For years, Buzz Osborne has been hording songs like a chipmunk stocking acorns for a bitter winter.
The guitarist with the gray and black mop-fro — known to fans of his band, the Melvins, as King Buzzo — said these songs might surface on future Melvins releases. But then again, they might not.
"I want to record a new record by no later than next summer," explained Osborne, already planning far ahead of the group's October release. "I'm always thinking about the next record. I can't stop moving my feet. I've written material for at least 10 albums. I just need to sift through it all. Some of these songs I've had sitting around for a long time. You just can't finish them for whatever reason, but you know they're good. You just have to wait, and let them develop.
"I've got way more than I can use, because I don't want to make 80-minute records," he continued. "I have it all catalogued on four-track tapes. Some of these songs will never see the light of day, because I'm always coming up with new stuff that I'll think is better. You never know."
On the Melvins' forthcoming 19th studio LP, (A) Senile Animal, which is due October 10, Buzzo said he and longtime drummer Dale Crover tried to make the most of what they had. Following the exit of bassist Kevin Rutmanis, the Melvins expanded to a quartet, welcoming metal duo Big Business (bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis) into the fold. With two drummers at their disposal, and three dudes who can carry a tune, the Melvins on Senile sound like different Melvins altogether, Osborne said.
"We tried to utilize what we could with three singers, and wanted to see how that would be different," explained Osborne, who provided vocals along with Crover and Warren. "The record definitely has a different feel to it than what we've normally done, as a result of the double drums and the extra vocals.
"It's a very drums-oriented experience," he continued. "You figure if you have two drummers, you just go with it. You make it sound as big as possible, and you do the best with that as you can. It's more complicated sounding, because the drumming is much more complicated than it has been in the past. You can still tell it's us, but we've tried to grow. It's way better than all of our other stuff — way better."
The band started recording Senile in Los Angeles on July 1, and were done 13 rapid-fire days and 10 songs later. The Melvins self-produced the disc with Toshi Kasai, who engineered 2004's Pigs of the Roman Empire, a collaborative outing between the Melvins and ambient-noise specialist Lustmord. The Melvins' new disc will include the cuts "Civilized Worm," "A History of Drunks" and "A Vast Filthy Prison."
At least one of the songs the Melvins wanted to include on the album didn't end up making the final cut, but will be released next year by way of an as-yet-untitled split EP the group is working on with veteran punk/metal band Rancid Vat. Osborne said the Melvins recorded a cover of the Sonics' "Boss Hoss" for the effort.
The Melvins will be spending much of the rest of this year touring, bringing their punishing live gigs to the masses. The band's current run (for which Big Business is opening on all dates) wraps September 24 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Ghostigital will join the trek September 25 in Minneapolis, and dates are scheduled through December 2 in Costa Mesa, California.
Beyond the Melvins, Osborne said he'll be working with Mike Patton soon on the next Fantômas record, but "I just have no idea when that will be. Who knows? It's hard to keep track of what [Patton is] doing. I try to stay out of it."