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View Full Version : Would we hate Nirvana?


BARONE
08-31-2006, 08:52 PM
This is a common question that I bring up around a friend of mine. I was going to blog this but I wanted to see what a few of you thought.

It's pretty safe to say the majority of us here do not enjoy bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, or otherwise faux-emo/pop punk bands.

My question is, if this were 1991, would we be part of the minority who despised Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. Bands that were creating something "new" that in reality hadn't been done a thousand times by bands hailing from the same region (north west).

It's a common perception that "emo" (however you define it) is a new genre created by the various shaggy haired rockers of victory records.

Does anyone think that in 10-15 years people will look back at the bands of today with the same kind of appreciation that many of us have for bands like Nirvana?

HaveFunDying
08-31-2006, 09:08 PM
Wait, is this a trap?

Anyway, in 10 to 15 years, we will look at the current emo pop crop the way we look at Poison and Winger. The emo look is much more comparable to hair metal than grunge or alternative rock.

There are plenty of people who think Poison and Winger were amazing, so I'm sure there will be plenty of people who think Fallout Boy were amazing.

If you don't understand why Nirvana doesn't belong in the same category as the aformentioned bands, I don't know how to explain it to you.

lokithelion
08-31-2006, 09:19 PM
I believe there are going to be bands from this era that will be remembered, but none that are the size of Nirvana. Personally I think Mewithoutyou and Modern Life is War are going to be remembered for injecting passion and faith into a scene that desperately needed it. Faith in your friends counts in my eyes.

Out of the massive bands I think the White Stripes and Flaming Lips will be remembered for being different when everyone else was the same. Also Nickleback is going to blow my kids mind.

HaveFunDying
08-31-2006, 09:22 PM
I do, however, think in 1994 I would have hated an overblown pompous bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, for the same reasons I hate Panic! at the Disco now, but I came around to the Pumpkins, and I don't see myself coming around to Panic!

lokithelion
08-31-2006, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by HaveFunDying
I do, however, think in 1994 I would have hated an overblown pompous bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, for the same reasons I hate Panic! at the Disco now, but I came around to the Pumpkins, and I don't see myself coming around to Panic!

The pumpkins were so fucking good up until Adore. Those first few records are untouchable.

HaveFunDying
08-31-2006, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by lokithelion
The pumpkins were so fucking good up until Adore. Those first few records are untouchable.

Siamese Dream is maybe my favorite record ever. I think Mellon Collie would have been so much better if they had just taken the better songs and made it one disc. Adore isn't great, but it's still better than 90 percent of mainstream rock now. Machina was a little embarassing though.

rawrchadrawr
08-31-2006, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by lokithelion
I believe there are going to be bands from this era that will be remembered, but none that are the size of Nirvana. Personally I think Mewithoutyou and Modern Life is War are going to be remembered for injecting passion and faith into a scene that desperately needed it. Faith in your friends counts in my eyes.

i think this is wishful thinking but i hope you are right. i was talking about this last week with someoen that said every band is going for being huge, and i questioned that by pointing out hardcore bands. he then explained that he meant in their seperate genre. example he used is that metalcore bands right now want to be remembered like earth crisis. however, the two bands you used are super young in their careers, and this could end up being a positive or a negative for them.

monsterriffs
08-31-2006, 09:46 PM
Wasn't grunge a response to hair metal? Because they hated how overblown and carbon copied it all became? Much like punk was a response to disco...

Because I was in 8th grade or so when Nirvana was in their hey-day, I can sort of recall how i felt about those bands at the time. I basically loved them because they were on the radio and didn't know any better. The problem was though, like anything corporate america gets a hold of, was that the radio took something genuine, played it to SHIT, encouraged copies of copies of copies (not a thursday reference) and diluted and allowed the schlock like korn and limp bizkit to be popularized. However, if I was older and I was a zine writer or editor at the time, I might be inclined to think "okay, Nirvana is alright, but Mudhoney was better at it..."

