Melvins’ Buzz Osborne talks Gavin McInnes interview, Black Lives Matter, more
After a 2018 interview he gave with Proud Boys (and Vice) founder Gavin McInnes recently resurfaced (and that most seemed to assume was new when word spread on Twitter), Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne spoke to Metal Sucks about the resulting controversy. Osborne called himself a "classical liberal" and "reactionary libertarian" in the interview, claimed that Nazis are socialists, and called A Wrinkle in Time "one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen," while asserting that "their main focus in that movie was that they were diverse." Here's a clip:
McInnes, who co-founded Vice in 1994 and left in 2008, had his Twitter account permanently suspended in August of 2018 over the social network's rules against hate groups; by November of that year, the FBI had classified the far-right, all-male Proud Boys as an extremist group with white nationalist ties. Osborne's interview happened earlier in 2018 than either of those events, but well within the timeframe that the group was infamously, and controversially, operating. Osborne, however, told Metal Sucks he had no relationship with McInnes, and no knowledge of the Proud Boys. Here's an excerpt from the interview:
Metal Sucks: On his relationship with Gavin McInnes:
I have zero relationship with Gavin McInnes. I never talked to him prior to the interview, I did the interview, I have never spoken to him since. I have no idea [about] anything about him… as a matter of fact, if you had him in front of me with five other guys, I couldn’t pick him out of a line-up.
MS: Did he know about McInnes’ association with The Proud Boys prior to the interview?
I didn’t know about The Proud Boys until last week. I’d never even heard of them until this stuff [about his interview] came out. I had no idea what they were, I had never heard of them. No clue. Nothing.
Remember, this interview was two-and-a-half years ago. So the interview itself is one of literally hundreds I’ve done since then. And believe it or not, not one single time do I ever do background checks on anyone I was doing an interview with. Like, I didn’t do a background check on you. I have no idea where you stand politically, if you’ve been arrested… I have no idea. I don’t do that kinda stuff. Nor will I ever do that kinda stuff. When I do an interview, I am solely there to promote myself and my band. That’s it.
Asked about his feelings on groups like The Proud Boys by Metal Sucks, Osborne condemned them, along with all violence, including looting that's been tied to Black Lives Matter protests:
I am not in support of any kind of extremist hate group in any way. Nothing. I have zero support for any of that stuff. I do not like that kinda stuff…. I don’t care what side you’re on — if you are involved in a group that promotes hatred or violence or looting or anything of that nature, I am against it.
In the current climate we’re in, I am against the police. I am also against looting and rioting. I don’t believe in that sort of thing. I think it’s a horrible thing to do. I think there’s other ways you can accomplish the same types of thing. If what you wanna do is go out and burn and loot and riot or terrorize someone, you’ve lost me.
Black Lives Matter and all those people had me with fucking over the cops. They lost me with the rioting and the looting and the terrible stuff that’s going on. I’m not into that at all. I think if you go out and destroy someone’s property or wreck a business, you’ve lost me. Whatever your purpose was, I don’t hear it — all I see is someone who’s just acting out in a way that I think is absolutely atrocious, and I have no interest in it. I don’t care if I agree them… I don’t like that sort of stuff. I could not be less in favor of that.
Along with the resurfacing of the Gavin interview, came reminders that like Gavin, Buzz had sometimes appeared on Fox News show "Red Eye," that Buzz has talked about his love of Thomas Sowell, and that the Melvins sometimes used Nazi imagery including the old promotional photo where they're giving a Nazi salute and making Hitler moustaches, the use of a swastika and KKK logo on an old release, and the cover of Endless Residency, which depicts a "Death’s Head" skull, imagery used by Nazis. Metal Sucks asked them about this stuff too, and read it in full at their site (Buzz pointing out he is Jewish included).