In 2006, Jared Warren and Coady Willis won the metal jackpot. The pair, respective bassist-vocalist and drummer of the Seattle duo Big Business, had been asked to join the Melvins. Nevermind that the Melvins, one of the most innovative and influential bands of the heavy rock landscape, already had a percussionist. Warren and Willis would link up with Melvins principles Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover to form a double-drum-kit juggernaut, an alt-metal Voltron.
Some might have thought that the pair would ditch Big Business and focus on their new gig full-time, but instead, Warren and Willis cemented their identity as a duo, opening for the Melvins on a series of grueling double-duty tours. Several years on from their landmark merger, the two musicians enjoy the best of both worlds. Whether gigging as half of Melvins or as part of Big Business (the band now employs either one or two guitarists onstage, depending on availability), Warren and Willis enjoy headliner status. When they're off the road, they're busy expanding their discography. The latest Big Business, a 12" called Quadruple Single, outfits their trademark anthemic rumble (part doom metal, part boogie rock) with squiggles of fried-amp guitar.
The Big Business/Melvins partnership wasn't Warren and Willis's first claim to underground fame. Warren had played in Karp, a turbocharged hard-rock trio from Washington State that was easily the heaviest band ever to record for the famously twee K label. Willis had come from the Murder City Devils, a raw Seattle band with strong Misfits overtones. Since linking up in 2004, the pair has churned out six full-lengths: three with Big Business (including 2005's massive Head for the Shallow) and three with the Melvins (try 2006's (A) Senile Animal, a career highlight for all involved). Whatever your field might be, Warren and Willis's career path is instructive. Even if someone buys you out, you can still keep the flagship store open for business.
You should definitely watch part 2 right now.