LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE December 3, 1991 - Nottingham, UK

Dean Jackson
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Publisher Title Transcript
BBC Radio Nottingham TBC TBC
BBC World Service The Mix #153 Yes


© Dean Jackson, 1991

Dean Jackson: Do you believe in Elvis Presley?

Krist Novoselic: Heck no! Beep! Mother-beep him and John Wayne!

DJ: Yeah, why?

KN: I don't believe in Elvis Presley, because he was just a phony baloney. He just- what the black man did, he just kinda…

Kurt Cobain: He was a no-talent-piece-of-shit-conformist-dickhead who joined the army and, um, he's about as deserving of praise as Peter Noone from the Herman's Hermits.

DJ: Do you want to come up here so I can record it?

KC: No, I don't, I wanna lay down where I am.

DJ: OK. Do you take most of your influence, or any influence from American or European music? I mean, where does it come from?

KN: It's just music in general. English… The English had their day in music.

KC: It comes from World music!

KN: Right. Yeah, Peter Gabriel. I mean, music is music. Damn it.

DJ: Who's doing anything that you're interested in these days?

KN: Uh, who's doing anything? Pixies. There's a lot of new music I'm interested in, underground. Sonic Youth, that's really interesting. Uh…

KC: Shonen Knife.

KN: Shonen Knife, Captain America, kinda underground stuff.

DJ: I don't know, is there any sense of achievement about bringing this kind of thing into the sort of, it's not the mainstream, but actually achieving something with it on popularity level?

KN: I haven't thought of it as like an achievement. I'm kinda glad it's happened, and I hope it happens, you know, bringing other bands into, like, the mainstream. I don't even know if mainstream people really deserve it, because a lot of people just aren't that into music. You know, they just turn on their radio when they're, like, washing their dishes, and that's fine. It's the same music they hear when they're in an elevator, so maybe it won't make that much of a difference.

DJ: What do you make of this country and your experience here so far?

KN: Well, I know the press has a big grip on things. They come out with those very opinionated magazines.

DJ: I mean, does it worry you that you're sort of the darlings of that press at the moment?

KN: We don't care, you know. If they say we're the darlings, it's because, you know, it's their deal, you know. They're notorious for dropping bands and turning on bands. I mean, it's a circus as far as we're concerned and really we don't want any part of it.

DJ: Do you find people in general over here are a little bit less of a hard time than the folks in America?

KN: Hard time? About what?

DJ: In the sense of hyping things up and being over-enthusiastic.

KN: It just goes back to the press again, the press is the one that hypes things up.

DJ: But what about the fans?

KN: The fans know what they like, most of them do. I guess there's a lot of people who just kind of hop on bandwagons or they just use music as a fashion accessory. We don't really care about people like that. So if they, you know, if they don't like us next year, that's fine because they liked us for the wrong reasons this time around.

DJ: So you're really looking at it long-term, are you?

KN: No, we're just looking at it for the music sake and honest- honest enjoyment of music. Not because “Nirvana's the new happening band and it's cool to like them”, or, “They go good with my hot pink Doc Martens and my braided hair”, you know?

DJ: How's the- how's the tour going anyway? Is it- Obviously, it's been sellouts everywhere, I mean, what's the live thing like? What's the reaction like?

KN: We might get booed off stage, rotten vegetables thrown at us, a big hook might come and drag us away, we'll get splashed with scalding hot water and verbally accosted by maniacs.

DJ: Will you be quite happy to see the end of it and go back to some sort of normal life?

KN: Well, I think we all pretty much live a normal life, you know? It's just that being approached a lot by the press and- and- odd people hounding you for autographs, that's pretty abnormal for us. But, when we're home, we have a normal life, what we consider normal.

DJ: So for people listening, I mean what is home like?

KN: We live in Washington State. Um, it's just America, that's all there is to it. I can go on: America, you know — TV, a lot of cars…

DJ: Is it really the sort of three-minute culture that it's sort of painted as, that everybody's just flicking switches all the time and everything's transient?

KN: Hmm, I just- I don't think that there's a lot of mental stimulation in the United States right now. You can just- Indicators of that are like television and entertainment. Which is kind of- kind of amazing, why we've gone into the Top 10, you know.

DJ: Yeah, on that subject, I'm sure you're absolutely naffed off talking about it time and time again, but actually having a single which has broken the British charts and an album which is destroying the American charts, what do you think of all that?

KN: Well, it just goes back to, like- I hope we, you know, bands- people catch on to bands, like the bands that come from where we come from, like Sonic Youth and, um, Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney, you know, L7… I- I- If somebody gets turned on by our record, they might inquire, like, “Oh, where do these guys come from? They come from some ‘alternative independent scene’?!? Well, maybe there's other bands like that there, too!” And they'll find a total rich array of bands with different styles and sounds and maybe it'll just turn them on. And I think those bands have really good attitudes, too.

© Dean Jackson, 1997