Dave Grohl Still Can’t Listen to Nirvana
The members of Nirvana experienced one of the more spectacular breakout successes in rock history together — and saw it all suddenly fall apart with the death of frontman Kurt Cobain.
For Dave Grohl, who's since gone on to decades of platinum sales as the leader of the Foo Fighters, the emotions tied up in the band's records still make it difficult to enjoy the music.
"Nirvana, for me, was a personal revolution, I was 21. You remember being 21? You think you know it all. But you don't," Grohl told GQ during a recent interview. "I thought I knew everything. And being in Nirvana showed me how little I really knew. They were some of the greatest highs of my life, but also, of course, one of the biggest lows. Those experiences became a footing or a foundation on how to survive."
Part of that foundation helped Grohl soldier on after losing Cobain in 1994. Admitting it was "years" before he felt like listening to any music at all, Grohl said he still doesn't put on Nirvana records for pleasure — even though the band's continued popularity means it's all but impossible to avoid their work completely.
"When Kurt died, every time the radio came on, it broke my heart. I don't put Nirvana records on, no. Although they are always on somewhere," said Grohl. "I get in the car, they're on. I go into a shop, they're on."
Understandably, Grohl has a vastly different perspective than most where Nirvana's music is concerned. As he went on to point out, their songs remain "personal" — and listening to them means reliving an experience that helped form the basis of a career that forms his life's professional legacy.
"I remember everything about those records; I remember the shorts I was wearing when we recorded them or that it snowed that day," he added. "Still, I go back and find new meanings to Kurt's lyrics. Not to seem revisionist, but there are times when it hits me. You go, 'Wow, I didn't realize he was feeling that way at the time."