- Riki Rachtman
- Kurt Cobain
- Krist Novoselic
Welcome back to the Headbanger's Ball, Riki Rachtman here. Now, I don't know that much about how the industry charts and stuff like that work but, as far as street buzz goes, I can tell you honestly that I've never heard of a band getting a bigger buzz quicker that this
band. And I'm not saying it seriously because they're here. I'd like to welcome Krist and Kurt of the band Nirvana…
Krist Novoselic: Hi Riki.
Kurt Cobain: Hi.
MTV: So how's it going? I mean, it's gotta be… first of all, love the suit…
KC: Thanks a lot.
MTV: It'd be very comfortable on planes, I think. Um…
KC: On planes, yeah. Well, it's a ball, it's Headbanger's Ball so I thought I'd wear a gown.
MTV: Dressed for the ball, there you go…
KC: [Gesturing at Krist] He wouldn't wear his tux. He didn't give me a corsage either.
MTV: You hurt his feelings. Um…
KN: At least I asked you out!
MTV: [Laughs] This thing has gotta be, like, I mean, pretty wild. I mean, everywhere you go, in all different types of the music scene, people really seem to be getting into Nirvana right now.
KN: Ya, ummm… [laughs]
MTV: I mean, isn't it pretty overwhelming?
KC: Everybody wants to be hip.
MTV: And so that's what it is then…
KC: Everyone wants to be accepted.
KN: That's right. It's, like, the core of personality and ego… it's like, humans are social creatures, so umm…
KC: [Adjusting his gown] I can't hear!
MTV: [Laughing] That thing is covering your ears.
KN: Ya, and that's the psychological aspect of the band's popularity.
KN: Maybe they like the record? I don't know…[laughs]
MTV: Yeah, it could be the music, maybe. I mean, I like the music. I don't know about it being hip…
KN: No, no. You don't understand. It's got to be a very heavy, heartfelt conversation. Emotions…
MTV: Now, how long have you guys been together? I mean, you had an album out before this one…
KN: We've been together since, like, early '87. And our album came out in, ummm… our first album, Bleach, came out in July of '89.
MTV: And that was kinda just part of an underground scene?
KN: Yeah, it was totally underground.
KC: It was on the Sub Pop label.
MTV: Which is basically a lot of bands from Seattle, right?
KC: [Nodding] Uh huh.
KN: Yeah. There's, like, The Fluid, they're from Denver and L7, they're from L.A.…
MTV: Great band!
KN: Oh, ya!
MTV: We're gonna be back, talking to these guys in a little bit. Also, we're gonna be playing their video, Smells Like Teen Spirit, which is very quickly becoming one of the most
requested videos here on MTV also. So stick around as the Headbanger's Ball continues…
MTV: Welcome back to the Headbanger's Ball! Krist and Kurt from the band Nirvana are
here. And you're a band that is also from Washington, but you're not from the "Seattle
area", is that right?
KN: No, we live on the I-5 corridor. Kurt lives in Olympia and I live in Tacoma.
MTV: 'Cause, if you notice, it's like all these bands lately… Alice In Chains, Soundgarden… everybody's, like, oh the big emerging Seattle rock scene. I mean, when you guys started, were you playing clubs with those bands?
KN: No, we were playing clubs with, like, Mudhoney, Tad…
MTV: I've seen Tad…
KC: The Fluid…
KN: Yeah, The Fluid… Yeah, and uhhh… we played a show with Soundgarden in Olympia, like, out in this park, during the day… it was really neat.
MTV: So when you guys started, I mean, like, the bands you mentioned before, part of the Sub Pop thing…
MTV: You guys were kinda like an underground… didn't start in rock'n'roll
clubs… you were kinda playing for the college crowds and the underground scene first, right?
KN: Ya, yeah, yeah…
MTV: And then it just crossed over?
KN: Well, that where we got our start. We were, like, listening to Black Flag and M.D.C. and we were always into, like, punk rock and stuff…
and we just kinda fell into this Seattle thing, with like all the bands that we mentioned before.
MTV: 'Cause the way they're categorizing it, they're calling it, y'know, part of this "grunge" sound. And now they've said, y'know, Nirvana is the newest band in this… y'know, I hate putting labels on things, but they're saying
that you're the newest of this new "grunge" sound.
KN: Ya, I'm starting to understand what "grunge" is. It's like, if you have heavy-metal, a lot of it's the same guitar sound. I think grunge has to do with a guitar sound, and,
KC: It's a fun title…
KN: "Grunge" is more organic guitars. Like Mudhoney, they have their crazy sounding guitars and ummm… Tad, just totally
growly, like a different sound…
KN: Growly, yeah. Like Tad, he's a big bear and he just growls, like, "grrrr". You should be in a tourbus with that guy…
MTV: [Laughs] Now, we're about to play the video, which also happens to be the number five
Skull Crusher, which is uhhh… so we'll play that and we'll talk about it a bit later. Would you like to lead into it for us?
KN and KC: [Flailing arms]
MTV: Here is Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Skull Crusher number five also.
