LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE September 23, 1991 - Boston, MA, US

Jane Sangster
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
MTV Week In Rock Yes

Novoselic: Peachy keen!

Grohl: Right on! Is that a remote control mic? I mean, is that wireless?

Novoselic: We're slipping and sliding on our way to the MTV Music News.

MTV: Tell me about what you guys were doing earlier tonight, whose idea was it?

Novoselic: Well, Kurt thought up the Twister and I thought up the Crisco… and everybody kinda copped out. I mean, it could’ve been a groovy love session, you know, we could’ve sprinkled glitter on everybody and stuff, you know… and then, I dunno, the American flag got dragged into it somehow, so these patriotic jocks will probably be working me over within about half-an-hour!

MTV: Are you guys big fans of Twister? Is that your favorite game?

Novoselic: It ties you up in a knot!

MTV: So, when you guys are around, do things like this happen all the time?

Novoselic: Trouble, yeah.

Grohl: Jocks, rednecks, flag-wavers… everywhere.

Novoselic: I’ve been worked over before… bruises heal.

MTV: So you guys mean trouble wherever you go?

Novoselic: No, no, no… nobody asked that guy what he thought…

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Well, sure, if there's some kinda kicks involved, I’ll be there front-and-center, having a good time!

MTV: So, do you guys know these other bands?

Novoselic: Oh, we kinda know ‘em. Just seen ‘em around.

Grohl: We met The Smashing Pumpkins while we were in England last time. I don't think we know Bullet Volta… I don't think they wanted to play Twister, because we didn't know each other well enough… and it’s kind of an intimate thing.

Novoselic: They didn't want to get intimate with us! We're really intimate and personal, right off the batt!

Grohl: We're open, caring, tender people!

Novoselic: Right! And if you wanna play Crisco Twister with us, join right in, Brother or Sister!

Grohl: There’s Twister, and then there's Crisco Twister!

Novoselic: And it was all-vegetable Crisco, too.

Grohl: Yeah.

MTV: So, how do you guys feel about tonight’s event?

Novoselic: Well, it’s a big radio station schmoozathon! And we came here yesterday…

Grohl: We brought Crisco so we could grease our hands, because we've been shaking so many people’s hands.

MTV: [inaudible]

Grohl: Well, it’s cool that it’s a benefit, going to the homeless…

Cobain: I think the FBI are looking at us right now, that guy over there…

Novoselic: We're getting the evil eye! Oh! Whoa! The heat is on!

Grohl: I don't know if you in TV Land can feel this, but we're being vibed really hard!

Novoselic: Yeah, we're being vibed really bad!

Grohl: We've got vibes comin’ in, like…

Cobain: This is not a good time to be doing an interview. It's a good time to have the camera rolling though, in case we get beat up, we can show it in court.

Novoselic: It'll be like Rodney King…

Grohl: But on MTV… what a concept!

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: It's wonderful, it's wonderful… it’s wonderful.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Sure, variety is a wonderful thing! Yeah, there's something for everybody…

Grohl: Do you know Dave Kendall? Oh, do you know Dave? ‘Cause me and Dave are tight! At Reading, he sat and he talked to me about how he thought it was so great that so many bands could come together at one show and entertain so many people at one time… People of different races, creeds, from all over the place, you know… Dave's a great guy, I love Dave!

MTV: So, how long are you guys gonna play tonight?

Novoselic: I don't know… an hour?

Grohl: 45 minutes.

Novoselic: 45 minutes? That's cool. Cool by me.

Grohl: That's normal. That's, like, a normal set time. Like, an hour…

MTV: [inaudible]

Grohl: This! [laughs]

Cobain: Release fireworks.

Novoselic: Stolen explosives!

MTV: What are some of the strangest things you’ve done on stage? [inaudible]

Novoselic: Strange things we've done on stage? Nah, it’s pretty…

Grohl: [inaudible]

Novoselic: We should have played something safer, like Crisco Monopoly!

Cobain: Crisco tiddlywinks, Shoots and Ladders, something like that… it would’ve been a lot safer.

Grohl: Crisco marbles.

Novoselic: Ping!

MTV: How would you guys describe your sound to someone who's never heard you before?

Novoselic: Black Sabbath meets The Knack.

Grohl: That's it.

Cobain: With a twist of the Bay City Rollers.

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: Yeah, I’ve got all of them.

Novoselic: Yeah, I bought the single Saturday Night when it came out. I was, like, in 4th Grade.

