LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE February ??, 1990 - Seattle, WA, US

Grant Alden
Krist Novoselic
Chad Channing
Publisher Title Transcript
N/A N/A Yes

Grant Alden: Let me get the bullshit- the gear stuff out of the way first, what kind of bass do you play? What kind of amp are you on?

Krist Novoselic: I like using a PB Black Eagle bass, mid '70s. It looks like a groovy- it looks like a P-bass with really groovy accents to it, squirls and stuff, like squirly whirly…

Chad Channing: Oh, your Ibanez.

KN: Ibanez… I use a Fender Pro Bass 400, with four 15-inch speakers. I don't buy an amp head or anything, I just do it straight. It's way loud!

GA: [laughs]

CC: Yeah, it's really loud.

GA: Okay. Any effects boxes?

KN: Nothing. Well, sometimes I use an MXR, an old early '80s MXR Distortion. Good old stand-by. Kurt uses- Kurt's been swearing by Univox guitars. They're Mosrite copies, they're from the late '60s and early '70s. They have a killer pickup in them and they have thin necks. They're manufactured in Japan.

GA: Does he have real small hands?

KN: No, not really. It's just a thin neck is more easy to slide with… and he's been using Sunn Beta Leads, solid state head. Sunn equipment from the late '70s is just dynamite, it's really durable and it's way loud! That's one of the main things about that stuff, it's just way loud.

CC: And he's got those two SoundTechs, those cabinets.

KN: And he plays SoundTech cabinets. One time, Kurt and I were walking around the Evergreen State College campus, looking for something and we heard this band jamming, so we went to these dorm bungalows and there's this guy playing. “Oh, you guys are Nirvana?” And we're like, “Yeah, we are.” Anyway, this guy had all these Kramer guitars around and there was this left-handed Fender Mustang from the late '60s - cuz Kurt's left-handed, you know - and it was sanded-down, so you couldn't see, it didn't say “Fender” or anything on it, but it was a Mustang. “Hey, guys! Neat guitar!” “Oh, that thing? Pah!” This guy's into Kramers and Charvels, he had all of these top-of-the-line Charvels. We're like, “Well, hey, you wanna sell it?” He says, “I dunno, $50?” We talked him from 50, we talked him down to $20! Then we ran to the bank machine and we ran back and everybody was gone, but the window was open. I thought, “Let's just rip it off,” but, no, we knocked on his door. We bought it for $20 and we had a couple of frets- we had a fret job done to it and… God, it was just a beautiful guitar and what did Kurt do? He just smashed it! Like all his guitars…

CC: Was that the one he did by accident, though? Like, he fell backwards on it while he was playing and it cracked and he said, “To heck with this!”?

KN: No! He threw it and it cracked, so he finished it off.

CC: Yeah, that's right.

KN: I've had two basses this year… well, three basses, one got stolen. I had a Gibson Victory bass and I was playing on this junky Trace Elliot amp in England and it sounded like hell. I was gonna smash the amp, but I wound up smashing the bass. That was the first time I ever played it. Then I had another Ibanez Black Eagle bass that I bought, exactly like my old trusty one, and I busted that one in half too!

CC: That's because the neck was different, you know.

KN: The neck was the same, but the wood was laminated.

CC: Oh, yeah.

KN: Then Kurt, he's smashed up about three or four Univoxes, smashed up a couple of Fenders… what else has he gone down with?

CC: He destroyed a Gibson, an old SG…

KN: Gibson… He destroyed Gibsons…

CC: Oh, and, um, um… what's the guitar he got in Geneva, Switzerland?

KN: Oh, a Washburn!

CC: Yeah, he totalled that too.

KN: He totalled a Hagstrom.

GA: [laughs] What's the average life expectancy of a guitar in Nirvana?

CC: One, two, three shows, maybe?

KN: If it's a good show, at the end of the show, it'll be gone.

CC: Yeah.

GA: Are you trying to set a new record, like The Who did?

