Almost 30 years after it was recorded, a previously unreleased Nirvana interview has been released, featuring a young Kurt Cobain discussing the future of his sound.
Back in July of 1989, Nirvana were slowly gaining traction in the underground alternative rock scene. Having released their debut album, Bleach, just two months earlier, the group had hit the road on their first national tour, bringing their hard-rocking shows to the masses.
While on this tour, Nirvana stopped off in New York, having played a show to all of ten people in New Jersey the night before. While in the Big Apple, the group hooked up with English journalist John Robb for a brief interview. Now, almost 30 years later, Robb has uploaded the full interview to the Internet for the music-loving public to finally hear.
During the interview, Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic touch upon the writing of a new track, which Robb believes to have been ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
“It’s leaning towards more songs like ‘About A Girl’,” explained Kurt Cobain. “I think we’re getting a good mixture now from the heaviness, like both of the extremes combined – instead of just really heavy, relentless monster scary songs and a light pop song.”
“We’re just combining them, pretty much what Mudhoney does, I think.”
While Kurt Cobain explained he had been “writing songs for six years in this style of music”, he noted that it was only in the last two years that he began to get really serious about the whole music game. “[I’d] keep trying in another band, I can probably say I’ve never learned the fine art of logging,” Cobain noted, referring to his home town’s most prominent industry. “I sat in my bedroom and played guitar.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Kurt Cobain spoke about writing songs about “anger, negativity” with a “punk rock attitude”, but noted that he was finding it difficult to continue being angry since he left home.
“I imagine I am becoming happier because I am escaping,” he explained. “I find myself sometimes making things hard for myself so I can still have a little bit of anger.”
“The songs are getting poppier and poppier as I get happier and happier. [They’re] probably about conflicts in relationships, emotions, and feelings.”
“When I write a song, the lyrics are the least most important thing so I don’t dwell on it at all,” he continued. “I can actually have two or three different subjects within a song and the title will mean nothing to the rest of the music.”
While it’s amazing to listen to this interview with hindsight, knowing what’s in store for these young musicians, it’s quite endearing to hear them talking about their creative process, and discussing their lofty ambitions for the future.