Not that interest in Nirvana is ever really at a peak low, but attention on the grunge icons has risen lately as the band’s third and final album In Utero celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this month.
Now some comments from former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has set tongues wagging at the prospect of a potential reunion, to be hosted Down Under.
Speaking to Triple J about the In Utero anniversary and the deluxe reissues, the bassist was asked how he’d feel about returning to Australia for the fist time in 20 years to perform some of the band’s iconic catalogue, to which Novoselic replied: “That’s the best plan I’ve heard all year. It has to happen.”
Nirvana’s first and last appearance Down Under was way back in January/February 1992 as part of the inaugural Big Day Out, alongside Violent Femmes, The Hard Ons, Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes, plus the “world’s largest skate ramp” (ahhh, how the times change).
Novoselic mentioned that there were plans to at least hit the country with his Nirvana bandmates this year as part of Dave Grohl’s all-star supergroup, Sound City Players, as previously reported. “I was gonna come over with Dave to do the Sound City thing but that hasn’t happened yet. I wanna get there, man,” he tells Triple J. [do action=”pullquote”]”That’s the best plan I’ve heard all year. It has to happen.”[/do]
Formed off the back of Grohl’s rockumentary, Sound City, about the legendary LA studio of the same name, the Sound City Players were a temporary all-star group featuring Grohl, Novoselic, as well as members of Foo Fighters alongside the likes of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick ‘Jessie’s Girl’ Springfield, and members of Rage Against The Machine, Queens Of The Stone Age and more.
In February, Grohl mentioned plans of a world tour for the Sound City Players including “doing a Sydney show,” that unfortunately didn’t eventuate, but as Novoselic mentions – “that hasn’t happened yet.”
The Sound City doco also triggered a Nirvana reunion already, with Novoselic, Grohl, and guitarist Pat Smear recording and playing a number of shows with legendary Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, including a performance at the grunge band’s Seattle birthplace, though carefully avoided playing any of Kurt Cobain’s songbook.
Pat Smear however thinks that the group should dive back into performing the material again. “Playing Nirvana songs? I think that’s different for those guys than it is for me,” the guitarist told Digital Spy earlier this month.
“I know Nirvana’s a strange thing. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it,” he added. “Yeah, why the fuck wouldn’t we play Nirvana songs?! That’s my attitude. I get it, y’know, but I don’t know… for me it’s like, ‘Why wouldn’t we?'”
As for who would have to fill the legendary frontman’s shoes aside from McCartney, Smear remarked: “I’ve never thought about who else could do it.”
“It was one of those things that just happened. I can imagine the three of us hanging out together, somewhere, with something or jamming,” he says. “So I don’t really know. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t. There’s no-one in particular that I’ve thought of or thought about.”
Meanwhile, Grohl is busy at work on the new Foo Fighters album with Nevermind producer Butch Vig, who is working on “KILLER new songs” for the follow-up to 2011’s Wasting Light, which the Garbage drummer also produced. The as-yet untitled release is expected sometime in 2014.
Novoselic’s intriguing comments isn’t the only interesting thing the In Utero anniversary has dug up. Sub Pop, the Seattle indie who first signed the grunge band, dug through the archives to reveal the band’s original record contract showing it was $600 well spent, as well as the hilarious letter from a confused Homecoming organiser asking if the label could get the band to record a video message, despite the small fact of Cobain’s demise.
There’s also been the humorous promo clip of Cobain, Novoselic and Dave Grohl giving birth, while Nirvana have influenced the cultural conscience by providing a source of inspiration for Jay-Z on his new album (and bizarrely many other rappers over the years), being named by Rolling Stone readers as one of the worst band of the 90s (yes, really), and Kurt and Courtney’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, showing off her parent’s influence with her impeccable music taste.