LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE August ??, 1991 - Los Angeles, CA, US

David Carr
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
Image Entertainment Rockthology Presents Hard 'N Heavy, Vol. 1 Yes

Dave: I'm Dave and I play drums.

Kurt: I'm Kurt and I play guitar and I sing.

Krist: And I'm Krist and I play bass guitar.

Kurt: We don't know where we're at…

Hard N Heavy: You're in the Hard N Heavy office.

Kurt: OK.

Krist: The song's about lazy teenagers and apathy. Or, just, nobody cares about anything anymore.

Hard N Heavy: You think that's true?

Krist: Yeah! Nobody cares!

Kurt: It's pretty obvious…

Krist: Y'know, more people smoke marijuana in the United States than voted for George Bush! Think about it!

Dave: It's that feeling of getting on-stage and playing to the people! Y'know, really…

Kurt: Kinda like the Bette Midler and "The Rose" vibe…

Dave: Yeah…

Kurt: Y'know how you can just relate with the audience…

Dave: You connect! There's definitely this spiritual… thing!

Kurt: Like, see, energy comes out of the outlets into our amplifiers…

Dave: And we feed off…

Kurt: The energy comes out of us and it goes into the audience and they bounce it back and we just play catch with some vibes…

Dave: Energy, vibes [laughs]

Krist: Wow!

Krist: Growing up in Aberdeen, Washington, there was a lot of logs!

Kurt: And trees…

Krist: And a lot of trees…

Kurt: Well, the trees came before logs, right?

Krist: And a lot of trees are getting cut down, and there's a lot of people whose lives revolve around trees getting cut down… and now that the trees are all gone, they wanna go after the last trees, and so there's some angry people there.

Krist: We just had, like, a little scene out there…

Kurt: A group of friends… beatniks!

Krist: We discovered punk-rock… yeah, we were like…

Kurt: Like, redneck beatniks, though. Beatniks with flannel shirts!

Krist: We haven't worked for 2 years! Ha ha! And I encourage anybody not to work!

Dave: Working can wait…

Krist: I say "Slack off!" because you're only gonna be alive for 70 years if you're lucky, right?

Kurt: [Singing] Working can wait…

Krist: And we just contribute to this sick, materialistic society. So slack off, big deal, y'know… have fun!

Dave: Smoke pot…

Krist: Smoke pot! Drink Beer… booze. Inhale…

Kurt: [Laughing]

Dave: Get each other pregnant!

Krist: Yeah! No… don't get pregnant!

Kurt: Yeah, reproduce!

Krist: Don't reproduce!

Hard N Heavy: What would be a good scheme? For the kids out there taking your advice, give 'em a hand on a good scam…

Krist: Sell food stamps!

Kurt: [Laughs]

Dave: Boost a car radio… pawn it!

Kurt: Learn to play pool real well!

Dave: Yeah, learn to play pool… hustle on the street… learn to play cards… peddle the ass that god gave you! Buy nitrous!

Kurt: [Laughs]

Krist: Oh, you know what my pet peeve is? People standing on escalators! That is a testimony to human laziness! I mean, the guy who invented the escalator is just probably kicking himself in the ass…

Kurt: You're supposed to stand to the side, the right side, so that people can walk up on the left side.

Krist: You think that guy made the escalator so that people… and made, like, stairs, so that people could just stand on it and go up and down? You're supposed to walk on them so you get there faster! Y'know? And then people stand on there! So, every time I'm on an escalator, I'm just like, "Excuse me! Pardon me! Excuse Me! Pardon Me!", y'know?! That's my pet peeve, right there! And I'm gonna do something about it! And I'm urging you to do something about it! Write to your Congressmen, get a group together, get together, and I think we could do something about this!

Krist: Oh, where do we start? We were in this van, driving around, lovin' and livin' off the land.

Kurt: Me and you and a dog named Boo. Touring our butts off, starving. Playing shows, supporting the record for the last 2 years.

Hard N Heavy: That was actually a really… incredibly big seller for an independent record, wasn't it?

Krist: Well…

Kurt: Punk rock gold.

Krist: It was a steady seller. I mean, it wasn't really… it just took the course of 2 years to sell…

Dave: We're no Fugazi.

