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1991.MM.DD - Excerpts from various interviews with members of Nirvana

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1991.MM.DD - Excerpts from various interviews with members of Nirvana Empty 1991.MM.DD - Excerpts from various interviews with members of Nirvana

Post by Blackstar on Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:36 am

Rockview, August 22, 1991:
 
Kurt: I think one of the main diseases… one of the most important diseases that we're against is gluttony, consumerism and that kinda stuff, I think that's one of the first problems that should be done away with.
 
Crazy Chris: Yeah but then you end up in the situation where music ends up in the same level.
 
Kurt: It does all the time.
 
Crazy Chris: You have bands that are signed just to be consumed.
 
Krist: Yeah, it's really bad.
 
Crazy Chris: Ya know, they sign 'em up and get a few singles out…
 
Krist: It's 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 can't even de-program those people and it's just too bad that that's the majority… ya know? [laughs]… I'd just as soon as 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…
 
Crazy Chris: 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 there's 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 it's a bunch of crap, it's not real at all.
 
Krist: I mean where are they comin' from? They're supposed to be a rebellion band but do they have any platform? Where are they comin' from? They just throw whisky bottles around.
 
Crazy Chris: I mean… are you considered rebellious as well, in a way or…?
 
Kurt: Well, I think we are more rebellious then Guns 'N Roses.
 
Crazy Chris: 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 it's more sincere than Guns 'N Roses.
 
Crazy Chris: Yeah, as well as keep their head out of their ass.
 
Kurt: [laughs]
 
Crazy Chris: [laughs] 'Cause that's definitely where their head is!
 
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***

Hard Force (France), recorded August 30, 1991:

Kurt: [...] I was recently trying to remember what was the last honest rock 'n' roll band that made a mark on me, and I couldn’t find one. With NIRVANA entering the top ten, this will open doors for groups that will follow us. Maybe people will realize how shit GUNS N 'ROSES is. Just a pretext found by a sexist and neurotic little pervert to make money fast. And music is not that. If people want to listen to good music, they won’t by continuing to buy POISON albums, right?

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***

NME, September 21, 1991:

Nirvana clearly hope their attempt to kybosh MTV will offer America's disaffected youth a more valid concept of rebellion than the establishment-tolerated Guns N' Roses.

"Yeah," says Kurdt. "Maybe we can expose ourselves to a few gullible 15-year-olds and steer them in a better direction. I'm sure once Guns N' Roses got as big as they did, the government checked up on it and realised they didn't have the brains to be a threat to anyone."

Chris digs this one. "I mean, what does Axl Rose have to say to anyone? What's his platform? There's nothing! He just talks shit. He just… he throws bottles!"

"Actually," says Kurdt, "MTV really does try and be as subversive as it can. They're constantly exposing all the rights that are being taken away from Americans. But no one gives a fuck. They just warm see that damn Warrant video!"

Of course, cool words or not, Nirvana are just a fly on the pachyderm's back. George Bush is not about to be asphyxiated by the smell of their teen spirit, far less Warrant or Axl Rose. But once you accept that rock'n'roll doesn't really matter in any great political sense, then Nirvana are seriously important. Watching the kids in Cork and Dublin, all gaping mouths and shaking heads, it's obvious that this is a band that will inspire a generation to pick up guitars - and who knows, maybe the odd marker pen too.

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From a longer version of the same interview, published in NME, April 8, 1995:
 
Krist: 'The mainstream just gets fed garbage and it's like a vicious circle, they do demographic surveys and see what people want. People want shit so they give 'em shit. People only ever hear shit so they never pick up on any new ideas. They're really smart, the government, those fascists. They're not dumb. They don't want any l punk bands to come over and rant and rave to the kids when they could be listening to Paula Abdul talk about broken hearts."
 
Isn't it telling how MTV presents a band like Guns N' Roses as an acceptable level of rebellion?
 
Kurt: "Definitely. I'm sure once Guns N' Roses got as big as they did the government checked up on them and realised they don't really have the brains to be a threat to anyone."
 
Krist: "Yeah! I mean, what does Axl Rose have to say to anyone? What is his platform, what's his core, where does he come from? There's nothing! He just talks shit, he just... he throws bottles!"
 
Kurt: "Actually, to tell you the truth, I learned that problem with the visas on MTV, believe it or not, on the news. Because MTV really does try to be as subversive as they can, as subversive as they're allowed, especially the news. They're constantly exposing all the rights that are being taken away from Americans. But no-one gives a fuck. They just wanna see that damn Warrant video!"
 
Would you consider Nirvana on MTV a victory of sorts?
 
