KURT- "I punctured every speaker and cabinet, and there were, um, 12 speakers to puncture..., really, I can't think of anything better to do than to puncture speakers, that's my favourite piece of equipment to destroy.... it’s a lot of fun."
DAVE- "I had Kurt's guitar cabinet, like, I was smashing it, picking it - these things are heavy, smashing it onto my bass drum, trying just to completely crack and destroy the bass drum, but it wouldn't do it. I was wailin’ on it with guitars, I was throwing it off the risers as hard as I could - drums are hard to break!!!"
KURT- "Well, first I wanted to be in a rock band when I was really young, and I decided in about, 3rd grade I wanted to be a stuntman, so, um, oh heck yeah, Evil Knievel was a big influence on that. I’d jump my bikes, and I took all my bedding and pillows out of our house, and put it on the deck, and got up on top of the roof, and would jump off. Yeah, and I took a thin piece of metal one time, and duct-taped it to my chest, and put a bunch of firecrackers on it and lit it on fire."
KRIST- "Buzz Osbourne, guitar player from the Melvins, he like, discovered punk rock, and uh, he was turning people on to it. I heard it, and it sounded live to me, and um, I borrowed the record - "Generic Flipper", and I listened to it, and it was just, like it was a revelation…I was like "wow!", it was just heavy, it was art, I was affected….and I’ve never been the same since..it was like a breakthrough.."
KURT- "I was um, 15, when I got my first guitar…well, my mother had just gotten married, and this was in the first year of her marriage..my stepfather went out on her, and uh, she got so irate that she took all my stepfather’s guns, uh, various guns, pistols, rifles and stuff, and she walked down to the river, and threw them in. And then I hired this kid to fish a couple of them out, and I sold them, and then I got my first guitar with the money."
KURT- "Uh, yeah, I took lessons for a week, I learned how to play "Back in Black" by AC/DC, and it’s pretty much the "Louie Louie" chords, so that’s all I needed to know. I never did pay the guitar teacher for that week either…I still owe him money. But that’s it, y’know, I just started writing songs on my own…once you know the power chord, you don’t need to know anything else."
KRIST- "Aberdeen’s basically just a small town, south west of Seattle, it’s on the Pacific ocean, it’s main industry is logging, and forest products, there’s really no roads going through there, it’s kinda just off the beaten path, off the beaten track, and uh, things just kinda... change comes slowly to Aberdeen. Everything revolves around the logging industry there, it’s all logging... if the logging stopped there’d be a ghost town"
Aberdeen, Washington, 1987, Nirvana was formed between singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain, and bassist Krist Novoselic. Krist explains the birth of the band
KRIST- "A little social group came together, and we just kinda hung out, y’know, talked about things, and then, one thing led to another, Kurt did a tape with Dale Crover from the Melvins, and one of the songs on it was "Spank Thru", and he turned me on to it, and I kinda liked it, it got me excited, so I go "Hey man, let’s start a band!". We scrounged up a drummer, and we started practicing....took it very seriously too."
The band recorded their first demo tape with Dale Crover, of the Melvins.
KRIST- "He played on our first demo, and a couple of those songs made it over to the "Bleach" LP, "Floyd the barber", and "Paper cuts". We jammed for about a week, put some songs together, and made this tape."
Kurt and Krist then enrolled Chad Channing to become Nirvana’s first full-time drummer.
KRIST- "Chad wanted to express himself in a way that really didn’t gel with the band. Chad really compromised his style to suit the band, I don’t think he was happy doing that…and, uh, it was a good departure, y’know, it worked well for everyone"
1988 - Sub Pop records released a limited 1000 copies of Nirvana’s first single "Lovebuzz" - a Shocking Blue cover, with the B side, "Big Cheese". Months later, in June of 89’ the first Nirvana album, "Bleach" was released. Kurt, Krist, and Chad recorded the album for $600, with producer Jack Endino. Jason Everman is also listed on guitar, but he didn’t actually appear on the album, only on the tour. Kurt on "Bleach"
KURT- "Bleach is seen to be really one dimensional. It has the same format, ....all the songs are slow, and grungey, and they’re tuned down to really low notes, and I screamed a lot….and, but at the same time that we were recording, we had a lot more songs, like "About a girl", in fact "Polly" was written at that same time too, it’s just that we chose to put more abrasive songs on the "Bleach" album, so , it really wasn’t a matter of evolving, within just a year, y’know,……we’ve always liked pop music, and we’ve always had a few songs like that."
