Buzz Osborne, better known for his work in the hugely influential Melvins, has been out on tour in support of his first solo acoustic album This Machine Kills Artists for nearly four months - across the US, Australia and Europe. He was in Bristol for the last date of the tour before heading home to L.A.

"My first inklings for this were over a year ago. I did the song 'Revolve' on the Ernie Ball website. It seemed to go good so I decided to do an EP with four originals and two Melvins covers and took it from there. Then moved on to the album."

Unlike a lot of solo projects, this hasn't been recorded with the Melvins on hiatus or because Buzz needs a change from the day job. The Melvins have been as prolific as ever in recent times, with a new album due in October. Buzz's typical modesty dressed with a little disparagement of 'Rock Stars' comes to the fore here.

"It seems like we record a lot but compared to what? Most bands are pretty lazy. What have they got to come up with? 8 songs every 4 years? Wow...how do they manage?"

This is also the first time Osborne has toured solo, how does it feel being onstage without the support of his bandmates?

"On stage it's kind of weird, but I'm handling it alright, I'll feel a lot better once I've played about a hundred shows. I've got no plans to do more right now though. 89 is close enough. It doesn't scare me though, I mean I've probably done 3000 gigs with the Melvins and Fantomas."

Buzz quietly walks up onto the stage and goes through the moments of preparation you'd expect before a one-man acoustic show but as soon as he hits the first chord it's apparent that this will be no ordinary 'folk' show. He stalks the stage like a caged animal, much more animated than when he's with his band, perhaps making use of the space on the normally cramped stage, perhaps feeling a need to bring more to the show, to 'entertain'.

Usually an acoustic set sees a performer stripping away the stage show, toning down the rock 'n' roll histrionics but Buzz, in what is a constant theme of this current solo project, does the reverse putting out more of his own personality than in most Melvins shows.

"I wanted to change it up a little bit with the acoustic thing. I thought a whole lot about how I was going to make this work. I'm trying to do something that nobody else is doing. I don't really like acoustic music mostly. Dylan though, the reason I like Dylan is a lot different to most people, he's mean-spirited. That's what's good about it. Even a song like 'Blowin' In The Wind' is mean-spirited. He's asking 'Why? How many?' It's not 'Happy days are here again'. 'Rolling Stone' certainly isn't. 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)'. Songs like that, they're not nice. That was one of the first things I noticed about him was that he was mean-spirited. He takes stuff like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and betters it by far, way better."

The emptiness of the stage emphasises many of the elements that are present at Melvins shows but can be obscured by pure volume. Buzz switches from loud, hammering guitar parts to silence in an instant. The fact that Buzz is good friends with the people at The Exchange means there is a family vibe to the show and whilst people are listening intently there's not, and there feels no need for, the reverential silence some bigger more... sensitive performers have been demanding recently and haranguing audiences for if they don't receive.

"There's a lot of dynamics to what I'm doing, down to almost nothing, quiet as a pin dropping or loud and people can 'blah blah blah' but I don't tell people to shut up. Generally the audience takes care of that. If somebody gets personal I'll take it from there. I don't like it when bands are like 'Do this, do that.' I'm way too libertarian for that. I don't want to pay to have somebody tell me what I can and can't do. 'Live' is a roll of the dice, there's a lot of things that can happen. That's probably what's cool about it. I'm not up there to lecture people. I'll maybe talk to some individual, it's fairly obvious if they're being stupid. If you do it funny then they quit usually."

It's enlightening to see a talkative Osborne interacting with the crowd as he tells a (pretty long but very entertaining) story about Mike Patton defending the Melvins from an unappreciative Mr Bungle crowd by literally shitting on the audience. At times, this story-telling combined with the animated performance feels like we're watching Buzz Osborne in his living room, going full Jack Black.

The acoustic setting allows Buzz's ability on the guitar to come through more clearly than with the Melvins. Removing the distortion and the power-house drumming of Dale Crover reveals the range and aforementioned dynamics. Switching deftly between delicate and destructive, he retains a formidable heaviness at points, the guitar sounding like John Fahey had grown up on Sabbath and Alice Cooper. But Osborne is modest about his abilities and knows that any guitar mastery has to be of service to the song.

"The guitar's important but really I play guitar so I can write songs. I play guitar fairly well, but once again, compared to what? But without the songs to go along with it to me it's pointless. I guess it's ok to some degree to be enamoured of people who do a lot of guitar gymnastics, and to some degree I am, but if they don't have the songs I don't care. I want to know what you have to say? Playing a bunch of fancy riffs is like driving a car fast. So what?"

It would be hard for King Buzzo to have had a better final show for this tour, with a rapt but playful audience bringing out the best in him, allowing time for far more stories than there's space for here.

The Melvins have always been uncompromising in their work and Osborne applies the same ethos to his solo work. Just because you expect an acoustic show to be one way doesn't mean he'll give it to you that way. This is not MTV Unplugged.