Buzz Osborne performing with Melvins in 2006
|Birth name||Roger Osborne|
|Also known as||King Buzzo|
|Born||March 25, 1964|
|Origin||Montesano, Washington, United States|
|Genres||Sludge metal, experimental rock, doom metal, noise rock, hardcore punk, avant-garde|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums|
|Years active||early 1980s–present|
|Labels||Alchemy, Alternative Tentacles, Amphetamine Reptile, Boner, C/Z, Hydrahead, Ipecac, Man's Ruin, Slap-a-Ham, Sympathy for the Record Industry|
|Associated acts||Melvins, Fantômas, Venomous Concept, Fecal Matter, Zu|
|Gibson Les Paul Custom
Electrical Guitar Company Aluminum Guitar
Roger "Buzz" Osborne, also known as King Buzzo (born March 25, 1964) is the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter and technically the only remaining founding member of the Melvins (drummer Dale Crover is often regarded as a founding member, but he joined after the band was formed, though before they had yet recorded an album). He's also collaborated with various other artists such as Cows and Tool. Osborne is additionally a founding member/guitarist for both the groups Fantômas and Venomous Concept. He was a high school friend of Kurt Cobain and the bassist for Cobain's first band, Fecal Matter.
Osborne first started listening to the music of Aerosmith and Ted Nugent around the age of 12, then became greatly interested in punk rock in a few years' time. In the early 1980s Osborne founded the Melvins with Matt Lukin and Mike Dillard who all attended Montesano High School (Wheeler Building) in Montesano, Washington, where he graduated in 1982. In the beginning the Melvins played The Who and Jimi Hendrix covers but began playing fast hardcore punk after Osborne was introduced to bands such as Black Flag, Flipper, and Millions of Dead Cops by a friend from out of state. When Dillard left the band in 1984, Dale Crover was recruited out of an Iron Maiden-cover band, and the band's rehearsals moved to a back room of Crover's parents house in Aberdeen, Washington. They began to play slower and "heavier" songs.
In 1986, the band released their Six Songs EP on C/Z Records (later re-released as Eight Songs, 10 Songs and as 26 Songs in 2003 on Ipecac Recordings) that was recorded live to a two track at Ironwood, February 8, 1986. In December 1986 they recorded their first full album, Gluey Porch Treatments, at Studio D in Sausalito, California, which was released in 1987 on Alchemy Records (and later re-released as a bonus on the CD version of their second album Ozma on Boner Records and in 1999 on Ipecac Recordings with some garage demos).
In 1988, Osborne, with Crover, relocated to San Francisco where the band recorded their next album, Ozma, in May 1989. It was released later that year.
Osborne, along with the rest of the Melvins, knew the members of Nirvana. When Dave Grohl's first band, Scream, disbanded, he approached Osborne for advice. Osborne, in response, introduced Grohl to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The influence of the Melvins can be clearly felt on Nirvana's music, especially their early, Bleach-era work.
In 1997, Osborne appeared in the promo video for The Offspring's video "All I Want," as a masked pianist. Osborne also appears in the 1994 video for the Beck song "Beercan" which samples the Melvins' song "Hogleg."
Buzz joined Tool onstage during their tour for Ænema. The Melvins also opened for Tool on the tour. In 1998, Osborne joined a new band known as Fantômas with Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, a band which he remains involved with to the present day.
Fantômas' latest studio album release is 2005's Suspended Animation. That concept album focused on the theme of Holidays, featuring a frenetic punk rock sound. A commercial success, the album hit the #7 spot on Billboard's 'Top Heatseekers' chart and #12 on its 'Top Independent Albums' chart.
In 2014, King Buzzo announced his first solo acoustic tour along with a 10" EP entitled "This Machine Kills Artists" and an album to follow in June on Ipecac Recordings.
Major influences and legacy
Osborne has remarked, "From a very early age I was interested in underground music. I never appreciated the big stadium shows in the first place— I cut my milk teeth musically on smaller shows. A much more intimate basis. That’s the lessons I learned from punk rock that I never forgot. That extends to today." As referred to before, he had a very wide set of musical influences since his childhood, ranging from arena rock to glam rock to punk to power pop and more. Osborne has called himself a lifelong "musical anthropologist" and stated that "since I never grew up around people who gave me any indication of how one was supposed to act, I was equally excited seeing the Kinks as I would be by seeing a punk rock band. Or Cheap Trick." In terms of hip hop music, he's stated that his favorite rap album is Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell.
In a 2011 interview with the music magazine L.A. Record, Osborne stated when asked about American politics that "I hate conservatives, but I really hate liberals. Here's the thing. I have my own opinions about everything, and it's basically classic liberalism." In 2008, he told the magazine Alarm that he opposes what he sees as both modern socialist and fascist thought, stating that he's "into true liberalism, which means you mind your own goddamn business; you take care of yourself." In a 2014 interview with Tonedeaf, Osborne expressed that American economist, Thomas Sowell, has been a major influence on his career. "I consider Sowell the greatest philosopher of all time." Osborne explained. "He is a PhD economist and he's written more than 30 books about everything you can imagine, from social commentary to how economics works."
In terms of issues covering copyright and illegal file-sharing of songs (such as in the warez scene), Osborne's remarked, "The internet downloading— people need to get over it". He's also added, "Is it stealing? Sure, yeah— but it doesn't matter. It's over. Things have changed. We have to move on." In an earlier interview, he argued, "For me musically, I wish I woulda had something like YouTube when I was a kid so I could go, 'Oh, what’s this Captain Beefheart?'"
Since at least 2009 he has been primarily playing aluminum guitars from The Electrical Guitar Company, citing a preference in size of the fretboard and general tone.
- Stillman, Josh (April 23, 2013). "Stream Melvins Covers Album 'Everybody Loves Sausages' With King Buzzo Commentary". Spin Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- "THE MELVINS: HE’S A BIG MOTHER". L.A. Record. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
- Ted Drozdowski The Melvins' King Buzzo Lays Down the Rules on Guitar Playing, “Hot Topic” Punk, and What You Ought to Know About Music Gibson.com Retrieved: 2009-05-16
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