LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE October 26, 1991 - San Francisco, CA, US

Interviewer(s)
Lance Hahn
Interviewee(s)
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
Maximumrocknroll Nirvana Yes

I know, it seems really trendy to slag off NIRVANA these days since they're on a major label and everything. But damned if these boys don't rock. After getting us in free to their last Warfield show, I thought it was only fair that Maximum let them have their say. Interview was done backstage by Lance after their last encore set.

MRR: Okay, let's start off with the easy stuff. What’s in a name? Nirvana sounds so hippy...

Qurt: Well, it doesn't mean a whole lot really. We just picked it out ‘cos it sounds cool. So many bands have names with these heavy meanings. I don't know. We're not really heavy that way. Not that we aren't heavy. We're fuckin’ heavy. We're just not heavy that way. It's not like we have a message or something...

Chris: I think it’s a cool name. We were all really worried that David (Geffen I assume - Lance) would want us to change it. I mean, we would’ve if we had too. Shit, who wouldn’t for that kind of cash and to be on the same label as Kim Gordon. But he’s really into letting us do what we want.

Qurt: Yeah, I think it’s a cool name. It's important. I mean, look at the Melvins. They're REALLY heavy. But with a name like that, people think they're a bunch of fags or something. Not that they aren't heavy. They're fuckin’ heavy. So are we. We're both heavy. It's not like a competition thing. But who would call their band the Melvins?

Chris: No way, they're cool guys. They're not fags!

Qurt: That's not what I meant.

MRR: Dale drummed with you for a while, right?

ALL: Yeah! He’s the heaviest.

Qurt: That was right after Chad left the band.

Chris: Left? We kicked his ass out! He wasn’t nearly heavy enough and he was a fag.

Qurt: Naw, he’s cool. We're still friends and everything. He was just too punk for us. We’d be on tour and he would bust out Black Flag or something while we were listening to Nazareth. I mean, FUCK! “Six Pack”over “Love Hurts” ?!? But it’s cool. We're still friends.

Chris: He was always giving me shit. He made me smoke outside of the van. And he kept giving me shit about my Skoal...

MRR: Your what?

Chris: Skoal? Skoal Bandit. I chew.

MRR: Man, I thought only heshers did that.

Chris: Naw, a lot of people chew. A lot of cool bass players chew. Why? What’s wrong with it? Are you calling me a fag?!?

MRR: No, I’d never do that. Um, what did you think about the show tonight?

Qurt: Tonight ruled. I'm really into doing it for the kids. It's cool doing these all ages shows. It kinda sucks that the door was so high ($13 at the Warfield). But the way I figure it is we've got a lot of expenses. It's not like we're getting rich off of these shows. We totally do them for the kids and shit. But there's a lotof people we have to pay now. We've got a manager. We've got promoters. Our label gets a cut. The clubs got their expenses.

Chris: After all that, we only get about a thousand dollars which ain’t shit in the rock world.

Qurt: Besides, what a heavy bill. Sister Double Happiness...

Chris: Heavy.

Qurt: L7 …

Chris:Heavier.

Qurt: And us.

Chris: Heaviest.

Qurt: This is one fuckin’ heavy bill. Besides L7 are totally hot... In more ways than one if you know what I mean. (laughter) It's hot when you can be heavy and sexy at the same time.

Chris: That chick from Sister Double Happiness was hot too.

Qurt: Actually, I heard that their singer is a homo.

Chris: No way, he’s cool! A voice like that? He ain’t no dick smoker. He’s totally heavy.

MRR: Yeah, he’s heavy all right. Why do you think you guys got so popular all of a sudden? Do you think it was timing? Advertising? PR? Qurt: I don't know. I don't want to sound egotistical or anything. But I spend a lot of time writing songs. It's like a knack I was born with. You know how some people are really good at, like … plumbing? I'm just really good at writing songs.

Chris: Rock songs.

Qurt: No, I write all kinds of songs. I'm working on something I’d like to do with the London Philharmonic right now. It's a story about a boy playing video games. It's kind of a metaphor for us getting onto SubPop and getting big.

Chris: Heavy!

Qurt: I’d kind of like to work with some of my peers. Duets abd shit. I'm hoping to do something with Neil Young and Pete Townshend, but I haven't heard anything back yet. Rod Stewart said he’d be interested...

Chris: No way! That guys totally dick puppet city. I heard that once he had to get his stomach pumped ‘cos he swallowed a gallon of sperm.

(Dave arrives with a couple of girls)

Dave: Hey guys, this is Jennifer and Lydia. They REALLY want to meet you guys.

MRR: Hey, weren’t you in Scream for a while.

Dave: Uh, well... I don't really want to talk about that right now.

MRR: No, you were! I used to love that band!

Dave: Well, yeah. I was in Scream for the last couple of years. I wasn’t into that punk shit though! I only joined ‘cos they promised they wouldn’t make me do anything off of the first album. All that fast stuff tired me out way too much. Besides, punker chicks all have this anarcho-femmie line... I mean, I like Fugazi and all... But rocker chicks rule!

MRR: So where did you meet these guys? Dave: The Castro.

All: Fuck you! (laughter)

Qurt: Actually, we were looking fo a new drummer and had put out the word that we needed someone heavy. We were hoping for Cozy Powell...

Dave: I guess they knew Ian from way back and their SubPop single. Ian and I were kicking back after I had just tried out for Fugazi. That was back during all that talk about a Rites of Spring reunion tour. They rocked! Total early Stones sound. Anyway, Ian said I was too heavy for them but he told me that Nirvana needed someone. The rest, as they say, is history!

MRR: What does the future hold for Nirvana? What can your fans expect?

Qurt: We're just gonna keep getting heavier and heavier. More of the same high quality rock. We love our fans and feel like they should be able to expect something from us.

Chris: Yeah, heavier and heavier. No wussing out for us. That and touring...

Qurt: Yeah, we're going on a monster world tour with Blue Oyster Cult. SERIOUSLY! Buck Dharma was like my idol. The label put the tour together and says this is gonna be their big comeback. So look out for it!

MRR: Any last comments?

Qurt: Keep on rockin’!

© Lance Hahn, 1992