LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE September ??, 1991 - London, UK

Interviewer(s)
James Sherry
Interviewee(s)
Kurt Cobain
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
Metal Hammer No Compromise - No Restrictions Yes
Earshot Records Nirvana: Interviews 1990 - 1992 "My Dad Was A Codeine Freak" TBC

Although Nirvana's first major label album, 'Nevermind' (Geffen) can be seen as a new beginning for the band, it is by no means a sell out; just an expansion on their overall sound. Nirvana no longer feel that they are restricted to the one style and aren't afraid to experiment a little. Obviously some won't agree, and would prefer to see Nirvana still sticking to the full-on Grunge sound that they began with, but not being a group to play by any standard rules, Nirvana say 'Fuck 'em all!' The question is, have Chris Novoselic (bass), David Grohl (drums) and Kurt Kobain (guitar/vocals) actually been accused of 'selling out' yet?

Kurt: "The only time we really think about anything like that, is when we're asked it. No one's actually come up to us saying, 'I hate you now!'"

It does happen to a lot of bands though; especially if they come from a real 'indie' scene/movement.

Kurt: "It is expected by bands when they do eventually sign to a major and I used to think the same thing a few years ago, but us signing to a major has got absolutely nothing to do with the slight change in sound."

'Nevermind' doesn't exactly follow on from their debut 'Bleach', it's streets ahead of that. Kurt's vocal melodies and soaring guitar sound have been brought forward, resulting in what could be called a more 'poppy' sound, but still keeping the heaviness in yer face!

Kurt: "I think we were a pop band, even before we recorded the 'Bleach' album. 'About A Girl' is the only pop song that ended up on the album, but we'd written many like it before. We've always liked pop music."

David: "Also, I think people who've just bought the 'Bleach' album and think it's great will then see the new record's on a major label, see the difference and think we're a bunch of sell outs, but 'Bleach' was recorded two years ago, so we've obviously changed a bit since then."

Last year's 'Sliver' single acted as a warning of what was to come.

Kurt: "Yeah, I think we've been warning people in every interview we've done that things are changing. It won't be a big shock. Hopefully people will be pleasantly surprised."

Has life changed a lot for the band, now that things are being done on a more professional basis?

Kurt: "We're much more relaxed with what we can do now. We don't have to worry about our record company and things like that anymore. We've also got a manager now, so we don't have to deal with any business stuff. We make the decisions, he just has to take all the phone calls and tell people to fuck off!"

David: "The main difference is the fact that we've suddenly got a schedule to stick to and we're actually working constantly. It gets pretty mad!"

With the buzz that's currently flying around about Nirvana, they've become the band that everyone wants to talk to!

Kurt: "Imagine this though; we're ready to go home, we've been here for two weeks. We've got quadruple that amount of time to go yet. And every day we're going to have interviews… oh Jesus!"

David: "I quit!"

And what of the future?

Kurt: "We've got a whole load of new songs and we're thinking about going to record them at the same place as we recorded 'Bleach'. It'll be very different from 'Nevermind' in both of the extremes, as far as being mellow and being heavy and abrasive. It'll be like there's no middle ground. So far, that's the way the songs have been turning out. I mean, we like doing lots of different styles. Sometimes the more abrasive stuff can get a bit boring because we've been doing it for four years but that doesn't mean we're going to stop, we're just going to experiment with it more."

Stick with this band; they have the power to send cracks ripping through the whole scene. 'Bleach' and 'Nevermind' are just the beginning. Believe it.

© James Sherry, 1991

TBC