Dave Grohl revealed why he songwriting output in Nirvana was very limited in a new Washington Post interview.
Q: So you were in Nirvana with Kurt Cobain. But I was doing a brain twister, trying to think if there’s another example of a fellow who’s in a band where he plays drums or bass or whatever, and then he goes into another band later and that band is arguably more popular, bigger, and he’s writing the songs and singing them. Is there a point late in Nirvana where you’re thinking, “I’ve got all these songs. I’m like George Harrison here, how do I get them out?”
A: Well, it all goes back to that famous joke. What was the last thing the drummer said before he was kicked out of the band? “Hey, guys, I got a couple of songs I think we should play.” But listen, when you’re in a band with someone who’s arguably the best songwriter of that generation, you don’t really want to confuse the process with some “Yellow Submarine.” And it was not only an honor, but an incredible pleasure to play drums in Nirvana, because those songs, all they required was like disco drums on crack. Just make the biggest, most simple noise to push those songs through the speakers.
Grohl did have some songwriting credits in Nirvana, with his biggest being that he wrote all of the music for “Scentless Apprentice” off of In Utero, though Kurt Cobain wrote the lyrics.