|NFC Nirvana Information Articles and Interviews Interview|
ROCKVIEW - EUROPE 8/22/91
Interview with Nirvana
Crazy Chris: By the sound of it tomorrow is gonna be like your playing at home or something, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.
Kurt: Yeah, all of our friends will be there, everyone we know practically.
Dave: Its weird, all those bands are on one stage, I've never been to Reading before so i don't know what its like.
CC: I don't know what its like, cause there used to be, the people who have the marquee club, they used to have 2 stages, so, one band is on stage the other one being set-up for the next one.
Kurt: right so it just turns around.
CC: I dunno how....
Dave: i heard like 30,000 people just fucking run...
CC: Used to be 2 stages, like an area in between for the guests
Dave: Yeah don't they get showered with like piss and bottles
Kurt: yeah right, Like the VIP people, like industry people like in these..like plastic closers or something...
CC: No No its just like Sanary in the middle
Kurt: Ohh, i see
CC: But it used to be....funny cause the people that are rating used to throw things at people, so they'd throw cross over the guest area, so you'd be in between.
Kurt: That's hilarious.
CC: Umm.....what's the beer you usually drink, in LA?
Kurt: The beer we usually drink??
CC: I read a story, it says that you were playing in Hollywood...
Kurt: Yeah well we don't drink Budweiser.
Krist: Or it was Coors, was it Coors? we shouldn't drink Coors Beer.
Kurt: Coors is not as pasteurized, we don't drink Coors very often but Budweiser it seems....everytime we get beer brought back stage its Budweiser, i mean... the stuff tastes like piss...its not even real piss with really good vitamins its just watered down piss.
Dave: Yeah its really bad, i saw an Advertisement the other day and it said Budweiser..."the best reason in the world to drink beer"...
Kurt: Best reason in the world.....in fucking Ireland.
CC: Well ya know, one thing that pisses me off about Budweiser is that the ad's in america, is like the good working people, the good americans drink that, its like its like if you drink Budweiser your an Outcaster Or a weirdo.
Kurt: Yeah the working class deserve Budweiser...
CC: Yeah it sucks..the way they poetrate this beer.
Kurt: yeah it just Proves you could feed them...you could feed the general public anything whether its Vanilla Ice or Pissy beer...
CC: Well, its funny you say that because i had that impression when i saw Mudhoney the other night, they played 10 days ago, and i....and they were...it was the second show they were playing at the Astoria...and they were VERY drunk.
Kurt: uhh huh.
CC: So half way through the set, they just started drifting away...Ok we had drummer playing bass...
Kurt: Cool, sounds like a big fun party man.
CC: Ya know he goes to the front and singing in the microphone and just goin into the crowd and just goin....Dive in...uhh, one point he was Upside down with his drum kit, they got a picture of him with his feet up, you cant see his head ya know..and singer was playing drums...umm ya know...
Kurt: Sounds like fun! like a big party!
Dave: What did ya think it sucked er...?
CC: I dunno!! It Just gave me the impression that you can give the crowd anything... I mean people were going mad!!
Kurt: It seems like Umm...
CC: If its a Joke Fine but..ya know, it went on for too long...half an hour, 40 minutes of that...being silly and playing off key and...
Kurt: Its just i think they could get away with that because they played England so many times...and they..don't really have......they don't have a real long list of songs, ya know, they only have a couple albums out, so, people have heard them play practically all their songs at least twice, ya know, so, i think thats a good idea, instead of just feeding them the same Repetition every time, i think they just wanted to have a good party Atmosphere, and just be one with the audience and share something with them and...instead of....ya know they just wanna break down those Barriers with them being big rock stars, i think they do it really well.
CC: So your saying you agree with what they do?
Kurt: Ohh definitely, i love to do stuff like that, the most fun times we've ever had playing shows are in parties..ya know..parties in are hometown..in front of 30 people, drunk, riding around on top of each other, playing nothing but noise. Just for a good time.
CC: Well you could afford to do that as well, I mean you cant do that at Reading, that might not go down too well.
Dave: Yeah we should.
Kurt: Well...you never know, we do it every once in a while, so...if we feel like it tomorrow, it depends on how drunk we are.
CC: (laughs) Yeah, how often do you trash things?
Kurt: Yeah, we used to trash things a lot more then we do now.
CC: Why more than now? cause you don't drink as much?
Kurt: Well its just getting kinda boring, that started to be kinda contrived or repetitious, everyone was expecting it all the time, so...its time to tone down now, Umm just for now, who knows what we'll do next year, we might have, we might shoot ourselves out of cannons, walk on tight ropes, light ourselves on fire and put out heads in lions mouths...
