An Interview with Dale Crover of the Melvins

Recently, we caught up with heavy-hitting drummer, Dale Crover of the Melvins, and more recently, Red Kross. Among other things, we touch on how the Melvins are kicking off 2022, the band’s current jaunt, the Industrial Strength Tour, which they are co-headlining with Ministry, and Corrosion of Conformity, their newest EP, the release date for their upcoming full-length album, the thirtieth anniversary of seminal drone masterpiece, Lysol, the band’s years on Atlantic Records, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about the Melvins or Red Kross, the link to their webpage’s are here, and here. Be sure to get out and see the band on their current Industrial Strength Tour, and keep up with their latest comings and goings through social media as well. Cheers.

Andrew:
Dale, thanks for taking a break from the road to catch up with me. I got to catch the show a few weeks back. Give us a quick overview of how so far and how the Industrial Strength Tour came together.

Dale:
Well, Ministry asked us to play probably last summer. I think rebooked it for maybe the third time because of the pandemic, and the lineup changed a bunch of things from what it originally was. We were kind of hoping things would be better by this time because we needed to get back to work, and so we said, “Yes.” We agreed hoping things were going to be okay, and so far, so good. We’re in Detroit today, and while it’s incredible, it’s also so very strange to be back out playing after over two years of a break.

Andrew:
I can only imagine considering the Melvins are relentless entities when it comes to recording and touring. I take it that it must have been pretty difficult for you to be off the road for that long.

Dale:
Oh, yeah. I mean, having that long of a break was something that we’ve ever had in our band’s history. It was beyond weird, and a little unsettling.

Andrew:
The Melvins have been known for working with a multitude of different bassists over the years. Lately, you’ve had Steve McDonald of Red Kross with you. I know you’re also a member of Red Kross. What went into bringing him in?

Dale:
Oh, he’s been with us now for a while, so he’s our guy now. Unless his head explodes or something like that, he’s the bass player. [Laughs]. We’ve done a ton of touring with Steve for a while now, plus he’s one foxy-looking dude. We’ve finally got somebody in the band that the chicks dig. [Laughs].

Andrew:
The band put out the Lord of the Flies EP back in January, and I believe you’ve got another one coming out this month on the 29th called Broken Pipe. Tell us about both.

Dale:
Okay, well Lord of the Flies was cool. It had the Soundgarden song on it, “Spoon Man.” We’re also playing one of the songs live at the moment, which is “Never Say You’re Sorry.” That one is something from the new album that’s going to come out. It’s kind of a preview of that, to what that records gonna be like. Oh, and then also we do our version of Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop, and we mash it up with Devo. It’s called “Misty Mountain Urge.” We decided to do our version of the song, merge it with Devo, and speed it up.

Andrew:
You mentioned the new album. Your last album of original material was Working With God, which was released in 2021. What can you tell us about your next full length?

Dale:
I’m not sure how much I can say about it right now, because we don’t know exactly when it’s coming out. We’re waiting, as everybody is, because of the backlog of people trying to get records made. But the album is something we’ve done while we’ve had all the time off, and all I can really say is I really like it a lot, and it’s pretty bone-crushing. I can also say that “Never Say You’re Sorry” is a good indication of how the record will sound. If you like that one, then you’ll enjoy the rest of the album.

Andrew:
Will any interesting guests be joining the band on the new album?

Dale:
Let me see. Yeah, I think one song has Dylan Carlson from Earth on it, so that’s kind of it. The rest is just the three of us.

Andrew:
Circling back to the Industrial Strength Tour. The band has put together a great setlist. How do you go about choosing which songs you want to play live for a tour like this?

Dale:
I mean, since this whole thing was that has been happening, we played one show. We played in Chicago last October right before Halloween and had a cool, full setlist put together. I think some of the songs besides maybe, “Never Say You’re Sorry,” we played at that show. We were also working towards doing some additional shows that got canceled due to the Omnicom variants. So, with this thing, we were like, “What the hell are we gonna play?” In the end, we almost just put together a greatest hits thing, but then there’s some new stuff in there as well. We knew we wanted to play “Honey Bucket,” and the Red Kross one, “Charlie,” and we took it from there.

Andrew:
I wanted to go back in history a little bit. It’s the thirtieth anniversary of Lysol, the Melvin’s last before the Atlantic Records years. Looking back on that album, what do you remember from the sessions? What is the album’s legacy in the eyes of the band?

Dale:
Well, it was done relatively quickly. I think we would know that there was some interest in us possibly being on a major, so we knew that this might be our last record for our label at the time, Boner Records. We wanted to do something cool, and I remember making it and thinking, “Well, I really like this, but I don’t think anybody else will like it.” [Laughs]. When we played live, we were playing the big, long intro song, and I remember we opened up with it while we were opening for Soundgarden up in Seattle, where we’re from, and I remember the review of the show was like, “Oh, those guys just played one note all night long.” So, I was kind of right, you know? For me, the fact that anybody liked that, or was even influenced by that, it’s pretty surprising considering, you know, what I thought people would think.

