LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE January 30, 1992 - Adelaide, AU

Jeffrey Halls
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
Resistant Harmony A quiet punk rock chat with Dave Grohl of Nirvana Yes


© 5MMM-FM, 1992

Resistant Harmony: So I guess you're pretty rushed, your time here in Adelaide?

Chris: Yeh, we're playing in Melbourne tomorrow!

RH: Is that how the whole tour has been, pretty rushed?

Chris: Yeh, just busy not really rushed y'know.

Dave: The first couple of days we got here we sorta relaxed, cause you go through some pretty massive jetleg, y'know a 15 hour flight, and your across this date zone, and you're 20 hours ahead, it's just weird, so the first couple of days were relaxing.

RH: And did you come over from America?

Dave: Yeh.

RH: So you've been in America touring?

Dave: We did a European tour. We started touring America in September of last year, then we had 1 day off after month and a half of touring, then we started touring Europe, and we finished that in the middle of December, and had some time off, and then this.

RH: And what was Europe like? Was it good? Were you touring by yourselves?

Dave: We did some shows with URGE OVERKILL.

RH: Really! What are they like live?

Dave: Amazing.

RH: Are they like the last album - that ‘Super Sonic Storybook’, are they like that now?

Chris: Yeh, they played ‘Emmalene’.

RH: Anybody who does a HOT CHOCOLATE cover is alright in Dr Spincter's book!

Dave: Yeh, well you just gotta see 'em play too, cause they have so mush charisma on stage, they're totally great.

RH: And that sort of comes across on the record sleeves and what they wear!

Dave: But it's not just that though because they just have this ‘aire’ of taste - they're great man, totally great guys, then our English tour was with a band called CAPTAIN AMERICA who are members of the VASELINES, and SHONEN KNIFE.

Dave: I wanna say something about this magazine called JUKE, I did an interview with this JUKE Magazine, I think I did it over the phone when I was in America, and the magazine came out, I picked it up and the first sort of page of it is the history of NIRVANA, a lot of it is somewhat true, but ahh far the most part, what most people do when they write articles on the band, and they don't know anything about the band they'll pick up our ‘bio’ that we send out okay, and the bio is just one big lie okay, we thought it would be funny to write ‘yes we're art students and we need poetry, and read poetry, and have goatee's’, and they took a lot of their info out of this bio which is untrue, and they also said, they just totally fabricated… I mean they started writing stuff which we have no idea where they got it, like ‘we went into this gay bar and harassed these gay people and ended up getting our asses kicked’ because they thought we were gay, y'know, I mean I don't mind people going off and writing and misquoting, that's understandable, but just completely prefabricate, total, out of nowhere and if anything offends me y'know, the whole thing about harassing gay people does, because one of the things we've always been about is dispelling the whole homophobic 1990's ‘macho guy’ attitude y'know, and for this magazine to come out with this full on piece of shit lie.

RH: Strike up another one for JUKE magazine!!!


RH: Anyway, back to Europe, was that when you found out the new record was taking off?

Dave: Well, kind of, we started touring America the day the album was released, and there was a big buzz about it, and a lot of people wanted to get the record or whatever, but it didn't really kick in until we got over to Europe, and then it went platinum, and we were on MTV everyday, y'know MTV had so much to do with it, they got hold of the video, and thought it was y'know ‘cream of the crop’ and they started playing it, and playing it, and playing it and all these kids are watching the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video seeing the high school pep rally turning into a riot and they thought, ‘ohhh’ - it's every kids little fantasy, so while we were in Europe it just sorta happened then it went double platinum, then we came home and… I mean people ask us if it really affects us, and it doesn't, because I mean I don't listen to the radio that much, and I don't watch MTV so I never see our video, I don't read Billboard magazine, so I don't watch the charts, so I mean there's more kids at the shows, that's great, a lot of people are really into the band - that's great, but as far as everything else, it's just like it was 6 months ago really, there's no difference.

RH: It's pretty amazing how it just happened in matter of months though, why do you think that is?