KN: Well, yeah, it is. See, what we're trying to do this time around is, like, “OK, guys. It's fun smashing stuff up, but it's getting kinda expensive.” Well, Kurt gets this brain-storm, “We'll make our own guitars!” Right? So what we did, we ordered four necks from Chandler Guitars out in San Francisco and they wound up being $130 a piece, OK?

GA: Which is way more than you'd spend on some guitars, right?

KN: Yeah, yeah. But, you know, even that Hagstrom guitar was $150. We got a deal on it, it should've been about 250. Anyway, we had the bodies cut out for us - we went and bought the wood and had the bodies cut out, then we routered it. In all, the four guitars cost $1000 and they're all gonna bite the dust!

CC: Yeah, we did all the routering and stuff and painted them last-night, slapped the pickups in.

KN: Yeah, we finished them last-night.

GA: So those are basically like your end-of-show guitars that you're just gonna trash, or are you gonna play them all the way through?

CC: Well, some will die, some of them might live.

KN: It depends if the audience deserves it.

CC: That's where Kurt's at right now, he's finishing up some of the wiring and stuff on them in the garage.

GA: Shall we talk about your drums, too?

CC: Well, I am playing different drums now. I had this North set, you know? They kinda sorta fan out, they look like a tuba.

GA: Oh, that some guy in Portland invented?

CC: Yeah.

GA: The guy in the Holy Modal Rounders or whatever.

CC: Yeah, the Holy Modal Rounders.

KN: [sings] “If you want to be a bird.”

GA: [laughs]

CC: I've had those drums for a long time. It's just like, the first time- the next shows are gonna be the first time I'm playing this really old Ludwig set they found. It's like a combination of WFL Ludwigs and Leedy, which was actually the name before they changed to Ludwig, so they're like made in the ‘30s sometime…

GA: Wow!

KN: They're really old.

CC: So they're really old, but they're just so solid, they're just really well put together. But, the funny thing is, the North set I used to have, it had a rack, it had like four toms on the top, the floor tom and the bass drum. Well, as each show went on, each tom started disappearing cuz they started getting destroyed…

GA: I saw you play once and you had like one left!

CC: Yeah, one left.

GA: I was thinking, that's really trippy that he's got one of these things.

KN: The others got busted.

CC: I've got one left and the bass drum… this summer, we had this show at Maxwell's in New York…

KN: Hoboken.

CC: … New Jersey, actually, it was, Hoboken, New Jersey. Well, anyway, it totally split in half at the top. It's been duct taped, it's put together and I've been playing that bass drum for like ten or eleven shows afterwards and it still sounds OK!

GA: [laughs]

CC: As a matter of fact, there's a piece missing and the head that's on it is wrinkled. I recorded with it in the studio not too long ago and it sounded great! I don't use it now, but…

KN: We're getting really good at fixing stuff. Like guitars, mix and matching necks on bodies, but it's a bitch for Kurt cuz he's left-handed, so things have gotta be different, you know?

CC: Handyman masters.

KN: Yeah. So we're getting really good at patching things up, cuz we have to, you know?

GA: At the rate you go through them, yeah. How do you keep your sound consistent going through all that shit, or don't you worry about it?

KN: The amps. The pickups are pretty much the same. I mean, pickups usually survive a pretty good thrashing, so you just put them in another guitar.

GA: Basically, you're toasting necks is what you're doing.

KN: Yeah, the necks, that's what goes out.

CC: Occasionally the body will splinter up.

KN: The body will splinter up.

GA: [laughs]

CC: We'll just salvage what we can: tuning pegs, pickups, whatever. If the bridge pieces aren't all gone, we'll probably reuse that. Which is probably what we'll end up doing for the four guitars Kurt's gonna be bringing with him, cuz we only have enough pickups and bridges for two guitars to work, so when those are gone we'll just do some handyman work…

GA: It gives you something to do in-between sittings, right?

KN: Yeah. And also, like, we might not smash any guitars on that tour. Cuz if we don't think they're very good shows, if people don't like it or anything… It just depends, a lot of times we'll just walk off stage. But if it's really smokin’, things just… through the whole set it's, like… when you play, you're like holding everybody up in the air, you know? It's hard to do and in the end it's just like, “Well, let's not do an encore.” That's like guaranteeing not to have to do an encore. So you just...just total it down.