Andrew:
In my estimation, the Melvins are the ultimate indie band. You guys have consistently skirted trends, you don’t seem to care about commercial viability per se. With that said, looking back on signing with Atlantic Records and those three albums, Houdini, Stoner Witch, and Stag, what was your thought process around that time?

Dale:

Well, that’s an interesting period in the band’s history because it resulted in what are probably three of the band’s most well-known records. I mean, there was an opportunity there because of the whole Nirvana and grunge thing. We thought we should take advantage of it. We had to.

Andrew:
Looking back, what were the lessons the band learned from those three records as you moved forward?

Dale:
Oh, I think we learned how to make good records. I mean, the great thing was that we had somebody that wanted to give us money to make records, and we were able to afford more than four days to make a record top to bottom. We got to spend three weeks, which is ironic because most bands are spending three months or longer, and even three months is short for some of those bands. So, for us, it was about having a little bit more room to do stuff, but still doing it as efficiently as we did. And then just working with people that knew what they were doing in the studio as well. I think we learned a lot working with the guys that we worked with.

Andrew:
What’s your, what’s your favorite of those three records? Dale?

Dale:
That’s tough. I don’t know. I keep going back and forth. Maybe Stoner Witch, because with that one we got to sit at A&m Records for three weeks and make a record in a world-class studio. That’s my favorite of the three, however, they’re all amazing records. I liked Stag as well. I kind of felt like that was the most interesting of the three. I thought the progression there was something I liked. I liked the way it came out, and I thought it was a great record. I thought that was gonna be the one that people would like, and then I was wrong again. [Laughs].

Andrew:
The Melvins put out some long-awaited reissues in recent years. To that end, can the fans hope for anything more reissues of classic albums as we go forward?

Dale:
Obviously, with pressing things, that’s an issue. You know, everybody made a record while COVID was happening. So, that’s part of the problem. I’m sure there’s a little bit of a supply issue. I think it’ll eventually catch up, and we’ll be fine. You know, people don’t make a lot of records as we do. I’m sure there are plans for more reissues. I probably don’t know as much as Buzz knows though. To be determined on that front.

Andrew:
You’re also the drummer for Red Kross. Anything to report in that regard?

Dale:
Well, there’s a documentary being made about the band, but I’m not sure when it’s coming out. I think it’s pretty much finished, or close to being finished. I heard that it might have gotten some interest in some festival type of things. Hopefully, next year we can do some touring, and maybe some recording, hopefully, get something else out. And then I know that Neurotica is getting another special release.

Andrew:
On the solo side of things, your last album, Rat-A-Tat-Tat, was released in 2021. Where do things stand on that front?

Dale:
Well, we’re not doing any shows or anything like that because Melvin’s stuff is going on. But, hopefully, maybe we can make something happen next year. I would have liked to play some shows before this whole thing happened – I was booking shows – and we were gonna do some kind of tour. So, maybe I’d like to have that happen again, that would be great. I hope to work on more stuff, too. For now, after this tour, we got the Melvins have got more fun planned for the rest of the year. We’re just focused on playing shows, and getting back to that for now.

Andrew:
Over the years you must have played thousands of shows, Dale. Even with the millage on your arms, you sound as heavy as ever. How do you maintain your fierce, heavy drumming chops?

Dale:
Performance-enhancing drugs. [Laughs]. My choice is caffeine and lots of it. It’s honestly caffeine and adrenaline. That’s the concoction.

Andrew:
What are five albums you can’t live without?

Dale”
Oh, God. Let me think. Probably the entire Beatles catalog. Does that count? It probably would be a toss-up between some middle-period Beatles records. I’d say Rubber Soul. I’d have to pick a Stones record too, and that would probably be Sticky Fingers. A third would be Iggy & The Stooges’ Funhouse. That’s three, right? Two more is too hard. Let’s just go with three. [Laughs]. more too hard let’s just go through

Andrew:
You’re in Detroit now, with more shows coming down the pike. What’s next for both yourself and the Melvins in all lanes, Dale?

Dale:
More shows! Some fun things are coming down the pike soon that we’ll be announcing soon. As far as the tour, and more shows, we will be going all over. As far as the new album’s release – hopefully, this year. If this all goes well, it’ll this year, very soon, because we’d like to play the stuff live. That’s all the excitement we’ve got going on in a time when up until recently, there was no excitement at all.

Interested in learning more about the Melvins? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
20 %
Excited
Excited
40 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
20 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
20 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

One thought on “An Interview with Dale Crover of the Melvins

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: