After a 31-year career in music with the Melvins, which has born over 30 albums of studio and live material, dozens of limited and highly limited 12-inch, 10-inch, and 7-inch records, and north of 2000 live performances Buzz Osborne, one of the founding members of the seminal band is now going solo and acoustic as King Buzzo, and he’ll be visiting Australia for a national tour this August.
Buzz’s solo endeavours make sense , after all, Buzz has written the vast majority of the Melvins’ songs with a fair amount of them originally written on an acoustic guitar and then simply transferred to electric. This year Buzz released This Machine Kills Artists, an authentically acoustic album with no electric guitars, amplifiers or direct boxes used during the 17-track release’s recording.
Seeing how influential Buzz and Melvins have been to many bands and artists (most famously Nirvana) we thought it’d be interesting to see who influences Buzz, and they’re probably not who you’d expect.
Francis Bacon – Painter
“I really think his paintings are unbelievable. I think his work ethic was amazing, and I love the fact that he worked early in the morning ‘til midday almost every single day. I like the fact that he lived very simply and devoted his time and energy to his work, and worked almost until he died. His subject matter is second to none.
The best kind of art makes you want to create your own art, and that makes me want to do something that has that kind of impact.”
John Huston – Film Director
“He directed my favourite movie of all time, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), he also directed Fat City (1972) which is an amazing movie, he directed Wise Blood (1979), which I thought was also an amazing movie. He also directed The Misfits (1969), and Man Who Would Be King (1975).
He didn’t really get famous until he was in his early 40s, and then he worked almost up until the day he died as well, I love that, I love people who do that sort of thing, I’m super excited about that kind of stuff. When he was about to die they asked him whether there was anything he wished he could do more and he said ‘make another movie’.
You watch a movie like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and it’s a perfect movie, I think it’s the greatest movie ever made, it’s better than anything else I’ve ever seen, I’ve watched it at least 100 times. He did so many different things, he made Annie (1982) the movie simply because he wanted to make a musical, he’d never done that before, and it was a success- that’s insane. That kind of work ethic to me is second to none.”
Pete Townsend – Musician
“He’s a great songwriter, he wrote some of my favourite music. If I just look at one album in particular, which is The Who Sell Out (1967) – you know that’s a weird album even by today’s standards, when they did that in the 1960s everyone must have thought he was from fucking Mars. It’s a phenomenal record, super weird and everything I love about music in general. It’s strange and crazy and hard to deal with and exciting and fun.
I’m kind of disappointed with what he’s done lately, but he did so much and I loved everything he did, almost everything I tend to give him a break- leave him alone and enjoy it for what it is.
Plus he did this record where he played live acoustic by himself, and I always remember that, somebody who I like so much was able to do that without question, and that stayed with me until I started doing that on my own. You realise [in relation to guitar and music] it’s the indian, not the arrow. He’s the man.”
Flannery O’Connor – Writer
“She wrote Wise Blood (1952) which John Huston directed coincidently. She wrote all her amazing stuff and died at 39 years old, from lupus.
You look at a book like Wise Blood, even if you haven’t read that book, you’ve got to understand – she wrote that before she was 21. She grew up in the deep south as a catholic, she makes you think ‘where did this come from?’ I’m absolutely stunned by her work, I went to her house where she wrote and it’s like a little museum to her now, and I almost started crying, its so powerful to see this stuff, its hard to even think about.
Her books are so powerful and so amazing, and she didn’t write that many in her short and tragic life, but I think her books are just unbelievable. It made me not be afraid to tackle things that are difficult. If she could do this while almost dying of lupus surely I can put my heart into something and try as hard as she did. She comes from the middle of nowhere shithole same as me, so that always gives me hope. You read a book like Wise Blood that and you’re just blown away by how amazing it is.”
Thomas Sowell – Philosopher
“I consider Sowell the greatest philosopher of all time. He is a PhD economist and he’s written more than 30 books about everything you can imagine, from social; commentary to how economics works.
One of his greatest books was called Economic Fact And Fallacies (2008), you can also get the Thomas Sowell readers, they’re great places to start. He’s the first guy to explain to me how society works in conjunction with the government, or the government in general and how people think.
He’s in his 80s now, he is the greatest philosopher of our time, without question. He’s got a severe grasp of reality, he’s a realist, and he’s not taken in by a bunch of ideological bullshit and I love it. I just can’t say enough about him.
He’s given me a firm grasp on how the world works from an economists’ standpoint. I don’t make social commentary, this man does and this is the kind of guy I listen to. You should always question. He’s a national treasure and no one gives a shit, but in my world nobody knows who he is.”
King Buzzo Australian Tour
Wed 13 Aug Adelaide | Enigma Bar
Thu 14 Aug Geelong | Barwon Club
Fri 15 Aug Melbourne | Ding Dong Lounge
Wed 20 Aug Newcastle | The Small Ballroom
Thu 21 Aug Sydney | Newtown Social Club
Fri 22 Aug Wollongong | Anita’s Theatre
Sat 23 Aug Canberra | Transit Bar
Sun 24 Aug Brisbane | Black Bear Lodge
Tue 26 Aug Perth | Astor Lounge
For tickets and info visit Frontier Touring.