CC: Another thing too is, like, the guitars that we've made, Kurt actually likes them a lot. I mean, as it turns out, the action is really great for him. You know, they're really similar to what he likes to play in guitars, like the Univoxes, he likes those, these are really close. He's sorta having some second thoughts, but he knows some of them might not make it…

GA: They're gonna bite it. [laughs]

CC: Yeah, they're gonna bite it. They're dead, they're all dead.

KN: Worst comes to worst, we'll be on the road and we'll give Uncle Jon Poneman a call, then he can send us some money and we can get new guitars. That's what happened in England, or in Europe…

GA: Do you, like, go scouting for [inaudible]?

KN: Oh, man! Tacoma, Washington, has the best pawn shops, cuz people are not onto them at all and there are some deals, man!

GA: Cuz I'm about ready to go buy a guitar myself, just to fucking around. I'm a little short-fingered, that's why I was asking you about the…

KN: Get a Mustang, cuz they're for small hands.

CC: That's what I'm using.

GA: You play too?

CC: I play guitar, yeah.

GA: So how did Nirvana come together?

KN: Well, just Kurt and I were really bored in the town of Aberdeen, Washington. He made a tape - his Aunt is a Country & Western performer and she has a little tiny studio in her house - so Kurt made a tape of his songs and then I heard the song Spank Thru and just thought, “Oh, this is really awesome,” so I went to Kurt, “Hey man, let's start a band.” He was living in this house with a place to practice and I went and borrowed this really junky- borrowed like an Epiphone bass…

GA: One of those big plastic things?

KN: Yeah and a bass amp that said “PMS” on it, it was a PMS bass amp. And then we started jamming on this junky drumset we threw together. And we got out of Aberdeen, went through a few drummers, met Chad, started playing in Seattle…

GA: So you're not from Aberdeen?

KN: No.

CC: No, no.

KN: Started playing in Seattle, the ball started rolling. Made a record…

GA: I think I saw your 3rd or 4th gig with Leaving Trains?

KN: Oh God! You were there?!?

GA: I was there!

KN: Far out! That was a long time ago!

GA: Well, see, Courtney put the show together, she was our ad manager at The Rocket, she was sorta like, “You've gotta…”

KN: That was before Blood Circus. You're lucky you were there! You were, like, one of the ten people there!

GA: There was about twenty of us.

KN: Twenty, yeah. Can you imagine, now we can't even play The Central!

GA: I'm sorta amazed that Mudhoney even did that show, it strikes me as being way too much trouble to go to… I just think The Showbox makes a lot more sense.

KN: Hmm. Yeah, it does.

GA: At least you can get in that room. We so badly need a place to play in town…

KN: The HUB sucks, we're never gonna play the University of Washington HUB again, cuz they ripped us off!

GA: They ripped you off?!

KN: Yeah, they… First of all, we packed the place out and dumb Jonathan Poneman gave us a $500 guarantee and we never got it, cuz they said that there's damage to the rug and they have appraise the damage - there's a rug in the back room that got damaged. So despite that we packed the place out…

GA: I couldn't even get into that show! Cuz, I was trying to see you guys and see TAD again…

CC: It sold out, apparently, or something like…

GA: Well, I was on the guest-list, so being sold out didn't matter… It was supposed to go off at eight and I showed up at eight, then at nine, I showed up again and a quarter-to-ten, I was like, “Fuck it! Am I even gonna see these guys tonight?”

KN: That's really bad…

GA: Plus, there were all these people, they were all wet, smelt like shit… It was gonna be crowded, I was gonna get pissed off, hit somebody and break my hand, so I just left instead! It's way easier! [laughs] So you guys never got- the university never paid you?

KN: No, the shysters! They have millions of bucks…

GA: Actually, those are supposed to be really good gigs to get, cuz the Universities always pay…

KN: We didn't do any damage to the rug. Sure, we threw some chairs around and stuff, but how did the rug get damaged and who… I got a big spiel when I meet the person, I got a big spiel for 'em.