What is already happening is that the corporate labels have latched onto the trend and are exploiting what a few bands earlier in the decade and late 90s were doing well by promoting their carbon copies and diluting it. What we should be paying attention for are the bands that develop as a response to it.

lolz
08-31-2006, 09:54 PM
I liked Nirvana in elementary school until I heard Sonic Youth's "Diamond Sea" in 6th grade. I haven't enjoyed listening to Nirvana or any other grunge band (other than Mudhoney) since.

HaveFunDying
08-31-2006, 09:56 PM
I've never understood why Nirvana was considered a grunge band. Over half of their songs are pretty much standard punk rock.

Big_Guy
08-31-2006, 10:20 PM
^lol. where do you get this stuff?

HaveFunDying
08-31-2006, 10:29 PM
The Man Doll Spiders were DEFINITELY one of the better Riot Girl bands.

ModernDrunk
08-31-2006, 11:39 PM
When Nirvana broke the music industry was quite different than it is now. Looking back it seems that "grunge" was the first genre where the music inducstry had a light bulb appear over their head and started signing similar bands quite rapidly. I may very well be wrong, and I would like someone to correct me.


Now this has been proven to be profitable to the music industry and it has spiral to uncontrollable proportions.

Also, the rock star mythos has been completely ingrained into our collective consciousness as one of the pinnacles as to which to strive. The reason for making music has become twisted by this and therefore produces bands that may seem genuine but must always be questioned as to their intentions whenever they go to all lengths to become as "successful" as possible in the shortest possible time frame. Bands like Panic! who quite obviously capitalised on the fame of the Killers and the like immediately come to mind.

Yes Nirvana became popular quite quickly, but for some reason I can see/feel the sincerity in the music Cobain wrote and how he conducted himself throughout the clusterfuck that followed. I am tainted by nostalgia, but I stick to it nonetheless.

stayouttamalibu
08-31-2006, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by HaveFunDying
Wait, is this a trap?

Anyway, in 10 to 15 years, we will look at the current emo pop crop the way we look at Poison and Winger. The emo look is much more comparable to hair metal than grunge or alternative rock.

There are plenty of people who think Poison and Winger were amazing, so I'm sure there will be plenty of people who think Fallout Boy were amazing.

If you don't understand why Nirvana doesn't belong in the same category as the aformentioned bands, I don't know how to explain it to you.

the problem with that comparison is that most hair metal bands are actually comprised of legitimately talented musicians, whereas in my opinion the same can definitely not be said for the current emo pop crap.

Christopher
09-01-2006, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by ModernDrunk
When Nirvana broke the music industry was quite different than it is now. Looking back it seems that "grunge" was the first genre where the music inducstry had a light bulb appear over their head and started signing similar bands quite rapidly. I may very well be wrong, and I would like someone to correct me.



not really the case... it happened just one step prior with the hair metalers.

ModernDrunk
09-01-2006, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by stayouttamalibu
the problem with that comparison is that most hair metal bands are actually comprised of legitimately talented musicians, whereas in my opinion the same can definitely not be said for the current emo pop crap.

I don't know, I heard bands such as Motley Crue and Poison were considered hacks in their day. Obviously they may not be indicative of the bulk of the genre, but it was a problem as the number of those bands increased.

HaveFunDying
09-01-2006, 12:34 AM
It takes more than a sweet solo to write a good song though. I will agree that overall, musicianship was better, but I don't know that the overall song writing has changed that much (just different ways to dress up the I IV V VI chords).

rawrchadrawr
09-01-2006, 03:00 AM
oh and to address the question, i would probably hate nirvana today because i dont even like them now.

adam punknews.org
09-01-2006, 05:02 AM
I hated Nirvana back in the day.

Granted in 1991 I would have been 9 years old so I don't think I was really aware of them then, but after Kurt died I hated the way kids were reacting to it. I remember there was a batch of kids in my classes with grunge haircuts and matching "RIP Kurt" shirts. These guys were copying each other and trying to act out this "cool underachieving stoner delinquent" sort of character, and since I was a fairly timid geek kid it made me hate Nirvana just by association.

