When grunge classic Nevermind is reissued for it’s 20th anniversary in September it promises to take fans to a different kind of Nirvana entirely. But, Dave Grohl has warned NME, the deluxe and super-deluxe versions really will mean the end of the story.
On his recent whirlwind visit to the UK, Grohl sat down with NME to reveal his plans for the landmark anniversary. Getting the package to bulge sufficiently was, he admits, a stretch.
“Unfortunately Nirvana didn’t have enough time to record album after album after album of unreleased material so we really have to try to find things in the vaults that become really special. For a hardcore Nirvana fan, the unreleased stuff is usually a welcome surprise in that ‘collectors’ type of vibe. But at this point I think whenever we release something, It’s most important that it shines a true light on the legacy of the band.”
Two decades and a stadium rock career all of his own since Nevermind changed the musical landscape forever, Grohl readily admits that Nevermind has become something beyond the control and comprehension of even he, a man who eats stadiums for a living.
“After Kurt died and the band was finished, it sort of become something else, you know? It’s different now from what it was, it represents something that sometimes I don’t really recognise.”
Grohl was keen to play down his involvement. He said: “Krist Novoselic, I really believe, was just as much an architect in Nirvana as Kurt, because Krist has a certain mentality and aesthetic that is entirely Nirvana. So whenever I think of Nirvana I don’t just think about Kurt, and I don’t just thunk about Teen Spirit. The identity is so much deeper than that and deeper in its chaotic fucking bizarre world that we were surrounded by and lived inside.”
Instead Grohl remembers the band as a bunch of redneck weirdos “The sense of humour that the band shared, nobody really else had and people just thought we were weird. There were a few bands that Nirvana felt akin to, like the guys in Mudhoney or the guys in Frogs or a lot of the Olympia bands and Mark Lanegan. But it was this really bizarre sort of redneck-meets-subculture vibe. The two of them grew up in a really small logging town so to hear them talk about their childhood, it was some Twin Peaks shit, it was some backwards logging town shit. But you’ve got Krist, who was totally politically motivated and then you’ve got Kurt who was just such a brilliant artist, that it was that weird conflict or dichotomy or whatever it is. Those two things shouldn’t really co-exist in a way, so whenever something is released, usually to me it’s only authentic it comes from Krist. He still maintains that spirit. We haven’t changed too much as people, a lot has happened but we’re still the same. He hasn’t changed a bit so to hear him speak or to hear him tell stories or to hear him talk about Nirvana, it really brings back the feeling of being in the band because it’s just a part of his soul.”
“We’ve talked a lot about what to do this coming September to make it special for kids, and you’d be surprised at some of the things we talked about doing.” Grohl snarls with his trademark toothy grin, the tease. “and it will probably draw a lot of attention. It’ll be fun.”