NFC Nirvana Information Articles and Interviews Radio Interview

Radio Interview

November, 1989. Author unknown

Early Nirvana interview


Krist: We're a band before we are a record label, so… You know. I'm not really concerned with them, the record label, as much as I am with our, our own music, and uh, so… Sub Pop, it's a lot of hype, and stuff, but there's good bands there too. It's not just all hype.

Interviewer: What do you mean with "hype"? Why?

Kurt: Promotion. Over-promotion. It's just, it's kind of amazing how it has become such a popular label within the year and a half it's been together. And a lot of people are claiming that it's so much hype that they don't have any substantial bands to back it up.

Krist: Some people will walk into a record store and ask, 'Do you have anything by Sub Pop?' and just buy it. You know? Why not just walk in and go, 'Do you have anything by Warner Brothers?' 'Yeah, here's this new Abba record.' 'Wow! Thanks a lot. That's great' You know.

Kurt: Aren't Abba from Sweden?

Interviewer: Yes, they are.

Krist: I like them.

Kurt: They're fantastic. I like them too.

 

Voice over (translated from Swedish by Jonas): Much of the hype surrounding sub pop is just fake, commercials and tabloid press. Even if a lot of the bands are good, claims Nirvana...And how do they stand out from the rest of these bands, playing music inspired from the 60´s and 70´s rock music?

Kurt claims that they are mostly influenced by punk, that today´s punk music is better then yesterdays, but they don´t want to bring about a political message.

Kurt: Maybe we're more like the Stooges type of punk rock, before punk rock was a trendy fashion statement. And, where people would expect to try to act as punk rock as possible. It seemed that when Iggy was playing to his audience, he dove out into the audience and cut himself up because he wanted this audience to act like that. Or, he wanted to create an environment the way that he felt. And at the time, the audience response was just, basically, heckling. And, um, there for their entertainment, not to really get into the music. So, nowadays, I think that… The band and the audience participate together. And it just seems more like the way punk rock should be, or the way punk rock finally has become. To where people have a little respect for each other and are trying to have fun at the same time. Other than throwing bottles at each other and sticking pins through their noses.

Interviewer: What about messages?

Kurt: Messages?

Interviewer: Yeah, messages. Lyrics, for example. That's what punk rock was about as well, ten years ago. Well, more than that. Fourteen years ago.

Kurt: That's true. Hmmm. (Laughs)

Krist: Messages. We don't have a message.

Kurt: We definitely don't have a message.

Krist: We're not like U2 or Joan Baez. They can give people messages.

Chad: That's why we're not punk rock. [Kurt chuckles]

Interviewer: You're just Nirvana.

Krist: I mean rock'n'roll. I love rock'n'roll a lot, but…

Chad: You know it is dead. [they laugh]

Krist: … it's not that important. There's a lot more important things in life.

Kurt: Oh, yeah?

Krist: Yeah.

Interviewer: Like what?

Krist: Like love.

 

Voice over: There is more to life then rock ´n roll, says the bass player in Nirvana. Love, to take an example. But their music could hardly be described as soft and romantic.

 

Krist: Have you heard our new song?

Kurt: Soft and … frustrated. Yeah. And romantic. [laughs]

Interviewer: No, it's not, I think.

Kurt: I think it is. Yeah. I think it has a lot of compassion. Even though it may not have a message in the music, the feeling and the vibes that we're giving out I think has a lot of compassion and emotion. And I would consider that soft and romantic, even though it seems negative and hateful.

Interviewer: So the band, playing with Nirvana is a way of getting your feelings out?

Kurt: Sure. Yeah, exactly.

Krist: Yeah, that's true. You feel a lot better after you've put on a good show. It feels really good.

Interviewer: Like going to therapy?

Kurt: Sure! Exactly. Interviews are therapy. You're our analyst right now. We really don't dwell on thinking about things until we're actually interviewed. And then it's just like, 'Uh, gee, should we have said that?' We don't know what we are. We're trying to figure it out. [laughs]

Krist: Yeah, we are.

Kurt: I'd say that we're, we're, we're trying to be less categorized than most bands. We have an influence. We may sound like the seventies, or the sixties, but what else can you sound like? Because they were such a forceful time. They were such forceful times.


Interview thanks to Jen Johnson