Melvins (1983-present): a Grunge band from Montesano, Washington, USA.


ormed in early 1983, Melvins was started by Buzz Osborne (guitar/vocals), Matt Lukin (bass) and Mike Dillard (drums) all students of Montesano Jr./Sr. High School in Montesano, Washington. In the beginning they played Jimi Hendrix and Who covers, but also experimented with fast hardcore punk. When Dillard left the band, Dale Crover took his place, and the band's rehearsals moved to a back room of Crover's parents' house in Aberdeen, Washington. Soon afterward, they started to play songs slower and "heavier", and would soon become an ridiculously prolific band!

In 1985, 'C/Z Records' was created to document the Washington music scene. The label released the compilation Deep Six, featuring four songs by the Melvins. In 1986 the band released their debut, the Six Songs EP, on 'C/Z Records' (later releases expanded and retitled this as 8 Songs, 10 Songs, and eventually 26 Songs in 2003 on 'Ipecac Recordings'). The album was recorded live to a two track at the now closed Ironwood Studio in Seattle on February 8, 1986.

Their first full recording, Gluey Porch Treatments (1987), the album was later followed with their second release Ozma (1989) on the 'Boner Records' label. It was expanded again for the 1999 re-release on 'Ipecac Recordings' with some garage demos.

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Crover played drums with Nirvana (billed as "Ted Ed Fred") when they recorded a ten-song demo on January 23, 1988 in Seattle, which later formed part of their debut Bleach, and played a live show in Tacoma later that day. Osborne would later introduce Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic to Dave Grohl. Later that year Osborne and Crover relocated to San Francisco, California. Lukin stayed and formed the band Mudhoney. Lori "Lorax" Black (daughter of Shirley Temple) then replaced Lukin on bass.

Bullhead (1991) marked a slower, more flat music style for the band who then toured Europe; their show of January 23, 1991 in Alzey, Germany was released by 'Your Choice Records' as Your Choice Live Series Vol.12. When they returned to the U.S., they recorded the Eggnog EP, released that same year on 'Boner Records'.

Lorax then left the band, and was replaced by Joe Preston. The Melvins members then released three "solo" EPs, following the concept and imitating the cover artwork inspired by the four Kiss members' solo albums released in 1978. Later in 1992, they released the full-length album, Lysol, which had to be renamed Melvins because "Lysol" is a trademarked name of a well known cleaning product. Preston departed from the band, and Lorax briefly rejoined.

When Nirvana's Nevermind became a massive success, Melvins went along for the ride by being signed by 'Atlantic Records', and to release Houdini (1993) that entered the Billboard Heatseekers chart at 29. Mark Deutrom replaced Lorax on bass shortly after the album's release, as she was facing trial for drug possession and was struggling with heroin addiction. Gene Simmons of Kiss played bass with the Melvins in 1993 in a concert with Primus, on the song Goin' Blind, a Kiss song that had been covered on Houdini.

Stoner Witch (1994) would follow. Due to its experimental nature, the band took the next album, Prick, to 'Amphetamine Reptile Records'. Record label conflicts prevented the band from releasing any records under the name "Melvins", so the album was released with the band name written in mirror. The band returned to 'Atlantic' one last time for Stag (1996), which entered the Heatseekers chart at number 33. Not surprisingly, 'Atlantic Records' dropped them within a year after. They would return with Honky (1997) on 'Amphetamine Reptile Records', the label who had helped them with the aforementioned album not sanctioned by 'Atlantic'

1999 saw the beginning of a partnership with 'Ipecac Recordings', which began remastering and reissuing much of the band's back catalog. The band also released three full-length albums dubbed (and later packaged together as) The Trilogy: The Maggot (1999), The Bootlicker (1999) and The Crybaby (2000).

Electroretard (2001; with bassist Mark Deutrom) and Hostile Ambient Takeover (2002) would followIn 2004, Melvins collaborated with ambient artist Lustmord for Pigs of the Roman Empire and with Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra for Never Breathe What You Can't See and Sieg Howdy! released in 2004, 2004 and 2005 respectively. Never Breathe What You Can't See was supported by a mini-tour with Jello Biafra and Adam Jones of Tool. A planned European tour was canceled in early October 2004 reportedly due to unknown complications involving bassist Rutmanis who had been with the band since The Maggot.

(A) Senile Animal (2006) saw quite the line-up change now with the bass position taken by both Jared Warren and Trevor Dunn during the recording as well as Coady Willis on drums.

Nude With Boots (2008), Melvins Vs Minneapolis (2008), Melvins EP (2010), Boris The Pervert (2010), The Bride Screamed Murder (2010), Freak Puke (2012), Tres Cabrones (2013) then followed.

In early 2011 the band was on tour first in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake then in Tokyo, Japan at the time of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The band supported Slayer at the All Tomorrow's Parties 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival at Alexandra Palace, London in May 2012. Melvins formed a lineup called Melvins Lite (Buzz, Dale, and Trevor Dunn) that toured through parts of 2011. This line-up released the aforementioned album, Freak Puke, in June 2012 on 'Ipecac Recordings'.

Everybody Loves Sausages, an album of cover songs performed with special guests, was released by 'Ipecac' on April 30, 2013.

Bride Of Crankenstein EP (2014) and Hold It In (2014) saw a new change with Paul Leary (guitars) and Jeff Pinkus (bass) joining.

Beer Hippy EP (2015) saw Mike Dillard on drums. War Pussy EP (2016) then followed with Steven McDonald on bass.

Basses Loaded (2016) was a sort of one-off all-star visitation by featuring tracks boasting the talents of many past and present members Buzz Osbourne, Jared Warren, Jeff Pinkus, Steven McDonald, Dale Crover, Coady Willis and Mike Dillard.

A Walk With Love & Death (2017) followed, while Pinkus Abortion Technique (2018) gave no hint as to Jeff Pinkus involvement in the title, while the Sabbath EP (2018) was a cover of two famous Black Sabbath tracks, Black Sabbath and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Mullet EP (2020), Working With God (2021) followed.

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Nation USA
City Montesano, Washington
Genre Grunge
Formations 1
Active Years 1983-
Last Modified 2022-09-27
Diskery ID 2342

Artists Linked to Melvins

Jimi Hendrix Kiss Mudhoney
Nirvana Slayer Tool

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