This upcoming weekend, head to Long Beach to explore the eclectic mix of music forged together to form the lineup of the new Long Beach festival, Music Tastes Good. Not only will music be on the bill for the weekend, but local shopping, a wide variety of eats, and a full range of entertainment will be set up in the frame of this block party meant to bring a diverse culture for three days to Downtown Long Beach. In preparation for the event, it seemed appropriate to talk to one of the most eclectic artists scheduled to play on Saturday; Buzz Osborne of the legendary alternative rock band, the Melvins. Joining the Melvins will be bands like The Specials, Iron & Wine, Warpaint, Dr. Dog, Rival Sons, Pokey La Farge, Deltron 3030, Sylvan Esso, and De La Soul; just mere a taste of the 50 artists listed. Osborne gave The Weekly a moment during his Basses Loaded Tour to talk about sustaining passion in the world of art, the Los Angeles music scene, and how he continues to stay inspired on the band’s newest album, Basses Loaded.
OC Weekly (Kim Conlan): You’re so passionate about music, art, life. Where does that derive from and how can the younger generation keep that alive?
Buzz Osborne: I’m not sure if that’s something that you can you can just conjure up. I think you have to have something there from the beginning, you know? I had a guy who was an Indy car racer in the early ‘70s, and he said the only thing that gave him the same charge as driving an Indianapolis 500 car was music. I thought that that was pretty crazy. I’ve never looked at a painting and gotten the same feeling I do as with music. No other art has ever done that for me.
What made you want to play Music Tastes Good, especially with such an eclectic mix?
It just seemed like the right thing to do. It’s right at the end of our tour, we’ve never played there at a festival like that before, and we’ve certainly never played a festival in Long Beach. We were available, seemed like a fun thing to do.
Who inspired you musically when you were young?
A wide variety of things; The Who, and all the same bands a lot of people do, but we wanted to do something a little different. The individual thing is what makes everybody interesting, not the collectivism. It’s not hard to set yourself apart from what you don’t like. There’s plenty of that.
And what music inspires you lately?
We’ve been touring with this band Helms Alee. We like them a lot. They’re not going to be at the festival, but they’re pretty cool. They’re doing something different with the genre they’re in, I find that to be appealing.
You live in LA, what’s your feel on the music scene?
All of the shows we’ve played there, we’ve had an enthusiastic and fun audience, so that’s been a treat. Venues come and go, you can’t depend on that, but it’s nice when you can once in a while. Usually it’s not the case, so if you can find a place that you can play at and have a good experience, you’d like to return to it. We’ve only had—in the last 25 years—good experiences in Southern California. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Any bands that you’re looking forward to at the festival this weekend?
When we booked it, I was just happy that they were asking us. I don’t know if it’s country bands or whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. The weirder, the better. The more bands that don’t sound like us, the better it is for me. I’m much more attracted to that than a bunch of bands that sound similar to us.
After so many performances, so many collaborations, and so many albums, how do you stay inspired?
It’s what we live for. Playing live; making records. Once I had the opportunity to do that, I never lost the passion to do it. That’s continued all the way through. As soon as we were able to make it work, we felt we were holding up our end of the bargain by keeping going.
Tell me about the newest album, Basses Loaded?
Well it’s got six different bass players on it, so it kind of has a different feel throughout the whole record, which is what I like. It came our in June, and one of the bass players on the record is Steve McDonald, who plays in Redd Kross and OFF!. He’s playing bass with us on this tour. We’re hoping to do some more recording with him at some point. We’ve had lots of different guys, and we’re more than happy to embrace them all. You move around and you do things here and there and you try to just keep it interesting if you can. We love that whole aspect.
You seem to be the storyteller, what story would someone like Mike Patton tell about you?
He would say that I’m All-American, super cool, and classy. That’s what he’d say. Wonderful.