Mudhoney Guitarist Reveals Why He ‘Didn’t Love’ Nirvana’s Nevermind


Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner discussed being asked about Kurt Cobain in numerous interviews over the years in a new Straight interview. He also criticized the slick production of Nirvana’s Nevermind.

“No, I mean—it’s part of our story, so of course it’s going to come up. We have a long history, and we’re very linked to that time, so there’s no getting around it. I do make note sometimes when we suddenly start getting lots of requests for interviews, and, y’know, we don’t have a new record out—and ‘Ohh, it’s the anniversary of Cobain’s death’ or of Nevermind or something. I suddenly get weird requests from overseas, and I warn the guys: ‘okay, I think we’re gonna get inundated with Kurt Cobain questions, here!’” Turner laughs easily. “But, y’know… it’s gonna happen.”

Did he like Nevermind? He pauses for a second before responding. “I did not love the way Nevermind sounded, when I first heard it, before it came out. They had done demos of a lot of the newer songs, maybe a year before that, which I thought were great, before they had [Dave] Grohl on drums even. So I’d lived with some of that stuff already.” Then he heard how it was going to sound on album: “it was a very commercial-sounding record, to my ears. It kinda still does [sound that way]; it has that gloss to it. It doesn’t diminish how great a band Nirvana was, but no, I did not love it. And when we were told that ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was the single, it was like – ‘that’s the single? Oh man! It’s too long, it’s…’” He trails off.

Andy Frisk recently published a review of Mudhoney’s new album Digital Garbage on Alternative Nation.

He wrote, “Mark Arm has never been afraid to sing about what’s on his mind, and his band Mudhoney’s staunch insistence on remaining low-fi, and low key, as far as the music industry is concerned, has lent them a special license to truly remain not only DIY, but free to do what they what. On their latest LP, Arm and Mudhoney continue do just that. Taking on the role of the court jester in the era of the mad king, Mudhoney engage in that special truth telling mischievousness granted to such by alternately blasting and poking fun at our current winter of discontent in America. Digital Garbage takes aim at everything from online suicide to mass shootings to sanctimonious “pieces of shit” (i.e. clergy) to adherents to the most American of religions, the prosperity gospel, to the President himself.