GA: When I saw Soundgarden back in New York in the Fall, Chris started taking his mic stand to the wall at NYU…

KN: Soundmen! That's another thing we've gotta deal with, soundmen! Cuz if you start trashin’ drumsets, the fuckin’ mic stands and mics, they go crazy! They get pretty pissed off! So, what happened, eventually, is we had to buy microphones from them, cuz they were getting broken. So, now we've got our own collection of microphones.

GA: A collection of broken mics?

KN: But they work, see, they're just busted, you know, there's like chips out of 'em and stuff. They get pissed off, so, now we're gonna start using our own mics, so we don't have to be liable for anything. We've got some good ones, we've got a Sennheiser mic from Austria that we bought in Leeds for fuckin’… £200, something like that.

GA: That's not cheap!

KN: That's massive bucks, man!

GA: That's lots… So you guys don't make a lot of money touring, in other words?

CC: No.

GA: [laughs]

KN: We sold 800 t-shirts at about $10 a crack in Europe and we were making good guarantees. Shit, our first four gigs in England, we were about £500 in the hole, from getting a guitar busted… Oh, and when I busted that Victory bass, it flew through this Twin Reverb cabinet and tore right through the speaker and it was rented equipment, too…

GA: Oops!

KN: See, then the microphone… and there was a bunch of other shit that went down… Oh, a tuner got stolen at the third gig… it just adds up. See, people grab stuff, they think that if you smash a guitar, they can just grab all the stuff, but we could use it again, you know? Just cuz somebody cut a tree down… you know, somebody cut a tree down, so what the hell, might as well finish it off!

GA: [laughs]

KN: I didn't cut the tree down…

GA: So how's the record doing for ya?

KN: Really good.

GA: Are you happy with the way it sounds?

KN: Yeah, yeah. It could've been a bit more high energy, I think, but yeah, it turned out really good, I like it. We're really psyched about our next record, we've got a bunch of songs going.

GA: When are you recording it?

KN: In September. Well, no, it's gonna be released in September, it's gonna be recorded in April. We're gonna go to Chicago and we're gonna record with Butch Vig, he does Killdozer and he did The Fluid… While we're in Chicago, we're gonna hang-out back East for about a month, knock out some cities back there.

GA: I'm just picturing you guys on the Southside of Chicago, wandering around, going to pawn shops, picking up old Blues guitars! [laughs]

KN: Yeah! Django Reinhardt, no, he died a long time ago… Yeah, European pawn shops are really bad! The instrument scene in Europe is really bad, man - guitars are really expensive and all the old cool stuff is just totally expensive!

CC: Like, in England…

KN: England's not bad.

CC: Well, in London we went to one of these places, it was really weird, they had this old Silvertone, it didn't have any strings on it, it was a little beaten up and stuff, and they wanted £700 for it. I was like, “Why £700?!” They were like, “Silvertones are really hard to come by, they're considered collectors items.”

KN: I know where I could get one for $150, right now!

CC: I was like, “Jeez…” I already have a Silvertone acoustic and it's in perfect condition, I could probably get at least £900 for it over in London!

GA: [laughs]

CC: Just pop the money, come back to America and pick up $1000 and they do that!

KN: There was this place in Hamburg, Germany, it was this reputed… is that the right word?

GA: Putrid?

KN: It was putrid… no, not disputed but reputed… no, what's the word? I barely graduated high school…

GA: Supposed to be?

KN: Yeah, supposed to be… it was supposed to be, like, the best guitar shop in the whole continent of Europe…

CC: In Germany?

KN: Yeah. When we were in Hamburg, that one place, that guy showed us his little DDR car?

CC: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

KN: This guy from East Germany came over. “Let me see the engine of your car.” They're like two cylinder engines.

GA: They're two cylinders?

KN: They're air-cool…

CC: Yeah.

GA: No wonder they blow so damn much smoke.

KN: And they're… You know why they blow smoke? It's cuz they two stroke engines, you put oil and gasoline…

GA: They mix them?

KN: Yeah, they're like chainsaw engines, man. Those little people drive those little cars.

CC: Those people that came over from East Germany, they have exactly one year to replace their cars.

GA: Yeah.

KN: Those cars are bad. And you go on the Autobahn and those things are going really slow and there's these big Mercedes goin’ “whoosh” and the little car shakes, you know… those things just go… you're goin’ about 50 or 60, 70… and “whoosh” “What was that?!” “It was a fuckin’ Mercedes!” [laughs] It's crazy. You ever been over there?

GA: I was in when I was about 10, but I haven't been back.

KN: Anyway, we were in “the greatest guitar shop in continental Europe” and it was just awful! It sucked, man! Everything was expensive! What I like in a guitar shop is, I like when there's a lot of good old stuff, like guitars that are reasonable price, you know?

CC: Yeah, the best place I think we've ever been to was in… L.A., I think it was. What's the- do you remember that guitar shop? It had all those old guitars...

KN: That was in Berkeley, California.

CC: Yeah, Berkeley, California. Do you remember the name of that place?

KN: I don't.

CC: It's like some guy's house and, basically, his front living room was turned into a guitar shop; it was like a pawn shop, basically. It was just stacked, you know, all on top of each other, it was ridiculous! All these old guitars, really nice, in good condition, like Venture model Mosrites, you know, hard-to-find guitars. Good price, too. Great place. Funny Univoxes and everything.

KN: We bought a Univox.

CC: We try to go there, whenever we have the time when we're down there, to see what they have…

GA: When did you learn to play? Or did you? [laughs]

KN: Well… what happened was, I used to hang around with a bunch of deadbeats when I was about 17 or 18, then I decided I hated them and started hanging out by myself. I got my mom to buy me a cheap electric guitar for $40 and an amp for $20 and I started playing and I learned how to play. I bought this book, a guitar book, learning chords and this guy comes over one day with a distortion box and shows me power chords and I was like “no way, that's the hokey way to play, that's so easy.” “No, that's it, that's rock and roll. Power chords.” So, I started grinding out power chords... [the waiter comes up and asks if they want anything else] and started pounding out power chords and then when I met Kurt is when I made the transition over to the bass. I realized that I like playing bass a lot more because it's spelled B, A, S, S, but you can also spell it B, A, S, E because it's like the base of the song, man, and it goes with the drums and it keeps the song going; maybe the guitarist can go off, you know.

GA: You like that sort of connection?

KN: Yeah, yeah. Because you can kinda just keep the groove going, it's really, really easy. You got that bread on you?

CC: Yeah [laughs]

GA: How about Kurt?

KN: Kurt's been playing, for like, a way long time. He's left-handed and he has really weird chords; he didn't even know how to play a D-chord. [Interrupted by waiter] D-chord or a E-chord or nothing. He just plays some weird way.

GA: Does he play with whatever string he learned on originally so it's not normal, or?

KN: Well, yeah. He just kinda… he gets… he gets more… he plays sounds, then like… When I play guitar and bass I play really, really traditional; like, I do a lot of just John Paul Jones type, that late ‘60s, [Grant starts talking over Krist]

GA: Blues based scales?

KN: Yeah, blues scale, just kinda walking. A lot kind of like John Paul Jones did, like a lot of the heavy bands in the late '60s did.

GA: Jack Bruce?

KN: Jack Bruce yeah, and Geezer, all those guys. Kurt is just like, really weird. He listened to, like, Love Buzz, and… a lot of his solos are just…

GN: I know.

KN: I think he was inspired… he's kind of like a Greg Ginn of structure though, you know what I mean?. That's what I think about Kurt's playing. It's not very conventional where my playing is really conventional.

GN: Do you try to hold some in the middle since you're in a trio? Try to do both bass and rhythm guitar? [Krist starts talking over Grant]

KN: Yeah, I do that a lot because of the tone of my bass, it's like a really high tone…

GN: A lot of treble?

KN: Yeah, so it kind of meshes with the… not a lot of treble, yeah it is a lot of treble, a lot of treble.

CC: Still very thick though.

KN: It's really thick though.