MTV: Do you remember how it goes?

Novoselic: Yeah, “S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y Night!”

MTV: What did you like so much about the Bay City Rollers?

Novoselic: They were rock ‘n’ roll. Woody was my favorite.You know what Derek looks like? Derek looks like one of the New Kids!

Grohl: Which one?

Novoselic: Horse boy… we'll leave it at that.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Um, I'm not too familiar with the Boston music scene… what is there? Blake Babies, Dinosaur… I don't know, every town has its own spice and flavour… I mean, it’s just undeniable… every band has something to offer some way or another.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: What's our personality? [laughs]

Grohl: Lack of…

Novoselic: Lack of personality… Getting vibed by really big boys right now… We've got to walk past those guys to walk out the door…

Grohl: Yeah…

Novoselic: Urgh. I'm just gonna coldcock the biggest guy and just run, that's my philosophy!

Grohl: Beat feet.

Novoselic: I'm gonna beat feet.

MTV: [inaudible] What are you about? Deep…

Novoselic: What are we about? Deep! What are we about?! Oh, we're just this crazy rock ‘n’ roll band. Are we even crazy?

Grohl: Not really…

Novoselic: I haven't had a psychiatric evaluation lately, so I can’t confirm that… What are we about? We're just a rock ‘n’ roll band. We play our songs, you know, play them to the people, if people like it that's cool.

MTV: Can you tell me the story of how you guys formed the band? [inaudible]

Novoselic: Well, the band started in 1987, in a small coastal town in Aberdeen- of Aberdeen, Washington. We were just jamming in this shack and moved out of town, started playing gigs in Seattle, made a tape, Sub Pop heard it and, uh, the rest just keeps snowballing, I guess… things just keep getting bigger and better.

MTV: Was there a special moment [inaudible]

Novoselic: I've never been conscious of anything like that… special? I mean, Special K… I wish I took Special Ed in High School, ‘cause I probably would’ve passed.

MTV: What were you guys like in High School?

Novoselic: Pardon me? Oh, we were the pot puffers! Yeah! We’d skip pep assemblies and go down the alley… spark one up!

Cobain: Spark up a conversation!

Novoselic: Spark up a conversation, right.

MTV: [inaudible] have nicknames in the yearbook under your picture, what was underneath yours?

Cobain: I didn't have… I haven't taken my picture since, like, 9th Grade.

Novoselic: That’d be a good reason to go skip class… Picture day, we’d skip… go out to the alley…

Cobain: Also, they gave you about $10 to get your picture taken, so you’d take that and go… buy things.

Novoselic: Looks like them gorillas cleared out! Phew!

Cobain: Uh oh.

Novoselic: Maybe they're waiting for us outside…

Cobain: They’ve got their baseball bats, waiting for us.

Novoselic: Looks like a couple of refugees from a gorilla love-in.

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: Don’t ask me, I don't know!

Novoselic: Well, it could be about anything [laughs], if you put your mind to it. Creativity is such a beautiful human attribute, so we just leave it to the fan.

Grohl: And being on a major label, you can get away with just, like, senseless babble… always! It's just senseless babble, the whole thing.

MTV: What about the video? The video is kinda interesting… it’s like a High School pep assembly…

Novoselic: We're definitely scarred by High School, that's for sure!

MTV: Why?

Novoselic: High School… Well, did you go to High School?

Grohl: Well, you graduated…

Novoselic: Yeah, I graduated. I dunno, it was just weird… it’s such an intense little society, you know? Social cliques and… there's a whole hierarchy of personality and popularity… and it’s really intense compared to the broader spectrum of… you know, after you're out of school, in life. It seems like High School is… a pretty focussed human experience [laughs]

MTV: Was that your idea? To have those kind of aesthetic for the video?

Grohl: Yeah…

Cobain: Yes.

Novoselic: Yes.

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: We invited, like, a lot of our friends and a lot of people who just like our band came down.

MTV: The cheerleaders? [inaudible]

Cobain: No, those were hired prostitutes and tattoo artists.

Grohl: We played a show a couple of nights before and we invited everyone to come down and just watch us do the video. And I don't know if they knew what to expect. So, like, 300 kids showed up and just hung out, it was pretty cool.

MTV: So what are you guys doing now?