Kurt: "To get onto MTV would be a victory in that it wouldn't really matter to me, other than the fact that our band has been on MTV and maybe we can expose ourselves to a few gullible 15-year old kids and maybe steer them in a better l direction than they're going. It's never been a desire of ours to be on MTV, we've always been totally anti-MTV. But now that we have the opportunity we may as well go for it. It has nothing to do with us wanting to be successful or more popular, we just want more kids to have the opportunity to hear us and decide for themselves. "Why couldn't Black Flag have been Number One? If the music industry really does have as much control as everybody in the underground claims, like pay-offs, payola, Mafia ties, then there's no reason why they couldn't make or break any band, no matter how crappy they are or how abrasive they are. It would be just as easy to take some stale bitch like (names poppy, souly female singer who, for legal reasons, must sadly remain nameless), who can't sing, who doesn't sing on the records, or take Black Flag and promote them the same way. "I'd say 80 per cent of the public aren't music lovers in the first place, so why even try to please them, anyhow? They can't even tell the difference between a good song, they can't tell the difference between a song that's already been written or a song that's been sampled, or anything. "So why can't Black Flag or Sonic Youth be Number One? Because major labels don't have that much control over making and breaking! It may happen with all these so-called alternative bands being signed. I don't know, it's going so slowly right now - Jesus Jones are considered alternative, All the bands that were supposedly punk rock in the first place all had their major hits when they had really accessible songs, when they finally wrote real accessible songs. Blondie were successful because of 'Heart of Glass'."
 
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***
 
Rock Hard, November 11, 1991:
 
[...]
 
Nirvana disdain the mainstream that they have wandered into. Contemptuous of everyone else in the top ten (especially Guns N' Roses), they hope their success paves the way for other alternative acts. They would like to spark a teen rebellion that does more than boost their record sales, though they don't object to the money. They grumble and affect apathy, but they participate in endless photo shoots and interviews.
 
[...]
 
"Teen Spirit" instantly topped the college and alternative charts. Smith College's WOZQ played it sixty-seven times in a single week, including one spin by a reggae D.J. The song quickly permeated metal radio, and then rock radio. Even before DGC worked it to rock stations, emphasizing the strong retail sales in various local markets, DJ.'s were getting requests based on the heavy MTV play. Almost thirty stations added the song before the official release. MTV saturated the airwaves with the "Teen Spirit" video, which drummer Dave Grohl describes as "a pep rally gone bad," with tattooed cheerleaders in anarchy jumpers shaking pom-poms. Now, as the song bursts into the pop charts, Nirvana are taking care not to blunt their outsider image: they've already declined the opening slot on the Guns N' Roses tour, a plum for any other band.
 
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***
 
Rumore, November 17, 1991:
 
[...]
 
CS: I read that Metallica's Kirk Hammet stated that you are his favorite band and that Axl Rose holds you in high regard.
 
Kurt Cobain: Kirk has come to our concerts a couple of times. I think it's sincere. Axl is an opportunist. Metallica is perhaps the only metal band that interests me.
 
[...]
 
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***
 
NME, November 28, 1991:
 
[...]
 
In less than two months 'Nirvana: US underground collegiate contender', have become 'Nirvana: American rock phenomenon of 1991'. And suddenly the whole world wants to pluck at their jumper. Their PR tells me that Slash and Axl have been asking nicely to play with the band. Also, that the band are now attracting an unhealthy quotient of squirming herpes-couriers offering backstage sexual services. Life is getting scary for Nirvana. And 'Big Shitty Sticks' (for beating off The Vermin) will no doubt be top of their Christmas list.
 
[...]
 
Nirvana discuss their loathing of the bigoted, lethargic, transmission-frazzled, materialistic American condition, at length. But it's an attitude that's tricky to properly validate when your ass has been bought and paid for by The (Geffen) Man. And his singular objective is to jettison it through MTV channels into the rock hyperbowl, alongside the label's stuffed centerpiece, Guns N' Roses, for fat cash returns.
 
"We'll do something to fuck it up, I know we will," shrugs Kurt. "I'm sure once Guns N' Roses started becoming really successful, Bush had them checked out, and found they weren't articulate enough to be a threat to anybody."
 
[...]
 
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***
 
The Drum Media, November 19, 1991:
 
Interview with Dave Grohl:
 
[...]
 
NEVERMIND which includes material written before the band's Bleach album was even recorded has firmed up a territory that is attracting an increasing number of fans on a major scale. So much so that the band have been offered support spots for Ozzy Osbourne and Skid Row.
 
"IT'S kind of amusing that all these bands want us to open up for them but there's absolutely no f**king way we'd ever do it. People tell us, Oh, you guys are number nine on the Billboard charts in America. And wow, we don't jump around and laugh and jump for joy. We just sort of say, Oh. But when some oneways,yeah,Rush want you to tour with them we burst out laughing and roll on the floor."
 
"BUT actually you know what? Someone asked us if we would open for Guns n' Roses in New Zealand and I think we're going to play one show with Guns n' Roses in New Zealand at some festival or something. We just wanted to make sure like OK that we never play with some massive cock rock band all overAmerica. That would just ruin it. So when someone said you have a chance to play one show with Guns n' Roses in New Zealand in front of 40,000 people we thought oh that might be kind of fun."
 
THAT show can't have been too much surprlse. Both bands are to be in this part of the world at the same time early next year and besides Axl went backstage to see the band when they played in Los Angeles.
 
[...]
 
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