LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE November 21, 1991 - Paris, FR
- Anne Catherine
- Vivian Vog
- Kurt Cobain
|Aligre Radio||Helter Skelter||Yes|
Interviewer 1: Two years ago. When you were in Paris with TAD. Do you remember?
Kurt Cobain: Uh huh. Yeah, I remember that. What was that band that opened up for us? Remember? They were a Paris band.
Interviewer 1: Bloody and Heavy.
Kurt Cobain: That sounds like it could be their name. They very much like the Sub Pop sound!
Interviewer 1: [Laughs]
KC: Hey, would you mind if I just run up to my room real quick and get a cigarette?
Interviewer 2: Do you have a light?
KC: Oh, there's a few matches…
Interviewer 2: I hope it's not going to disturb you, if we talk about your success…
KC: If you what?
Interviewer 2: If we talk together about the success of the band. Is it boring?
KC: Well, I don't care. I don't really have much to say about it.
Interviewer 2: Just one question, I promise.
Interviewer 1: Because I know you're tired…
KC: At least you're aware of that. It's nice to know. Most people don't care. They don't even think of that.
Interviewer 1: We saw you, also, in Belgium, in August at Pukkelpop.
KC: Oh, you saw us where?
Interviewer 1: At Pukkelpop in Belgium. You were playing at 11 in the morning.
KC: Yeah, the breakfast show.
Interviewer 1: We missed the start of the show because we were parking… And we hear the music and we were in line [laughs]
KC: I've heard stories very similar to that from a lot of people. They camped out the night before and then they took the wrong turn and it took them about an hour's worth of walking to get to the show and by then we were done playing.
Interviewer 1: So we missed half of the show. Can we take a few pictures during the interview for the fanzine?
KC: Yeah, sure.
Interviewer 1: Not too long before the LP was out, we knew that the LP was going to be quite amazing because we had two or three bootlegs.
Interviewer 1: One is called the “Triple Platinum EP.”
Interviewer 1: The “Triple Platinum EP.”
KC: Uh, what are you saying?
Interviewer 1: It's an EP with three songs of the LP, “Nevermind” was recorded. And the titles…
KC: So you're saying that there's a bootleg EP?
Interviewer 1: Before the LP was out.
KC: Oh, wow. I didn't know that.
Interviewer 1: I guess it's demo versions.The titles are “Not what it Means”…
KC: Right, right.
Interviewer 1: But we were really amazed to see that many people like “Nevermind,” people like our friends who like pop music, indie pop, all this stuff, they are quite mad about Nirvana, and we were surprised because if you think of it two years ago, you wouldn't believe it. Were you expecting it?
KC: Oh, no, absolutely not, not to the scale that it's gone to. Definitely. We were just hoping to carry on what we've been doing for the past two years. You know, it's been a long since we put out an album. We were aware of the anticipation of the album because every time we played our audience was getting bigger. But we had no idea it would go platinum, you know? It’s twice as surprising to us because there was no real collective promotional scheme or anything like that. Like, Geffen didn’t decide to put a whole bunch of money into promotion and really push it, you know? There were no billboards or a lot of ads, it was very organic.
Interviewer 2: Which is the main thing that made you be famous? don't you think that media had a big place in your success?
KC: Um, I think that the fact we're on a major label… See, AOR commercial radio stations in America will only play bands that are on major labels, so I know just the fact that we're on a major label had a lot to do with it. But also, I'm pretty convinced that the programmers, the people responsible for playing- making playlists of what they like to play on the radio, are sincerely into our music, I think they really like it, as fans. So, it just burned like wildfire, you know, all across the States.
Interviewer 2: What is your attitude in front of (she means “towards”) your success? What kind of band don't you want to become in the future?
KC: Um, what kind of band?
Interviewer 2: don't you want to become?
KC: I don't think there's any threat of us becoming anything we don't want to be. I think we're in control of ourselves enough to where there’s not much of a threat of that, you know? We definitely will not become a Poison or a Guns N Roses or anything like that. I mean, it's really easy to destroy a career if you don't like it anymore, you know? I mean, you can simply break-up - we’d still play music together because we're good friends and we like to write songs - but hopefully we have enough common sense or intuition to know when we stop writing good songs, you know? A lot of bands don't realize that, they just keep milking it for years and years. The thought of playing in front of a lot of people, you know, like… we've been told that when we go back to the States and we start playing again, we’ll be playing in front of like 10-20,000 people at an average show… obviously, it can be impersonal when there are so many people back there that you can't even see their faces. But, umm, I don't know… we had a really good time playing at Reading and we've played a few larger places and it isn’t that impersonal, as long as you still feel the spirit of everyone, you can tell that everyone really likes it. But if it gets too big, we’ll just simply break-up you know? If it starts becoming a job, we can always do something else: break-up, write different songs, different name…
Interviewer 1: It seems to me you developed a reputation of messing up everything, you know… everything. And you said before that it was because of boredom.
Interviewer 1: But do you think it's because- a way of despair that nothing really changes?
KC: That nothing ever changes? Well, a lot of things have changed for us in the past few months…
Interviewer 1: [inaudible]
KC: Yeah, it was just really overwhelming for us to realize that this many people would like us. That was never the goal in the first place. We just wanted to make sure that we had really good distribution, so people could find our records, because we were tired of kids coming up to us at shows saying “we can't find your record anywhere,” you know? We hardly ever had any interviews at that stage, maybe 10 - if that - little fanzines, and that’s it… which is better, I prefer fanzines… it’s better than the Heavy Metal glossy magazines that we're doing now. But, umm, it’s just we were just going through a really weird period about 2 months ago on our American tour. I was getting really frustrated with it because, all of a sudden, I was totally consumed with people trying to- asking me for autographs. And people would be walking by a shop or something and they would stop in their tracks and go “ahh!” I've learned to deal with it within the past few weeks. It’s been a really nice- almost a vacation coming over to Europe, because people don't have that kind of mentality, for the most part. we're still asked for autographs a lot, but not as much as in the States. So, it’s brought us down to earth again, we've been able to relax within the last few weeks. But for a while we were really frustrated, so the only way for me to react was to get really drunk every night and fucked up and just break my equipment and be really abusive to the audience in the hopes of weeding some of the dorks out and hope they don't come back. I don't know if it had a good enough effect on anybody or not. But then again, the stories that you’ve heard have probably been out of the English press and everyone knows that the English press is nothing but sensationalist garbage! Rags, you know, just tabloid… they like to exaggerate…
Interviewer 1: they're fond of inventing [inaudible].
KC: Yeah. Can I get a jump start from your cigarette?
Interviewer 2: What is the most vulnerable thing in your whole person that makes you lose all your strength, like a baby or so?
KC: Well, when I, umm… I think a good example is just a few weeks ago, when I was in the States, I was really frustrated and I was feeling guilty because we were being accused of selling out. There was just so much conflict going on between us and some of the people in our audience, the more harsher people, you know? It just made me kinda freak out and lose myself and forget what I was trying to do in the first place. I just felt almost like a classic case of Catholic guilt, you know? [laughs]
Interviewer 2: But do you have something all the time vulnerable? All the time, in different situations, you have something vulnerable? Not only for this example, I mean… since you were a child, like a feeling?
