence on the entire scope of grunge and stoner metal makes a gimmick like this more than forgivable.
There would be no Nirvana — or at least the one we heard — without the Melvins, as Osborne introduced Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic to Dave Grohl. The Melvins helped shaped Nirvana’s sound, as they also did with Soundgarden, Tool and Mastodon.
The Melvins formed almost three decades ago in Mostesano, Wash., enjoying independent success both before and after a run of three albums on Atlantic Records during the grunge heyday. They’ve been joined by Gene Simmons of Kiss on bass on more than one occasion and toured relentlessly, just as driven to do it now as the band has ever been.
“It’s what we do,” Osborne said. “It’s not going to last forever. We might as well do it while we can. We’re playing every single day, but that’s not the end of the world. It could be worse. It could always be worse.”
A slight tweak of the normal configuration, the Melvins Lite lineup is the one embarking on this record-setting trek and that wrote and recorded the group’s latest album, Freak Puke, which came out this summer.
“We are playing with different instrumentation, and we wanted that to shine through,” Osborne said. “We wanted it to be different than what we’d done before, and it works that way. It’s something different people can enjoy.”
After starting this tour in Alaska and twisting through the entire United States, the Melvins finally wrap things up in Hawaii just before Halloween. Despite what you might think, the trio doesn’t plan on recouping beachside.
“I’m headed straight back home,” Osborne said. “The last thing I need is to be away from home any longer.”