MTV: That was Nirvana with Smells Like Teen Spirit, and Krist and Kurt of Nirvana are here with us on the Headbanger's Ball, kicking it on old Jennifer. Now, ummm, tell us a bit about the video - first of all, where do you find cheerleaders with tattoos? That's just my personal question…
KN: Ohhh, ummm, Anarchy High School.
KN: Anarchy High School.
MTV: Anarchy High School?
KN: Yeah… [laughs]
MTV: I mean, what is the deal with that show? I mean, was that like a live performance, or…?
KN: No, that was a video shoot, and we had a bunch of fans come down and, uh, they just went crazy. And I think they made the video, really. I mean they were just so into it, and everybody was so cool, and it was a lot of fun to do. It was just
crazy… people jumping around, we're jumping around, and y'know…
KC: Yeah. They had a lot of patience. It was like a 12 hours of listening to the
song over, and over, and over again.
MTV: Yeah, do you like doing videos? I mean, I know that it takes a long time to
do and things like that…
KN: [Shrugging] Hmmm, it's alright. [laughs]
MTV: Now, is that a pretty good example of what it's like seeing Nirvana live,
as far as the crowd goes?
KN: Ohhh, yeah. [laughs]
KC: Pretty much.
KN: Yeah, people just get wild.
MTV: Do you see, when you go out and play shows, the crowds are getting
different? Like, you were saying before, you started with kinda the underground
scene, and now, I mean, all the kids that are into all different types of bands
are really getting into Nirvana…
KN: Ya, we see that we're kinda spreading out and getting more mainstream-type
people but, in doing that, we hope that we can turn 'em onto, like, different
types of music, like, maybe the underground scene. There's more bands out there
than just these mainstream, giant, Harley riding rock bands, y'know…
MTV: Uh huh…
KN: That's kinda one of our missions.
MTV: Does turning everybody on also help all the other bands that you
KN: Yeah, 'cause they're really good. I mean, the bands are… they've got
something to offer musically. All the bands that I support are, like, really
real and they've got their own thing going on. And the bands have good values
too, like, politically… political opinions and, uhhh… it's a neat thing.
MTV: We'll talk a little bit about some of those bands and other stuff when we
come back, but right now we're gonna be playing a band that you've heard me say
good things about a lot, they're called Infectious Grooves and their tour with
Ozzy starts November 12th in Austin, Texas. And if you go to some of those
shows, I just may be there because I'm gonna try to go to as many of their shows
as I can. It's a band I really dig a real lot. This is Infectious Grooves with
Punk It Up…
MTV: It's the Headbanger's Ball, Krist and Kurt of Nirvana are here with us in
the studio. Now, I wanna talk a little bit about the new album, which is called
Nevermind. Is it new? Has it been out for a while and everybody's just getting
into it, or is it pretty new?
KN: It's been out for about a month now.
MTV: And what do you think the reason is that everybody's just gotten into
Nirvana so quickly?
MTV: I mean, it's pretty wild.
KN: Because we have our big bandwagon, and we have a bunch of Clydesdale horses,
multi-colored horses pulling it and people are just jumpin' on, and it's kinda
like a Ken Kesey acid trip-type thing. We're passing Kool-Aid around, we're like
the Merry Pranksters.
MTV: Oh, the Jim Jones thing…
KN: Oh yeah, Kool-Aid, Jim Jones, right…
MTV: You got that…
MTV: Now, about some of the songs… my favorite song on the record is Lithium,
because I think it… to me… I mean, I like some of the old pop stuff and it's
kinda like… I mean, the whole album… some of the songs sound like early,
real hard punk stuff… and some stuff, I mean, almost reminds me of like a
heavy Replacements, in a way… and I hope you don't take that the wrong way.
KN: No, it's fine…
MTV: I mean, what is the kinda stuff you guys are listening to? I mean, every
songs has a real kinda different vibe to it.
KC: Oh, we listen to… music. We like all kinds of stuff. Ummm… Leadbelly,
Bikini Kill, The Breeders, The Pixies, R.E.M., The Melvins…
KN: Patsy Cline…
MTV: Patsy Cline…
KC: The Vaselines…
KN: Public Enemy… I mean, if we think there's substance there… I mean, a
band has something to offer… we'll, like, get into it.
MTV: What's your favorite song on the record?
KN: I don't know… it's just, like, I have a lot of favorite bands, y'know, but
I don't have a favorite song because I kinda just like the band. And, ummm, the
record… it's kinda hard to say… I play on the record, so I couldn't really
MTV: Does the whole band contribute in the writing process?
KN: Well, Kurt will come up with, like, riffs and he does the lyrics, y'know…
and then we'll just, like, jam on it and spew something out. It's like the Playdough
Fun Factory, we just stuff it in and it comes out like spaghetti, or little
figures, or something.
MTV: And you guys are playing, out on the road right now?
KN: Yeah, we've been out on the road for, like, a month. And, uhhh, we're
playing… we wrap up the American leg of the tour in Seattle with Mudhoney on
Halloween. And, uhhh, we've wrapped it up. [laughs]
MTV: So, look for these guys, hopefully, to come back to the States soon. And
thank you very much for kicking back at the Ball with us.
© Riki Rachtman/MTV Networks, 1991