Steve Scrawford
Joshua Houk
Krist Novoselic
Publisher Title Transcript
Flagpole Bodhisattva Stand Aside Yes

“So how does it feel to be on a major label?” “Pinch me and I'll tell you” Excerpt from an interview with Nirvana bassist Chris Novoselic

O.K., so you've heard that Sub Pop gods Nirvana signed to David Geffen's new record label DGC and, frankly, you're worried to death, biting your nails to see if they've (I can hardly bear to write the words…) sold out! (gasp! shudder!). Heck, it's only natural. Look at the Stellar flop of the Replacements, the embittered break-up of Husker Du, and the boring sameness of Firehose, and you've got reason to worry. Well, Nirvana went and pulled a Sonic Youth (also on DGC, natch) and got a little, uh, poppy. The new album Nevermind is, for the most part, catchy and more than a little impressive in the hooks department. So, the first side falters a little (perfect for AOR, though), but side two simultaneously puts in some energy and also these nice pop touches. The album's not wimpy by any stretch of the imagination, listen to Territorial Pissings and On A Plain if you don't believe me.

So, has this major label stature affected them adversely? Well, in an exclusive - of course - interview with Chris Novoselic, bassist for Nirvana, conducted by Flagpole Editor Steve himself (who asked a lot of good questions) and myself (who only asked two measly questions, and boring ones at that), it seems as though nothing much has changed since their first single was released, oh, about 3 years ago. We were caught off guard by Chris’ revelation that he owned three cars, but our minds eased when he mentioned that only one of them worked. More surprises were in store, too. Contrary to rockstar stereotyping, he's married, and happily too, to boot. A good discussion into politics ensued, centring on the first single from Nevermind, Smells Like Teen Spirit, which is pretty much an ode to youthful rebellion, then the talk turned into a lamenting of the lack of any good Democratic candidates, with Chris saying he's going to support a third party instead, neglecting to name a specific one (but, hey, who's gonna support a political platform based on some long-haired rock 'n' roller's opinion? Sorry, stupid question).

Basically, Steve and I got the impression of a pretty intelligent guy who's going around making pretty loud music. Not that we would have expected anything different, of course, but it's nice as hell to be able to discuss normal things instead of the basic boring usual questions like “When's the record coming out? Do you like touring? What did you think of the new Mudhoney LP? Blah blah blah.” Of course, I was a total wimp over the phone (it was only my second interview, so lay off!), while Steve conversed freely, but hey, it was fun. No, you don't have to worry about Nirvana selling out just yet, so now can you tend to more important things like, say, doing your laundry, okay?

Pass into Nirvana at the 40 Watt this Saturday, October 5 with Das Damen opening. The big guy at the door may resemble Bodhisattva, but really his name is David.

© Joshua Houk, 1991