the story from the experts: the band themselves
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Nevermind- It's an Interview
conducted by Kurt St. Thomas of WFNX, Boston, 1992
released as a promotional interview cd that year
part three of three
(Referring to the Nevermind album cover)

KURT: "One day, Dave and I were sitting around watching a documentary on babies being born underwater .and um, I thought that was a really neat image, so we thought, "Let's put that on the album cover", and then when we got back a picture of a baby underwater, we thought, I thought it would look nice for a fish hook with a dollar bill on it, the image was born."

(Referring to photograph back of Nevermind album)

KURT: "It's just a rubber monkey, that I've had for years..and I took that picture. It was in a Bohemian photography stage y'know, taking a bunch of weird, arty pictures, and that's one of them"

KURT: "It's a collage that I made many years ago. I , I got these pictures of beef, from a supermarket poster, and cut them out, and made a mountain of beef and then put Dante's people being thrown into hell climbing all over it, and um, that's pretty much, yeah, there's also, if you look real close, there's a picture of Kiss, in the back .standing on a slab of beef"

ST. THOMAS: 13 minutes, and 51 seconds after the beginning of track 12, the band put a secret song on the Nevermind CD. This mystery song didn't make the first pressing though. Dave explains...

DAVE: "When we got our first CD, and popped it in, we listened to it, "Oh , Oh! Let's check to see if that track is there!", and it wasn't there. The reason for it, I think the original reason was because, "Something In The Way" is sorta like your slower, whatever song it's the last song on the record, most likely to be listened to by like someone who would have a carousel CD player, and so okay, why not like "screw up their little carousel deal!!!!" I was talkin' to a friend who works in a record store, and he said uh, a person came in with the CD, and said "Y'know , this thing's screwed up .after the last song, there's like, this 10 minutes of dead space, then this total noise song!" He wanted his money back! And the person at that store said, "Well.., I think maybe, it was like a joke of the bands .y'know, put it on after ," and he goes "Well I don't think it's very funny!" y'know! And he wanted his money back! It was just like.!"

ST. THOMAS: Inspiration comes in many forms, and for Nirvana, it came in the form of an obscure Scottish band called the Vaselines.

KRIST: "Kurt and I were totally into the Vaselines, I mean, they were my favourite band, they still are one of my favourite bands."

KURT: "Definitely our number one favourite band."

KRIST: "We finally got to play with them, they reformed, just to play with us ..and we played Edinburgh, Scotland, in, ah, early winter of 1990 ..So we met Eugene, and kinda kept a rap going with them then we heard Captain America the band, we heard the tape, we were totally blown away."

KURT: "Yeah, that's his new band, Captain America, they're really good."

KRIST: "Eugene's a great songwriter, so, yeah! Captain America's gotta go on tour with us!"

KRIST: "Since our record has done so well, we can open up doors for other bands, from where we come from, like Sonic Youth or Mudhoney, or the Melvins, or L7, or Dinosaur. Jr .I can just go on and on and on and on"

KURT: "I guess the best part would be, being in the position to take other bands, whom you like a lot, on tour with you. It's definitely a nice thing to be able to do. We took Shonin Knife, a three piece all girl Japanese band on tour with us in England, and they've been a favourite of ours for years, and no one really knows who they are in England, or anywhere in Europe. We've taken the Melvins on tour with us, and in the future, we hope to take Hole, and Jesus Lizard, and a bunch of other bands who we like."

KURT: "But nothing really exciting happens on tour, people think that the "rock star life" is so exciting and it's, y'know you play a show, you usually get into the town by the time it's dark, and you soundcheck, and you don't get to see the city, you play the show and then you leave the next morning. Y'know, you go to the hotel room, and you leave, and do the same thing all over again. It's kinda boring, in a way, I mean still, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do, but, it's not as exciting as anyone thinks. But it's getting harder for me to jump out in the audience now, because the crowds are bigger and some of the people don't realise that .I don't know what they realise actually, because they're putting their hands in my pockets and trying to steal my money and my wallet, and they're they're hitting me really hard and scratching me, so it's .I dunno, after a while I'm probably not going to be able to do that anymore. And that's too bad, cause' it's a fun little bonding thing to do with the audience."

ST. THOMAS: Nirvana says their next album will be different, perhaps even more like Bleach...

KRIST: "Well our next record's gonna be different, it's gonna be way different."

DAVE: "Well I wouldn't want to put out two of the same record"

KURT: "We'd like to record every song differently"

KRIST: "These are just ideas..that we have. Y'know, I know, I know it's gonna be a, a record of extremities."

