2/11/94 - One of the last Kurt Cobain interviews.
Interviewer: “Aside from interviews, what are the biggest drags for you these days?”
Kurt Cobain: “Having people feed me fine French meals when all I want is macaroni and cheese. Being seen as unapproachable when I used to be called shy.”
Interviewer: “What happened to Danny? Did he leave voluntarily?”
Kurt Cobain: “No..”
Dave Grohl: “We had a fist fight over who was gonna be drummer for Nirvana. He knocked me out and I hit him with a pole.”
7/3/92 - Madrid, Spain.
“We spent some time away from each other just to do our own things, but we’re looking forward to getting back to how things were, lock ourselves away and work. Our new record’s just gotta sound different I’ve been on this big rant lately of how transition is natural, continental drift, the seasons, the weather’s different every day, people grow older and change. When I think of ‘Nevermind’ now, I think of interviews and being famous. Now I’m focusing on this new record and not even considering anything that’s happened, and maybe we can come out absolved.” - Krist Novoselic.
Los Angeles, CA, 1989.
Chad: “If it wasn’t for the band, I don’t know where I’d be unless I had a girlfriend to support me or something.”
Kurt: “Someone told us that they wouldn’t even hire us at McDonalds [laughs] - So we’d better pull through.”
“It’s an anti, let me repeat that, anti-rape song. I got tired of people trying to put too much meaning into the lyrics. I decided to be really blunt and bold.” - Kurt Cobain on the song “Rape Me.”
“Obviously there are a few lines in certain songs which allude to what I’ve been through, but that’s my fault. A person can read an entire set of lyrics to one song and find the one line that might have something to do with my personal life and think the entire song is about that.” - Kurt Cobain, 1993.
12/27/91 - Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Mike Hashimoto.
“I wanted to at least sell enough records to be able to eat macaroni and cheese, so I didn’t have to have a job. I can’t stand it when people come up to me and say, ‘Congratulations on your success!’ I want to ask them, ‘Do you like the songs? Do you like the album?’ Selling two million records isn’t successful to me unless it’s good.” - Kurt Cobain [12/27/91].
Interviewer: “After Nevermind, have you thought about killing the group in full glory? To embody this fantasy rock of “live fast and die young?”
Dave: “…We would have preserved the essential music….All the shit that hangs around us would be gone! People would have chosen the songs… This is a very exciting idea, but whose love of music has preserved us. Since the release of Nevermind, we thought about the next disc. Murdering the group, we would have made him a legend. Some say that ‘Nevermind’ changed the face of rock. How three fucking losers were they able to achieve sucha feat? We just change clothes. How can we change the face of the world?”
Kurt: “It’s the love of music that gives me the strength to continue. Nothing else. But I could block it out overnight. I have enough money to disappear without a trace. Bye bye, complete story. If I stay, it’s just for the punk-rock.”
Krist: “In Utero came very naturally. This is not a hard vengeful reaction. Songs are out for themselves. The rage was there, entrenched in Kurt in his belly. There was more to let it flow … Initially, we had this huge fantasy rock record. Something that would crush all existing drives. We wanted to upgrade ‘Nevermind’, outperform everyone. And then, in rehearsal, things are simplified. And the album is done alone. We were incredibly relaxed.”
Happy 20th Anniversary “Incesticide.”
“Midway through our conversation, the Federal Express man rings the doorbell. Novoselic brings the package into the den and opens it to find a framed gold record signifying sales of 500,000 for Incesticide, the compilation of B-sides and rarities that Nirvana released after Nevermind.” - Jim DeRogatis (Interviewer), 1993.
July, 1993 - New York, NY.
“Krist Novoselic comes up on to the roof with a freshly-made mixed fruit drink and sits down. He’s taken off the bear suit, which made him look even more toweringly tall than usual and which made him so hot he spent much of the photo session lying horizontal in front of a fan. After some idle chat, he starts talking about the interview we’d done a few days earlier in the hotel conference room.
As we sit watching the sun set, he says he’s worried he might come across as being “too heavy” in print. I remind him that as well as talking about his involvement in projects such as the Balkan Women’s Aid Fund, he also described the early days of Nirvana, then called Skid Row and influenced by Black Sabbath and Black Flag. And how he and Kurt, who both grew up in Aberdeen, a redneck backwater near-ish Seattle, were always in different bands. “One of The Melvins [still one of Nirvana’s favourite bands] would join for a while, but it was never serious. Finally, back in ‘87, Kurt and I got together and decided to start a real band. So we found this drummer, scrounged equipment and rehearsed constantly. I used to take things so seriously, I’d get all pissed off if we had a bad rehearsal: God, it’s gotta be good, it’s gotta be rock, it’s gotta be fucking fun.
And we were lucky ‘cause we had a van - we were the only band signed to Sub Pop at that time with a van. It was even mentioned in our press release. There was always something around the corner, a show in Olympia, in Seattle, an opening for the Butthole Surfers or Soundgarden. I can remember Soundgarden signing to a major for something like $175,000 and I was incredulous. What were they going to do with it all?” With the money Krist later earned from being in Nirvana, he bought a “modest house” in Seattle and a run-down 40-acre farm, three hours drive from the city. There are no phones out there and that’s just how he wants it.”
11/29/93 - Atlanta, GA.
Interviewer: “So why are Nirvana having fun in arenas?”
Kurt Cobain: “We’ve been touring since the beginning of time, playing clubs over and over again, which gets a bit monotonous. You can’t breathe, it’s smoke-filled, beer-ridden and even though those are some of the best memories I have, it gets old after a while. When ‘Nevermind’ blew up, we knew we had the chance to go on this huge arena Rock stadium tour, but I just emotionally and physically ‘couldn’t’ have dealt with it at that time. But I’ve had a lot of time to sit at home and work it over in my mind. Now that we’re playing on larger stages there’s better circulation; we have an amazing PA system which allows me to hear everything. That’s usually how I judge a good show: by the monitors.”
(photo 11/28/93 - Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, FL.)
It’s sad to think what the state of rock and roll will be in twenty years from now. It just seems like when rock and roll’s dead, the world’s going to explode. It’s already so rehashed and so plagiarized. It’s barely alive now, ya know.. It’s disgusting. Kids don’t even care about rock and roll anymore as much as they used to… as the other generations have. It’s already turned into nothing but a fashion statement and an identity for kids to use as a tool to fuck and have a social life. And at that point, I really can’t see music being of any importance to a teenager, really. I think they’ll use sounds and tones in their virtual reality machines. And just listen to it that way and just get the same emotions from it and go to a party.
“We lived in a very small town where we considered the oddballs, freaks. And as always we were all together, all the freaks I mean. We decided to start a band because we really love playing and music in general. I would not do anything else. The name [Nirvana] was cool, it sounded good.” - Krist Novoselic, 1989.
“I like the EMP approach: it’s scholarly, these are museum people. I said to Jacob: Come on over, because I’ve got all this gear just laying around in a closet. Here are the photos – go through them and take what you want. Here’s the Buck Owens American guitar [played by Pat Smear on MTV Unplugged] – take it. Here’s a guitar I dropped on my head, famously. Take it! Here’s a bass I played on Unplugged. Take it! Those are good instruments that I enjoyed playing, but guitars grow legs and they walk off. Never to be seen again. Someone swiped my guitar right off the stage at the 1992 Reading festival. Who knows where that guitar is? Because I was in Nirvana, I can’t take these guitars out of the house. So I figured if people would enjoy it, I might as well hand them to a museum, where it’s put in context and it’s educational.” - Krist Novoselic, 2011.