Edgar Klüsener
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript

Edgar Klüsener: I think the bonus track on the CD, “Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip,” it sounds very spontaneous, did you record that on the spot?

Dave Grohl: Which song is it? Is it the organ thing?

Kurt Cobain: We just made that up on the spot, I just started playing the guitar part and then Krist and Dave started playing and then, as we were recording, I just made up the lyrics.

DG: [whispering] What song is it?

Krist Novoselic: We recorded the song in Rio de Janeiro…

DG: Oh, yeah…

KN: … at this tiny BMG B studio that hasn't been used for like six years and they had this like Neve board and they blew the dust off it, and we just plugged in and just started screwing around and we did that song and it was totally spontaneous, you know, just one of those things.

EK: Yeah, it gives that feeling.

KN: It was free association.

EK: What the hell does the title mean anyway?

KN: “In Utero”? I think it’s like I think an in vitro pregnancy then there's conception…

EK: No, I mean of that song.

KN: Oh, “Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol…Will cleanse the strip”? Well…?

KC: I guess it's our contempt for the hairspray, Guns n' Roses/Poison scene that was going on in LA a few years ago.

EK: Something else I found out… Oh no, one question beforehand… The way you recorded this was on an 8-track machine, is that true?

DG: No, that's not true.

KC: It was a 24-track. It's the same board that recorded “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

KN: Yeah.

EK: And what was the story that some of the songs have been remixed?

KC: Two songs were remixed.

EK: Which were?

KC: “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies.” Because the vocals weren't loud enough and I wanted to put some harmony vocals in the background that I failed to do when we recorded at Steve's, so we asked Scott Litt to come down and do it. It took about a day or two.

KN: Yeah. Complete.

EK: But I noticed this, not only on this record but on the records before too, there are some very fine harmonies and melodies on it, it makes me wonder does one of you have a sort of musical education?

KC: Absolutely not…

DG: I don't think any of us did…

KC: I have no concept of knowing how to be a musician at all, whatsoever. I mean, I don't know the names of chords to play, I don't know how to do major and minor chords on a guitar at all. I mean, I couldn't even pass, you know, Guitar 101 — full Guitar 101, you know? Everyone knows more than I do.

KN: I took accordion lessons when I was a little kid.

DG: I played the trombone I think when I was about eight.

EK: Really?

DG: For real.

KC: I was in a band and I played snare drum during Junior High and grade school. I never learned how to read music, I just copied the other people who took the time to learn how to read, you know? It was just so simple: boom tap boom tap boom tap tap tap tap…

DG: He's a good drummer…

KC: … and I just copied them, you know, just to pass. I didn't see any reason to — even at that age — I didn't see any reason to learn anything that someone else has written, you know? If you go by a text, then you're pretty limited.

Krist sings “Beds are Burning” (Midnight Oil)]

EK: Do you consider yourself more of a songwriter or a guitar player?

KC: Oh, songwriter. I have no desire to become any better of a guitar player. I just don't. I'm not into musicianship at all. I don't have any respect for it, I just hate it — to learn how to read music or to understand arpeggios and Dorian modes and all that stuff, it's just a waste of time, it just gets in the way of originality.

EK: Do you like Leonard Cohen?

KC: Mmm hmm.

EK: And are there other writers who you could name as sort of an influence or people who impressed you in what they were doing?

KC: Well, yes, mostly early-to-late Eighties punk rock, you know, American punk rock, and late Seventies English punk rock have a lot to do with stuff that I was into. I was just pretty much consumed with that whole scene for so long that… I never really denied any of the other influences that I had before…

DG: [Burps]

KC: …Which was like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and stuff like that, dinosaur rock, but…

EK: What about writers like lyricists or poets?

KC: Umm… Probably Beckett's my favorite. I like him a lot…

EK: Because sometimes when I read or listen to the lyrics it sounds to me as if you are sort of inspired by the Beat writers too, especially Burroughs.

