Buzz Osborne

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Buzz Osborne
King Buzzo of The Melvins - Aggie Theatre, Fort Collins, Colorado.jpg
Buzz Osborne performing with Melvins in 2006
Background information
Birth name Roger Osborne
Also known as King Buzzo
Born (1964-03-25) March 25, 1964 (age 53)
Origin Montesano, Washington, United States
Genres Sludge metal, experimental rock, doom metal, noise rock, hardcore punk, avant-garde, alternative metal[1]
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums
Years active 1983–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
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Electrical Guitar Company Aluminum Guitar

Roger "Buzz" Osborne, also known as King Buzzo (born March 25, 1964), is the American 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. In 2017 he played as part of Crystal Fairy with Terri Gender Bender, Dale Crover and Omar Rodrigez Lopez.[2]


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.[3] 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 previous 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.[4]

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.[5]

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[edit]

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.[6]

Though having a diverse range of styles played by his band, the Melvins have been referred to as being like 'Godfathers' of the grunge movement.[7]

Political and social views[edit]

Osborne performing in San Francisco in 2010.

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."[6] 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."[7] 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 a 2008 interview with Rochester City Newspaper, when asked about his collaboration with Jello Biafra on two albums, Osborne stated that "I don't relate at all to his politics. I believe in personal freedom, personal responsibility. And nobody tells you what to do more than the left wing. They're a bunch of fascists." "[8]

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."[7] 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?'"[6]

Musical equipment[edit]

Osborne primarily used Gibson Les Paul guitars from the 1960s and 1970s played through BOSS effect pedals and variety of vintage amplifers and cabinets.[9]

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.



Date of Release Title Label Catalog Number
June 3, 2014 This Machine Kills Artists (as King Buzzo) Ipecac Recordings IPC-159

with the Melvins[edit]

Date of Release Title Label Catalog Number
1986 Six Songs C/Z Records CZ002
1987 Gluey Porch Treatments Alchemy Records VM103
1989 Ozma Boner Records BR16-2
1991 Your Choice Live Series Vol.12 Your Choice Records YC-LS 012
1991 Bullhead Boner Records BR25-2
1991 Eggnog Boner Records BR28-2
1992 Salad of a Thousand Delights Box Dog Video BDV002
1992 King Buzzo Boner Records BR32-2
1992 Lysol (aka Melvins) Boner Records BR35-2
September 21, 1993 Houdini Atlantic Records 82532-2
August 5, 1994 Prick Amphetamine Reptile Records AmRep 031
October 18, 1994 Stoner Witch Atlantic Records 82704-2
July 15, 1996 Stag Atlantic Records 82878-2
May 5, 1997 Honky Amphetamine Reptile Records AmRep 064-2
August 26, 1997 Singles 1-12 Amphetamine Reptile Records AmRep 063
1998 Alive at the F*cker Club Amphetamine Reptile Records AmRep 072
May 17, 1999 The Maggot Ipecac Recordings IPC-002
August 23, 1999 The Bootlicker Ipecac Recordings IPC-004
February 7, 2000 The Crybaby Ipecac Recordings IPC-006
November 27, 2000 Gluey Porch Treatments Ipecac Recordings IPC-012
February 6, 2001 Electroretard Man's Ruin Records MR2002
April 16, 2001 Colossus of Destiny Ipecac Recordings IPC-014
April 1, 2002 Millennium Monsterwork 2000 w/Fantômas Ipecac Recordings IPC-019
April 15, 2002 Hostile Ambient Takeover Ipecac Recordings IPC-020
March 11, 2003 26 Songs Ipecac Recordings IPC-038
September 16, 2003 Melvinmania: The Best Of The Atlantic Years 1993–1996 Atlantic Records 5050466574428
March 9, 2004 Neither Here Nor There Ipecac Recordings IPC-047
August 23, 2004 Pigs of the Roman Empire w/Lustmord Ipecac Recordings IPC-054
October 19, 2004 Never Breathe What You Can't See w/Jello Biafra Alternative Tentacles Virus300
May 31, 2005 Mangled Demos from 1983 Ipecac Recordings IPC-063
September 26, 2005 Sieg Howdy! w/Jello Biafra Alternative Tentacles Virus350
May 16, 2006 A Live History of Gluttony and Lust
Houdini Live 2005
Ipecac Recordings IPC-076
October 10, 2006 (A) Senile Animal Ipecac Recordings IPC-082
2008 Melvins vs. Minneapolis Amphetamine Reptile Records / Burlesque of North America Records
July 8, 2008 Nude With Boots Ipecac Recordings IPC-105
June 1, 2010 The Bride Screamed Murder Ipecac Recordings IPC-112
March 13, 2012 The Bulls & The Bees Scion A/V SA/V 18-12
June 5, 2012 Freak Puke Ipecac Recordings IPC-136
April 30, 2013 Everybody Loves Sausages Ipecac Recordings IPC-144
November 5, 2013 Tres Cabrones Ipecac Recordings IPC-150
October 14, 2014 Hold It In Ipecac Recordings IPC-164
April 1, 2016 Three Men and a Baby w/Mike Kunka Sub Pop SP 1147
June 3, 2016 Basses Loaded Ipecac Recordings IPC-178