KC: Oh sure, I mean… I'm constantly confused. I'm just as confused as anybody, if not more. Everyone deals with themselves in different ways, you know? Everyone feels insecure at times and depressed, you know? Sure, it happens to me all the time, like anybody. I can't think of exact reasons because, I mean, that’s why people feel vulnerable and confused, because they can't understand why they're feeling that way. So, it takes me a while to figure it out. But I have enough friends and a pretty good relationship with my family, to where I don't ever feel completely lost or like everyone hates me.
Interviewer 2: You never feel completely lost?
KC: Well, not to where I'm gonna commit suicide or run away or anything. I have enough support from friends and family. At least when I'm not stable, I'm not way down low and feeling like death.
Interviewer 1: Do you think the fact that you have support from your family and your friends makes you improve in your lyrics? Because I think they're far more improving in the new LP. You know?
KC: Mmm, yeah, I imagine it has. Yeah, I guess a few years ago I was a lot more frustrated - obviously, it comes out in the songs a lot more, in the lyrics - because there wasn't much appreciation for what we were doing at the time. You know, it's not like we were ever searching for success, just appreciation from some people saying that “we like what you’re doing and you affect us,” in a way, you know? So within the last couple of years, I've been able to throw in a lot more happier and different types of emotion, other than just anger and aggression all the time.
Interviewer 1: That's what makes me think, your lyrics on “Nevermind,” I think they are quite good and quite unusual for this type of band who often are about anger, energy and frustration, but they express it in a straight way.
KC: Mmm. Yeah. There's almost… I don't think the lyrics on this album were as subconscious as on the “Bleach” album, I really wanted to make a happier record this time, I wanted to have a different mood, and I like to do that with every album. Maybe the next one will be ridiculously happy and cheesy and stupid, or maybe it’ll be totally way more mean and pissed off than the first record, I don't know… We just like to change with every album, in emotion, but I think this one balances in-between the two pretty well.
Interviewer 2: What is for you a very nice song? When do you feel really happy about a song?
KC: When it's really good. And it's so rare, it's so rare that I sometimes make more out of it than it really is. Like, when I hear a really good Pixies song, I get overly happy, I get really happy, I almost cry sometimes when I hear a really good song, because it doesn't happen very much anymore.
Interviewer 1: Which song… think about?
Interviewer 1: Which song do you think about?
KC: Which what do I think about?
Interviewer 1: Which songs do you think about?
KC: Oh, the Pixies song?
Interviewer 1: Yeah, the Pixies and another band…
KC: Oh, there are a lot of Pixies songs that affect me like that, I really like the Pixies a lot and I like the Breeders a lot too. Have you heard the Breeders? It’s really good music. But there are a lot of other bands that I like too that put me in that happy state of mind.
Interviewer 1: Have you heard the new LP by Teenage Fanclub?
KC: Oh yeah, I love it.
Interviewer 1: They have kind of songs that really make you feel great.
KC: Yeah, very much. we're lucky enough to- we've heard that album for about six months now because we're on the same label as them, so we had an advance copy of it, we've been listening to it for months and we really love it.
Interviewer 1: Because I met them 3 hours ago because they're in Paris, as for you, in promotion for their LP. And they told me that they know you, they like (you)…
KC: Yeah. We wanna go on tour with them… Teenage Fanclub.
Alex McLeod: When were they here?
Interviewer 1: They are here in Paris.
AM: Just now?
Interviewer 1: Yeah.
KC: Tonight they are?
AM: Where? WHERE? WHEEEEERE? WHHHHHHHEEEEEERE???!!!!????
KC: they're here tonight?!
Interviewer 1: I give them the address of your hotel. And maybe they…
KC: Oh, they'd better show up! Are they playing a show tonight?
AM: The Fanclub are in town, baby!
Someone else: Let's tear it up! [cheers]
KC: I wanna go on tour with them in the States, next time we're on tour, it'd be great!
AM: Do you know at which hotel they're at? Sorry about this…
Interviewer 2: It's okay.
Interviewer 1: I think they're going back to England tomorrow maybe. Because they arrived yesterday and they are on their way all day long for promotion. And I don't know if they sleep here tonight.
AM: Who did their promotion? Was it MCA?
Interviewer 1: Virgin.
Interviewer 1: I give them the address so maybe they would come out here.
KC: I'd like to see those guys! Do you have a light?
AM: Yeah I do.
KC: I wanna know where they are too.
Interviewer 2: No matches anymore?
AM: You don't know what hotel they're at, though?
Interviewer 1: They were today in a hotel in the Marais in Paris.
Interviewer 2: I thank you for the CD you sent to [inaudible] people.
KC: Oh, you finally got one?
Interviewer 2: Yeah, I got the letter. I'm sorry I couldn't understand all the words, I was a little bit lost with the letter.
KC: Oh, well we wrote that just in five minutes when we were drunk one night.
Interviewer 2: Are you happy with this video or?
KC: Yeah, it turned out alright.
Interviewer 2: Yeah? Because I heard some people saying that you were not happy with this video, that it's not very nice for you. I don't know.
KC: Well, it just didn't turn out exactly how we wanted it to. We weren't allowed any time to edit it ourselves, because there was such a demand for it to be out right away. MTV wanted it to play it so fast that- we were on tour at the time, so the people who filmed the video edited it for us and it turned out really bad! So I had to fly down to LA at the last minute and work for 12 hours and try to take out parts that I didn’t like. That was basically all I was able to do, just take out parts, I couldn’t add anything because there wasn’t enough time. So, next time we do a video we're gonna have full control over editing it. If it takes a year to put out, we’ll wait that long!
Interviewer 2: It was a nice time, for me, it was a really nice time.
KC: That was a fun day! I really liked doing it. Did you see yourself in the video at all?
Interviewer 2: No! No.
KC: You can't see?
Interviewer 2: No, because in France we don't have any nice video, it's only commercial stuff…
KC: Oh, so they don't play it here?
Interviewer 2: No. But we were very surprised that you're not going to play in Paris or another part of France.
KC: I know, I'm surprised too!
Interviewer 2: We are very deceived, I don't know the word exactly (she means “disappointed”, “déçu” in French). We feel very bad, because I know that people waited for you very very strong, and they wanted to see you till a really long time, it was horrible for them.
KC: I know.
Interviewer 2: And we were all waiting for your band, because I know that not all people are able to come to Rennes, it's not pretty easy to come…
KC: Right.How far away is Rennes?
Interviewer 2: It's not the trouble exactly because sometimes we are students so we can't come.
Interviewer 1: It's 500 kilometers.
KC: Oh that's pretty far.
Interviewer 1: It's 4 hours away from Paris I think.
KC: Jesus! That's still a long ways away to be playing. I don't know. I was surprised. When I finally looked at the itinerary, the tour was set-up…
Interviewer 2: I couldn't understand why, just only one gig in Rennes?!
KC: Well, we're gonna have to come back here really soon. We'll come back within a few months, hopefully.
Interviewer 1: How did you want Butch Vig to produce the LP? Because we know him only for the Smashing Pumpkins LP, which we quite like. How did you meet him?
