King Buzzo – Across The Ocean

King Buzzo

King Buzzo! The iconic frontman from The Melvins is heading down under for his first solo tour to support his album This Machine Kills Artists. With a career that spans 31 years, 30 albums and over 2,000 shows this promises to be a real treat for fans playing some intimate venues around the country. Buzz Osbourne talks to Across The Ocean about going it solo and his love of baseball.

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There’s plenty of love here in Australia towards your band The Melvins and the fact you’re coming back so soon after touring here last year. Are you looking forward to it?

I can’t wait, it’s really cool…

Does it feel strange to playing smaller venues this time compared to when you were here with The Melvins?

Well, I’m doing an acoustic show by myself you know, I don’t even know how many people are going to come. I have no idea! I hope it will be a sell out like you said, I like your enthusiasm! This is the first time I’ve done it so it is all unchartered territory for me. I’m going to pretend that it is all roses or anything or springtime you know, I have to make this work. I have to go out and selling this fucking thing to people and make them believe it. I’m up for the challenge and I’ll take the blame!

Playing solo fans can see whether you’re having a great night or a not so great night, do you feel the pressure at all?

I don’t have the drums to hide behind, so yes indeed! It is definitely the case but that’s ok though. It is a new thing for me and I’ll give it a go. I’ll take the challenge and make it all work. Even with a full band not every show is good.

After thirty years in this caper and an impressive back catalogue of greatness was going solo the next logical step?

I guess I thought I would always be solo as I’ve always done my own thing anyway. The Melvins is definitely my own deal and it’s not like I’ve never done whatever I fucking want. It’s not like I had to do a solo record or anything to get it out of my system or any of that shit. That’s probably why it took so long to happen but I’m happy it did, I made the right choice and I’m not afraid of it.

Do you write specifically for a solo album or a Melvins album?

Some I did and some I didn’t, some of them written I don’t know when exactly but some were written specifically for this project. I don’t know which is which but I realised pretty quick with this though that once I liked a song I would go and record it. That was kind of fun, nice!

Will the tour be primarily focussed on the solo album or will we get treated to some Melvins classics also?

It’s about fifty, fifty! Half new stuff and half old stuff, I wrote all that stuff anyway so it’s not really like a big challenge.

Is it a requirement on tour that all the hotels you stay have access to baseball on TV given that you’re a passionate Dodgers fan?

No, I haven’t thought about that actually!

Australians aren’t really that good at baseball, have you noticed that?

Maybe if you did it more you’d be better at it. I know the Los Angeles Dodgers played Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia at the beginning of the year in Sydney! Two games! That’s pretty fucking cool, Americans think that you might have an interest in it and give it a shot and they weren’t actually exhibition games. They’re actually part of our session you know, that is really cool. My team the Dodgers were very much taking that seriously. They went down and gave you guys real games, games that count, man! Australian fans got to see something really special and the Dodgers won both of them.

Do you catch many games?

I’m gone a lot so I can’t have season tickets or have any of that sort of crap because I’m not there enough. So, it wouldn’t really be worth it to me, see what I mean? I just have to go when I can…

Do you get much down time on this tour?

I’m over that sort of touristy stuff having been to Australia a number of times. I’ve seen a lot of things that I’ve wanted to do and a lot of times I’m too tired or I’m just thinking about what I’m going to do at the show that night. I’m not really concerned with being a tourist but I love touristy type of stuff and if you’re going to go somewhere you should at least see something.

With seventy shows on your world tour how do you keep up the energy and intensity?

It’s not hard to do, even with The Melvins it’s not hard work every night as that’s part of the juice of playing live. You do what’s in front of you and hopefully that will work out, I can’t guarantee anything, I wish I could!

Is there another Melvins album in the pipeline or will Fantômas get back together?

Fantômas from what I believe will never do another record but you never know, it’s all up to Mike! The new Melvins record will come out in October and stranger things have happened! We may play Soundwave! Who knows? We wouldn’t say no to it…

King Buzzo Solo Acoustic Australia Tour

August 13, 2014 – Adelaide, SA – Enigma Bar
August 14, 2014 – Geelong, VIC – Barwon Club
August 15, 2014 – Melbourne, VIC – Ding Dong Lounge
August 20, 2014 – Newcastle, NSW – The Small Ballroom
August 21, 2014 – Sydney, NSW – Newtown Social Club
August 22, 2014 – Wollongong, NSW – Anita’s Theatre
August 23, 2014 – Canberra, ACT – Transit Bar
August 24, 2014 – Brisbane, QLD – Black Bear Lodge
August 26, 2014 – Perth, WA – Astor Lounge

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Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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