by Jeff Niesel
Last year, the Melvins came through town on a record-breaking tour that found them playing 51 shows in 51 days. Drummer Dale Crover, who brings the proto-grunge sludge rockers back to the Grog Shop tonight as part of the group’s 30th anniversary tour, says it wasn’t as grueling as you might think.
“When you’re on tour, you don’t have a day off anyway,” he says. “If you have a day off, you’re driving 500 miles. Our day off was 8 hours in the van. It was awesome. That tour was really great. It wasn’t that hard. It might have been easier because some of the states are close together, and we could stay in one hotel for a couple of nights. Some of the shows were early enough that we could be back at the hotel by midnight. It was something big and stupid that we could do to draw a lot of attention to ourselves. In that, we succeeded.”
In fact, the band drew so much attention to itself that rocker George Thorogood, who attempted a similar tour in the ‘80s, was angered by the band’s claim that it accomplished what he failed to achieve.
“George Thorogood heard that they were saying all this stuff about our tour in the press,” says Crover. “[His management] got mad about it. They said they did two tours. But we heard differently. And they’re not in the Guinness book of World Records. So it’s like, ‘Fuck you.’ And who cares anyway. We were just doing it for attention. I couldn’t believe they were mad about it.”
The Melvins sense of humor comes across well on their latest album, Everybody Loves Sausages. It’s a collection of cover tunes that finds them retooling songs by Queen, Throbbing Gristle and the Kinks. While it's not intended as a joke, it’s a decidedly unique assortment of tunes and the Melvins put their own distinct, heavy spin on the songs. It’s a testimony to their work ethic, too, that the band is back on the road just a year after its record-breaking tour. And it makes us wonder what the guys have planned for next year.
“Nothing,” says Crover. “We’ll come up with something I’m sure. I think we’re supposed to go to Australia in December. We’ll probably just do more recording and come up with something else. Oh, I know, instead of 51 shows in 51 days, maybe we’ll do 52 shows in 52 weeks. One show a week for a whole year.”