- Gary Graff
- Dave Grohl
|Detroit Free Press
||Nirvana Can Be Found Not Just In Seattle Anymore
For arbiters of hip and devotees of cool, the band Nirvana is, well, just what the name says.
Around since 1988, The Rock trio’s first major-label album, “Nevermind,” is racking up strong sales. As a result, the Seattle-based group is enjoying trendy prominence, including invitations to appear on “Saturday Night Live” and host MTV’s “Headbanger’s Ball.”
Like Faith No More last year, Nirvana is the buzz band of the moment, the latest in a line of groups to be plucked from the hard rock underground to find favour with a broader, just-this-side-of-mainstream audience.
“It caught us by surprise and the label (DGC) by surprise,” says Rob Burkhart, a buyer for Detroit's Harmony House chain. “They’re the new, big, in-vogue alternative band right now.”
Nobody is more surprised than drummer Dave Grohl, who only last year moved from Washington, D.C., to Seattle to hook up with Nirvana's founders, singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Chris Novoselic.
“I really had no idea what to expect once I got up there,” Grohl, 22, says. “I knew that there was some (major) label interest, but I didn't know how insane it would be. Six months after I moved to Seattle, we had everyone in the world after us.”
Nirvana had built its following through a pair of independent record releases - an album, “Bleach,” and an EP, “Blew” - as well as three tours of the United States and two trips to Europe, where the group became press darlings. The attraction is Cobain's angst filled songs about love and life (yes, they're that expensive) that don't sacrifice the guitarist’s melodic sensibilities for piles of distortion and sonic trickery.
“He just writes really catchy pop songs that are simple and repetitive and just pound this melody into your head over and over again until the songs over,” says Grohl. “... Simplicity is so much more important than showing off your technical side. Some of the best bands in the world, The Beatles or this great band called the Vaselines from Scotland, they write songs with two chords, the catchiest pop songs I've ever heard in my life.”
How far this thesis will take Nirvana remains to be seen. Grohl says that so far “everything's been just a blur,” but he's not complaining. “I'm lying in my bed doing a phone interview and watching MTV,” he says. “I never would have been doing that two years ago. We know nothing lasts forever and that there's probably something beyond this - whether it's Nirvana or something else. But I'd be nuts not to enjoy it now.”
© Gary Graff, 1991