KC: Yeah, yeah, Burroughs, the king, yeah! Actually I got to do a record with him, a 10-inch record.

EK: You are doing one?

KC: With William. Uh, we- it's already out, yeah. He did a passage from a poem called “The Priest They Called Him” and I played guitar in the background, just made a bunch of noise.

EK: What is this guy like?

KC: Just um… I don't know, I never met him. [Laughs] I could have talked to him the other day, I was supposed to, there was a set up meeting for him to call me because we wanted him to be in our next video because of the — mostly, not because of our association with him or to exploit anything like that, maybe because, I don't want anyone to think that I want to have a relationship with William Burroughs because of like, y'know, my past drug use or my respect for him or anything. We mainly wanted him to be in our video because he's an odd looking character, you know? We wanted an older gentleman to be in our video and to do a few things, but we realized that the things that we wanted this older person to do, it was a bit degrading to have William Burroughs himself do it, you know? We wanted a person to be on a cross and in a hospital bed and stuff like that and it was just too insulting to ask him, so I cancelled the call. I mean, that was my chance of actually meeting him. We've exchanged a letter through fax and we have respect for what each other does, but I've never really had the opportunity… I mean, other than that, I haven't bothered to meet him yet but I still want to.

EK: Yeah he must be a great guy, I would love to meet him one day.

KC: Yeah. His letter was really nice.

EK: On one or two songs you hear a cello or some string arrangement… Is that played live?

[Krist nods]

KC: No, we had her come in after the basic tracks were down — we had her play along with it.

EK: This was the cello player you had in New York, too?

KC: No, this cello player was Steve Albini's girlfriend at the time. It was just a really — it was just a matter of convenience, she happened to play cello and we needed one so she was there. She turned out great, she did a really good job.

EK: Another question, for Kurt again. You're left-handed. Do you find it hard to get the right guitar?

KC: Usually, yeah. It's a bit easier now because I have an endorsement with Fender Guitars now so they are making me left-handed Mustangs, so it's a lot easier. It used to be a total pain in the ass. I mean, when we were on our first couple of tours, you know, I'd only have one guitar and it had to be cheap, you know, a thirty dollar guitar from a pawn shop and I'd end up breaking it after the show and then the next day was- was consumed with trying to find a pawn shop and the few dollars that we had to buy a guitar and then we'd have to turn the strings around and try to intonate it ourselves. It just made for a really out of tune, raunchy experience, you know, during those first few years.

KN: It was a pain in the ass trying to find a guitar.

KC: Yeah, it was like the biggest dilemma of the day.

KN: This one will work left-handed, yeah, it's cut — this part's notched a little bit…

KC: It was a big hassle.

KN: …The electronics are in the top…

KC: In fact we even built a bunch of Mustangs one time. We bought some necks and took pieces of wood and cut out the bodies and put the necks on and they were completely out of tune all the time — but we did a pretty good job at it.

KN: We had this little assembly line in the garage and we hung them up and painted them and stuff, yeah. [Laughs]

EK: You used some quite unique looking guitars on stage anyway. Were those the ones you built yourselves?

KC: Ummm, I don't think so. Those were all destroyed on one tour. That was about like four years ago probably. At least.

[Krist laughs]

KC: But the ones I use now are just — I use this same Jaguar a lot… and mostly Mustangs. And I'm having Fender build me a special guitar that’s like a mixture of a Mustang and a Jaguar which might be kinda interesting.

EK: Did you give them the directions of what you wanted?

KC: Yeah, I took a picture of a Jaguar with a polaroid and a picture of a Mustang and then I cut them down the middle [laughs] and glued them together and said, “Build this.”

EK: This record, “In Utero,” is getting more back towards “Bleach” and you said, like months ago, that you want to get rid of some of the fans who just came from the pop side. Do you think you will achieve that? Or is the name Nirvana already gone so big that the fans will buy anything, it doesn't matter what it sounds like?

