In a grimey THC fug in old Amsterdam, Dave Grohl's heart opened forever to a band who rocked, but rocked real slow.
My Band, Scream, were playing Amsterdam. This was 1986 and we were killing time between gigs, staying at a
friend's house, smoking weed and doing nothing. I had grown up listening to hardcore and underground
metal so I loved music that was heavy and fast with tuned out guitars. I was listening to bands like Trouble,
Motorhead, Minor Threat and Bad Brains, and I was literally playing through this guy's record collection,
every single last one.
When I got to the Melvins' Gluey Porch Teatments, I thought, Here's another hardcore record. But when I put it on it really fucking blew my mind. This was the moment I fell in love with the dirge aesthetic. The songs were so slow you couldn't imagine how the band kept time. It was 10 to 15 seconds between each hit! I had never heard anything so heavy before, and the fact these were teenagers from Aberdeen, Washington, playing music heavier than Black Sabbath or any metal record I had heard, was unbelievable! They had moments of spastic brilliance when they would break into a super-fast, intricate time signature that was incredibly complicated, but those blasts of quickness were mixed with wide-opened, tuned-down slow sections. It was just too wild to explain. They were bordering on prog rock genius - there were barely any 4/4 arrangements, barely any repetition, just arrangements that begin and wind like a snake to the end, so you don't really know what's happened to you. It's fucking unreal, that LP.
And their drummer, Dale Crover, just turned drumming on its side. He would do things with time signatures that no one else could have done, and still no one can do. He's the most individualist drummer I've ever heard in my life. I remember telling him years later that the drum sound on that record was the heaviest, darkest, most powerful drum sound I had ever heard. And he said, "Really? I recorded that with the biggest piece-of-shit drum set that was falling apart." If he could make a small, beat-up drum set sound like a thunderstorm, then that's testament to the man's genius. He's a fucking legend.
I listened to that record every day for two years. I studied it front to back. The Melvins have always been a love them or leave them' type band and that record put its hooks in me and I still can't get them out today. They had these great pauses in between the sections of their songs, so just when you think the song is going to kick back in, it takes another millisecond. It's like this dramatic tension before that hit comes in and makes it twice as heavy. I've never attempted to cover a Melvins' song, but I had the honour of playing drums on their singer Buzz's solo EP [King Buzzo] from 1992. Each member made a solo album that year. While Dale Crover is around and playing drums, I'm always going to be number two.