This September Nirvana‘s Nevermind record will turn 25 and bassist Krist Novoselic has reflected on the album, contemplating on why people are still interested in the band and its frontman Kurt Cobain all these years later.
“It’s enduring,” Novoselic told Rolling Stone about what is undoubtedly one of the most iconic discs in rock history.
“And it owes so much to so many bands that came before us. It all just kind of came together with punk and pop and melody and a lot of energy.”
In a poignant reflection about where the album sits in the context of history, Novoselic noted that “things shifted” after the release of Nevermind, not just because of the album but, interestingly, because of the internet.
Noting that some people call Nirvana “the last pre-Internet band,” he recalled that MTV was pivotal to the band’s success because they put Smells Like Teen Spirit on heavy rotation. That song helped propel the album to number one in the US, replacing Michael Jackson’s Dangerous.
“In 1991, there was no Number One rock record the whole year before Nevermind. It’s, like, was rock dead? But rock wasn’t dead,” he said.
“It just got reinvented into grunge or alternative, heavy metal, hard rock and punk, art rock – this mishmash of influences. It all came together to make a lot of different music. But the thing is there was a different sensibility, or a realignment. Maybe we’re due for that again.”
He wasn’t only talking about music when he said that. He also noted, “People were ready for something different, and I think this is what we need in our political system: something different.”
That’s particularly interesting given that the record’s producer Butch Vig reflected on it earlier this year remembering that, “it was the end of Ronald Reagan,” when the album was released.
“We were really lucky in a sense that we just caught on a scene that happened to be blowing up in Madison on a local level, which then turned into a regional thing. It was really good timing. Timing in art is so important because it’s a reflection of the culture, and you can’t predict it,” he told The Daily Beast.
Nevermind was released on 24th September 1991, however, it didn’t reach number one until January 1992.
Watch: Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit