A Canadian physics teacher recently discovered a long-lost interview with Kurt Cobain, conducted for his college radio station when Nirvana had just signed to Geffen Records and was on the cusp of stardom.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, Roberto LoRusso recalls being a 21-year-old college student in London, Ont., when he pounced on an opportunity to interview Cobain in 1991, who had yet to burst on the scene as the godfather of grunge.
Confessing he had never actually listened back to the entire interview, LoRusso — now 48 — describes his conversation with Cobain as “an amazing experience” but a “trainwreck of an interview,” admitting that Cobain was “remarkably gracious” despite LoRusso being “woefully ill-prepared for the interview.”
In the interview, reports the Mail, a “weary-sounding” Cobain explains how the band was paid $175,000 to sign with Geffen — but only wound up with $20,000.
As Cobain details, “$175,000, 33-per-cent tax bracket, 15 per cent to our lawyer, 10 per cent to our manager, $70,000 to [former label] Sub Pop, left us with about $20,000 to buy equipment. I don’t have a place to live at the moment.”
Cobain elaborated on his homelessness: “We’ve been on tour and we’ve been recording for so long, I got evicted from my apartment about three months ago. Every time we come back we only have a few days at home, so I usually just go to my mother’s. I haven’t found a place to live yet.”
Cobain, then 24, also complained about how interviewers continually asked him the same questions.
“It’s understandable, and I also realize that most of the interviews have to ask the standard questions because we don’t have much of an image and there’s not much story behind our band, and so what people can grasp, they base their interview off of that,” he said.
“But I’m getting really tired of the ‘independent going on to a major label’ stuff. It’s happened and there’s nothing we can do about it so there’s no sense analyzing it.”
Cobain also defended some controversial comments he made disparaging white rappers such as Vanilla Ice, whose “Ice Ice Baby” had burned up the charts in 1990.
“Oh, I don’t know. Hmm, was I drunk at that time?” Cobain quipped.
“I’m a fan of rap music but most of it’s so misogynist that I can’t even deal with it,” he added. “I’m really not that much of a fan. I totally respect and love it because it’s one of the only original forms of music that’s been introduced. The white man doing rap is like watching a white man dance. We can’t dance, we can’t rap.”
With the release of “Nevermind” still on the horizon, Cobain was asked what he thought the future held for the band. “Whatever, I don’t know. Televisions out the window. Red snapper. Fire extinguishers. Sparklers, fireworks.”
You can listen to the long-lost interview below: