Feb. 27 2008
Dale Crover

Dale Crover

The Melvins

TAMA :When did you join with the Melvins?

Dale : 1984. We're from a really small town in Washington called Aberdeen which was made famous by Kurt Cobain. There weren't a lot of musicians there so I had seen them play before and I had a mutual friend, Chris Novacelic. He told me the Melvins were looking for a drummer. I tried out and I was only 16 at the time and to this day I'm still with them. I feel fortunate; we still keep busy and get along really well.

TAMA : You and your band have a unique style – how do you describe it?

Dale : We started as a punk band and not in the way that is your punk of today... when I first joined the band I knew nothing about punk other than anything goes. Style wise you didn't have to stick to anything. We've never been afraid to try different things. We're not doing your normal pop song structures either.

Buzz is the main writer of the band and he's constantly writing. He's never had a writer's block. There's always new stuff and it's always a thrill and a challenge for me. I've never felt bored.

TAMA : Did you have formal training or lessons?

Dale : Yeah I took lessons from Bob Nisinger; he was the director of music at the local community college. He was a jazz drummer and taught me rudiments and how to read music and other technical stuff... I was also still learning how to play by watching KISS and stuff... I was into rock. I practiced a lot on my own by listening to records and playing along with them.

TAMA : What inspired you to become professional?

Dale : Just watching and being a fan of rock. I knew early on that's what I wanted to do. My first drums were bought when I was 11 years old. I just knew... I started playing with other kids around 12 and then the Melvins at 16. It was a natural progression. It all worked out great. Things are better than ever for us now. Tour a lot.

TAMA : What got you interested in Tama?

Dale : Neil Peart was it. After KISS ... Rush was the next progression, he was the hot drummer at the time. I always liked his set up and years later when I spoke with Tama I said I wanted a gong bass drum because he had one. Now I have an Artstar custom and I've had it since '94. It was modeled off a Bonham style kit I had and it's louder and better than the original drums. I just got a new set from you guys too – Starclassic Bubinga. I tried it out and it was awesome. Basically we added a new drummer to the band, so we decided to get matching drum sets/// Bubinga. We lost a bass player and gained a bass and drum duo. They fit in really good with us. Plus he's a left handed drummer so it's like a mirror image thing going on when we play side by side. Our floor toms meet in the middle.

TAMA : Are there challenges to two drummers?

Dale : Well we just practice a lot it's really not as hard as I thought it would be. He's great and he picks stuff up really easy. We've done about 120 shows together. We’ve got it down pretty good now. It's fun with two drummers.

I did Fantomas before with Dave Lombardo and playing with him was great. It just sounds huge.

TAMA : Side projects?

Dale : I play guitar in another band. Since '94 – the band is called Altamont. I played drums on a bunch of Nirvana songs. I'm also on Mike Patton's "Peeping Tom" record.