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Melvins toss off Ipecac CD, digest industry’s future

Citizen Staff Writer
Music

POLLY HIGGINS

phiggins@tucsoncitizen.com

King Buzzo is puzzled. An apocalypse is upon us, but we’re not doing anything about it.

“The album is dead,” he declares, a Nietzsche for the music industry. “Maybe not right away. We may be able to make one more.”

The Melvins frontman and guitarist, calling from New Haven, Conn., sees an end to the system as we know it.

Records are dead, he explains, because no one will be able to afford to make them. Aesthetics will not win a battle against economics, and as consumers download songs, not albums, albums don’t make money.

“Bands are given money by people who are speculating you will sell records. . . . It will all change,” Buzz says. “Why hasn’t anybody thought of this?”

The well-coiffed Buzz, however, says “it’s all good.” And he’s not just a positive thinker: He’s prepared either way. The King estimates he has some 200 songs on the shelf, ready to put in whatever pipeline. Plus, he and Melvins co-founder Dale Crover know how to tour.

A U.S. summer tour that started June 16 in San Francisco sees the group in Tucson on Tuesday. The fall tour for the Melvins’ July CD “Nude with Boots” (Ipecac) assures the dual-drummer four-piece few days off until the gig ends in early October.

The band seems to have only amped up its road schedule in recent years, and that’s after more than two decades of delivering heavy, sludge-y rock – both deconstructing it and building it back up again.

“Nude with Boots” finds the Melvins plenty accessible, balancing less linear moments with huge riffs and the odd arena-rock nod. With some 30 full-length records and EPs, depending upon how you count them, the prolific Buzz just keeps writing, keeping things interesting for himself, he says, by being fearless. That, and having good taste.

“Be able to distinguish what you think is good with what is crap. . . . Usually my instincts tell me when something is good.”

Another important component is just saying no to those drugs.

“It’s a one-way ticket to nowhere,” he says. “All the stuff your parents told you is right.”

The next release from the Melvins might just be a vinyl box set of the band’s recordings on Ipecac, a relationship that dates to 1999.

“It’s fun, but – as far as making money – it doesn’t,” Buzzo says of vinyl reissues. Which might be the most fitting final three-dimensional output the band could offer.

IF YOU GO

What: The Melvins in concert; Big Business open

When: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Plush, 340 E. Sixth St.

Price: $13

Info: 798-1298, ticketweb.com

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