Dave: I don't know, I really don't know, I think people were really tired of seeing the same thing over and over, and over and finally something came out that um, for some reason or another was accessible and ah - I don't know why it happened, it seems like people think we're really ‘cool’ y'know like we're a really cool hand - ‘NIRVANA’ - very ‘cool’ y'know, this is what's new, this is the new big thing and y'know and we're just another band, there's a million other bands out there - just look at URGE OVERKILL, or SHONEN KNIFE, or TAD, or MUDHONEY, or HOLE, or FUGAZI, there's a million bands, in every city there's 1000 bands!!!!

RH: Do you think your record's gonna help those sort of bands? Like even though I didn't like the FAITH NO MORE album ‘The Real Thing’, it was sorta a similar set of circumstances, it sort of came along, and ‘boom’, I was glad to see the song at no.1 for what it was, but then nothing really happened, nothing really followed that, do you think it might be different now?

Dave: Well for one, that FAITH NO MORE song that went big, that's like dance music, that's sort of like danceable, and this is sort of like ‘Punk Rock’, or ‘Rock’ y'know MUDHONEY just signed to a major label, now the MELVINS will probably sign to a major label. And you see the thing is the reason why indie music had always stuck independent, you've got some of the best bands in the world, they're distribution, it's mainly distribution problems, you have to go in most cases to a special shop to find a record, and then when you get something out on a major label which is in K-Marts or whatever y'know, a lot more people get it, and a lot more people realise that there is something different, and hopefully now, a lot of the major labels, they're not scared, they're not afraid of take a chance on something like this anymore, so hopefully in the next couple of years you'll be seeing a lot more honest music, it's really up to the Listener to really listen, instead of following some commercial machine around for the rest of their lives.

RH: It took quite a bit of of time in-between 'Bleach' and ‘Nevermind’ - 2 years was it? Why was that?

Dave: 2 years yeh, well the first single came out in '88, then ‘Bleach’ came out I think in I think '89, then the ‘Sliver’ single came out. I mean they had done and recorded a 6 song demo with Butch Vig, before I was it the bend, which ended up just getting bootlegged all over the place, that was supposed to be the next Sub Pop record, it was like ‘Lithium’, ‘Breed’ - but ‘Breed’ was called ‘Immodium’ and ‘In Bloom’ and 'Polly' was on it, then Sub Pop just started having a lot of trouble financially and whatever. They were looking for a distribution deal with a major, and it didn't work out, so yeh a lot of stuff. It takes so long to get a deal going with a label, it turns into a pain in the ass, well see, it's hard y'know, a lot of bands get stuck on labels, they get stuck, a lot of bands go out and think that it's best for them to sign a 7 record deal, and it's just ridiculous y'know, we signed a 2 record deal, this one, then the next, then after that who knows what we'll do maybe we'll start our own label, who knows? When I think of bands signing to major labels like MUDHONEY, I can't imagine anyone signing to any other label than DGC, just because the people there, I mean it's not even an office really - it's a house!

RH: What size venues do you play now it the States?

Dave: Well it really depends, I mean, this has happened really fast, and I'm sure there's a lot of people who really like the record, but you've got everyone from like Skater kids, to lawyers, to nurses, y'know all walks of life buying the record, so it's strange. We did this tour beck at home with the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, 5 shows, and they were in like sports arenas like 16,000/18,000, and that was the first time we'd even played these big arena gigs, and it was crazy, I mean I've ever only been to 2 really big shows is my life y'know, when I started to go to Punk Rock shows when I was 13, I never went to see like AC/DC or whatever, so it was just weird for me to be all of a sudden up on this stage, and it's a very bizarre feeling, like to me I just don't understand how something that big can connect, like how a band can connect y'know so ok, say if ROLLINS was on stage, 400 yards away, and you just get that same click off it.

RH: Off the crowd?

Dave: Well not off the crowd, I mean fuck, watching the BAD BRAINS in DC in 1984 at the 9:30 club which holds 300 people, is just like… I get goose bumps thinking about it and you just can't compare anything to that kind of energy at all - ever or the MELVINS in San Diego in a room about the size of this. Stuff like that y'know, it's so ‘in your face’ music and you're playing music thats intended to be ‘in your face’ and when you're on the stage like 500 feet away from anybody it's sorta weird. But to a lot of kids, they've never been to a Punk Rock show before, for a lot of kids this in they're first Punk Rock show, and it can be sort of deceiving.

© Resident Harmony, 1992