LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE October 29, 1990 - Norwich, UK
- Fraser McKay
- Kurt Cobain
- Krist Novoselic
|Eye Sore You||NIRVANA||Yes|
Nirvana played in Norwich a long time ago, but they will soon be releasing a second Sub Pop album and we can't see any reason not to cash in on that fact. We talked to Chris (bass) and Kurdt (songs and guitar) about lots of things, and we even mentioned music once in a while. For insights into noise heaven read on…
How did you get involved with Sub Pop?
Chris: We just had an idea to go into the Reciprocal Recording studio in Seattle. We were living in Aberdeen (not Scotland!) at the time, it took us two hours to get there in this beat-up old Chevy truck with a stove in the back. The camper on the back had a smokestack! Did you know that?
Chris: Yeah! Dwight's truck, that beat-up old Chevy…
Kurdt: It had a smokestack?
Chris: Yeah, it had a wood stove in the back of it and it had a smokestack!
Oh, come on! What about Sub Pop?
Chris: Anyway, so we drove out there and we did this tape with Dale from the Melvins and then Jack Endino happened to be the producer, and he turned it on to Jonathan Poneman from Sub Pop; and Jonathan Poneman from Sub Pop called us up and about a year later I think we finally put out a single. And then we put out our record and then everything just started to roll and that's how we did it. I mean we never even really played in Seattle before that. Jonathan got us a show at this place called The Vogue, that was with Dave, another drummer, another Dave… another drummer and, erm, he wasn't in the band for very long.
How are you (and other Sub Pop bands) perceived in the States?
Chris: It's totally different to here. It's such a big country, it seems like everything's like big corporations… Actually, that's a very strange question! Y'know - perception is a really weird thing. Like, for example, people will perceive that it's alright to eat a cow, but at the same time they'll also perceive that it's not okay to eat a dog.
What is the coverage of Sub Pop like in America?
Chris: There's no real music press to speak of, you guys are so lucky, you have two papers coming out every week. That's why there's so much hype and stuff - they have to do that or they'd be really boring. They have to make up all kinds of stuff and get people jacked up or something, so people will buy their music magazines. Think about it, when your magazine's as big as 'Sounds' you'll understand!
How do you like the Waterfront, compared to the Norwich Arts Centre last time you came?
Chris: I liked that other place better. It's really neat, this old church. The Waterfront is just like any other club and you don't get to play in a 500 year old church very often, but this really is just like any other club. It's not that I don't like it, it's just there's nothing really remarkable about it. It's not like "Have YOU been to the Waterfront in Norwich?" And it's not like it's a really awful place either, but "Have YOU ever played in that old church? There's tombstones there from 500 years ago!"
Chris: Here's a question for you - What happens when your car overheats and the weather's not very hot?
Please tell us!
Chris: What is something you should look for to correct the problem? The thermostat could be shot, the timing could be off…
Touring's a world of wonder then?
Chris: Yeah… the waterpump might be shot…
Kurdt: We have very strict rules about that - every 300 miles we have to stop for snacks and a feed. Pull over to the side of the road and take all of the equipment out of the van and check it on a checklist, to make sure it's there still…
Chris: Then when we stop to refuel we have to check the oil, check the air, check the water.
Kurdt: We have to go to an excellent fuel station.
Chris: And in the van you can only look forward, you can't turn sideways, you can't talk to anybody at all.
Kurdt: No groupies, friends, roadies.
Chris: Nobody but the band.
Kurdt: No radios, no eating. We have a trailer to tow around, for the groupies!
Do you have any favourite British bands?
Chris: The Vaselines are my favourite band now. Hey, what's your favourite Rolling Stones record?
… erm, 'Let It Bleed'
Chris: Yeah, I like 'Let It Bleed' too.
Someone from the corner of the room: 'Let It Be'??
Chris: 'Let It BLEED'! That's a good one, yeah.
Kurdt: My favourite is '…Satanic Majestys…'
Chris: I like that one too.
Kurdt: It's so fuckin' bizarre.
Chris: I really like 'Flowers' too.
Out comes the sleeve of 'Sub Pop Rock City', searching for autographs. OH - there he is! There's the Legend (Everett True, fact friends!)
Chris: Oh wow!!
Kurdt: Gee, that guy really gets around. That picture was probably chosen because he was in it!
Everett True is on the back of 'Sub Pop Rock City', in case you were wondering.
Chris: The Legend's right up front, man! He's right up there! Good old Mr Donuts himself!
Last question, how does the band keep going?
Chris: Once a week, write a song.
Kurdt: Or you'll turn into crap.
Chris: C.R.A.P. - crap! 'They're very prolific', somebody said that about a band and I thought it was really horrible (…who shall remain nameless). 'They're very prolific' y'know. Oh jesus!
And that was Nirvana. Prolific or what?
© Fraser McKay, 1990