KC: I don't know. I don't think so, because when we put out “Incesticide” it didn't sell very well at all. It didn't even sell, like, a few hundred thousand copies, you know?

KN: We don't, don't wanna exclude anybody or anything you know.

KC: No, we're not as concerned with that as we used to be, you know. It's not…

KN: No, I think I was being a little reactionary, like, going through the whole fame and fortune thing and just making statements like that, you know…

KC: There's nothing you can do about it, you know. You can put on a cabaret show and just make a total mockery out of your success or you just deal with it, you know.

EK: I guess, especially at the beginning, it must have been pretty hard to deal with that.

KC: Yeah it was, because we were really concerned with losing the audience that was into us before, you know? We still wanted those people because, you know, supposedly we feel like we relate to them in a way, y'know? I mean those are the kind of people that we share common interests with and those are the people that we're friends with, so we were really worried about that. I don't think we've lost very many of them so it doesn't matter anymore. As long as they're there, we can just forget about the idiots at the back, as long as they aren't causing trouble. That was another concern we had is that, if we were to have this massively mainstream audience, that we were going to come across a lot of problems in live shows with macho guys beating up on girls, starting fights and things like that. You know, the typical things that you see at a Van Halen show or something. We just didn't want to have to deal with something like that.

EK: I guess you must have found it pretty hard too, like, getting that intensity with the band because…

EK: Do you sometimes have the feeling that you lose intensity when you play these big arenas or big places?

KN: Yeah.

KC: Yeah. I don't find myself having as much fun as I did when we played in clubs or theaters. The biggest example of that is when we played in Europe and we played all these outdoor festivals. I had a terrible time. I hated it. Like Krist and Dave were like thirty feet away from me, you know. It was like "Hi!" It just didn't seem right. So, we're gonna make a few changes in our stage set up to alleviate some of those problems, you know. We're gonna squeeze closer together on these big stages. And whether that fucks with the visuals for people out in the audience, oh well, at least we'll play better and enjoy ourselves.

KN: We played in front of like a hundred thousand people down in São Paulo, Brazil, and I just saw the video from the back of the stadium and we were just like little ants on stage and I was just, God… Who was standing there? Y'know, I wonder how they feel about that.

DG: I don't think our music translates in that kind of situation. Those people can't appreciate the energy that's on stage, at least, because they're so far away.

KC: It's almost understandable why a lot of lead singers in arena rock bands have this rapport with the audience where they're going “Hey! How’s everybody doin'? How are you at the back people?” and stuff like that — “Are you feeling alright?” Because that's pretty much all you can understand…

KN: “Are you ready to rock?”

[Dave laughs]

KC: …when someone's saying something like that over a PA in front of a hundred thousand people. It's just, it's hard for us to adapt to that because we just can't do that, we can't bring ourselves to be that ridiculous.

KN: And doing live shows like, you know, you try to experience this thing with the audience, kind of reciprocate this feeling, this energy and I don't know how that translates from three people to a hundred thousand people. It's mathematically pretty wild.

KC: We need to get a horn section.

KN: Horn section, yeah.

DG: Yeah.

EK: Are you thinking of employing a second guitar player again?

KC: Yeah.

EK: Will it be Big John?

KC: No. We've hired Pat Smear who was in The Germs. It's working out great.

KN: He's got good energy. So I think he'll add that to the band live. If one of us is kinda slacking that night, I think we can count on him to keep the energy going, you know.

KC: He's the backup engine.

EK: It's, er, I guess it must make your job a lot easier too?

KC: Yeah, it does! It totally relieves me of a lot of unnecessary things that I have to think about.

EK: Looking back, do you sometimes sort of regret the major success of “Nevermind”?

KN: I don't.

KC: No because…

DG: I don't either.

KC: For the most part, I'm pretty convinced that most people liked that record, you know, so the more the merrier. I mean, the more people who can listen to your music and enjoy it, the better it is.