Kurt: Yeah.

Krist: You're no John Kennedy.

Dave: No.

Kurt: I've always loved The Beatles and stuff like that, too, y'know? Especially The Beatles. A lot of the other rip-off bands of The Beatles, like The Hollies and Herman's Hermits, don't really count, I've never gotten into that, but I like that old '60s pop kinda sound.

Dave: What about the Knack?

Kurt: I love The Knack! The Knack are great!

Krist: There is a good Hollies song, though…

Kurt: The first Knack record is a classic…

Dave: Then they started molesting children…

Krist: Yeah…

Dave: …Jeez!

Krist: But it's just like the 3-minute pop song - verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus - if it's done right, it's just so beautiful, it's so… right on. [laughs]

Kurt: Love? Hmmm, I don't really consider most of the songs "love songs," really… I think most of the songs are just confusion, which is related to love… love or confusion? I don't know… It isn't really just about love, it's just dealing with the problems that arise in relationships.

Hard N Heavy: So now that you guys are on Geffen, has the sort of predictable "indie heroes sell out to a major label" backlash hit you yet?

Krist: No, nobody's really…

Kurt: We hope so.

Krist: We hope so?!?

Kurt: Do we?!?

Krist: No, nobody's really given us any shit yet, and if they do, so what?!!

Dave: It's really boring having people ask in every interview, "What's it like being on a major label?"

Kurt: Yeah, but it's an understandable question, though.

Dave: That's true.

Kurt: You have to ask it, right?

Hard N Heavy: Do you feel like there's any difference for you guys? Or is it just the same?

Krist: Yeah, I feel a difference.

Kurt: What do you feel?

Krist: Well, yeah, it's kinda like LSD or something, it has to be experienced! You can't really describe it…

Kurt: I don't feel much difference myself, really.

Krist: Every time I walk into DGC offices, it looks like I'm looking through a kaleidoscope, there's all these like… everybody speaks in echo voices, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" I'm like, "Woooow, maaaaan!!!"

Kurt: "I wish I was in the indie world again!"

Krist: I thought I was in there for an hour and 14 hours I was in there, just tripping! 'Cause there's all these hallways and stuff...

Kurt: Yeah, you felt like a mouse in a trap.

Krist: All these pterodactyls were swerving, swooping down at me, "Ahhh!" And David Geffen melted before my eyes! I'm like, "Euuuuuugh, whoa whoa whoa whoa…" And then I step outside and it was just Sunset Boulevard. I came down…

Kurt: Reality came back… seeing the Whisky just made you… made reality come right back.

Krist: Yeah, yeah, the Whisky's reality.

Hard N Heavy: Do they leave you guys alone to just do what you do? Or do they call up and go, "Where's the hit?" or any of that stuff you hear about?

Krist: Oh, no! They know better than that! They know not to mess with us…

Kurt: Yeah, they know better!

Krist: You could piss me off… Are you razzing me?! Are you fuckin' razzing me?!?! Anyway, I dunno… Dennis Hopper, he does it a lot better than I do…

Kurt: Dennis Hopper's our manager, so…

Kurt: Well, it was all pretty much spontaneous. As we recorded every song, we just screwed around with the EQ and the dials on the amps.

Krist: We had about 3 guitars amps in there, some old Fender amps, and then brought 3 or 4 guitars… it's just nice to have a mixed bag of songs, it makes the record so much more… instead of all the way through, the same tempo, the same song… we just try to make the sounds go with the song, 'cause each song is its own trip.

Krist: People don't care anymore, so why should I care? Or is that… that's the same thing, right?

Hard N Heavy: Do you think there's any sort of way to combat that, or have you guys yourselves given up?

Krist: Yeah, I think being nihilistic and cynical about things is like a self-defence mechanism. Because I was really freaked out for a long time why people are so… nobody cares or why people are just so silly…

Kurt: There are plenty of things that we do that contribute to fighting The Man, fucking with the system… there's a few things that we can't even talk about because they're illegal, but there are plenty of things to do! There are a lot of things to do… Xeroxes: make up a statement of what you feel about society and put Xeroxes all over cars… there's a lot of organisations you can get into… all kinds of things.

© David Carr, 1991