Nirvana Bassist Reveals If Band Really Hated Pearl Jam


Krist Novoselic shot down the idea of Nirvana and Pearl Jam being involved in a bitter rivalry in the 90’s in a new Washington Post article. Kurt Cobain was critical of Pearl Jam’s music for being too commercial in the 90’s.

Courtney Love discussed the rivalry in a NatGeo TV interview a few years ago.

“I think there was a rivalry involved in the Northwest as well, definitely there was a rivalry between the boys. Chris Cornell, Mark Arm, Eddie Vedder, and Kurt, there was a rivalry. There was a rivalry to have your voice be heard, and be successful, but to have your voice be heard. I remember when Pearl Jam beat Nirvana onto the cover of Time, and that pissed Kurt off, let me tell you.”

Steve Turner told the Washington Post, “[Nirvana was] already kind of struggling when we toured with them. There didn’t seem to be anybody in charge. It didn’t seem like there was a lot of communication between management, band and the important people involved. It just seemed like it was kind of happening, regardless of what the guys wanted.

When we went on tour with Pearl Jam, it was kind of night and day. Pearl Jam was really organized and really friendly and fun, and they were really stoked with what was going on, and they surrounded themselves with good people. It made me look at the Nirvana thing even more like, ‘Man, it’s a shame they can’t get their [act] together like Pearl Jam.'”

Billig Rich said, “Everybody thought they were like, against each other, and there was negativity, and that’s so not the case at all. They were all cut from the same cloth.”

Novoselic said, “I don’t know if there was a rivalry. We just kind of did our own things.”

  • Stone Gossardish

    This is kinda of an old story now but it’s fun that details keep dripping out. Kurt was pretty clearly a bit jealous, and tried to use that as a marketing edge at the time. It’s well documented in the best book written about him. Of course, there was also the “make up” session we saw in PJ20.

    It’s amazing how it’s all gone since then. It’s too bad Nirvana didn’t get to extend their break up at the time of Kurt’s death. It would’ve been interesting if they ever got it together, ever did more records, and ever played long great shows. I’m not sure they would’ve. It felt like that had basically come to and end and that Cobain would’ve gone solo. It’s sad that Pearl Jam is really the only survivor of that era.

    • Berkeley5th

      Yes, Nirvana unfortunately was coming to an end anyways. Pearl Jam always felt like (and proved it) that they just had staying power, that had whatever it takes to face the good times and the bad, make great music from the experience and move forward together. Kurt had written in journals something along the lines of going solo and doing “Neil Young-type” music

      • Stone Gossardish

        It’s ironic as Pearl Jam not only made some NY type music, they made a record with him.

        It’s too bad. I think Kurt could’ve had a very interesting solo career. Really amazing stuff he might have cooked up.

        Gone, gone…the damage done

  • Olga Stewart

    I definitely take Courtney’s words with a grain of salt.

    And that’s being kind about it.

  • theseeker7

    god Courtney’s so full of shit. so, basically just another day ending in “y”.

    Neither PJ nor Nirvana wanted to have anything to do with the Time article, very much by design they didn’t participate in any interview process or even giving a simple quote. Then Ed kinda felt betrayed by them a little when they went ahead and put him on the cover anyway.

  • Mike

    Going to put this site on ignore. Way, way too many clickbait headlines that doesn’t match the article. For example, in the last fucking paragraph, the Nirvana bassist literally said “I don’t know”.

    Just happens way more than someone who does this for a living should do. This is shit a grade 8 English teacher would call out.

  • Raj

    Big, organized clean is basically everything Kurt didn’t stand for. That applied to everything. Two completely different bands. Both Vedder and Cobain discussed the Time cover and both didn’t want to be on it.