DG: If it was some big marketing scheme then I think I'd probably feel guilty about that… If it was just like a contrived thing…

KC: Yeah, I totally agree. But it just happened organically — more organically than anything has in a long time, you know, so…

DG: It's flattering.

EK: You know, especially in the beginning you sometimes had this feeling that even the record company was completely overwhelmed by it, they didn't expect it.

KN & DG: Yeah.

KC: Yeah, they were.

KN: They shipped like 40,000 copies and they sold out in like a day or two, then you couldn't get the record for like a week until they…

KC: It's nice to know that you can sell your music on the music alone. I mean, at the time that it took off, a lot of radio stations were playing it before we had a video, which is, you know, an uncommon thing in this day and age.

DG: So it's not our pretty faces that are selling the records, it's the music.

KN: And it's so neat…

KC: It's our skilled musicianship.

DG: That's right.

KN: I walk into the Fred Meyer department store down in Longview, Washington, this tiny town, and I look and I go “Oh there's Mudhoney, there's Sebadoh, there's Sonic Youth!” I go “This is really great!” You know what I mean? And before…

KC: Just a couple of years ago that was impossible. Totally uncalled for.

KN: Yeah. And then kids down there are exposed to that. I think it's really positive.

EK: You obviously helped a lot of other bands too.

KN: Well, what happened to us has kinda opened a lot of doors. I think we were in the right place at the right time for like Rock 'n' Roll because all those old rock dinosaurs, all those poof-di-doo hairspray bands, were just hanging on and doing the same thing, basically emulating Hanoi Rocks like over and over again and it stagnated, like the Soviet Economy or something — you know what I mean?

KC: Yeah it got just as boring as grunge will within a year.

DG: We did a photo shoot with someone for a cover of a magazine and he was telling us a story about how Bon Jovi came in and said “Make me…” — he came in with a flannel shirt on and he wanted, he said “Make me look like Nirvana” and…he said, “Well?”.

KC: Wow. That's pretty flattering.

DG: [Laughs] I know! Bon Jovi wants to look like us! You know something's wrong.

KC: Well that just proves he's a desperate, untalented piece of shit [Krist and Dave laugh]

EK: Do you have yourselves an explanation for your success?

KN: Explanation? It's all in the cards.

DG: It's a roll of the dice.

KC: It's a lot of luck.

KN: A lot of luck, I think it was the right timing.

KC: Being in the right place at the right time.

KN: I think this whole… that the old dinosaurs were just like holding on for as long as possible and we had this really strong song and there were like no number one rock records, maybe R.E.M. was number one. And Metallica came out and stuff, but um… just, change has to happen, you know, just part of the whole human experience is change, so…

DG: I think that…

KN: Next we're probably gonna be old hats soon and there's gonna be this young, happening band going on and probably slagging us off for being dinosaurs, we'll be defensive and we'll be sort of established and…

KC: Make me look like this new band! [laughs]

KN: Yeah, yeah! And we would have like just totally consolidated our relationships with people in MTV, the music labels, different magazines…

DG: We'd apologize to everybody!

KN: We're gonna be Establishment and hopefully someone will come by and… kill us…

KC: Begging to be on the cover of the Rolling Stone; “Please! I'm sorry!”

KN: No, cause we're so in, we're so established… “Cover of Rolling Stone, when do you guys want it?” [imitates snorting a line of coke] “Here's another line for ya…”

[Kurt and Dave laugh]

KN: We're just like totally, totally terrible, we're doing… We're hanging out with Arnold Schwarzenegger…

DG: Bruce Willis at the New Club…

KN: Bruce Willis, yeah, of the New Club…

KC: “Hey I'm a Republican now, Krist!” “Hey me too!”

DG: “What do you say?”

KN: Well it was cool until we had to pay 38% or 36% in taxes, gee you know, we got the shot when we lived under Reagan and now we're getting a shock under Clinton. I say we vote for Pat Buchanan!

KC: Rush Limbaugh!

KN: Rush… Rush Limbaugh, yah. Those femi-Nazis, huh.

