Some things are loud. Melvins are louder. I guarantee it.
The band that formed in 1983 is still popping eardrums with their nearly impossible-to-follow rhythms and chest-pounding drums. The band shows no sign of slowing down, especially after their new album, “Basses Loaded.” The LP features SIX different bass players. All heavy. All heavy. ALL HEAVY MUSIC!
But who are these guys? We’ve seen band leader, King Buzzo Osborne on national television news shows. Drummer, Dale Crover, seems to be the only other consistent member. And how many bass players have come though the band over 30 years?
“They’re really friendly guys. They come across as being a bit weird. People are a little scared of them but they’re totally babies. They’re some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet,” says Bob Hannam, director of the new and one and only Melvins documentary, “The Colossus Of Destiny – A Melvins Tale.”
Hannam, a Bay Area resident, and his business partner, Ryan Sutherby, began the project a few years ago just by following the band with their cameras.
“I started it seven years ago. I went on tour with them and filmed. After four or five years of just filming them I decided I gotta just knuckle down and do this," Hannam said. "I heard about another guy wanting to make a documentary. I tracked him down and we decided to pool our stuff together and go for it."
Hannam added, “Video from the really early years was hard to find footage. I guess during the punk rock shows back then people didn’t have the money to buy a VHS camera let alone fit it in a pocket and sneak it in. Dale, the drummer, gave me a box of 60 VHS tapes people had given him over the years. A lot of it hasn’t been seen.”
Following Melvins was a full-time job for the team.
“The story line is pretty much up to the minute, which is hard because those guys keep working. And I had to draw a line somewhere -- even though they have another two albums coming out in the next year. That explains why they are still relevant and why they are who they are,” Hannam said.
The film is loaded with star interviews from Faith No More’s Mike Pattton to Jesus Lizard front man, David Yow. But Hannam said there was one personal favorite interview he couldn’t believe he was able to land.
“The best part for me was reaching out to see if Gene Simmons would do an interview. As an old KISS fan, I thought he wouldn’t do it. He’s a genuine fan -- that was a score!”
The film has screened once in Los Angeles for band members and their friends and family.
“The Colossus Of Destiny – A Melvins Tale” shows Monday night at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 2550 Mission Street in San Francisco.
- July 22, Hollywood Theater, Portland, OR
- July 23-24, Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle WA
- July 27 Regent Theater, Los Angeles, CA (with a short set from the band)
- August 12 Grumpy’s Theater, Minneapolis, MN
- August 26-28 Psycho Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Robert Wellington is a staff photojournalist for NBC Bay Area and plays guitar with Gary Floyd and The Buddha Brothers.