With the anniversary of Nirvana’s In Utero coming up, a re-release is set to drop on September 24 featuring live recordings, demos, and previously unreleased versions of songs from the band’s final studio album.
NPR sat down with the two surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, to discuss the recording of In Utero, working with Steve Albini, and what it’s like to look back on the album now. The band also played a demo of “All Apologies” and unreleased versions of “Heart-Shaped Box” and “Serve The Servants.” A couple of highlights from the discussion:
Were there a lot of drugs and alcohol in the studio?
Novoselic: No, no!… I don’t remember even a beer, or pot. Nothing.
Grohl: I had stopped smoking pot, like, in 1990. So I was a sober guy. Plus, where the hell are you going to get weed in the middle of winter outside of Minneapolis? We weren’t making a record at Tuff Gong! I mean, we were focused; that’s the funny thing. I think maybe the reputation that Nirvana has is that we were three Sid Viciouses, Viciousuzzes, how would you pluralize that? Viscii?
Novoselic: It was kind of a family atmosphere.
On Kurt Cobain’s vision:
Novoselic: In Utero is a testament to the artistic vision of Kurt Cobain. It’s kind of a weird record, and it’s strangely beautiful at the same time. And if you look at Kurt’s paintings and his drawings—he even did a sculpture for me—it’s a rising, tortured-spirit person. It’s kind of weird. It’s done well, but it’s like what Dave was saying about having your own sound. Kurt was a great songwriter. He knew he had a good ear for a hook [and was] a great singer, great guitar player, and In Utero is a good representation of what he liked in art and how he expressed himself.
Read the whole thing here, and listen to the full show, including the unreleased recordings, below: