With today marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, Billboard is honouring the album that put the band — along with the entire Seattle grunge movement of the 1990s — on the map by exhuming a vintage interview with Kurt Cobain, conducted prior to the album’s release when the band was still on the cusp of the mega-fame that would erupt with the multi-platinum success of the now-iconic album.
In the interview, Toronto music journalist Karen Bliss spoke to Cobain over the phone while the band was in L.A. for some promotional gigs, with Cobain discussing his punk influences, somewhat modest expectations for “Nevermind” and the band’s new drummer, a youngster by the name of Dave Grohl.
“There just doesn’t seem to be as much excitement in the underground as there was at the time,” said Cobain of the punk music scene. “But that could have a lot to do with just my being 14, 15 or 16 when I started to get into it. I happened to have a different perspective then and being exposed to music that’s completely different than I was used to before was still exciting. It was revolutionary to me at the time. When I was 16, punk meant a lot more to me and as I’m getting older, it just doesn’t seem there’s as much enthusiasm and spirit in the underground scene.”
Cobain also discussed the immense promotion the band was doing in advance of the album’s release. “We’re constantly doing interviews,” said Cobain. “I mean, we don’t even have any time for ourselves anymore. We just do interviews all day for some really ridiculous things too, a lot of heavy metal magazines, hard rock magazines that feature Guns N’ Roses and stuff like that. So it’s kind of, um, I don’t know, it’s different for us.”
Cobain also opened up about the addition of Grohl to the band. “We had a couple of drummers in the first year of the band being together who we felt were never really going to fit in, but they were the only drummer that we could have at the time. It’s real hard to find drummers,” said Cobain, adding that the primary criteria for finding the right drummer was “Mainly liking the same music, having the same taste and [inaudible] so serious about it. The drummer problem isn’t as much of a problem everyone makes it out to be. It wasn’t like we got all these great drummers and we just couldn’t deal them other ones, like personality conflicts. It was mainly just musical differences and stuff like that.”
You can read the entire interview right here.