When the phrase ‘hard working band’ comes up, The Melvins spring to mind. They are constantly on the road, writing music, doing press and collaborating with other artists. The Melvins are an amazing band too and their influence on alternative music is arguably unparalleled. After all, they did influence Nirvana. Getting a chance to speak to the legendary drummer Dale Crover, we talked about their collaboration with Mike Kunka, their latest album Basses Loaded, touring, and their future plans.
Jack: Hi, thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?
Dale: I’m doing just fine! I’m in Sweden and dudes with long hair and moustaches are wearing tight shorts and going shirtless! Evidently it’s summer here.
Jack: Three Men and a Baby, your collaborative studio album with Mike Kunka was finally released in April. Are you happy with the response?
Dale: People seem to like it. I haven’t heard any complaints, really. I’m sure someone has complained but that’s nothing new.
Jack: The album was first recorded in 1999 but was only finished in 2015, what was the reason for the long delay?
Dale: The reason for the delay was that Mike Kunka went on a Bigfoot hunting expedition in the Olympic National Forest and was never heard from again. We feared he was captured or worse, dead! A few years ago, out of the blue we received a telegram that he was alive and well and ready to finish the record.
Jack: The album was finished with long time Melvins associate Toshi Kasai engineering and mixing the album. What do you like about working with him?
Dale: He makes a mean cappuccino that rivals any Auto Grill in Italy. Got to have those performance enhancing beverages when recording the devil’s music!
Jack: You released your album Basses Loaded on the third of June which has received good reviews from many websites and magazines. Do you get nervous before the release of an album?
Dale: Nervous about what? What some computer nerd with a blog thinks about our music? About whether the chimpanzee, hipsters at Pitchfork are going to like our new record or not? I can’t really be bothered with any of that. Like it or not, we’re here to stay and that’s that!
Jack: The album features multiple bass players who have association with Melvins over the years as well as Dale on bass. What inspired this collaboration? Also given everyone’s tight schedules? How long did this collaboration take to occur?
Dale: It was more of an accident really. We’d amassed a large amount of recording with various line-ups of the band over time and realized there was a record in there. It just so happens that there were multiple bass players on the sessions. There were no big plans for that. Funny how things work themselves out!
Jack: You reworked Benny Bell’s ‘Shaving Cream,’ for the album. Why did you decide to do this?
Dale: That would be the Melvins 1983 doing that cover. That version of the band is forever stuck in the eight grade. Fart humour will always be funny!
Jack: Is there any significance to the song that each musician plays on?
Dale: Not really, maybe a few songs were given to one player or another. It was more like who was around at what particular time.
Jack: What was it like working with Krist Novoselic?
Dale: It was great! Not only did he play bass but he played accordion too!
Jack: The album was released on Ipecac which you’ve worked with since 1999. What was it like working with them?
Dale: Ipecac is awesome! We couldn’t be on a better label, which is why we’ve worked with them for so long.
Jack: How did your recent tour of America with Napalm Death and Melt Banana go?
Dale: That was a great tour! We had plans for that for a long time. We knew it would be a good idea. Lots of the shows were sold out!
Jack: Have you been a fan of both these acts for a long time?
Dale: Yeah, of course.
Jack: You’re doing a few UK shows in June, what keeps bringing you back to the UK?
Dale: The English “can do” attitude that you chaps have!
Jack: Will we see any new albums from The Melvins in 2017?
Dale: Oh, I’m sure of it. Hopefully with a few surprises!
Jack: Finally what is the status of a release date for The Colossus of Destiny?
Dale: It premièred in LA already and hopefully will see some other screenings. It’s not our thing though. We’re not really involved with it other than being the subject matter.