An Interview with Dale Crover of the Melvins

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Dale Crover of Melvins Share Memories From 2019 Tour + 2020 Plans |  setlist.fm

One of Rock music’s most prolific and creative bands are back at it again. The Melvins have a new record out; it’s called Working With God and it’s just about everything you would expect from the Melvins- everything and anything. I call the Melvins a “Rock” band, but I use the term lightly, as Buzz and Dale have traversed just about every musical path a band can possibly imagine. More so, the Melvins do so at a breakneck pace, and maintain the absolute highest standard and quality in terms of their music and work ethic.

Working With God is the Melvins’ 24th studio effort (not including split albums) of their highly-prolific career. For those of you that tend to prefer their more “accessible” music, this one will be for you. For those of you that love the Melvins in all their various forms, this one is for you, too. If you’re interested in checking out the Melvins’ new record, you can head over to their Bandcamp here or Ipecac Records here and snag yourself a copy.

Dale Crover is one of the OG Melvins. He’s the band’s drummer and more. I am happy to say I’ve got Dale with us for an interview today. We talk about the Melvins’ new record, getting fat during the pandemic, the band’s working class ethos and Dale’s new solo record. That’s right, Dale has a new record out, too. If you’re interested in checking out Dale’s record, which is called Rat-A-Tat-Tat!, you can here or here and grab a copy. Enjoy this interview with a seriously heavy-hitting drummer, Dale Crover. Cheers.

Andrew:
Dale, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. How have you been holding up during this seemingly ever-raging dumpster fire?

Dale:
Hi, thanks for having me! I’ve spent the year eating lots of food and getting fat, just like everyone else. Hahaha! Seriously though, I can’t wait for things to get better. 

Andrew:
You recently released your third solo album Rat-A-Tat-Tat! and are about to release a new Melvins album, Working With God. Is there a difference in the way you approach recording on your own versus when with the Melvins?

Dale:
Mostly the same process, just less people in the room when I’m doing solo stuff. I’ll use a click track with solo stuff, to have something to play along to. We never do that in Melvins, because we’re not into time.

Andrew:
The Melvins are easily one of the most prolific bands out there today and have been for a long time. You seem to have made a commitment to always having new music out there, to keep pushing forward, expanding boundaries and challenging yourself and fans musically. How do you continue to do so after 30+ years as a band? What’s changed since the band first started, other than bass players?
Haha.

Dale:
Thanks!! We decided a long time ago that we never wanted to have regular jobs. We work really hard to make that happen. We can’t just stop, or take time off. We have plenty of time off, especially now. We’re working class. There’s not too many bands that are like that. Why? I guess because most musicians are lazy and flakes? 

What’s changed? Damn, everything! It’s easier for us to make records, tour, etc…but we have to work way harder because Lars Ulrich was actually right about Napster.

Rat-A-Tat-Tat! | Dale Crover

Andrew:
Let’s talk about the creative process a bit. The Melvins are nothing short of creative. From the artwork, interesting album and song titles, to the ever-changing shifts in style and sometimes rotating casts of players. How do you manage to always keep it fresh? Is it a challenge, or does it come naturally to you?

Dale:
Well, it helps that Buzz is a song-writing machine. There’s no such thing as writer’s block with him. 

Our new record, Working With God, is Melvins at our catchiest. I think because Buzz was writing for original drummer, Mike Dillard. There’s really no math problem songs. 

Andrew:
Another release I am anticipating is the long-awaited vinyl reissue of Gluey Porch Treatments. I love that album. The cover art appears to be updated as well, right? Looking back on that album, what are your thoughts on it?

Dale:
This record is all math problem songs. Hahaha! We recorded this at a pretty nice studio in Sausalito, CA where Huey Lewis had done a record. The engineer was a guy that used to be in Hanoi Rocks. It was recorded and mixed in four days.

Andrew:
The Melvins are a challenging listen in all of the best ways. It can be hard to pin down who some of your biggest influences may be. That being said, which artists have informed your music the most over the years?

Dale:
We’re big music lovers and like all kinds of stuff. I couldn’t say just one or two. Flipper, as much as The Beatles, as much Throbbing Gristle, as much as Marty Robbins…

Album Review: Melvins – Working with God



Andrew:
Piggy backing onto my last question. As a band, you’ve crossed over so many genres, but people still like to put artists in boxes. What are your thoughts on that and the idea of genres in general?

Dale:
We always denied the Grunge tag. I think most of the bands from the Pacific North West did. In actuality though, the genre changed the direction of popular music. Crazy, huh?

Andrew:
What are a few things within the industry that you would like to see change for the betterment of both the fans and artists alike?

Dale:
Honestly, I just hope the industry survives this. We’re already seeing clubs go under. It’s going to be a hard road back, I’m afraid. 

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Where do you like to shop for music?

Dale:
I have all formats, even 8-tracks! I think CDs sound the best. People always argue that one. Some people are weird and don’t believe in science. I do most of my listening on my phone. Records tend to skip in the car.

Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of Melvins- Metro Chicago - Terrorizer



Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you and why?

Dale:
Aerosmith- Rocks. It’s one of the best Hard Rock albums ever made! Even the ballad is good.

Blondie- Eat To The Beat. It’s clear from the opening track how amazing of a drummer Clem Burke is. This is what good Pop music sounds like! I love this band and think this one might be their best. And of course Debbie is the greatest singer ever!

Andrew:
Last question. What advice do you have for young artists who are trying to get started today?

Dale:
Now is the time when you really have to DIY. Be as original as you can. And of course, don’t take any wooden nickels. 

Interested in diving deeper into the work of the Melvins? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

Published by Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. After losing his life-long vinyl collection in 2014, Andrew began his vinyl collection from scratch again when he met his future wife Angela in 2015. Andrew’s love of music only further blossomed as his collection spanned all genres possible. After amassing 5,000 albums, Andrew knew it was time to finally follow his dream, and thus, Vinyl Writer Music was born. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict, for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island with his wife Angela and their four cats, Oliver, Patrick, Charlie, and Kevin. Andrew works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night. Andrew is also the admin of several Facebook groups dedicated to music.

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