KC: We met him about a year and a half ago, almost two years now and we attempted to record our next record with him - that’s where all the bootlegs came from, he produced all those too - and it turned out really well and we liked working with him, so we decided to do it again.
Interviewer 2: Where did the idea of the cover of “Nevermind” come from, the baby and the bill?
KC: I was sitting around one day watching a documentary on babies being born underwater and I thought that was a neat image, so I asked the Art Department at Geffen to come up with a picture of a baby, and they did, and I thought a dollar bill on a hook would be alright to put in front of it.
Interviewer 2: In which country do you want to live maybe one day? Not the USA - maybe if you have a dream to live in another country, or to leave the USA one day? Or you want to stay?
KC: I don't think I wanna stay in the United States. Umm, I like Ireland a lot and I really like Italy.
Interviewer 2: Because of the landscapes, or…
KC: Oh, yeah, everything, everything about it, it's beautiful there. I like Scotland a lot. I like Italy. I haven't had the chance to even check out Paris or France at all. The last time we played here, we got to the venue at night time, so we were only there to play the show and left the next morning, so we didn’t get to see anything. But, umm, there are a lot of places I like.
Interviewer 2: Are you afraid of loneliness?
KC: Loneliness? Oh, sure.
Interviewer 2: You're afraid?
KC: Sure, everybody is!
Interviewer 2: You don't like to be alone sometimes?
KC: Oh, I love to be alone, I just don't want to be alone for the rest of my life! [laughs] I don't think I will, I have enough friends. But yeah, I love to be alone sometimes.
Interviewer 2: But you're afraid of this loneliness?
KC: No, not in small doses. There are plenty of times during the day, or even a whole week, I love to be by myself and I usually do it too, just go away.
Interviewer 2: Do you have another passion besides music? Drawing, painting?
KC: Oh, sure. I do a lot of that stuff, I paint, draw, write poetry, write thoughts and stuff like that. All that bohemian art stuff.
Interviewer 1: You said that you read poetry. But what?
KC: I write poetry.
Interviewer 1: You write!
Interviewer 2: Which kind of authors do you like, in literature or poetry?
KC: I really don't like hardly any poets that I've ever read! I really don't! [laughs].
Interviewer 2: Oh really?
KC: Yeah. I like Burroughs…
Interviewer 2: Maybe you haven't read the right ones.
KC: Probably not! I've been writing poetry since I was in junior high school, but I've always kept myself away from being too influenced by other people's poetry, so I haven't really looked into it too much, but there are a few that I like, like Burroughs and Bukowski and - how do you pronounce his name - Bau-laire? Baudelaire? [laughs]
Interviewer 2: When you were young did you think a lot about playing music in the future or it happened suddenly?
KC: Oh, yeah. I always wanted to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band, ever since I was a little kid, very young, yeah.
Interviewer 2: Your parents played maybe some music?
KC: No, my parents aren't music lovers at all. I had a bunch of Beatles records when I was a little kid, ever since then I wanted to be in a band. I always knew I would be. I was supposed to go to art school…
Interviewer 2: You were supposed to. You went to the high school? (she's mispronouncing “art school” because Kurt just mentioned art school).
KC: What? Yeah, I went to high school and I won a scholarship, I was supposed to go to art school, but I wanted to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band instead. And I'm not regretting it! [laughs]
Interviewer 2: Which kind of music did you listen to when you were young… when you grow, you grow with which kind of music?
KC: When I was really young, from as far as I can remember, from like age 5 until I was about 10 years old, I listened to nothing but The Beatles and The Monkees, and that's just about all I can remember. And then I started getting into hard rock, like Led Zeppelin…
Interviewer 2: All the garage bands from the '60s or…
KC: Well, when I was 10 years old, I started listening to Aerosmith and Black Sabbath and stuff. And then when I was about 15 I got into punk rock and abandoned everything else and listened to nothing but punk rock for about 5 years. And then finally I started liking all different kinds of music. I was a late musical bloomer, you know? It took me a long time to realize, “Oh, I like all kinds of music,” instead of just punk rock. It’s a very narrow-minded attitude to have, but when you’re 15, what do you expect?
Interviewer 1: [inaudible]
Interviewer 2: Do you think that you really belong to this world, or you feel really outside of the world now? Sometimes, if you play music, maybe you feel sometimes outside of the world? Some people say sometimes that they don't have the feeling that they belong to this society and the world.
KC: Well, I've always felt that way, because I've never been able to understand why so many people would want to be so normal, you know? How could everyone, like the majority of people, be happy with just television sets? I've never understood it. At the time I was in high school and junior high, I grew up in a really small secluded logging town, where I couldn’t relate to anyone, I didn’t have any real true friends. It’s just within the last 8 years that I've started to have friends that I can relate to and have a good sense of belonging now. I feel like I'm part of the world.
KC: Can I get a jump start from your cigarette? I'm out of matches.
Interviewer 2: Okay. I remember that in August you played with L7 and other bands in a concert to legalize miscarriage (she means “abortion”). Are you implicated (she means “involved”) in other… in America?
KC: Are we what?
Interviewer 2: You played a concert… with a band, about miscarriage.
KC: Yeah, it was a benefit concert. It's a “pro-choice” benefit.
Interviewer 2: Are you implicated in other actions such as this kind of concert, action about miscarriage (sic)?
KC: Well, “miscarriage” isn't the right word, I don't think. It's pro-choice. There are a lot of right-wing control freaks in the United States who are trying to get rid of abortion and it'll be illegal soon if they have their way, so we just decided to play a benefit to help some organizations who are pro-choice. Some of them are very underground anarchist groups and some of them are very legitimate and service their money in the right ways. We were working with a lot of those groups for that night, but it's not a main platform that we like to stand on all the time. We don't want to known as this feminist or political type of band, because we don't feel we have the right way to say things, but we try to help out as much as we can and it was a lot of fun doing that.
Interviewer 1: Is the song “Breed” about this?
KC: Well, there's a song about rape, an anti-rape song called “Polly,” through kind of a personal experience, just because I knew the person that was raped and tortured. There's not much I can say about that other than it was an awful crime, obviously. I just decided to be really open about it with the lyrics and make it really in-your-face, so maybe people would think about it a bit.
Interviewer 2: In the USA, I saw in the USA this summer that a lot of places of concerts don't authorize people to enter a show if they're not 21 years old. I was very surprised and I want to know what you think about this law? Because so many young people, maybe they really want to see a concert but they're only sixteen years old, it's very strange.
KC: Right, right. Yeah, it's terrible, it's that way in the States a lot, especially underground bands, because they don't draw enough audience to where they're able to sell out larger venues that do allow all age shows to go on. So a lot of punk rock bands have to play in bars and they can only play to 21 year olds and over. It really sucks. But now that we're in a position of being able to pretty much do whatever we want, you know, and we can bring in a large enough audience, we've chosen to play all ages from now on, we don't play any bars. A few places here in Europe we've played bars, but I think the age limits here are a bit smaller, like 15 and 16 year old kids can go drinking in Italy.
Interviewer 2: Do you think they're going to change this law maybe? Some people ask for changes…
KC: Absolutely not. No, it can't be changed. Most of the bands choose to play those places. Then there are other bands like Fugazi who somehow have managed to pull it off, they've always refused to play those bars, but they're also a really big popular band and they can draw a lot of people. But most bands can only expect 100 to 200 people to come to their shows, so they have to play the bars.
Interviewer 2: I just want to ask you a question about religion. What is your attitude in front of (she means “towards”) religion and in front of the religious media because they have a big place in the television for example?
KC: Well, umm, I'm very much against any kind of organized religion that oppresses people or any control of the media. Typical punk rock stuff spewing out of my mouth, but I still believe in it, you know? In fighting those kinds of people, because they're exactly the kind of people are trying to take away abortion rights and stuff like that. But I also can see- have a little bit of empathy for people who are religious in certain situations. Like, I've known people who have been on the verge of becoming schizophrenic or suicidal and they've turned to religion as a last resort to keep themselves alive, so that's just fine! If there were any religion that I would abide to, it'd probably be the Eastern religions, like Hinduism or something like that, but I don't practice any of them. I expect a lot of people to think that, because of the name “Nirvana,” but I just thought it was a nice name.
Interviewer 2: Did you practice religion when you were younger?
KC: No, I've never been subjected to that. My family is not religious.
Interviewer 2: What is for you the worst thing in the world and in the human being? One thing that makes you feel very sad and angry at the same time.
KC: It'd have to be gluttony, wanting more than you need, thinking that you need all these possessions when you really don't need any of them. Wanting more than you really need. we've been accused of being hypocritical, because we're on a major label now, that was one of the reasons, the main reason was to make sure people could find our music, you know?
Interviewer 1: You prove that you really didn't sell out to be on Geffen.
KC: No. There was nothing to buy into, because we weren't offered very much money, we only got a little bit of money, a very small amount compared to most bands that get signed. Which is good because we can recoup the money that we sell off the record. A lot of bands get this big huge advance, like a million dollars, and then if they don't sell enough records, they're in debt to the label forever. They could break up within a year and then they're still having to work at gas station jobs to pay off the label, the money is basically just a loan. We didn’t go that route. We could have, there were a few labels that were offering us a lot of money, but they weren’t the right labels, they didn’t know what underground bands were like. we're really happy at DGC, they're great.
Interviewer 1: Where (or how) did you get the idea of signing to DGC?
KC: Oh, they approached us like all the other labels. We took a tour of their offices and it was a very community-type of place, it wasn't like this big high tower in LA. The offices at DGC are kinda like a motel, in a way, it's just like a big house. The main reason why we signed to them is that a lot of people who work in the Alternative Department have worked at independent labels before, like there were a few employees who worked there that had worked at SST Records and stuff like that, so they knew exactly what to do with us. And also Sonic Youth signed a year earlier and they did a good job for them.
Interviewer 2: What is your attitude in front of (she means “towards”) the big number of bootlegs from your songs? You find a lot of bootlegs of Nirvana.
KC: Well, I don't mind live stuff but it really irks me to know that there are people out there paying their rent and paying for their food just because of us, you know? I know there are some people out there that are selling enough bootlegs and making enough money to where they're able to support themselves, we're supporting those bastards! I don't agree with it. Especially when they're putting out stuff that wasn’t meant to be put out. We didn’t want anyone to hear the songs that were going to be on this album early on in the game, you know, before the record was released. It’s not much of a surprise if you have all these bootlegs and you’ve heard the majority of the album already.
Interviewer 1: Just as a bootleg… I… know… two songs…of “Nevermind”…
KC: Yeah, right, you knew most of the songs already.
Interviewer 2: Do you think that someone can reach the state of nirvana one day, or do you think it's like a state that belongs to a legend? Have you ever reached the state of nirvana?
KC: In live shows I have a few times. I've gone so completely out of my mind that I forgot where I was and felt a lot of energy coming out of me.
Interviewer 2: How can you describe this state for you of nirvana?
KC: Umm, well… I don't advise this, but if you take that much heroin and that much cocaine and inject it into your veins, it’s pretty much the same effect.
Interviewer 1: Okay…
KC (to someone in the room): Whose fault is that, Mister Food Feeder? Can I have some more champagne? [laughs]
Interviewer 1: You said that the main thing in music (Nirvana's) was melody. Was most important…
KC: I don't think that's really true. I think the feeling is just as important. Yeah, feeling and melody. I've always liked music that sticks in your head and that's repetitive. I just can't follow music that's really technically busy and masterbatory. I've always liked simple music. But you have to have feeling. In fact, I think it’s even a little bit more important, because you can have all the simple songs in the world, but if they don't have feeling, they're not worth shit.
Interviewer 1: That's for the Pixies, who wrote simple (songs).
KC: Yeah, they have a lot of feeling.
Interviewer 1: What do you think about people who start a band, screaming, making noise, without melodies. Nonsense.
KC: I think that's great. I think it's fucking awesome! That's the way everyone should start playing music. That's why… I mean, that's easily the way that people should get together as friends and just beat on their guitars, scream, have fun and try to write songs… if they want to keep going with it, try to write some songs later on. That’s the great thing about punk rock. That’s what turned me on to wanting to start a band, because when I was younger, I didn’t know about punk rock. I thought that I had to be just like Jimmy Page, you know, technically as good, I had to be this great guitar player, I had to work on my lead guitar playing and I never quite mastered it. Then I got into punk rock and realized: “Fuck that! You didn’t even need to have to do that stuff!”
Interviewer 2: The melody is very important in Nirvana.
KC: It is now.
Interviewer 2: You have a lot of melody, it's really very nice.
KC: Yeah, it is now, because I focus more on writing songs. It's kind of like a formula now, but we still haven't lost the feeling that we had when we first started not knowing how to play. And I think that's very important: having fun, having that passion.
Interviewer 1: It's true that your first songs on “Bleach” were really repetitive.
KC: Were what? Repetitive? Oh. Yeah, yeah. Very repetitive, especially the slow ones that last 7 minutes, or whatever. “Sifting”...
Interviewer 1: [inaudible] …rhythm on your first songs. This kind of… banging [Kurt laughs]. That thing is still perceived (he means “felt”), I mean, in the songs on your 12-inch, “Even in His Youth” and “Aneurysm.” They make us… Je m'embrouille (= I get all mixed up). Ca nous fait penser aux morceaux plus anciens (= they remind us of the oldest songs). They make us think about the oldest songs, you know?
KC: Uuuuuh. Think about the artist?
Interviewer 1: They are constructed in the old way.
KC: Oh. Yeah. Yeah.
Interviewer 1: In the way of the first LP.
KC: Yeah, they kinda are, they are, yeah. These songs were written around the same time that we recorded “Nevermind,” but yeah, I could see that.
Interviewer 1: But we still, of course [inaudible].
Interviewer 1: But we can see the difference between “Even in His Youth” and “Stay Away.”
KC: Especially “Aneurysm” is a lot like some songs on the “Bleach” album.
Interviewer 2: Just a question I want to ask you about Indian people in America. Because I saw some reserves in the USA.
KC: Some what?
Interviewer 2: Reserves.
KC: Oh, reservations?
Interviewer 2: Yeah. For me it was horrible.
Interviewer 2: Yeah, it's terrible because they never smile, they have a very sad face. I want to know your opinion about these people and what the government made with these people. It's terrible for a civilized country, I can't understand.
KC: Well, when the colonists came over to America, they took advantage of the Indians. The Indians invited them - I mean, they didn’t invite them, but they helped them, they taught them how to live off the land, and…
KC: …Indian people and put them in reservations. They did all kinds of atrocious things to them, they tried to wipe out whole races: they gave them blankets that were infected with diseases, and they gave them alcohol, which is something they weren't used to. As a people and a race, they're 200 years behind of having alcohol in their system, so naturally, the majority of all the Indians are alcoholics now, and they don't have much to look forward to because they're all drunk. they're put in these little reservations and they can't even fight the white man anymore.
Interviewer 2: I know some people try to do something for Indian people…
KC: Jeez! I don't know if anything… I think the whole Indian issue's been given up, it's just completely given up. The people in charge of the Indians who are working with the white man are acting just like the white man, you know? It's really sad.
Interviewer 2: If I can ask you a question just about the government and political system in the USA. Do you agree with what's happened in the USA, with the government and what they're doing all the time?
KC: Oh, absolutely not! [laughs]
Interviewer 2: Yeah, I know! [laughs] Just want you to explain maybe a little bit.
KC: they're just carrying on the traditions of what they started with trying to destroy the Indians. they're totally gluttonous, they don't care about the future. they're raping the land, they're trying to get as much as they can, they don't care about the next generation and it’s completely corrupt. It’s just like most governments though, you know? The average man gets into power. He doesn’t have anything else to look forward to other than getting as much money as he can. It’s just a dog eat dog world.
Interviewer 2: Some American people they're very proud of their country…
KC: Oh, very.
Interviewer 2: …and crazy about the war. (not sure what she means about “some stuff written for the soldiers”).
KC : we've been taken back 20 years, probably, in progress as far as having a better consciousness, because the hippie movement, as far as I'm concerned, was a kind of a vital time. It was completely blown away by the Reagan era, when Ronald Reagan was elected to office. All the hippies grew up and played along with his game. Now that the war has happened, it’s been set back into the mentality of the ‘50s when there was a lot of conformity and control by the government. It’s so weird how a government can use patriotism as the main tool to keep the masses in line. It’s a really simple thing to do, too. I’ll never understand patriotism because the people who are being screwed by the government are the same people who are patriotic, and support their government. It’s like sucking the dick that pees on you. Yeah. [laughs]
Interviewer 2: Have you ever been in Death Valley? The desert and the mountains…
KC: Um, driven by it, yeah.
Interviewer 2: Because it's a very strange feeling with nothing around you, and just all the mountains, and the sand going up in the sky. I've never felt this way before, it was the first time - seven days alone without washing.
KC: Oh you actually went into Death Valley? Wow…
Interviewer 2: Yeah, Death Valley. Very, very nice. It's one thing I really appreciated in the USA.
KC: Yeah. I imagine it's like going to Saudi Arabia or something. Just the desert and nothing else.
Interviewer 1: Sorry I can't find a question about…
Interviewer 2: He just wants to talk about music.
Interviewer 1: I can't think about a question about this now. Of course, I will think about it tomorrow! This is so…! The first question I think about now is about music! He told me that you have a song on a compilation of an American label. It's called CZ… CZ…
Interviewer 2: C/Z Records.
KC: Oh, the C/Z records thing? Yeah. What song is that? I don't even remember [laughs]. That was our first demo, it was a song off of our first demo that we recorded with Dale, the drummer for the Melvins, and that was before we were talking to Sub Pop. We recorded that with Jack Endino. Let me remember… Hey Chris?
Krist Novoselic: Yeah?
KC: What's the name of the song that was on the C/Z “Teriyaki Asthma” EP?
KN: Oh, “Mexican Seafood.”
KC: Oh, yeah [laughs]… Stupid name! [laughs]
Interviewer 2: Now there's a lot of Mexican tours to (Eden? - inaudible) in USA, I think.
Interviewer 1: Do you still see Jack Endino sometimes?
KC: We just saw Jack in Austria just about a week ago. Skin Yard was touring over there and we happened to play the same show together. It was really cool. I hadn't seen Jack in over a year because we've been on tour for so long, it was really nice to see him. He's a really good friend, a good guy.
Interviewer 1: Does he still produce… LP…?
KC : Oh, our next LP? We're talking to him about going into the studio again and doing a few songs. The way we're going to approach this next album is just to record songs whenever we feel like it. Whenever they're finished, we're just going to go into a studio with a different producer and see what happens, instead of just going with one guy and doing it all within a few weeks. We’d like to get a totally different sound with every song. And so, we thought we'd go with Jack again for a few songs to try to recreate the “Bleach” sound, which is a really hard thing to do, unless you use exactly the same equipment and stuff like that, you know.
Interviewer 1: They said that you were not glad about the production of the “Bleach” LP. They said that you want to re-record this LP. There were rumours last year about it.
KC: Mmmm. I might have said that at the time. I don't know. I don't think we should re-record that record now. There's no reason to. I'm always going back and forth between whether I like what we've done or not, you know? There's been times when I thought it really sucked.
Interviewer 1: There are some great songs. “Big Cheese.” “Been a Son” on the “Blew” EP.
KC: Yeah, we play that song live still.
Interviewer 1: You played it in Belgium. I quite like it.
Interviewer 1:This is the last question.
Interviewer 2: You are tired.
Interviewer 1: He wants to know if you can sign his EP.
Interviewer 1: Yeah? You won't…?
KC: No, I do it every once in a while. Okay! Now, signing bootlegs?! I don't know about that! Let me do something: there's something so wrong about the titles of these songs, they're completely wrong! That's not called “Happy Hour”! What's it called? I think it's called…[laughs]. Okay, that's the name of that song.
Interviewer 1: Where were they recorded?
KC: These songs are from the demo that I was talking about that we did with Dale from the Melvins, the first demo that we did… I don't know, this is some live thing…
Other person: Thank you.
KC: I'll sign Danny's name for him, okay?
Other person: Okay.
Interviewer 1: Just for the end, can you make a kind of jingle for the radio… “I'm Kurt from Nirvana, you're listening to this radio”?
KC: What radio?
Interviewer 2: Aligre.
Interviewer 1: But the show is called “Helter Skelter”.
KC: It's called WHAT? [laughs]
Interviewer 1: The song of the Beatles, “Helter Skelter.”
KC: Oh “Helter Skelter,” okay. “Hi, this is Kurt from Nirvana and you're listening to Helter Skelter.”
Interviewer 1: Thank you very much.
