Punk icon King Buzzo of the Melvins is an amusing conversationalist. Veering toward the inane, he adds quirk to the boring, everyday topics, and clearly has the years of experience to casually offer words of wisdom without the inherent bitterness so often boiling in the belly of longtime touring musicians.
With such a propensity for fun chatter, naturally the maximum word count limit for the print article on Buzzo in this week's issue had to leave some things out. Below are a few lost gems from a conversation last week:
SFBG: After living here for seven years before moving to LA, does [San Francisco] feel totally different when you visit?
Buzz Osborne: I'm not really sentimental along those lines, I'm not too much of a 'good old days' type of person, I'm more of a 'what have you done lately' type of person. So, I liked living there but I've moved on. I like California! I don't hate LA, people hate LA. I always find that interesting. Nobody in LA hates anybody else! People don't talk about how much they hate New York or San Francisco, that's just crazy. Plenty of people talking shit about LA, but I can't figure it out.
But I like San Francisco, don't get me wrong. Like I said, if my wife didn't live here, I probably would've stayed there.
SFBG: Speaking of what-have-you-done-lately, what does the title of [your upcoming LP] 'Freak Puke' mean?
BO: What does it mean? I don't know what it means. Freak puke! Freaky puking. It's a freak that pukes. It's a freakish puke. It's puke that becomes freaky. It just sounds good together. FREAK. PUKE. They work great.
I'm not sure where it came from? I write down stuff all the time that I hear, and like. It could've come from a wide variety of sources. Let's say, let me make something up. Let's say it came from a Bob Dylan poem I read. It's not true, but we'll say it is for today.
We'll start the rumor! Bob Dylan.
SFBG: Huge proponent of freak puke.
BO: He was speaking of it when he was speaking in terms of protest songs, how about that? And I thought it was great. And I love to protest. If there's one thing I love doing, it's protesting. I'll protest about anything you got. There. That sounds good, right?
SFBG: Yep, sounds punk.
BO: Yeah punk, it's all about punk. And since now that you can buy our t-shirts at Hot Topic...
SFBG: Is that true?
BO: At least they sell them on their website.
SFBG: Does that not go through you?
BO: The guy that makes our shirts sells them to a wide variety of places, Hot Topic is just one of them. I'm fine with that. I think our stuff belongs in malls! Absolutely. I think everyone should own all of our records, [ages] 8 to 80. We make our music for the masses, not for the elite few. Just because the masses don't like, it doesn't mean it's not made for them.
SFBG: Have you found any good new local bands in LA?
BO: Yes. My favorite band in LA, other than Big Business of course, is this band called Tweak Bird.
We did some work with the singer recently, [that's] going to come out at some point so...more and more stuff! It never ends. We did some recordings that are coming out but I don't really want to tell you what they are because I don't want anyone to know the secret!
It's very mysterious. It's not that big of a deal. We worked with a wide variety of people but I'm not going to tell you who they are.