with Fantômas[edit]

Date of Release Title Label Catalog Number
April 26, 1999 Fantômas (aka 'Amenaza Al Mundo') Ipecac Recordings IPC-001
July 9, 2001 The Director's Cut Ipecac Recordings IPC-017
April 1, 2002 Millennium Monsterwork 2000 w/ the Melvins Ipecac Recordings IPC-019
January 27, 2004 Delìrium Còrdia Ipecac Recordings IPC-045
April 5, 2005 (Limited Edition)
June 14, 2005
Suspended Animation Ipecac Recordings IPC-062 (Limited Edition)

with Venomous Concept[edit]

Date of Release Title Label Catalog Number
June 29, 2004 Retroactive Abortion Ipecac Recordings IPC-051

Guest credits[edit]

Date of Release Title Label Credited for
1998 Cows: Sorry in Pig Minor Amphetamine Reptile Records Producer
1999 Goatsnake: Goatsnake Vol. 1 Southern Lord Records Producer and mixing on Dog Catcher
December 12, 2000 Tool: Salival Volcano II Second guitar on You Lied
September 18, 2001 Tweaker: The Attraction to All Things Uncertain Waxploitation co-wrote/guitar on Swamp
2004 Various Artists: Spin the Bottle: An All-Star Tribute to KISS Koch Records Vocals on God of Thunder
2007 Lustmord : Juggernaut Hydra Head Guitar and vocals
2008 Lustmord: O T H E R Hydra Head Guitar on Prime [Aversion]


  1. ^ Jason Lymangrover (2009-02-09). "Carboniferous - Zu | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Stillman, Josh (April 23, 2013). "Stream Melvins Covers Album 'Everybody Loves Sausages' With King Buzzo Commentary". Spin Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Melvins Talk 'Basses Loaded' LP, Featuring Nirvana's Krist Novoselic ... Mar 7, 2016 - King Buzzo talks 'Basses Loaded,' their upcoming LP featuring six bass ... that he said about me online was that I was a "fat Jewish faggot.
  5. ^ Wade Kergan (2005-04-05). "Suspended Animation - Fantômas | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  6. ^ a b c "THE MELVINS: HE'S A BIG MOTHER". L.A. Record. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Melvins: Godfathers Of Grunge Still Going Strong | ALARM". Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  8. ^ "THE MELVINS DO NOT HOLD BACK". Rochester City Newspaper. Retrieved August 6, 2008. 
  9. ^ Ted Drozdowski The Melvins' King Buzzo Lays Down the Rules on Guitar Playing, “Hot Topic” Punk, and What You Ought to Know About Music Retrieved: 2009-05-16

External links[edit]