CC: Lot of thick end of the [inaudible]

KN: The EQ just goes from bottom end cranked, goes like low-mid, then way back up to a high-end.

GA: That's an interesting way to set it.

KN: Yeah, it's just kinda one little curve.

CC: Serious punch.

KN: Yeah, yeah. And when you got a lot of that high-end and you got that low-end really thumping it's kind of a rich sound. It's not like a warm, bassy sound it's more like a rich, rich sound and it meshes with the guitars, you know? What I was thinking about doing is taking some of that high-end off and getting some of that warm sound, you know? Just so that the bass doesn't mesh with the guitar as much.

GA: So it sort of drops down more?

KN: Yeah, it'll drop down more. It's not gonna be any louder than it usually is but it'll be more distinctive. Because I'm getting those same frequencies as the guitars and they're fighting each other, you know?

GA: How do you feel being labelled sort of pop-ish?

KN: I love it.

GA: You love it?

KN: Yeah. I like all kinds of pop…

GA: What do you think you guys sound like?

KN: Black Sabbath meets the Knack

GA: [Laughs]

KN: Do you think so?

GA: [Laughing] I kinda like that, yeah! I really like the fact that you managed to make a lot of noise and make it riff heavy on top of that.

KN: Yeah, you see, that's Kurt. He writes almost all the riffs, you know, and he has a noi- an ear for melody. He's gotta have melody. A lot of our- our other, like, if you ever listened to our demo tape, a lot of those were just more, like, riff-y, rock-y songs, you know?

GA: The first thing I heard was the single.

KN: Yeah, that was kind of a melody. Love Buzz is a cover.

GA: Yeah, that much I had figured out after I had written about it and made a fool of myself in public.

KN: Oh, really?

GA: I didn't know, I didn't recognize it.

KN: That's pretty traditional; what I was doing on the bass so...

GA: [inaudible] Kurt's [inaudible]

KN: He has an ear for melody, he's just really good at getting good melodies down. He's, you know… It's pretty hard writing songs because most of the riffs have been taken, right? But the best... I think the best songs, if you listen to The Beatles, most of their songs were like... are like vocal songs. Just the vocal melodies carry the song. That's what Kurt's been doing a lot lately, it's just like [Grant interrupts]

GA: The Beatles are kinda out of a blues tradition, where their guitar is a break from the vocals like [inaudible], they basically… their early stuff is really quiet. They drop the breaks and they've got a rhythm section rocking underneath it, George just plays break spaces, which is…

KN: What we're trying to do is have a really good vocal melody and have the bass kind of compliment the vocal melody and have the guitar kind of just do a riff, just a kind of rock riff, and some straight-ahead drums to keep it goin’. That's what we've been working on lately.

GA: So, you're going out with TAD, right?

KN: Yeah.

GA: Who's opening?

KN: It's a double-bill but we're gonna be the second band, we're gonna be the last band of the night.

GA: Is there, like, a local band in front of that everywhere?

KN: I don't know, I'm not sure. [everyone starts to talk at once]

CC: [inaudible]

KN: I don't know the details yet.

GA: Probably not.

CC: Probably not.

KN: The good, old Sub Pop sound. There's this band in France that was called Bloody and Heavy and they were so excited when we showed up. This guy was hopping around, “I am so excited to play with you, you don't know!” He had all the TAD records, he had all our records, white vinyl records, our single, he had everything and we signed them all. His band played, uh...

CC: Touch Me I'm Sick.

KN: Yeah, they did a cover of Touch Me I'm Sick and they had this song called Psychotic Seattle, like they're totally into Seattle and you can tell by listening to their band, you know? It's weird.

GA: I've heard that they're starting to put out Sub Pop clone bands in England and they're pretty awful at this point.

KN: I've heard. Gee! I mean, there's a lot of bands that are pretty awful out there, American or English…

GA: 90% of everything is crap.

KN: It is and you know what it is, it's a damn shame too, isn't it?

GA: I sit in The Rocket offices and we get 20 or 30 records a day and maybe one or two of them are listenable. There's record labels that spend a lot of money to…

KN: Yeah, Sub Pop does that.

GA: What?