Qui aurait pu imaginer il y a deux ans la formidable aventure qu'allait vivre NIRVANA en 1991? Ni vous, ni nous je suppose, car même en re-disséquant méticuleusement leur premier album "Bleach", solide et basique, façonné selon les plus purs plans "Sub Pop" c'est à dire dans du mortier compact et volumineux pétri de mains de punk-rocker par de charmants garçons de la région de Seattle convertis au hard '70s nous étions loin de penser que les prémices d'un grand album d'un disque pouvant dépasser les frontières du circuit underground étaient déjà contenus dans cette oeuvre. Au début petits seconda de MUDHONEY et TAD, aujourd'hui installé aux côtés de SONIC YOUTH sur le banc du "succès" de l'énorme compagnie Geffen, NIRVANA a littéralement surpris et grillé tout le monde. Comment en sont ils arrivés là, et qu'ont-ils de plus que leurs ex compagnons d'écurie, me direz vous, pour avoir ainsi attiré sur eux l'attention de tant de gens?
Peu et beaucoup à la fois, vous répondrais je en termes normands. Peu, parce qu'ils sont simples et loin d'incarner tous les clichés de stars, de l'habillement très sobre à l'attitude et aux propos à mille lieues du comportement répugnant de l'artiste mégalo et poseur de hase. Que pouvons nous alors concrètement leur reprocher? Sans doute ce qui en matière de rock'n'roll revêt une importance proche du niveau zéro, c'est à dire la technique musicale pure. En effet, pas besoin d'être agrégé de musique pour remarquer que les membres de NIRVANA n'ont rien de grands virtuoses. L'étroitesse relative de leurs capacités techniques serait de mon point de vue la seule pierre que pourraient leur lancer de possibles détracteurs (en éliminant l'idée que certains désabusés leur reprochent le fait de ne pas avoir garde le format intégral "underground"). Mais en retenant un tel argument, le hors sujet vous guette. Pas besoin de se compliquer la vie pour la rendre agréable… simples comme bonjour les mélodies de NIRVANA suffisent à le prouver. Il n'y a qu'à constater, elles sont assez souvent bâties à partir des mêmes accords. Alors où déceler la faille dans un mécanisme si efficace d'apparence? En cherchant bien vous trouverez surement, mais d'après moi ces mecs disposent de l'arsenal nécessaire et suffisant à l'accomplissement d'un GRAND disque de rock. Ils possèdent avant tout les aptitudes "pop" requises (un se souvient déjà d'esquisses séduisantes avec le morceau "About a girl" sur "Bleach" et du 45 tours "Sliver"), tonifiées de vertus enivrantes, entêtantes et stimulantes. Et voilà ce que j'insinue lorsque je dis qu'ils "possèdent beaucoup". Ces courants harmoniques ondulent crescendo entre l'insolence de la voix gutturale et gracile de Kurt (au timbre très sensuel) et l'âpreté d'une rythmique imposante et omniprésente prête à s'embraser à tout instant. Comme touché par la grâce, NIRVANA pratique désormais une pop bagarreuse, resplendissante d'éclats de génie innocents, balancée entre les mélodies romantiques typiquement américaines à la R.E.M, la rugosité et la monstruosité (surtout sur le flanc "basse") d'un son actuel à la PIXIES et la potentialité guitaristique d'un early hard rock complètement vidé de ses facéties grandiloquentes. Un amalgame qui n'en paraît pas un, tant les éléments semblent se coordonner en toutes affinités et avec unité, comme s'ils avaient toujours existé pour être mariés. Imparable, cet album entre directement au panthéon des grands morveux du Rock yankee.
Un bon coup de NIRVANA contre toutes les grandes mauvaises odeurs du rock business, cela ne pourra qu'assainir l'atmosphère et quel que soit l'impact commercial de ce disque, nous ne pouvons que nous réjouir de sa percée médiatique!… Adieu veaux, vaches, cochons et boue de Seattle, le tapis rouge vous est aujourd'hui déroulé même par les plus incrédules journaleux de la presse bien pensante qui il n'y a pas si longtemps vous traitez encore comme des malpropres! Une volte face à la mesure du talent de NIRVANA.
C'est dans un hôtel parisien que nous avons eu l'immense bonheur de bavarder pendant plus d'une heure et demie avec Kurt et Chris, (c'est Kurt, le chanteur, qui répond). Plus avenants qu'à travers les interviews données aux "officiels", nos 2 compères nous sont apparus détendus et prêts à jouer honnêtement le jeu. L'intégrale…
Les gens sont complètement fous de NIRVANA; si on nous avait dit cela il n'y a pas si longtemps nous ne l'aurions pas cru. Vous vous attendiez à un tel succès?
Non, pas du tout. Mais nous avons vu la situation évoluer pendant ces deux derniers mois: chaque fois que l'on jouait il y avait plus de monde que la fois précédente. Les gens venaient de plus en plus nombreux. C'est quand mémo surprenant car on n'a jamais fait vraiment de pub, Geffen n'a pas décidé d'investir de l'argent pour augmenter les ventes, ils ne voulaient pas le faire rentrer dans les charts.
Quelle a été la clef de votre succès, à ton avis? Vous ne pensez pas que les médias ont joué un rôle?
Le fait qu'on ait signé avec une major y ait certainement pour beaucoup. Toutes les radios commerciales des Etats Unis ne passent que des groupes qui sont sur des majors. En plus j'ai le sentiment que notre musique a plu aux responsables de ce qui passe sur ces radius, je pense qu'on a eu de vrais fans parmi ces gens là, et donc cela s'est répandu comme une traînée de poudre aux Etats Unis.
Quelle est votre attitude vis à vis de votre succès? Est ce qu'il y a des groupes auxquels vous ne voudriez pas ressembler plus tard? (Kurt nous a raconté qu'ils ont été accueilli à l'aéroport par une magnifique limousine qui les a amenés jusqu'à Paris. Cela les avait marqués!)
Je ne pense pas que l'on puisse devenir un jour ce que l'an ne veut pas devenir, nous avons suffisamment do contrôle sur ce que nous faisons. On ne va certainement pas devenir des GUNS N' ROSES ou autre chose dans le genre, si c'est ce que tu veux dire (rires). C'est facile d'arrêter ai tu n'aimes plus ce que tu fais. Nous jouons ensemble parce que nous sommes de bons copains et que nous aimons écrire des chansons, mais nous avons suffisamment de bon sens pour savoir quand on arrêtera d'écrire de bonnes chansons. Beaucoup de groupes ne, savent pas cela et continuent de tourner pendant des années. Si un jour notre groupe devient trop important, je veux dire si cela devient un métier on pourra toujours arrêter, changer de nom et jouer autre chose.
Les tournées que nous avons faites aux Etats Unis il y a deux mois ont été très éprouvantes, il y avait sana arrêt des gens qui nous demandaient des autographes. La seule façon de me calmer pendant cette période, c'était de me soûler tous les soirs. Tu sais… lorsque tu joues devant un public de 10 ou 20.000 personnes cela devient très impersonnel. Les gens sont loin de nous, on peut à peine voir leurs visages. On nous a prévenus récemment que lorsque nous retournerons aux Etats Unis nous devrons faire quelques grand concerts, et cela ne nous enchante pas. Pourtant nous avons joués dans quelques concerts encore plus grands, à Reading et ailleurs, et ce n'était pas aussi froid, on s'est bien amusés. C'est la même chose pour les interviews, jusqu'au début de l'année on n'avait donné qu'une dizaine d'interviews aux Etats Unis, pour des fanzines. Maintenant on doit même en faire pour des magazines de heavy metal!
