It’s Good to Be King

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A musician whose career has spanned more than two decades might be expected to speak about longevity and to the art and passion that combined to captivate successive generations of music lovers.

One could imagine this established artist waxing on and on, ponderous and self absorbed, regurgitating his musical biography and capitalizing on the supreme abilities of showmanship and performance that have contributed to his staying power.

Or, if you happen to be King Buzzo, frontman for the indie-rock grunge-metal group The Melvins, the fodder for your reflections might sway toward something more pedestrian.

Like, say, instant coffee. Not to mention whores and drugs and Huckleberry Finn.

Fort Collins Weekly: So, what are you up to right now?

Buzzo: Drinking coffee.

FCW: Starbucks?

Buzzo: Actually, it’s instant. I don’t have any problem with any kind of coffee, from gas stations or anything. I’m drinking Mount Hagen instant coffee right now. If I drink coffee, all I do is turn on the tap ’til it’s hot and down it goes. No kidding. And that’s any instant coffee—it’s fine, it’s instant. You can get a cup of coffee inside of five seconds. It’s genius. I don’t know why instant coffee gets such a bad rap.

FCW: Are you guys sponsored by Mount Hagen or something?

Buzzo: I wish. But generally speaking, corporations of that nature would want bands that sell millions and millions of albums to sponsor. They would want Eddie Vedder. It doesn’t make any sense. Never has.

FCW: You mean, the way that companies seek out big-name artists, or the way that artists have to get behind brand-name merchandise?

Buzzo: They don’t have to, they do—they just do it. They love the chance to say whatever they want. And a lot of people listen to whatever they say. And if you are a person in the world who wants to look no farther than rock stars to get their political beliefs, then I think you should get what you ask for.

I mean, you’re going to listen to them? Good luck.

Like, Brad Pitt in Africa, for example. If only the next picture of him would be from inside a steaming cauldron, then the world would be a perfect place. Yeah, tell me all about it, Brad. Why don’t you take some of your own coinage and feed those people?

FCW: Then Bradgelina isn’t at the top of your celebrity watch-list I take it?

Buzzo: (Laughs) I’d be impressed if Brad was joining the Army and becoming a jet pilot, you know? Then I’d be impressed. Yeah, wow! Brad Pitt went to boot camp—amazing! But that’s not going to happen. No, he’s going to walk around in thongs and dazzle the women.

Anybody like that—I want to kill them all—they want to tell me all about it, these people who wouldn’t work two months for $2 million. They’re all drug-taking whoremongers. Not him in particular, but I’m sure he’s no different. It’s the Internet industry. It’s rock and roll. It’s movies. People who don’t understand this really need to reevaluate their lives.

FCW: Sounds like you’re really passionate about the ignorant population being led astray by their idols.

Buzzo: Yeah, but what can I do? I can’t point the finger at what they do. Not the whores and the drugs, no, we fully partake of those. It’s the benefit concerts. I’ll take the whores and the drugs, but you can hold the political commentary.

If you see celebrities backing something then you know it’s got to be a bad thing; if the Beastie Boys and Brad Pitt are for it, then I’m agin’ it. But you don’t want to hear about that kind of shit, you probably want to know about the show.

FCW: Tell us about it.

Buzzo: The triumphant return to Fort Collins with the new album. We’re touring to support it and the one that came out in May.

We hope everybody comes out and is nice to us at least. And try to remember that we’re getting up there in age, so you know we’re probably getting a little senile ourselves, but nonetheless come out and support us in every way possible, legal and illegal.

FCW: (Laughs) Besides supporting it and you, what else can you tell us about the new album?

Buzzo: The album’s called A Senile Animal and it comes out in October. But, I’m sure by that time it will have been leaked to the Internet.

FCW: That’s pretty pessimistic.

Buzzo: Well, there’s nothing you can do, you might as well embrace it one way or another. I personally don’t want computer copies of a CD. I want the original, but they’re going to do it if they want to.

It’s funny. They’re talking about the high-priced albums while they’re downloading it on a $2,000 computer. CDs aren’t that expensive anyway, not when you consider how much it costs to buy beer and cigarettes and weed.

To say that CDs are expensive is ridiculous. Once again, I really don’t understand any of it.

FCW: Is it fair to say that you don’t like the Internet, what with all the pirated music and so forth?

Buzzo: Well, with everything I don’t like, there is some good about it. With one stroke of a key, people all over the world can find out where we’re going to be on our next stop. Through Internet promoting, we’re saving the industry millions and millions of dollars.

And yes, I love the computer. I get on the Internet all the time.

FCW: Where’s your favorite stop while you’re surfing the net?

Buzzo: Wikipedia. It’s fucking great. I use it every single day, it’s really cool—I love it. I’m always surprised about the weird shit that’s in there. You can sit there for hours. I was having a lot of fun with the Mark Twain page the other day, reading about how many times Huckleberry Finn has been banned from libraries.

FCW: How many times?

Buzzo: Shitloads. All the way up until modern times, people have been considering it a racist book. People like to pretend that things like that didn’t happen. Wouldn’t that be great if it didn’t? Life would be a Disney movie. Imagine. We never hated each other, we didn’t have slaves, there were no wars—everybody loved each other.

Wouldn’t that be great?