The Melvins are always up to something. But 2008 is shaping up to be one of the band’s busiest years, with a flurry of activity on the horizon. First up will be the July 8 release of new studio album, “Nude with Boots,” followed closely by the first DVD from the Fantomas-Melvins Big Band, “Live from London 2006,” both via Ipecac.
Joining Melvins long-timers Buzz Osborne (vocals/guitar) and Dale Crover (drums) once more are Jared Warren (vocals/guitar) and Coady Willis (drums) from the group Big Business.
“This album we recorded after having done a lot of touring with those guys,” Osborne tells Billboard.com. “And the other album we recorded, ‘(A) Senile Animal,’ we recorded with them before we played any shows. So it was a different vibe off the bat. We also knew exactly what we hated about each other, which was really good,” he adds with a laugh.
Osborne compares “Nude with Boots” musically to the group’s last release, but says, “This is definitely a weirder record.” He also tells Billboard.com he already has some favorite tracks, including opener “The Kicking Machine,” “Billy Fish” (which he says the band played live “a bunch” before recording it) and the lengthy “Dog Island.”
Osborne also points out that most of the tracks from “Nude with Boots” will be performed live this year, when the four-man Melvins lineup hits the road in July for a U.S. tour, followed by a trip to Europe.
In addition to featuring a live performance, the Fantomas-Melvins Big Band’s “Live from London 2006” DVD includes an intriguing commentary track.
“At the last minute, Greg Werckman [who runs Ipecac with Mike Patton] came up with this idea of doing a commentary on the whole thing,” Osborne says. “Mike Patton and Greg are friends with Danny DeVito, and he agreed to come down. So it’s me, Greg, Robby Frazier from William Morris, Dale and Danny all talking. Mostly, it has nothing to do with the DVD itself. We got to ask him any question you can possibly think of — what it was like to work with Andy Kaufman, and who was the biggest a**hole he ever worked with. He told us really great stories — all of which are on there.”
While there are no plans for another Fantomas album, there are a pair of Melvins’ collectable releases forthcoming, including a yet-to-be-titled limited edition box set of everything the Melvins have released via Ipecac, which will include a CD that will “probably be a compilation of a bunch of things that haven’t really seen the light of day,” according to Osborne. The set will be handmade, letter-pressed, and released in an edition of 500.
Also to be released this year is a quadruple-gatefold etched vinyl edition of “(A) Senile Animal.” Finally, plans are in the works to mark the Melvins’ 25th anniversary in 2009.
“We’re going to try and do some stuff with our very first drummer [Mike Dillard],” Osborne says. I don’t know what — we’re still trying to figure out what we’ll do. He’s going to come down here, and we’re going to do some things with Crover playing bass, and him playing drums. Maybe we can get him out touring, but he’s more of a family man than a ‘rock and roll touring musician.’ I don’t know how many shows we’ll be able to do with him, but I’m really looking forward to that.”