CC: You don't wanna call yourselves a political band, But you seem to be a lot more aware into serious stuff then of all other bands are.
Kurt: I don't think we are anymore aware of injustice's then any other bands, ya know, i don't think we are anymore aware but its just that.
CC: Well you come across as...
Kurt: We're just a bit more pissed off, we're probably more pissed off about it so we speak our minds more often, then a lot of bands do. There aren't many bands.......there aren't very many current bands who feel its worth the trouble to speak politically at all. It just goes in cycles, i think a political consciousness is starting to come up again in underground music, it died out a few years ago cause hardcore became pretty exhausted, and so i think its just reverting back to that same kinda energy, i feel a pretty good vibe from it. I notice just a few bands just starting to speak out a bit more. So, I'm kinda excited about it.
CC: Um..well you mean few bands is..you talkin about your kinda music, or are you talking about the Seattle scene...
Kurt: Umm..maybe just underground bands in general, not necessarily the seattle scene, i mean, i think the seattle scene especially or....[pauses a moment]..seattle scene is one of the first scenes who denied being political before a lot of other scenes did, i think. It was almost taboo....
Dave: The whole political thing almost seemed like...such a fad for a while.
Kurt: Yeah, everything turns into a fad.
Dave: First it was the social political then it was the emotional political and then, ya know, bands just sorta fed off of these other bands politics and grouped into certain categories, ya know there's crass and conflict, and bands like that.
CC: Black Flag as you were saying before.
Kurt: Yeah they were...
Dave: Consider them a Political band?
Kurt: More of an emotional political, i think they dealt with one on one subjects instead of just an overall ideal.
Dave: well i mean in comparison to a band like the Dead Kennedys, ya know of that era, theres the dead kennedys er...
CC: I think it died out a lot quicker [in Europe] then it did in America.
Dave: Oh I'm sure theres still a ton of it goin on in America. Smaller hardcore bands.
CC: In England when....in Europe when punk just started going out, ya know there was, uh bands like exploited, GBH and stuff like that, but they never reached more then just their fans, and that was it, there were not an Influence, like Black Flag an Influence for you....i don't think GBH and Exploited were an interest for anybody.
Kurt: No they were their own world.
CC: They were just left overs for something that was dying...and nothing else has come out that lately...
Kurt: Right and there's no chance for them to get much popular cause their music is set in such a little narrow world that it couldn't it couldn't branch out to a larger audience.
CC: I Saw that you more or less recorded this album the same way you did the first, you think it was anyway that the fact your on Geffen clamped you down a little bit?
Kurt: No, the fact that we are on Geffen Helped Us take our time on the album more, we didn't record it in 6 days like we did on other album.
CC: Financially as well?
Kurt: Yeah, thats the main reason that it gave us more freedom, we were able to take out time on it. It took about 3 Weeks....so.... it was nice, it was nice to be able to take your time and get it right.
CC: Why, you think your first album was a bit too rushed?
Kurt: A bit, not really, I mean we're real happy with that album still, I think its the fine example of what we were like back then.
CC: I think the kind of rock that you do, Punk rock or whatever you wanna call it, its the kind that needs to be done real quick, energize as much as possible, go in..do it...otherwise you lose it, you know if you start thinking about it and fiddle with knobs and levels...
Kurt: Yeah thats true, i wouldn't wanna spend more then 3 weeks on an album, unless we had millions of Overdubs, if we wanted to really experiment with all these weird sounds and stuff, throw em in, its the main reason why most of the grunge bands sounded so good, cause it was done quick and raw.
CC: I don't think that you need to do that much to it. I mean have you...in that respect you think this album is better because you could try different things.
Kurt: I really don't know if its any better, its definitely....i mean you could tell we took 3 weeks on it. There are a few different instruments, theres some over-dubs in it....Mainly the songs are a lot different then the Bleach album, so they're just 2 different things they were recorded 2 years apart from each other. so um..I dunno.
CC: What happened to the project of having out as box-set of 7 singles, or something like that?
Kurt: I think thats probably a joke (laughs)
Kurt: Krist said that in an interview one time.
Krist: What's that?
Kurt: 7 inch singles.....box-set of 7 inch singles, the album.
CC: Umm....so do you think that the Sub Pop thing is exhausting itself a little bit??
Kurt: Yeah, pretty much, its kinda a lull period right now because the last few records they put out...i personally don't really like them that much so it doesn't seem exciting to me now, it doesn't mean its not gonna pick up or there not gonna put out some good bands in the future its just that right now it just kinda...lull, no too exciting.....Ummm
CC: In a way your trying to sort of get people to show their apathy out of themselves and stuff like that?
