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Gavin Brown Takes On Melvins – Interview With Dale Crover | 40th Anniversary Interview Special

June 5, 2023
Melvins Photo: Chris Casella

Gavin Brown Chats To Dale Crover

To Discuss All Things Melvins inc 40th Anniversary, New Releases, Current UK Tour, US Tour With Boris

Over the past 40 years, Melvins have released 26 albums (as well as a whole host of splits, EPs and more) and played countless gigs with their own blend of many different styles of music cementing their status in music history as a band who have always done things on their own terms. With the band’s latest record Bad Mood Rising, they show that they are still as forward-thinking as ever with their music and it is an album that is packed full of what we love the Melvins for.

With the band celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, we caught up with Melvins drummer Dale Crover who talked about the momentous anniversary, the new record and all things Melvins in a funny, irreverent and informative interview.

Melvins are celebrating your 40th anniversary this year. How will you be marking this special milestone?

We have lots planned to celebrate. We just wrapped up a tour with Mr. Bungle in the states. We’re touring Europe this summer for the first time since 2018. Another US tour with Boris in the fall and lots of reissues and new releases

Did you ever think that the band would last this long and what would you have thought about the band celebrating this anniversary when you were first starting out?

No, I never would’ve guessed in a million years that we’d be around this long. I would’ve thought it to be insane!!

What do you credit to the longevity of the Melvins?

We did realize a long time ago that we don’t have anything to fall back on. It’s either this or prison.

What are some of your favourite albums that were released in 1983 when the band first started?

I was pretty much into the NWOBHM when I joined. That was fine because the other guys liked bands like Raven, Venom, Hellhammer. I remember Buzz and myself bonding over Raven. We still listen to their first album.

What have been some of the most memorable recording experiences from the many records that the Melvins have made?

Recording was very foreign at first. It was stressful and took some time to figure it all out. I remember doubling the guitar for the very first time when we recorded Eye Flys. It sounded so cool! I would say that moment was the first in experiencing the magic of recording.

What are some of your favourite albums that the band have put out and what makes them special to you?

Gluey, because it’s our first. Lysol, or whatever the hell it’s called. I loved it and thought no one else would. Stag, I thought was our best work when we finished. No one gave a shit!!! I honestly think our new record, Bad Mood Rising has that status. Bands always say that shit, but I’m serious. It’s one of my favorites and it’s one of our best records. And I expect no one to give a shit!!!! That’s just the way it is.

What do you still want the band to achieve from now on that you haven’t done yet?

I think having a drink named after the band. You know, like a Tom Collins or a Shirley Temple. “I’ll have a Melvins on the rocks, please”. What’s in it?? That’s secret!

Who have been the biggest influence on The Melvins music over the years?

Anyone and everyone with the name Buddy. Buddy Holly, Buddy Hackett, Buddy Miles, Buddy Cort…

What is the status of a new Melvins studio album?

Soon, son, soon! I mean, we just put out a new record!!! It’s called BAD MOOD RISING, AND IT RULES!!

How did your tour with Mr Bungle and Spotlights and what were some of the highlights?

Tour was great! Groups great! Hell yeah! Hitting big in Vegas on roulette and blowing all the power at the mega festival we played there. Getting arrested in Idaho for jaywalking on a country road. Watching Mike Patton eat a whole Costco cheesecake on a dare. He was putting ketchup on it by the end just to change the flavour!

With so much material, is it a challenge choosing your setlist each night?

We have a big wheel with all of our songs on it. We spin it exactly 17 times each night. No more and no less. Sometimes it lands on the same song. One time it kept landing on “Oven” and we had to play it like 7 times in a row.

What Melvins songs do you love playing the most live and why?

There’s a new song called “Hammering” that I really like. I get to sing “Ho, ho, ho in the chorus. It reminds me of David Bowie

(Interview took place pre-tour) Are you looking forward to your forthcoming UK tour in June?

Yes! It’s been awhile. I look forward to a full English. Quick, without googling, what does the HP in brown sauce stand for?? Hint: it’s on the bottle!

What have been some of your favourite memories of playing over here in the UK over the years?

I’d say the ATP we got to curate was a highlight. So many amazing bands. Just saying “Hey, I want the Damned to play!” and having it happen was amazing!

How do you relieve boredom on tour?

Who’s bored on tour? If you’re bored you’re boring!

What music are you currently listening to on the tour?

I’ve been on a big Cat Stevens kick lately and have the Harold and Maude soundtrack on repeat. Believe it or not I got to write something for the Teaser and the Firecat box set that came out not long ago.

What are your touring plans for the rest of 2023 and going into next year?

I mentioned the Boris tour. Nothing more to speak of at this time but I’m sure we’ll stay busy.

What gigs still stand out in your mind of the thousands you have done in your time with the Melvins?

Usually, you remember the shitty ones. I remember when we played the Reading festival and it being disastrous: My finger was fucked up from me jamming it the day before, Buzz’ guitar strap broke, it was so windy cymbal stands were blowing over and it sounded like shit! We heard that the organizers thought we were the worst band who ever played the festival. We’ve never been asked back. I saw video of this gig recently and thought we played just fine considering, so fuck them!!!

Which bands have you loved touring with the most?

We toured with Ministry last year and loved it! The sweetest people

Who would you love to tour with in the future?

We’re looking forward to having Taipei Houston with us on this trip. They toured with us some last summer. It’s fun watching them win over the audience. They get me in the mood to melt faces!

What have been the proudest moments from your time with the Melvins so far?

Being made into a cartoon. We need our own show!

A huge thank you Dale, we hope you are enjoying the UK tour!!

Words: Gavin Brown

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