EK: I guess that must be a strength for you anyways, suddenly being involved in real big business, like, on the financial side giving you the tax…

KN: Yeah, yeah.

KC: I'm happy to fucking suffer for, you know, I'll be glad to throw out more of the money that I've made if it's gonna be put in the right places, if it's going to help the economy. I mean, everybody should suffer, y'know? Everyone should start wearing sweaters and turning their heaters down… I didn't mind standing in gas lines when I was a little kid during Carter. I mean, I had to sit in the car and wait in line with my dad and he would just curse Carter all the time you know, “what a bastard!” The convenience of America is ruined…

KN: They still give Carter a bad time.

KC: Yeah, you know everybody has to swallow a little bit of bad medicine to make things better, so, fuck it.

KN: They're kicking Clinton around but it's like; remember Nixon? Iran-Contra, Reagan S&L scandals? No one ever brings that up, it's just really crazy.

EK: Do you ever… Do you think as a band you have to try to move something in people's mind to make them think or at least get a message across?

KC: Well it's not like a real conscious goal of ours…

KN: No.

KC: …or something that we prepared to do, it just emulates the personalities that we have, you know. We've always been conscious of political things as much as our, you know, mental capacity can hold and, and we…[laughs]

KN: We've just been aware of things and it just kinda surfaces and comes out, just because, that's what happens. I mean, we don't have this angle that we're like a political band or anything.

KC: We've always tried really hard to not put out too much of an image of being too politically conscious, you know, so it gets in the way of the music cause, you know, that's more important.

KN: And I think too, like in this country, that people are so apathetic and they're so unconscious in front of their TV sets, and then somebody like us who has somewhat awareness, it makes it look like we're really aware. We're not! Y'know what I mean? This is just things we're concerned about and we just talk about them, you know? Just cause we talk about them at home, or we talk about it with friends and just happen to talk about things in interviews.

EK: Have you ever had the experience of the groups that are like political, or other social groups, try to use you or the success you have with the name or…?

KC: No, I wouldn't say they've used us. We've had a few offers from some political organizations like the FAIR organization who has been working for years to expose a lot of injustices and to try to promote real truths in a lot of things that have happened politically.

KN: Yeah. Some fairness…

KC: It's like, an underground leftist organization that tries to expose the truths and they're totally masked over by USA Today and magazines like that, right-wing-on magazines that, a lot of time, the truth and the details of the story aren't ever reported and that's what this organization does. So, they came to us and of course we're going to want to do something with them to help them out, because… I wouldn't say anyone's trying to take advantage of us in that way at all.

KN: FAIR is an acronym for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. I think I've been really conscious of what's been going on in the media with being part of the media, and then I just look at the way the press responds, and it's like being all over the President or being all over Waco Texas or Amy Fisher. It's really interesting. There are a lot of bozos out there who just - they form public opinion. People really don't think for themselves so they have a big responsibility so they're basically exploiting it and there's this group here… Who's into, like, truth, reality, you know?

KN: Just like these bad dema- demagogues, demagoguery politicians manipulating people and spreading their lies for their own personal gain. Former ex-Communists or ex-Communists or like former ex-Communists… I can't get…

KC: [sings] “I can't get into you…”

KN: …help people out, you know, not just putting band aids on the situation. Totally dispose of the regimes over there you know but there's not going to be any change you know? They don't even recognize the Serbian opposition, the guy's languishing in prison, they beat the hell out of him, they don't even help the guy out. There were elections in Serbia, the guy Milan Paroški, it was a sham election, they didn't do anything about it.

EK: Getting back…

KN: Where were we? Rock 'n' Roll!

EK: After all your experience you've met with media all over the world, do you still believe what you read or see on television?

KN: Never.

