A Visit To The Mound: Dale Crover of the Melvins

The Melvins have been one of my favorite bands since 1991 when I saw them live for the first time.  Much like baseball, it’s easy for lazy people to miss the nuances that make the Melvins great.  Drummer Dale Crover is a legend for hitting things very hard with wooden sticks, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he loves baseball.  Also, Dale is a die hard Dodgers fan and I’m a die hard Giants fan and although I’ve seen the Melvins live 43 times since 1991, ‘Pound The Giants’ is still a shit song..  😉 -Brian Lew

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What’s your earliest baseball memory?

It could maybe be watching Hank Aaron hit #715. I remember watching with my family and it being a big deal. I would’ve been 6 years old.

Have you played ball?  If so what number did you wear?  Did the number have any significance?

Yeah, I was in Little League as a kid. I probably wanted to wear #44 like Reggie Jackson. I liked the Yankees back then and saw them play the Mariners a bunch at The Kingdome.

DALE KID

The Dodgers are your team.  Was there a profound moment, game, or event that made you swear a blood oath to Dodger Blue?

Not really. I hadn’t been to a game in years. I went once with Buzz and Adam from Tool. Walking into Dodger Stadium and seeing the field reminded me of that first time going as a kid. I got that rush, man! After a few more games I was hooked and developed a big baseball habit. That’s when I turned blue!

Do you have a ballgame ritual? Favorite snack?

I like sitting in the reserve level behind home plate. I think it’s the best view of the game and what’s going on.  For snacks I’ll go to the stand that sells sushi and salads. There’s never a line there, surprise, surprise! They have 5 dollar fake beers and peanuts.

I went to the Twins park last year. They may have the best food of all the parks I’ve been to. There’s a constant smell of bacon and they even have an Indian food stand!

TWINS FOOD

What has been the greatest thing you’ve witnessed or experienced at a baseball game?

I have a friend who’s a camera man for the local news. He was covering Dodgers games and took me as part of the news crew once. We were allowed on the field before the game, got to watch from the press box AND go into the clubhouse after the game and interview players!! That was a trip! It was like being in your favorite band’s dressing room after the show. All of the sudden I’m holding a microphone in front of Adrian Gonzalez’s face and asking Dee Gordon questions!

DODGER STADIUM

Beloved Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley.

Favorite heckle?

“BAAARRROIIIID!!!!”

Sorry, I had to since you’re a Giants fan. I went to few of the games here when he was about to tie the HR record. He was ruthlessly heckled, but everyone had their cameras out every time he was up, hoping to see him do it.

Given your baseball fandom, is touring the States in the Summer different now than back in The Day?  Are you able to influence tour routing to catch games?

No, but sometimes it works out that we can see a game or two on tour. I always check team schedules to see if anything coincides with our’s. I’ve been to half the MLB parks and a few pretty cool minor league parks on tour. Made it to a Spring Training game last year. I’ve been to the Louisville Slugger Museum a few times. Someday I hope to make it to Cooperstown

If you played a position, which of the 9 on the field would you be?  Or would you want to be a DH and only hit things with wood.

I’d say DH because I’d suck as a position player, but I don’t really like the DH. I like National League rules where the pitcher has to hit.

For me, the 5-4-3 put out is my favorite play in baseball.  What’s your favorite play or situation in a game?  

Mine is the unassisted triple play, which is one of the rarest plays in baseball. So if you ever see one, consider yourself lucky! Actually, if you saw one you’d probably wonder what the hell just happened.

Have you ever played baseball bat sized sticks like Bun E. Carlos?

bunecarlos22

Did you know that Bun E. Carlos is a switch hitting drummer? He’s the only guy I’ve ever seen who can set his kit up either right handed or left handed and have the same drumming average. What a freak!!!

Anyway, to answer your question…

DALE STICKS

Buzz is also a baseball fan and the Melvins recorded a rendition of ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’.  Does the love of the game influence the band that often?  

Sometimes. There’s a song on the Mike and the Melvins record called ‘Pound The Giants’ 😉

Has there been incidents when your rock ‘n roll life crossed over with your baseball life?

For a brief period they would play ‘The Water Glass’ with a video montage of the Dodgers right before the team took the field. It was a big surprise to us because we had no idea they were going to use the song!

If you were pitching to Eddie Vedder, would you serve him some chin music?

I wouldn’t be afraid to throw inside. I’d go high and tight on the first pitch and try to get in his head, sure!

Anything else you want to say to the Baseball Über Alles crowd?

Happy Opening Day!

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Dale and Buzz of the Melvins can be heard on the new album by Crystal Fairy, a band they’ve formed with vocalist Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and Omar Rodríguez-López of At the Drive-In / Mars Volta.  In addition, Dale will be playing drums for the mighty Redd Kross on their U.S. Tour that kicks off in mid-April with shows into July.  The Melvins will be back on the road again later this year.

Play ball!

The Melvins – ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’ (from the Basses Loaded album)