Seattle, Washington. After the release of "Bleach", the band went on its’ first national tour, and they were gearing up to record their 2nd album. Krist explains
KRIST- "We went to Madison, Wisconsin, to record a record with Butch Vig, in the Spring of 1990. We laid down about, 6, 7 songs, which was like, "Lithium", "Bloom", "Polly", oh "Dive", B side of "Sliver" majored out, uh "Stay Away"….anyway we went there in the Spring to record a record, right? Right after we finished recording the record we went on this, uh, 8 week tour of the US, starting in Madison, and we got as far as New York, and everything was geared up to y’know, put out this 2nd Nirvana record, and we were gonna record maybe a few more songs in Seattle, this was gonna be Sub Pop, and this was gonna be our second record, and this was supposed to come out the September of 1990…..and well once we got off that tour, that’s when we lost Chad, so there’s uncertainty with that, we didn’t want to release it, if we did anything we wanted to do it with a new drummer. Sub Pop was doing some wheeling and dealing, they were going to sign a licensing deal with a big label and that kinda scared us, and there were so many variables to consider, that it wasn’t wise to put out a record at all. We went and we toured the UK, and uh, we went and uh, toured uh, Western Canada, and uh next thing y’know, we were talking to labels ourselves, so that was just like.."we can!"."
With Chad leaving the band, Kurt and Krist then enrolled friend, and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters, but Dan only lasted one gig
KRIST- "Well yeah, it was a great gig too, it was at the Motor Sports Garage in Seattle, there was about 1500 people there..or no, there was a lot more people there…there was a lot of people there, and uh, we just recorded the "Sliver" single with him, a couple of weeks before, and he looked like he was gonna be in our band, and that was just another case of compromising his style for our band, y’know, he was gonna go out and buy a bigger drum set and y’know you can really hear his style, it’s just Mudhoney, y’know, those snare rolls…and well, that was when the future of uh Mudhoney was uncertain, Steve wanted to go to school, and there was all this..y’know, just like, "are Mudhoney gonna break up?" and Dan saw opportunity to join our band, it was a certain thing, so like yeah, we love Dan as a person and we love his drumming. Well it just goes back to the - it was uncertain, and if Dan were to join our band, it would’ve been certain that Mudhoney was finished, and we didn’t want to be responsible for that."
Enter Dave Grohl - not just another drummer
KURT- "He’s the most well adjusted boy I’ve ever met. He’s totally easy to get along with, everyone loves him, he plays drum better than any drummer I’ve ever heard. I mean, he blows away Jon Bonham, if I had a, y’know, if I had the choice of like, bringing Jon Bonham back to life, or to choose of any drummer of any band I could even think of, they wouldn’t be better than Dave... He’s great."
KRIST- "He’s great, yeah, he’s the backbone of the band."
Dave was playing in the Washington D.C band Scream, when things fell apart.. Dave explains
DAVE- "In 1990, we were on tour, doing a tour of America, and we were halfway through the tour, in Los Angeles."
KRIST- "Their tour made it as far as Los Angeles, and their bass player flew the coup."
DAVE- "We got stranded there, there wasn’t really much to do, and I called my friend Buzz Osbourne, who um, is a singer for The Melvins, and, we’d known eachother for awhile, (mutual friend of Kurt and Krist) yeah..he’s actually the one who introduced them to eacother, and he ended up introducing me to the band. And he just said that, um, they were looking for a drummer, and that they saw Scream play in San Franscico, and they thought I was really good, blah blah blah, no romantic story!"
KRIST- "We were just blown away by the whole band, especially the drummer, the drummer was really good,…he called up and we’re like, "Yeah man! Come on up!"
DAVE- "The strangest thing about it was moving up to the North-West, no money, and nothin’…I mean I didn’t, I still only have like, a bag of clothes and my drums. I’ve bought a bed, a couple of months ago, so I have a room with this futon on the floor,…. But I mean, I don’t have anything, so I didn’t really have to move, and uh, just y’know, moving up, leaving your best friends in the world..."
KURT- "Yeah, it was weirder for him probably cause he’s kinda homesick, y’know...."
DAVE- "I mean I didn’t know Krist or Kurt, and I ended up living on Kurt’s couch for 8 months and just..."
KURT- "He just packed up his stuff and came to Washington state."
DAVE- "I had every misconception that everyone else had, ya know, all I thought Seattle was, was like, flannel shirts, and blurry Charles Petersen photos y’know."
KURT- "We were living in this little cracker box hell - hole of an apartment, and I’m quite a slob as you can see."
DAVE- "If you had someone you did not know come and move into your apartment, and you were sorta like you felt this responsibility to like, "OK, well we must get along."
KURT- "It was kinda hard for two people to live in this really small apartment with one bedroom, and just garbage all over the floor, a lotta corn dog sticks lying around.."
DAVE- "Whatever, in like, a month or two, we were out in the backyard shooting stuff with BB guns, and breaking windows at the lottery building across the street. It was fun, it was great, that apartment was great."
KURT- "It was nice, cause Dave turns out to be just as much of a slob as me."
Proceed to part 2