Il y a quelques temps vous avez participé à un concert pour la légalisation de l'avortement, avec quelques autres groupes. Est ce que vous défendez d'antres causes?
Ce concert n'était pas pour l'avortement mais pour le "libre choix". Aux Etats Unis il y a beaucoup de courants de droite qui veulent abolir certains droits, par exemple l'avortement. Nous avons fuit ce concert pour aider les organisations qui luttent contre ces courants. Certaines d'entre elles sont anarchistes, d'autres plus officielles. Nous les aidons mais noua ne voulons pas faire cela tout le temps, nous ne voulons pas apparaître comme un groupe féministe ou politiquement engagé.
Je vous ai vu à un concert aux Etats Unis cet été, et j'ai été surprise de voir que les gens qui avaient moins de 21 ans ne pouvaient pas y assister.
Oui, cette loi est stupide. C'est surtout dommage pour les groupes underground dont le public est surtout composé de jeunes. Il y a beaucoup de groupes punk qui ne sont pas assez connus pour assurer un vrai concert et qui doivent se contenter de jouer dans des bars, et ce n'est pas comme cela qu'ils vont faire parler d'eux. Nous, nous avons un public suffisamment large pour pouvoir faire ce que l'on veut et nous avons choisi de faire des vrais concerts, nous ne jouons plus dans les bars. Nous avons fait quelques bars en Europe, mais ici la limite d'âge est moins importante.
Est ce que tu penses que cette loi va changer?
Non, elle ne va pas changer. Mais en général lorsqu'un groupe joue dans un de ces endroits c'est un choix qu'il fait. FUGAZI a toujours refusé de jouer dans ces bars par exemple, mais ils sont tellement populaires qu'ils peuvent attirer suffisamment de monde et jouer dans de plus grandes salles où tout le monde est admis. Ce n'est pas le cas de la plupart des groupes, il ne peuvent espérer qu'un publie de 100 ou 200 personnes et ils doivent jouer dans les bars.
Ne considérez vous pas le fait d'avoir signé avec Geffen comme une sorte de trahison?
(énervé) Non, pas du tout, noua n'avons pas été achetés, nous gagnons très peu d'argent par rapport aux autres groupes qui sont chez eux. Nous ne recevons que l'argent provenant de la vente de nus disques, alors que beaucoup de groupes reçoivent des avances faramineuses de la part de leurs maisons de disques, cela va parfois jusqu'au million de dollars. Si les disques se vendent mal et si le groupe arrête au bout d'un an, ses membres doivent passer le reste de leur vie à travailler dans une station service pour rembourser leur label. Il y a des labels qui nous ont proposé une fortune mais nous avons refusé, ils ne comprennent rien aux groupes underground. Nous sommes très bien chez DGC. Nous voulions être sûrs que nos disques étaient bien distribués, parce que nous en avions assez de voir tous ces gens venir nous trouver à la fin du concert pour noua dire qu'ils ne savaient pas où les acheter!
Continent avez vous eu l'idée d'aller les voir?
Oh, en fait ce sont eux qui sont venus vers nous, comme les autres labels, et nous sommas passés faire un tour à leurs bureaux. C'est une sorte de communauté. Ce n'est pas du tout une grande tour au milieu de la ville, c'est seulement une grande maison. En fait la principale raison qui noua a poussé à aller chez eux est que leur département alternatif est dirigé par des types qui viennent de petits labels comme SST. Ils connaissent bien le milieu. El puis il y a SONIC YOUTH, qui a signé avec eux il y a un an déjà.
Que penses tu de tous les pirates de NIRVANA? il y en a beaucoup.
Je n'ai rien contre le fait que les gens enregistrent nos concerts, par contre je ne supporte pas l'idée que certaines personnes arrivent à payer leur loyer et leur bouffe simplement grâce à nous. Quand je pense qu'on fait vivre tous ces connards! En plus, ils enregistrent des morceaux inédits qui doivent être enregistrés sur les futurs albums. Lorsque tu achètes un nouveau disque et que to connais déjà toutes les chansons parce qu'elles figurent sur des pirates, il n'y a plus de surprise!
Tu as dit une fois que la principale chose qui fait la musique de NIRVANA c'est la mélodie?
Mmm, je ne sais pas. J'ai dit cela? C'est surtout le feeling qui importe. Ce n'est pas parce qu'une musique est complexe qu'elle est bonne. Les PIXIES ont beaucoup de feeling par exemple.
Qu'est ce que vous pensez des groupes qui débutent et qui commencent parfaire du bruit et par hurler sans se préoccuper de la mélodie et du feeling?
Je pense que c'est génial (rires). C'est comme ça que tout le monde devrait commencer à faire de la musique, c'est le meilleur moyen de se faire des copains, de continuer à jouer et de prendre son pied, et de faire de nouvelles chansons. Tu sais, lorsque j'ai commencé à jouer de la guitare je voulais devenir quelqu'un de très bon, comme Jimmy Page. Je n'arrêtais pas de travailler mes solos. Et puis te punk est arrivé, et pour le punk la technique n'avait aucun sens, c'était tout le reste qui importait.
La mélodie est importante maintenant dans la musique de NIRVANA, parce que nous avons progressé, mais ce n'est pas l'essentiel. L'essentiel c'est de s'amuser, de vivre sa passion.
Qui a eu l'idée de la pochette de "Nevermind"?
C'est moi, j'avais vu un documentaire qui montrait des bébés dans l'eau. J'ai téléphoné à Geffen pour leur demander s'ils pouvaient faire une photo dans ce genre il fallait trouver un bébé! L'idée d'y ajouter un billet de banque est venue après.
Tu as d'antres passions que la musique?
Oui, bien sûr! La peinture, le dessin, la poésie. J'écris de la poésie. Par contre je n'aime pas vraiment les autres poètes: à part Burroughs, Bukowski et le français là, comment prononcez vous son nom déjà: Baudelaine, Bauledaire… Ha ha ha!
Tu voulais faire de les musique lorsque tu étais jeune?
Oui, je voulais déjà jouer dans un groupe lorsque j'étais gamin. Mes parents n'aiment pas du tout la musique, ils voulaient que j'intègre une grande école. Mais moi je voulais faire du rock! J'écoutais les BEATLES et les MONKEES et rien qu'eux. Après 12 ans je suis passé au hard rock, avec LED ZEP, BLACK SABBATH. A 16 ans le punk. Et puis finalement tout un tas de genres de musiques. Cela m'a pris du temps de réaliser que finalement j'aimais tous les styles. Je crois avoir suivi le même chemin que beaucoup de personnes.
Effectivement… Qu'est ce que tu penses de la religion aux Etats Unis, et de la place qu'elle occupe dans les médias, les chaînes de télévision en particulier?
Je suis totalement contre ces organisations religieuses qui manipulent les gens à travers les médias, particulièrement les gens dépressifs. C'est comme ces groupes punks qui réussissent à coaliser un grand nombre de gens dépressifs ou animés d'une certaine violence. Mais je crois que la religion peut être utile dans certains cas, pour les personnes qui sont au bord du suicide et pour lesquelles elle constitue une dernière chance.
Qu'est ce qu'il y a de pire dans le monde humain pour toi?
La société de consommation. Elle nous oblige à posséder tout un tas de choses, des trucs dont nous n'avons pas vraiment besoin mais qu'il faut que l'on ait, on noua fait croire que l'on en a besoin. On vs nous accuser d'être hypocrites car on a signé avec une major, mais nous avons lait cela pour être surs que les gens trouvent nos disques…
Crois tu que l'on puisse tin jour atteindre le nirvana, où est ce que tu crois que c'est une légende? Cela t'est il déjà arrivé?
Ouaouf! Euh… oui, peut être lors de certains concerts… On se sent complètement hors de soi, on ne sait plus où on est, on ressent une énergie incroyable en soi. Si tu veux arriver au nirvana, je ne le conseille pas mais si tu prends ça de cocaïne et que tu te l'injectes dans les veines… Ha ha ha!
Qu'est ce qui est le plus vulnérable chez toi? Y a t'il quelque chose qui te fait perdre totalement confiance en toi?
Ah, j'ai un bon exemple. Il y a quelques semaines nous avons fait un concert et il y a eu des personnes dans la salle qui nous ont accusé de trahison. J'ai eu un sentiment de culpabilité très fort, il y avait une grande tension entre nous et ces gens là. Mais sinon… je suis comme tout le monde, il y a des moments où je me sens fort et d'autres où je déprime complètement, sans raisons particulières. C'est normal. Je ne me sens jamais totalement perdu, j'ai beaucoup de copains, je m'entend bien avec ma famille… Je n'ai jamais pensé que personne ne m'aimait et encore moins à me suicider.
Est ce que cette confiance en soi a quelque chose à voir avec les paroles de vos chansons? Elles sont meilleures dans le dernier LP.
Oui… (il réfléchit) Oui, sans doute, mais cela doit se sentir plus dans les chansons que dans les paroles. II y a quelques anisées j'étais plus angoissé que maintenant: il y avait moins de monde pour nous dire "j'aime ce que vous faites". Je ne veux pas dire que nous recherchions le succès absolument, mais seulement une sorte de reconnaissance. Ces deux dernières années ont été très bonnes pour moi, je passe sans arrêt par des tas de sentiments alors qu'avant je ne connaissais que l'agressivité. En fait je voulais faire un disque plein de joie et non pas rempli de haine. Je veux même que les prochains aillent encore plus dans ce sens, au risque d'être carrément ridicules. Ou alors peut être qu'ils seront complètement défaitistes… On peut aussi donner une humeur particulière à chaque album, pourquoi pas!
C'est quoi pour toi une très belle chanson?
Une chanson est belle lorsque c'est bon! Je me sens parfois complètement fou de joie lorsque j'écoute une chanson des PIXIES nu des BREEDERS, des fois même j'en pleure (Kurt est également un fan de BEAT HAPPENING. Il a d'ailleurs comme tatouage le logo de leur label K records). Mais ces chansons là sont rares. J'aime beaucoup le dernier TEENAGE FANCLUB, nous avons eu la chance de pouvoir l'écouter six mois avant tout le monde parce qu'ils sont sur le même label que nous.
Ils sont à Paris aujourd'hui pour la prom…
Quoi? Ce soir? Où ça?!! (le bassiste vient vers nous et se met à faire des bonds lorsqu'on lui apprend que les TEENAGE FANCLUB sont à Paris en ce moment) Nous aimons tellement leur musique qu'on veut faire une tournée avec eux. Ils sont géants!
Il n'y a pas des moments où tu te sens hors du monde?
Peut être. Je ne suis jamais parvenu à comprendre pourquoi tant de gens veulent absolument être "normaux", ça me dépasse. Comment peut on être heureux avec juste une télévision? D'un autre coté je me sens plus intégré dans le monde maintenant que quand l'étais adolescent. Il y a cinq ou huit ans j'habitais dans une petite ville un peu renfermée et je n'avais pas de vrais amis, je veux dire des gens sur lesquels je puisse compter.
Y a t'il un pays où tu aimerais vivre plus tard, en dehors des Etats Unis?
Je ne pense pas rester aux Etats Unis toute ras vie. J'irais peut être en Irlande ou en Ecosse... J'aime beaucoup l'Irlande. J'aime bien la France aussi, ruais ce qui est dommage, c'est que l'on ait jamais le temps de rester quelque part lorsque l'on fait des tournées. On arrive dans la journée, on joue la nuit et le lendemain on repart.
Eu tu d'accord avec le gouvernement de ton pays?
Non, pas du tout: il ne se préoccupe que de ses intérêts immédiats sans penser aux générations suivantes. Ce doit être comme la plupart des autres gouvernements, d'ailleurs. La guerre du golfe nous a ramené trente ans en arrière. Le mouvement hippie voulait lutter contre le conformisme imposé par le gouvernement, maintenant les hippies ont disparu, on retourne vers la mentalité des années 50. C'est marrant comme les gouvernements peuvent utiliser le patriotisme comme une vertu pour imposer aux gens d'avoir de bonnes moeurs. Je n'ai pas compris les patriotes qui ont supporté les soldats américains dans la guerre du golfe.
Vous avez enregistré une chanson sur une compilation pour roi label américain, CZ Records je crois?
Oui, c'était notre première démo, avant qu'on aille enregistrer chez Sub Pop. Elle s'appelait "Mexican Seafood". Quel nom stupide!
Est ce que rosis voyez souvent Jack Endino?
Nous l'avons rencontré la semaine dernière en Autriche, nous jouions le même soir, mais cela faisait bien un an qu'on ne l'avait pas vu, On s'entend bien. On a discuté du fait d'aller enregistrer quelques chansons ensemble, dans le même genre que "Bleach", avec le même son, le même matériel, etc.
L'air dernier il circulait des rumeurs selon lesquelles vous n'étiez pas satisfait de la façon dont votre album "Bleach" était enregistré, et que vous projetiez de le refaire.
Non, je pense pas qu'on le ré-enregistrera un jour, même si je n'en suis pas complètement satisfait. C'est du passé, on a mieux à faire maintenant!
En cette fin d'année 91, le groupe est un peu sur les nerfs. Il commence à avoir la haine à cause de tous les vautours qui tournent autour d'eux. C'est vrai qu'ils ont été assailli par les journalistes et en particulier par la presse anglaise particulièrement dure (Kurt tient absolument à expliquer le fait que la signature chez Geffen est une bonne chose). Il est grand temps que la tournée commencée au mois d'août dernier s'achève, car le trio d'ordinaire si énergique est crevé et vidé. Leur unique concert en France, aux Transmusicales de Rennes, a été décevant à peine plus d'une demi heure de musique, le temps de jouer sans foi quelques titres et de faire voler en éclats la guitare, la basse, la batterie et les amplis. Chris s du raccompagner Kurt, grippé, jusque aux loges. Dans une salle Omnisports inhumaine, le public adolescent(te) déchaîné n'a rien remarqué mais les fans qui les avaient déjà vu sont repartis frustrés, d'autant plus qu'une fosse de cinq mètres (pour les médias) séparait le public de la scène. Allez, reposez vous bien et revenez nous en pleine forme. A bientôt