KC: Never! I never did before but I don't believe even more now. I know that I don't even have the right — it's the only thing I've learned, I don't have the right to make an opinion on anything that I read or see on television until I go to the fucking source myself personally. My attitude has changed so much in the last couple of years, mainly because of the crap that's been written about us that I don't even find myself having many opinions on bands anymore, or putting them down, or going out of my way to like, to have any kind of expression about them at all because I don't know these people. Bon Jovi could be one of the nicest people in the world, his music sucks but, you know, I don't even want to bother with even expressing those kind of opinions anymore, because I know that there are people probably in this town right now, talking about us. "So I heard that Krist Novoselic, y'know, blah blah blah…"

KN: "With his dog…"

KC: "With his grandmother's dog. And it has AIDS."

KN: Which is not true, by the way.

EK: I was just wondering, does that sometimes affect your private life too? I mean, your friends or your family are reading these stories about you?

KC: Mmm hmm.

KN: Yeah. It's weird to talk with your wife's great-grandparents and they bring up something like that you're just like “man… That's not true at all!” And you have to explain to them how people have different agendas, each writer has their own perspective and maybe that magazine editor has an agenda, y'know what I mean? And you're just at their mercy basically so all you can do is be as honest as possible, put on a happy face, roll with the punches.

EK: I mean frankly what surprised me, even though I'm working in the media, there are certain magazines where I thought, OK, whatever they've printed is at least like well researched, like Newsweek in America, which we get in Germany, I found it quite confusing that even they made up stories.

KC: Oh yeah.

KN: I was surprised about Newsweek. I thought they were of a different caliber.

KC: I'm not surprised at all. No magazine has any ethics at all. There isn't any magazine…

KN: Mainstream magazine.

KC: Yeah, mainstream magazine that would ever stop a good story. They wanna sell magazines. They're in the entertainment business.

KN: Yeah, that's a point right there.

KC: And they use politics as some kind of fucking fake tool to sell their magazines.

KN: Right, right.

EK: But in this case I thought this is the sort of magazine who have to lose a real reputation as well.

KN: I think we're going to have to get Dave in… David Gergen.

KC: No, there is no one that is challenging these magazines though, there are no protection laws against false things that are written about celebrities. Libel suits are a complete farce. Basically a libel suit is just a challenge between two people that have a lot of money and, you know, whoever has the most money will win it. And if you go up against Conde Nast or some major corporation that owns a whole bunch of magazines and owns this one magazine that wrote shit about you, they’ll just filibuster for years and you’ll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in challenging them and you’ll end up losing. So there's really… You can’t even get to that first stage of even filing for a libel law, a libel suit — it’s just a waste of time.

KN: It's pretty wild, like, all the relationships between people — the bands and the labels and between magazines and all that stuff you know? You have someone like…Bill Clinton had a bad time, so he hired David Gergen who started throwing parties for the press corps and started smoothing people over cause he had relationships, and whaddya know, good news coming out “Washington for Clinton”. It’s manufactured perception, it’s just like, it’s not real, it’s all just a charade, you know? And the bottom line is Stoli vodka ads on the back page and Marlboro ads, you know, they just get that money and everything in between isn’t really that important… Television, the same way… So we're gonna start our own magazine. It's gonna be called the Nirv-wracker.

EK: The Nirv-wracker.

KN: Yeah.

EK: It's a good name anyway.

KN: Full of character assassinations left and right. We're gonna schmooze it up with people. Whoever greases our palm the most is getting a full cover story, you know what I mean? Step one, take the guys out for dinner — “I’ll have lobster thank you.” Step two…

KC: [laughs] “Get me in the show for free!”

KN: Yeah! “Get me in the show for free.” Step three, “Uh, I've got this niece, she needs a new, I wanna get her a Mustang car…” “Done.” You're on the cover of Nirv-wracker. Unscrupulous magazine — go ahead.

EK: How seriously do you take all these clichés and standards of the business and the roles people play?

KN: Oh. I just think of, like, the wrestling industry — like WWF, World Whatever Federation Wrestling — where there's, like, Hulk Hogan and all those- Roddy, Roddy Piper and… I imagine all the politics going on in there, you know — he’s gonna win this match but, see, he has to lose this match and well they're gonna be on this TV show and it’s like wow, all the drama and all the egos, personalities… World Federation Wrestling, it’s like — get me out of here.