Novoselic: What are we doing now? We're touring, we're going to be on tour for 7 weeks around the United States… We have 5 days off, then we're gonna go do 4 weeks in Europe.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Sure! We love going around, meeting people… getting vibed… by a bunch of geeks!

MTV: What’s the most bizarre thing that's happened to you on tour?

Novoselic: Bizarre things happening?

Grohl: On this tour?

Novoselic: On any… on this tour? Well, this tour just started… Well, there's so many… It's a pretty weird thing to be travelling and to be in this, like, mind-altering situation every night, so crazy things happen… It's not that crazy. We're not, like, total craziness… but, you know, situations do arise!

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: I wish we were the type of band that would sleep all the time, but something possess us to go on… I don't know what's typical… yeah, even when we're home, we usually get together and go out, have some drinks, hang out with friends in Seattle, or Tacoma, or Olympia… we have a good time.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: What do we do for fun? Probably drink! [laughs] We go to the Rendez Vous on 2nd Avenue… Skinny dipping… basket weaving…

Cobain: Gun cleaning…

Novoselic: Gun cleaning, yeah… cake decorating…

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Sub Pop? Yeah, Sub Pop was a good experience. You've gotta think, you know - this is in the “I'm OK, you're OK” vein of thinking - every experience is a good experience, because it was an experience! That's the key to happiness in life, my friend!

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Ann Arbor, Michigan… rocks! ‘Cause those people rock there! They really rock, they're a good crowd… Italy is really fun to play, England… I mean, we've been to a lot of places… you can’t name ‘em… We could always name the bad shows, but it's hard to name the good shows, ‘cause it’s a good time.

MTV: What makes an audience really great? [inaudible]

Novoselic: It's a vibe, you know… since we are being vibed, we're pretty sensitive to vibes, right? It's just a cool vibe, everybody's having fun… nothing can go wrong, it’s just beautiful.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Do what? This show? I don't know…

Grohl: Do what? [hears song on the PA] Wave Of Mutilation…

Novoselic: Yeah, we'll do anything… If you set it up, we'll do it! That our motto!

MTV: [inaudible]

Grohl: Last year?

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: An event? Or do you mean just, like, music in general?

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: Oh, the Breeders album.

MTV: Why?

Cobain: Because it’s the best album that happened in the last year, easily.

MTV: [inaudible]

Cobain: I can’t explain it… it’s just one of the best albums I’ve heard in my life, it just moves me!

Grohl: Um, I think that would definitely have to be Shonen Knife coming to America.

Cobain: Oh, I forgot about that!

Grohl: Shonen Knife, man, coming to America… It's like The Beatles coming to America for the first time, it’s amazing! It's a frenzy!

Novoselic: I don't know, musically I've had my personal highpoints… I just can’t collectively… I just can’t come up with an answer! Something big that came… important… was in the last year… um, Gorky Park? [laughs] Something big that happened? The new Sonic Youth record, that was good. Goo rocked my socks off and that was personal.

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: Sonic Youth, Melvins…

Cobain: Mudhoney, Mudhoney, Mudhoney.

Novoselic: Shonen Knife…

Grohl: Breeders… I dunno pretty much everything we've already mentioned.

Novoselic: Vaselines… There's a lot of bands. I can't think right now, really, my mind is kinda preoccupied.

MTV: So is there anything you guys are looking forward to tonight [inaudible]

Novoselic: About tonight’s show? No, I think we just look forward to playing a good show, hopefully a good show, and we won’t be shot on stage or anything like that… I'm looking forward to walking out that door in one piece…

MTV: [inaudible]

Novoselic: What do we say?

MTV: We're Nirvana and this is The Week In Rock.

Novoselic: We… are… N-n-n-n-irvana…and this is the Week in Rock! Woo!

Cobain: Yeah!

Novoselic: Yeah, I must say…

MTV: Another one for 120 Minutes.

Novoselic: Hey all you people, staying up late on a Sunday night! Obviously you're not working! Slack off, you don't need your jobs! Don't say, “Yes, Sir/Yes, Ma'am!” Say, “Crumb it!” Don't show up tomorrow, call in sick! And this is Nirvana and you're watching…

Grohl: 120 Minutes…

Novoselic: On…

Cobain: Empty TV.

Novoselic: MTV.

MTV: One more, MTV Asia.

Grohl: Asia?

Novoselic: Peace, MTV Asia!

Grohl: Peace, Asia!

Novoselic: This is Nirvana and you're watching MTV… Asia!

© MTV Networks, 1991