KN: Putting out a lot of… Well, go on, finish it.

GA: They spend a lot of money to put out a product that never should've been signed. There's no song. Sub Pop does that? [laughs]

KN: You know it.

GA: They got a great hustle goin'.

KN: Yeah, I love 'em, I love 'em to death, but maybe they're getting a little thin.

GA: They've gotta diversify.

KN: You think so?

CC: Yeah.

GA: You can't make a label on one kind of music.

CC: Exactly.

GA: Having The Walkabouts is good for them, but they don't know what to do with them. Mark Lanegan's record is good for them…

KN: Have you heard that?

GA: Yeah.

KN: Oh, it is awesome!

GA: I really like it.

KN: It is really good. It grabbed me.

GA: It actually took me about halfway through it before I decided, “yeah, this is gonna work!”

KN: The first song, I was kinda goin' “wait a minute,” but by the second song I was decided! He's gonna be the Leonard Cohen of the ‘90s!

GA: [laughs] Actually, you know, he sounds like… Have you seen John Cale play recently?

KN: No.

GA: He does this thing, sits at the piano and he's trying to be this song-writer with that same old voice from wayback. Lanegan sounds like John Cale with something to say and a voice that can still say it. Anyway, if Sub Pop did more of that and less of putting out Dickless singles…

KN: Yeah. Dickless, Afghan Whigs…

GA: You guys, that show I saw, the first time I saw you with Blood Circus, I really thought they were gonna go somewhere…

KN: Blood Circus was?

GA: Yeah. I really thought people were gonna pick that band up.

KN: Yeah. See, the first time I saw Blood Circus I thought they were really awesome, I was drunk. They just had the beat goin' and these riffs, like, these three-riff songs. But the second time I saw them, there was just nothing there, there was no edge whatsoever, you know?

GA: Huh! I just wanna know what you mean…?

KN: No edge whatsoever. It was just like AC/DC, Motörhead without any- there were no hooks whatsoever. Or edge, or anything.

GA: It's, like… I still go back to, I really thought Six Foot Under was a great song and yet nothing they did after that really quite connected. But they're back together again, I haven't seen them yet.

KN: I dunno. See, I think that's a mistake the band does, like there's this big barrage of “rock, rock, rock,” just “pow, pow,” “next song, next song.” In our band, we try to have like a grab bag, you know? Maybe make a record pretty much like how a record was, like, you ever make a compilation tape?

GA: Oh, yeah, all the time, yeah.

KN: Well, we had the idea to make a record, like, just have songs, like different songs, you know, maybe like a Led Zeppelin record or a Beatles record - not that it would be anything as good as those were - but in the sense that there's this kind of song, then after that there's a different kind of song, a different tempo, a different feel…

GA: Right.

CC: Yeah, so the next album is gonna be a lot like that. It's gonna be a lot more [inaudible], I think. A lot of the songs we're writing now, I think, are really way more of a group effort than even say Bleach was. There's a lot of things [inaudible].

KN: Big Cheese was… Big Cheese was a total group effort, the whole band wrote that song.

CC: Yeah.

KN: Love Buzz…

CC: This is gonna be more like that, for sure, the next album. It's gonna have a whole variety of things. I presume that- There's even a song that me and Kurt wrote a long time ago, I play this bass [inaudible] 4-track recording, we're playing these bongos and stuff, singing. I dunno, he seemed to kinda like it, so it's a possibility, it's something we might put on the album…

GA: A bonus track for the CD!

CC: [laughs] Yeah, bonus track on the CD!

KN: [inaudible]

CC: It'll be the song that's, like… okay, this is the center of the album, right? It'll be the song that where, say, most songs end, and it goes like that. Well, it'll be the song that, if your needle player can get that far, you'll hear.

GA: [laughs]

KN: Oh, Goddamnit! Automatic.

CC: Oh, I picked up! Automatic [inaudible]

GA: [laughs] I'm completely manual, so I'm safe.

CC: There you go! [laughs]

GA: Well, I've got enough, you guys probably have some place you gotta be…

KN: Yeah.

© Grant Alden, 1990