DAVE GROHL Says There Was 'A Lot Of Dark Shit' In NIRVANA Before COBAIN's Suicide

July 18, 2005

Rolling Stone magazine recently conducted an in-depth interview with former NIRVANA drummer (and current FOO FIGHTERS frontman) Dave Grohl. An excerpt from the interview follows:

Rolling Stone: In his 1994 Rolling Stone interview, Kurt [Cobain] talked about your need for reassurance. You were popular in high school, played in all sorts of bands.... What was it about NIRVANA, or Kurt, that made you so insecure?

Dave Grohl: "When I joined NIRVANA I was the fifth or sixth drummer — I don't know if they'd ever had a drummer they were totally happy with. And they were strangers. There was never much of a deeper connection outside of the music.

"Krist [Novoselic] and Kurt had a legendary lifetime connection. Those guys were soulmates. They'd been through so much together, from Aberdeen to the success of 'Nevermind'. They fuckin' shared everything, and they were the kind of friends that didn't have to talk to each other — they just knew. I never really shared that moment with them because I came from such a different place, and within eight months to a year of being in NIRVANA, the band blew up into something that no one had expected. It was hard to connect with anybody when that happened.

"I don't think I've ever told anyone this, but there were times when Kurt was really unhappy with the way I played drums. I could hear him talking about how much he thought I sucked. But he'd never say it to me. If I'd confront him about it — 'Is there a problem? If you want me to leave, just ask' — he'd say, 'No, no, no.' Most of that happened later, around 'In Utero'. That's when I think Kurt became unhappy with what was happening with the band.

"Kurt was so many different things. He was funny or shy or this outgoing, larger-than-life persona. He could be sweet or he could be fucking wicked. He could be intimidating. I thought I was a decent drummer, but I didn't know if I was good enough to be doing this thing, this big deal. I didn't imagine myself a world-class drummer. I was the same fucking drummer that was in SCREAM, or playing on my bed. All the pressure....

"I can't think of one show that I ever played with that band where we walked offstage and said, 'That was great.' Never one. Only two times did I get any reassurance from Kurt. Once when I joined the band, in 1990, we were drunk at some disco in England, and Kurt came up and said, 'I'm so glad you're in this band. I'm so glad you're down-to-earth.' I was like, 'Wow!' The next time was in late '93 or early '94 when I came home and turned on my message machine and had a message from Kurt that said, 'Y'know, I was just sitting here listening to 'In Utero', and your drumming is so awesome. You did such a great job!' I was like, 'Wow!' Those two things were spread out by about four years [laughs]."

Rolling Stone: What was that last year like?

Dave Grohl: "You just never knew. There were times when the room was lit up with energy and happiness, and there were times when the vibe was like the fucking plague. The last year, being in that band was rough. There was a whole lot of dark shit going on. At that point I was living this wonderful, healthy life outside the band, but when I'd enter a band environment, that all changed. It wasn't a lot of fun. But when Pat Smear joined the band, it changed everything. We went from being fucking sulking dirtbags to kids again. It changed our world. He's the sweetest person in the world. He became really close with Kurt. There was laughter."

Read the entire interview at RollingStone.com.

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