Dave Grohl Says Being In Nirvana ‘Wasn’t Always A Bummer’

Richard ShotwellAP Images

Dave Grohl’s four-year stint in Nirvana came to an abrupt end in 1994 when lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide. And while the band’s brief reign was riddled with dark lyrics, drug drama, and rivalries with ’80s hard rockers like Axl Rose, when all was said and done there were some surprisingly lighthearted times too.

In a new interview with British GQ, Dave Grohl revealed that, despite popular belief among Nirvana fans that his time in the group “was a bummer,” it really wasn’t.

“It wasn’t always a bummer. There were times when it was so outrageously hilarious and fun. Kurt had an amazing sense of humor, and Krist Novoselic, if you’ve ever spent time with him, is one of the funniest people you’ve ever met.”

Of the misinterpretation that being in a band like Nirvana was a downer, the rocker told GQ that wasn’t the case.

“We weren’t miserable all the time. I mean, Kurt never once came off stage and said, ‘Nice show,’ which was a little weird. Everyone needs a pep talk every once in a while, right?”

Grohl described his time in Nirvana as a “personal revolution.”

“I was 21,” Dave said. “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.”

While there were fun times in Nirvana (as an example, Grohl said the bandmates once trekked to the most expensive steak house they could find “just to spend the record company’s money,” despite the fact that Kurt was a vegetarian), he admitted that being in the groundbreaking grunge band was also like “living in a loud, distorted version of Monty Python – when it gets dark it gets f—ing dark.”

After Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, Grohl revealed he couldn’t listen to any music, not just Nirvana songs, for a period of time. Dave said after his bandmate’s death, every time the radio came on, it broke his heart. Nearly 25 years later, Grohl admits he still can’t listen to Nirvana’s music and that while he can’t avoid hearing it in stores or in cars, he doesn’t ever listen to his former band’s music on his own.

“I don’t put Nirvana records on, no,” Dave revealed. “For me, it’s so personal. I remember everything about those records; I remember the shorts I was wearing when we recorded them or that it snowed that day.”

Take a look at the video below to see one of Nirvana’s “lighter” music videos.