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20 Musicians Discuss Nirvana's Nevermind

September 22, 2011  |  8:45am
20 Musicians Discuss Nirvana's <i>Nevermind</i>
16. Carter Tanton
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What age did you first discover Nevermind?

How did Nevermind impact your life?

We know Kurt felt somewhat ashamed of the production on the record. Still, when I listen to it these days, aside from maybe a hair too much chorus effect on the guitars (but is there such a thing really?), all i hear is very loud guitars, even louder drums and some of the most oddly musical bass lines put to tape in the 90’s. I think what he was really embarrassed about was how perfect the record sounded. I love Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re living All Over Me with near equal passion but those drums are flat and its overall mix is not as happening as Nevermind’s. I mean, listen to the first few seconds of “On A Plain” to hear that instant before the wall of guitars enter. It’s huge. Loveless huge. It didn’t sound like an SST or SUB POP record. On Nevermind, Nirvana fought fire with fire. To spare a generation of kids from cock rock and power ballads, they slicked up their sound, doubled the vocals, tuned the drums and even used the vocal melody of “Teen Spirit” for the guitar solo. Nothing to be ashamed of…

17. Marcus Joons
Korallreven
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What age did you first discover Nevermind?
It was the very first record I bought with my own money. I guess I was 8 or 9 and I got it in
the most boring mall you can imagine in the small town in the Swedish countryside where I grew up. To be honest I kinda hate the iconization of rock records but when it comes to Nevermind it feels OK. I never fell for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (and it still feels like an anthem for dudes who loved and maybe still love Beavis & Butthead), but all the other tracks blew me away and it made me want to dress how I felt instead of what my mum had prepared for me.

How did Nevermind impact your life?
There’s so much LIFE in there. Just so much FEELINGS. And FREEDOM.
This, those feelings, is pretty much exactly where I wanna go with our music even though it never ever will sound like Nirvana. Oh, and I forgot their COURAGE. They dared to challenge themselves and to do that famous MTV Unplugged where Kurt Cobain-far away from the myth, the drugs, the grunge, the Courtney Love etc.—just showed what an incredible SONGWRITER he was.

18. Nate Dykstra
Hunting Club
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What age did you first discover Nevermind?
First discovered Nevermind at the age of 11 thanks to some good friends’ recommendations.

How did Nevermind impact your life?
Nevermind had a truly amazing impact on me not only musically, but also personally. It’s truly the first album that made me enjoy and appreciate music beyond late 80’s and early 90’s hip-hop. It was the first guitar and live drum driven record that really resonated with me. This lead me to want to pick up the guitar for the first time, which eventually lead to me joining some friends in my first band at the age of 13. This has obviously lead to me continuing to play music and in bands to this day. Also, those friends I first played with back then are still some of my best friends to this day. I truly owe a lot of this to falling in love with Nirvana’s Nevermind.

19. Jerry DePizzo
O.A.R.
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What age did you first discover Nevermind?
As a teenager.

“The first record I ever bought was Nevermind and it defined my adolescence. It flipped a switch inside of me. I remember watching “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on MTV and thinking “this is what I want to be.” I took all of my dad’s flannel shirts, bought a pair of Doc Martens, and attempted several times, all failures mind you, to dye my hair with Kool-Aid. I mowed a lot of lawns and flipped about a million burgers to buy a Fender Mustang like Cobain, and with it, I learned every part of every song—-on bass and drums too. For me, Nirvana was three guys that could have lived down the street from me making music and literally turning popular music on its side. They unseated the “King of Pop!” What more can you say? Nirvana is my Beatles and I still want to be Dave Grohl when I grow up.”

20. Jeff Gitelman
The Stepkids
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What age did you first discover Nevermind?
I first fell in love with Nevermind at age 10.

How did Nevermind impact your life?
It was songwriting that was comparable to The Beatles, but for my generation. Plus the avant-garde element was really appealing… There were lots of big songs on that album, it feels like every song was a single just like a Beatles album.

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