Buzz Osborne of the Melvins on how the Beastie Boys were Warlock Pinchers for Dummies

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Is there anybody you've found in that category that you've found exceptionally good?

I think the Cars did a pretty good job of that on the first two records. That's pop music that I can agree with the masses on. Queen, to some degree, did that. Once in a while, I agree with millions and millions of people that something's good. By and large, just because it sold millions and millions of records doesn't mean I'm going to like it.

But I also don't perversely dislike it as a result of them being popular. There's not enough good music for me to be that picky. I want every record to be good. I want to turn on the radio and have every song be something I like. It just doesn't happen. As I've gotten older, I've had less and less tolerance for any of that stuff.

It's not about getting old. I hated children when I was a child. I didn't like teenagers when I was a teenager. I didn't identify with them. "You're older now, and you don't get it now." No, no, I didn't get it then. I still don't get it. I never had a golden age of getting it. I was an uncomfortable weirdo when I was with people my own age or older people. I have no interest in trying to be young. I'm my age, and here's what I offer.

If someone wants to be involved in something where they only believe eighty-year-old blues men or fifteen-year-old pop stars, that's their thing, not mine. If people only want to be into me because I'm too old or too young, I really have no time for it. They're into something that has little or nothing to do with music. I'm very much, "What have you done lately?" Tom Waits -- I think his new album is one of the best records he's ever done. What is he, 62? It's one of the most inventive albums that he's ever made.

He's definitely someone who has pushed himself to do different things across his entire career -- which is, to anyone who has been paying attention, exactly what you've done.

Oh, I couldn't be more happy about a statement like that. That's exactly what I want to do.

Yeah, your catalogue kind of speaks for itself. For example, you did an album with Lustmord.

A lot of that stems from the fact that most people don't -- and you brought that up with the Black Flag over Black Sabbath -- know I liked Black Sabbath okay, but I never cared for them as much as I liked other stuff. I was just as much into Deep Purple as I would have been Black Sabbath, if not more so. People don't see that, though. I don't know. Weird.

Our influences and what we like as musicians is vast. We've been into music for a long time. I'm a fan of music. I'm always interested in music I haven't heard yet. Now I like about the same amount of bands I ever liked. A few new bands make it through, but that's always been the case. If you go back to 1980, it was the same percentage of bands I liked then as new bands now: Very few. Once in a while.

As far as changing, certainly in the last fifteen years, my attitude has been I want to be Captain Beefheart, George Clinton and Tom Waits going through a Mixmaster playing heavy metal. Captain Beefheart sensibilities. We're very serious about all of that. Like a record like Colossus of Destiny -- that's one of my favorites, and that's the one I'd tell people to listen to. It's a live noise album. It's not really a noise album, and it has a meter and flow to it, and it's very much planned out. I like stuff like that, like Throbbing Gristle or whoever. Or Lustmord, who was in SPK. Or Whitehouse and all of that stuff. It's all good.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.