Updated: Nov 6, 2022
Here's another interview from 2006 that's worthy of a new home. I was pleased to find that Phil and the band are still making music (as well as being involved with numerous side projects).
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's Phil Dickey and I have been exchanging e-mails for a while now. When I sent him a link to my old music blog (Rock Sellout), one of the first things that became evident to him was my love of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. The interview that we had been working on shape-shifted over the course of our next couple of exchanges. Here are the results:
If you were to cover one Nirvana song, which would you choose and why?
We covered "Been A Son" on our September tour…it’s half-punk rock and half-Beatles. We don’t have any recordings, though. 2022: They covered "Stain" since then (which is shared below). They also recorded "Negative Creep" at the same studio that 'Bleach' was recorded at (Reciprocal Recording) which will appear on a Polyvinyl Records release at some point according to Phil.
Suppose you met someone who was unfamiliar with Nirvana…what 3 songs would you turn them on to?
A couple months ago I wanted someone to like Nirvana, so I wrote a huge paper and made a mix CD to go with it. I wish you could do stuff like that in school. It had a thesis and everything. I think I can remember the track list…
"Negative Creep" "About A Girl" "Lounge Act" "On A Plain" "Sliver" "Molly’s Lips" "Son Of A Gun" "Serve The Servants" "All Apologies" "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" "Drain You" (live in Italy..2 months before he died)
Click here to listen on Deezer.
Courtney Love claims that one of the songs on ‘Nevermind’ was written about her? Which song do you think it is?
I have no idea. I mostly think about Tobi Vail (his ex) when I hear 'Nevermind'.
Why do you think people connected so much with Kurt?
Actually, I think that’s the whole problem…no one really connects with him. And then he sorta becomes a religious figure…you can adapt to your own ideas and that’s who he becomes. I think people want to connect with him because he sounds so angry and he was a badass. But he’s really just like every other person in the world who gets angry…anger is so internal and jumbled. His lyrics aren’t like journal entries…he gives you clues and you can try to figure things out. He was a character. That’s why I like thinking about him. Sorry, I know that’s a little incoherent.
Do you think Kurt Cobain wrote the album ‘Live Through This’? Do you think the rumors that Nirvana recorded it in its entirety are true?
Another thing I’m really not sure about. Will (our guitarist) doesn’t think so.
Did you ever meet Kurt? Have you heard any stories from someone who has?
Nope. We met a bunch of people on tour who knew him. Lori, the drummer from Babes in Toyland, had the coolest stories. We met her in Minnesota.
On XFM in a 2006 countdown of the 140 best songs ever written, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” finished as number 1. What are your thoughts regarding this?
That song is so good on so many levels. To me, the coolest thing about it - and about a lot of Kurt’s writing - is that it doesn’t use any minor chords. It’s so angry, but it’s all happy chords. It would sound so pretty if an orchestra played it.
Truth or rumor: Before his death, Kurt disbanded Nirvana and was in the process of divorcing Courtney.
If they didn’t disband, it sure sounds like they were going to. I’d like to think that Kurt was going to take a break, get excited about something other than heroin, and then make new art. Oh, and dump Courtney.
Using a song title or lyric, what Nirvana reference would make a great band name?!
I’m awful at naming bands.