EK: Yeah. Getting back to the record. Is it incidental that the opening, the intro of “Rape Me” sounds a bit like some part in “Nevermind”?

KN: What part of “Nevermind”? Come on!

DG: “Smells like Teen Spirit.” I read the question!

EK: I'm just trying to remember that.

DG: Well…Yes!

KN: What was the hit song off the second Knack record?

KC: It's an obvious inside joke.

KN: If you play the hit song of the second Knack record, it sounds like “My Sharona”. If you play it backwards, it sounds like “My Sharona.”

DG: Really? Shit!

KN: So that’s what we were doing. I recommend playing “In Utero” backwards, and that's — ooh I let it slip, oh, I shouldn't have said that! There’s all kinds of “Kurt is Dead” stuff, you know. It’s total devil worship… of the worst kind… altars, virgins…

KC: Now some white trash mothers are gonna sue us after they beat their children for a few years, neglect them, and then they kill themselves and blame it on us!

KN: That's right!

DG: And then blow their faces off and they look like…

KN: “I gave them a good Christian upbringing… what happened?”

KC: “I tanned his ass every day, he should have turned out just fine, if it wasn't for that record…” [Laughter]

KN: Tanned his ass!

EK: Because no kids committed suicide yet listening to a Nirvana song.

KC: Let's hope! [Dave laughs]

KN: They're committing social suicide.

EK: This is so typical American, you never get that in Europe or Germany.

KN: Well. This is, I dunno, there's a lot of symptoms out there like kids killing themselves or people walking into McDonalds and blowing people away.

KC: They're always killing people who don't deserve it though, you know.

KN: Yeah!

KC: I mean, if you're going to kill a bunch of people, why not assassinate someone who deserves it, you know?

KN: They don't, they don't show that as like a symptom. They just say that's a problem. “Random act of violence!” But maybe that's a symptom of what kind of a country you live in and people’s values, you see what I mean? I say they're all just fucked! [Kurt laughs] I’ll answer that question first off by saying that everybody’s fucked, if you ask me, and then why don't we take it from there? We're all fucked. Alright, well, we've established something. Some kind of criteria. Like a base to where to get on to. Maybe we're all…

KC: And how are they fucked?

KN: How are they fucked? Well, I don't wanna think about that because that just involves effort, y'know what I mean?

KC: Because then if I just waste my time thinking about it and we create some kind of dialogue about it for a while then we'll just come back to the conclusion that everybody’s fucked.

KN: Everybody's fucked, you know, so you just have to take up smoking, live a leisurely lifestyle, you know, bomb some third world countries, walk into McDonalds and shopping malls with automatic weapons readily available…

KC: Hey, if life gets too tough just buy an AK-47 and walk into McDonalds. You'll feel better.

KN: Yeah. Cause you hate Mondays. What's your favorite day of the week?

EK: Pardon?

KN: What's your favorite day of the week?

EK: I guess Wednesday.

KN: Wednesday?

EK: Yeah…

KN: Cause you're in the middle of the week? Mine's Friday man. TGIF. Thank God It's Friday! [Laughter]

KC: That's a good move.

KN: Or Sunday. Because it's the Sabbath, the day of the Lord. But if you're a Seventh Day Adventist, your Sabbath is on a Saturday and they don't eat meat by the way, and they seem like nice people. I don't know how preachy they get, so. If I was to subscribe to any kind of Christian dogma, it would maybe be a Seventh Day Adventist…

KC: I'd be a Jehovah's Witness.

KN: You'd be a Hobo Witness! Kurt's walking around peddling Watch Towers. Hobo Witness!

KC: I'd be a Moron-mon, Mormon!

KN & DG: Mormon.

EK: By the way, who's that Frances Farmer who's gonna have her revenge on Seattle?

