Krist Novoselic: No more unreleased Nirvana songs
ABERDEEN, Wash. — Don’t expect any more Nirvana songs to come out of some secret, long-locked vault.
“What there is, is video,” said Nirvana’s former bassist Krist Novoselic. “There’s a lot of video. There’s not going to be any new Nirvana records.”
Novoselic sat down with former Daily World Publisher and Editor John Hughes recently for an oral history, which was included as part of the launch of the secretary of state’s Legacy Project. Hughes, who was hired on as the project’s chief historian, spent weeks researching Novoselic’s life and spent several hours interviewing the musician at his home in Deep River, a few miles from Naselle.
The 89-page interview was released in its entirety on the secretary of state’s Web site last week. It also includes a four-page index.
The only previously unreleased song to come out since Kurt Cobain’s suicide in April 1994 was the single “You Know You’re Right.” The song was recorded in January of that same year. Novoselic told Hughes he had kept the master tape.
“‘You Know You’re Right’ was a big surprise with people,” Novoselic said. “I had that master tape stashed and I didn’t tell anybody.”
The song was eventually released in the fall of 2002, after years of legal wrangling between Novoselic, bandmate Dave Grohl, who later founded the Foo Fighters, and Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love.
“Are you on good terms with Courtney Love now?” Hughes asked Novoselic. “Is that a good thing?”
“Yeah, it’s a good thing,” Novoselic replied. “It’s not bad terms.”
Novoselic didn’t elaborate on just what kind of videos are in the archives or if there are any plans to distribute any of it.
Novoselic also refuted a popular notion that he balked at joining the Foo Fighters after Cobain died because he didn’t like the notion that it was like a second string to Nirvana.
“I didn’t balk at it at all,” Novoselic said. “No, Dave just went and did his own thing, and I did my thing. I think everybody was dealing with things. I was dealing with things in my way. And then Dave put a band together.”
During the interview, Novoselic said he truly couldn’t remember what he thought of Cobain the first time he met him. Both Novoselic and Cobain attended Aberdeen High School, but Novoselic was older.
He also said he knew “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would be successful. It’s the group’s seminal anthem off of the immensely popular “Nevermind” album.
“I remember when Butch Vig, our producer, put up the rough mixes of that song and he goes, ‘You’ve got to hear this tune.’ He’s just like cranking it up on the mixer. And I’m like, ‘Wow, yeah, that rocks.’”
Novoselic said he agreed with former Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg that Cobain was a genius. Goldberg’s recently released book was titled “Bumping into Geniuses.”
“Yes, he was a genius as far as the way he just made completely original expression. And he transitioned through mediums. It seemed (to happen) very easily. Like if you look at his paintings they’re very good. He can do like drawings and sketches.”
“The paintings are typical of the music he was doing,” Hughes replied.
“You can kind of see the same Kurt just kind of weird, kind of a little bent,” Novoselic agreed.
Novoselic said he did have some regrets more wasn’t done to prevent Cobain’s suicide.
“There’s anger,” he said. “There’s regrets. I was angry. It’s just a waste. You know it was the f—ing drugs. It’s pretty bad. All in 20-20 hindsight, you know. Kurt called me the first time he did heroin and he told me he did it. And I told him, ‘Don’t do it man. You’re playing with dynamite.’”
Novoselic said he’s never done heroin, only marijuana and alcohol.
“I’ve never seen heroin, but I’ve seen people on it,” he said. “And people fool themselves with all kinds of things – gambling, sex, denial, all kinds of things to get hung up on. There’s a whole romance about heroin.”
Meantime, besides his work for the Grays River Grange, a small book and his local political activism, Novoselic said he has been a DJ for an Astoria-based radio station, Coast Community Radio. He says he’s done the show for the past five years – four hours every other Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight. The shows are also broadcast online at http://www.coastradio.org.
His show is called “DJ K-No.”
He explains, “Like Jennifer Lopez is ‘J-Lo.’ Well, I’m K-No because I’m Krist Novoselic.
“It’s an eclectic show. I get into the groove, one thing follows another. And if I want to change the course of things I’ll play some spoken word to break things up.”
Novoselic said sometimes he takes music requests, but don’t ask him to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
“I never play Nirvana,” Novoselic said. “But I’ll play like Sweet 75 or Eyes Adrift,” two of his post-Nirvana bands. “I’ll play Foo Fighters.”
(via The Seattle PI)