This Saturday 5th April marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of one of music’s greatest icons: Kurt Cobain.
Two decades following the death of the Nirvana frontman, and arguably the momentum of the grunge movement, his legacy is still echoes through all walks of music and beyond, from bedroom producers to hip hop, to less respectful commercial ventures like beer advertisements and comic books.
Triple J are also commemorating Cobain’s influence with a special broadcast on both its flagship station and digital Dig Music channel dedicated to Nirvana and their frontman. Including “one of the most awkward and confrontational interviews we’ve ever had on Triple J” that’s been unheard by the public for more than 20 years.
Ahead of tomorrow’s broadcast, the excruciating and ultra-rare chat with Kurt Cobain and co. is already available to listen to in all its squirming, gory detail. The interview was conducted during Nirvana’s first and only tour of Australia, in January/February 1992 to headline the inaugural lineup of a little event called the Big Day Out. “…one of the most awkward and confrontational interviews we’ve ever had on Triple J”
On paper, the timing of their debut Down Under trip couldn’t have been better; the seismic impact of 1991’s Nevermind was beginning to (if not already) felt across the globe, while ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ had just been crowned at #1 on the third-ever Hottest 100 poll – knocking Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ from the throne for the first time – when Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Kurt Novoselic made their way to the Triple J studios.
But exhausted from extensive touring, hype, and their frontman’s now-well-noted aversion to the public eye meant that what should have been Nirvana’s celebratory Australian radio interview was a disaster.
It was so bad in fact, that presenter Jen Oldershaw erased the master shortly after the broadcast, the chat only surviving thanks to a diehard Nirvana fan taping it off the radio, with the resulting audio believed to be the last remaining copy.
Take a listen to Cobain “attacking the mic with a pair of scissors” and doing his best to not answer questions below.
The rest of the Triple J and Dig Music commemorative 20th Anniversary broadcast will feature Live At The Wireless highlights, of Nirvana’s Melbourne show at the Palace on Saturday 1st February, 1992, along with an hour’s worth of interviews, music, and artist reflections.
Among those waxing lyrical about the Nirvana frontman’s legacy include Karnivool, Courtney Barnett, Sky Ferreira, Papa Vs Pretty, and Ball Park Music (on Triple J), along with Okkervil River, Dallas Crane, Angie Hart, Jamie Hutchings, Holly Throsby, Julia Holter (on Dig Music).
Another audio package put together by the national youth broadcaster is a compilation of Australian fans’ reactions to the breaking news of the tragic loss of the Nirvana frontman, along with interview excerpts of Richard Kingsmill speaking with a distraught Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic (Listen below).
The one-hour specials will air at 12 midday on Triple J and from 4pm on Dig Music, with streaming available on the respective stations’ websites.
If you or someone you know is depressed or having suicidal thoughts for immediate assistance call Lifeline – 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467. For more information about depression and anxiety visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the info line on 1300 22 46 36.