KC: What, what about it?

KN: What denomination was she? [Laughter] Uh, probably Baptist.

KC: You should read Dreamland by this PI reporter who wrote this book about her, it's really good. You know her story don't you? She was an actress, she was kind of a foul-mouthed person…

KN: What's the poem she wrote?

KC: She hated the whole Hollywood scene and she expressed her hatred for them publicly. And she also, when she was like…I think when she was fifteen — she entered this essay contest when she was living here in Seattle entitled “God is Dead” and a lot of people accused her of being a Communist. And then she went to New York and was a part of this acting troupe, and it supposedly had Communist ties too… So then there's this big conspiracy amongst a judge, a very well-known prominent judge here in Seattle and a bunch of other people who had ties with Hollywood, and they basically just set her up and ruined her life. They had some pictures taken of her when she was arrested for drunk driving and it was just a big huge scandal. And she eventually was sent to a mental institution and given a lobotomy and raped every day for years and just totally abused and ended up working at a Four Seasons restaurant alone and dying by herself. There's still…

KN: It was Bainbridge Island. That's where she was institutionalized. Right over there. It was this old broken down infirmary there.

KC: For years, every night, there were lines of custodians, friends and people part of the staff who would wait in line to rape her every day. She went through a lot of shit. And it just disgusts me to know that there are some of the people that were part of that conspiracy are living here in Seattle in their comfortable cushy little homes with their families and… This is twenty, this is forty years after the fact and it just makes me want to kill them.

KN: It's a just God, not a fair one.

KC: Yeah!

KN: You know, that's what the Christians say. “God! Why was there Auschwitz?” “Well, I'm a just God, not a fair one.” “Oh, OK.” You know?

EK: Yeah

KN: "Why is there Lon Mabon?" "Ask Saint Paul, he'll tell you all about it. He wrote this book called the Bible." "I'm the little Jew that wrote the Bible."

EK: Do you already set a tour up?

KC: Not for Europe. Just for the States. We're gonna take it one tour at a time. I mean, we definitely want to and plan to go over to Europe and Japan, Australia.

KN: It'll probably be early, probably January or something like that, we'll be in Europe.

EK: I mean, touring must have changed for you quite a lot too, suddenly being confronted with this giant machinery… I mean, when you play big venues and you don't have a lot of people and equipment and the real organization required…

KN: Yeah, we used to drive around just three guys in a van, all the gear…

KC: But, you know, for- compared to a lot of other bands that are on our scale, like, we only have like a handful of roadies, people, and a tour manager and a helper for him, you know? It's like a lot of bands that are bigger than us or as big as us, you know, have like fifty people on the road with them, it's this big confusing stupid thing that happens. We're still really down to earth in that area and we may suffer for it a lot of times because we don't get things done but, oh well…

KN: We save a lot of money. [Laughter]

KC: It's just funner and simpler that way.

EK: Kurt?

KC: Yeah?

EK: Having a family, did that change your attitude towards music at all?

KC: Mmmm, not towards the music.

EK: But towards the life combined with it?

KC: Mmm, I'd say I'm that much more optimistic [indicates a small amount], I mean I totally- I like having a family, it's fun, it's great, but… You know, I'm still angry about a lot of other things, you know, in life, so it doesn't really, you know, stop me from being angry in music. It hasn't changed us very much.

EK: Do you sometimes write together with your wife?

KC: What? Sometimes. We usually… I wouldn’t say it’s really writing, it’s just jamming, playing together.

EK: I think Royal Penny Tea…?

KC: What?

EK: Royal Penny Tea?

KC: “Pennyroyal Tea”?

EK: “Pennyroyal Tea,” yes.

KC: Yeah. Well, they're covering that song. It's mostly my song, you know, but um, we just jammed on it together and they wanna record a version of it.

EK: OK, I'm gonna finish. Thanks a lot. How many more do you have to do today?

DG: I don't know…

© Edgar Klüsener, 1993