LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE February 14, 1990 - San Francisco, CA, US

Interviewer(s)
Matt Dunlap
Interviewee(s)
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Publisher Title Transcript
The Grunge NIRVANA Yes

Grunge: When did Nirvana first form as a group?
Kurt: About 3 years ago.
Grunge: Is this the original line-up?
Chris: Well you see, we used to play with this drummer and we called ourselves the Erin B. Band.
Kurt: You mean the Erin B. Experience.
Kurt: Later on Erin moved to New York.
Chris: So since Kurt and I were already in a band, we decided to look for another drummer, but the drummer we found did not work out.
Kurt: So we started using a drum machine, but that did not work either.
Kurt: So we finally found our drummer Chad.
Grunge: Speaking of your present drummer Chad, what happened to his drum kit that's on the “Bleach” LP?
Chris: Oh! It got smashed.
Grunge: Let's talk about the name Nirvana, why did you pick this name for the band?
Kurt: It sounds cool.
Chris: It's better than The Vegetables.
Grunge: Did you have any problems using that name since the '60s Nirvana had already used the name?
Kurt: Well yeah! They have threatened to sue us.
Chris: But I don't think they have enough money to pay for the lawyers and court fees.
Grunge: I think a band that has broke up and hasn't put out any records or a ‘best of’ hit record collection should just be happy that someone else in this world thinks the name is cool. I mean if you're the Rolling Stones or The Who or even Think Tank you should just leave those names alone.
Chris: Well that's true, but I've heard through the grapevine that the old Nirvana is getting back together. There are a lot of bands using the same names like the Mission and the Mission U.K., not that we like those bands, because we think they SUCK! I'm just using the Mission as an example.
Grunge: So if the old Nirvana wins in court will you change your name to Nirvana U.K.?
Kurt: No, we would change the name to Nirvana Senior.
Chris: Or better yet, Nirvana Zeppelin.
Grunge: Alright, now for the coldcock question: what happened to Jason, your second guitar player?
Chris: He was in the band once, and now he's not.
Grunge: Is there any hard feelings toward Jason?
Chris: No. He is better off in Soundgarden anyway. He's always wanted to be on that level of professionalism. I mean we really dig Soundgarden's music. We just don't want to reach their level.
Grunge: Do you know what happened to Hiro or why he quit Soundgarden?
Chris: I think he got smart and saw that the whole rock-n-roll scene is lame, but I really can't speak for Hiro.
Grunge: Do you think Nirvana will ever reach Soundgarden's level?
Chris: No, I really can't see us doing that.
Grunge: Do you think you will ever outgrow Sub Pop?
Kurt: We have no plans to be on any label other than Sub Pop. The only way we might go to another label is if the label would let us be as wild and crazy as we are now, and help us with more distribution.
Grunge: The “Bleach” LP is also released on Waterfront records in Australia. How did you get that deal?
Chris: I don't know how that works. Sub Pop takes care of all the business. We really let them take care of everything. Just as long as we get our cheques for our music we're happy. Grunge: The “Bleach” LP was recorded for only $600. How did you manage that?
Chris: Well we recorded on an 8-track machine. We went in and hammered down the songs and mixed them.
Grunge: How long did it take to complete the whole record?
Chris: About three days.
Grunge: Do you guys think there's a backlash starting to rise against Sub Pop bands, like people saying it's trendy to like Sub Pop?
Chris: No, because all Sub Pop bands are great.
Kurt: Well there's probably a lot of people who don't like the label. You either love it or you hate it. I know there's zine in Chicago that is totally devoted to thrashin' on Sub Pop.
Grunge: What do you think about the new bands and labels that are copying Sub Pop?
Chris: Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Kurt: I mean we are all imitators for sure. Almost everybody that plays guitar in a rock-n-roll band plays FUZZ guitar. I mean if you don't have keyboards in a band you're more than likely a grunge band in some form.
Grunge: What are some of your musical influences?
Chris: The Smithereens, Yoko Ono, Tangerine Dream, and Haircut 100.
Grunge: What's next for Nirvana?
Chris: We are doing some recording for our next LP in April. We will be doing some east Coast dates in April too. I think we will lay low in the summertime and enjoy the nice weather. Then in September the new album will be out.
Grunge: Will there be any limited editions of the new LP?
Chris: I'm sure Sub Pop will do something like that.
Grunge: Any last words?
Nirvana: ROCK ON!

© Matt Dunlap, 1990