DAVE: "I think we had our shot at doing the ah, big studio, high-tech Hollywood thing, whatever y'know I mean, that studio to us, was like, pretty like, techno. I dunno, maybe we'll do the next record on 8-track."

KURT: "It will be recorded on 8-track"

DAVE: "You can get more low amp frequencies out of an 8-track"

KURT: "Go back to the "Bleach" sound"

DAVE: "Back to that sorta, more along the lines of Bleach"

KURT: "Cause' I really liked the production of "Bleach", and I, I dunno, I felt kinda weird straying so far away from it"

DAVE: "We've got this far, with this record"

KURT: "There's definitely going to be some more abrasive songs on our next record."

DAVE: "Y'know, we're gonna do something, just totally test the limits"

KRIST: "Really raw and abrasive, to very uh, pretty and candyish."

DAVE: "All the radio listeners, or the MTV watchers, or whoever, just like, really test them, and shove something totally agro, in their face, and, and see if they can handle that."

KURT: "Almost anything that's musical, is pop music, as far as I'm concerned. As long as it's good, and it's catchy, it's pop. And y'know, a lot of punk rock is pop. I think the only time that punk rock strayed away from pop, was when hardcore came around, y'know, and there was a lot, y'know, real durgy stuff also, like the crossover metal thing, ..and I really can't consider a lot of that music."

DAVE: "Y'know, maybe one percent, of the people who are listening to "Nevermind", that ever bought "Nevermind", maybe not one percent, but I'm just saying that this, um, a small minority of people who are listening to our record now, know about punk rock. A lot of people don't know about punk rock ..they think about punk rock and they think of that Quincy episode where the guy threw the brick off the building, and..."

KURT: "I guess, I dunno, I just don't agree with old punk rock etho's, of like, you have to starve to be an artist .it's bullshit."

KURT: "We don't like to think of ourselves as a political band, because y'know, you tend to become too anal, and it becomes ridiculous, If you shove it down people's throats y'know, we just ask people to be aware a little bit, .and I think the songs kinda reflect that."

KRIST: "It's just another issue, another topic, like we could talk about racism, we could talk about feminism, nationalism, I don't really subscribe to that way of thought, at all."

KURT: "There's just so much corruption going on with the government, and the Reagan years have definitely set us back, to where the average teenager feels kinda lost, and there isn't much hope. They're still at least, aware of the mistakes that our parent's generation has made ..and I just think that it'll take a little bit of time for kids to start doing the duties that they're supposed to do, which is challenge things, like corruption."

DAVE: "The way American's money is budgeted by our government, it leaves nothing to the education system. Teachers are dealing with the future, y'know, teachers are dealing with kids growing up, who are gonna take care of me or you, someday. Just the education system in general, in a lot of places, is really screwed."

KRIST: "Y'know, it's great to get information like that, so you can um, form your own ideas. It'd be neat, if like y'know, the 60's had a like, Abby Hoffman, or ah, John Sinclair y'know, Timothy Leary to an extent. And they were spokespeople, and they were shaking things up, and nowadays, there's not really anybody."

ST. THOMAS: The multiplatinum release "Nevermind". Since it's release, the album has topped the billboard charts, and the first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has become a top-ten hit. The success of "Nevermind" has taken a lot of people by surprise .including the band.

KURT: "I'll never get over the shock and that's kinda good."

DAVE: "It was, um, sort of a really, whatever, organic thing, there wasn't any massive hype"

KURT: "I mean there is definitely no big million dollar investment, in, in promotion behind this record at all, it's totally organic, and it just happened."

KRIST: "Y'know, whatever's happened, is, was surely out of our control, and I'm glad it's happened y'know it's nice to sell that many records, it's nice to turn on people to something different. People tellin' me "Oh yeah you guy's record .I think you guys are gonna go platinum" and we're like "Oh man .c'mon, y'know, if we get a gold record outta this, that'll be amazing."

KURT: "It's not my fault. I never wanted the fame involved. It's, that's a totally different story. I think Paul Stanley once said somethin' like "Only thing that money gives you is relief of not having to worry about money". Only thing I'd really like to do with it, is to invest in some bands that I like, I , I don't wanna start my own record label God, I know I couldn't do that. But I'd like to give some money to some labels who're putting out great music, help in that way. And um, probably gonna buy a house. Hopefully we can have a recording studio too a little 8-track recording studio, so we can make good demos. And that's pretty much the plans and just get some new shoes."
( part one | part two | part three )

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