Kurt: Well its not....its not really like a plan decision we've made, we don't consider ourselves having a message.
CC: Yeah well when you write lyrics, do you think in that sense a little bit?
Kurt: I think in that sense on my own...
CC: Or is it you just being really pissed off and you just think of yourselves?
Kurt: No no, I think of that sense on my own like when I'm not writing music, I'm sure it bleeds into our songs but I don't like to make it obvious that thats what is my main concern....its definitely...the thing that pisses me off more then anything in the world is people not fighting against oppression and boredom, and complaining about it...they don't have the right to complain...so...
CC: Like the fact you gonna pay more taxes because of the Gulf War?
CC: Well Europeans don't have to pay more taxes because of the Gulf War, we weren't really involved in it
Kurt: Ohh really.
CC: But i heard in America its gonna be, more...someday we're gonna have to get the money out of somewhere, to pay for all they spent over there
Krist: just...here in there they get the money
Kurt: Yeah they get it
Krist: Now theres a new exit tax, 18 dollars to leave the United States
CC: Yeah, a bit here a bit there, you don't know what to say about anything until they stick it up your ass
Kurt: (laughs) definitely, we're in the 33% tax bracket, cause of the deal that we signed...so..we paid up the ass, in taxes as a band, i mean 33% thats quite a bit isn't it...
Krist: Phhh...thats more then a quarter [long pause] ya know, everyone is pretty drunk on a bunch of junk, drunk on junk, know what i mean...
Krist: Just....cars, 'n, full Rolex watches, Simpsons videos...yeah the Simpsons are cool though
CC: They're pretty funny
Krist: Yeah i think they kinda have a.....they have a message
CC: Yeah, if you wanna see their plea, yeah
Krist: but i wonder how many people get it, know what i mean
CC: I don't watch it
Krist: Are they watching, just cute little characters, and not seeing what's goin on...
Kurt: Well i think thats the most embarrassing thing is that most of the people DO get it, but they don't give a fuck, they're laughing at themselves, they don't even realize they are being made fun of....well, they do understand it but they think "Ohhh thats not me, thats someone else" ya know "thats my neighbor".
CC: Yeah but don't you think that like on a wider scale, is persuasion like, ya know the place you come from, the logging town or whatever, ya know everyone lives in their little world, and they don't give a fuck about......sorry?
Krist: Its even like that in the City
CC: Yeah..thats what I'm saying....even in a big place, if they live in a big place, they don't give a fuck about anybody else, there in there little self contained world, as long as their little world is not touched by some event or another, they just don't care, as you say by junk and ....
Kurt: I think one of the main diseases....one of the most important disease is that were against is gluttony, consumerism and that kinda stuff, I think thats one of the first problems that should be done away with.
CC: Yeah but then you end up in the situation where music ends up in the same level
Kurt: It does all the time
CC: You have bands that are signed just to be consumed
Krist: yeah its really bad
CC: ya know they sign 'em up and get a few singles out...
Krist: its a product
Kurt: most of those bands want to be consumed, the people who deal in that kind of a....in those kinda situations are in their own little tribe anyhow, you cant even deprogram those people and its just too bad that thats the majority...ya know (laughs).....id just assume, leave those people alone and deal with young gullible 15 year old kids who haven't had the chance of being affected by it, those consumer bastards, those people...and I'm not thinking very clearly today...
CC: yeah but then they end up people like guns 'n roses who start out as a reaction as a 'fuck you' kinda band...but they end up being such assholes
Krist: because they are assholes
Kurt: yeah they were assholes in the first place, i don't think theres anything special about that band other then they had tattoos, and that seemed rebellious, and they were alcoholics, and in order to make their alcoholism a substantial part of their band, they exploited it and said "We're Being Rebellious" ya know....and really just nothing but obnoxious idiots and so that was taken as like an image..like this teenage rebellious image...and its a bunch of crap its not real at all
Krist: I mean where are they comin from, there supposed to be a rebellion band but do they have any platform? where are they comin from?....they just throw whisky bottles around
CC: I mean...are you considered rebellious as well, in a way or....
Kurt: Well, i think we are more rebellious then Guns and Roses.
CC: Well don't you think that could be misinterpreted as well.
Kurt: Well it probably will but if anyone has a brain they'll realize that its more sincere then Guns and Roses.
CC: Yeah, as well as keep their head out of their ass.
CC: (laughs) Cause thats definitely where their head is...Alright thats it..
Thanks to Joe Hinchcliffe for the interview.