I assume if I was 12 years old now I'd be in the same boat and just hate the emo kids, but I doubt we're going to agree 10 years later that Panic! at the Disco had anything to contribute to society.

BARONE
09-01-2006, 05:31 AM
I was more wondering if something equivalent to Nirvana came out in this day and age and did away with all the poppy bullshit, would any of us buy it? I truly believe there has not been a significant band to shake the mainstream since Nirvana. There hasn't been a defining band for this generation. They waded through all that post grunge shit with shitty ripoffs and eventually rap-rock and now poppy emo stuff. Something has to give.

Simulacra
09-01-2006, 06:22 AM
Originally posted by XxBloodRedXx
I was more wondering if something equivalent to Nirvana came out in this day and age and did away with all the poppy bullshit, would any of us buy it? I truly believe there has not been a significant band to shake the mainstream since Nirvana. There hasn't been a defining band for this generation. They waded through all that post grunge shit with shitty ripoffs and eventually rap-rock and now poppy emo stuff. Something has to give.

Pop isn't bullshit if it's honest. Most of the bandwagon bands referenced aren't honest; their music isn't genuine. It's completely derivative. I'm sure that Nirvana had their influences, but Nirvana isn't directly derivative of other bands, especially those that may have directly preceded them within the "grunge movement" or whatever it was. And saying that Nirvana defined a generation is hyperbole, in my opinion.

MikeM
09-01-2006, 07:32 AM
I don't think well ever see a musical Zeitgeist like Nirvana again simply because of that series of tubes we call the internet. Things are spread too thin today (with anyone able to put their music online for millions of people to hear) that it seems unlikely that one band, or even a small group of similar bands, can come along and make a significant change. I could be wrong, but I really don't think nearly as many people are listening to the radio to discover new bands. Is there still good music being made? Of course. But it just seems unlikely that we'll ever see one that has such a huge impact again.

Oh, who am I kidding. Cute is what we Aim For is the next Nirvana.

Simulacra
09-01-2006, 07:55 AM
I'll concede this: Nirvana & similar bands of the day definitely got a lot of kids into making music, which certainly contributed to the volume of new music we have today.

jordan pastepunk
09-01-2006, 08:45 AM
Good thread... too many reactionary opinions here though, and it's a pretty complex question w/ a lot of variables. I'm going to punt, but at a minimum, if I was a punk and hardcore guy in the mid-to-late 80s and then saw Nirvana get huge a few years later and saw the mainstream press treating them as a some savior of rock music, I'd probably harbor some resentment.

BARONE
09-01-2006, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by jordan pastepunk
Good thread... too many reactionary opinions here though, and it's a pretty complex question w/ a lot of variables. I'm going to punt, but at a minimum, if I was a punk and hardcore guy in the mid-to-late 80s and then saw Nirvana get huge a few years later and saw the mainstream press treating them as a some savior of rock music, I'd probably harbor some resentment.
I agree. However, the cool thing about Nirvana is they were very self-depricating. They sold out in a very honest way, they admitted to being sell outs, at least Cobain did. If that makes any sense.

lokithelion
09-01-2006, 10:51 AM
HFD said it though, most of their tunes were punk songs. The went out of there way NOT to play to their crowd. I mean fuck, In Utero is one of the ugliest rock records ever and that was their follow up to fucking Nevermind. They could've made a slick record but went to Steve Albini and made an amazing yet fucked up burst of noise. Props forever

BARONE
09-01-2006, 10:54 AM
One main similarity you can draw between Nirvana and the current emo trend is the spin put on it by the hype machine (i.e. Rolling Stone, Spin, etc) as something that's new and exciting.

stayouttamalibu
09-01-2006, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by HaveFunDying
It takes more than a sweet solo to write a good song though. I will agree that overall, musicianship was better, but I don't know that the overall song writing has changed that much (just different ways to dress up the I IV V VI chords).

youre definitely right that it takes more than a sweet solo to write a good song, but i honestly think a good amount of hair metal bands in the 80s wrote some legitimately good songs, and they were usually talented across the board, not just sweet guitar solos. tommy lee is one of the most solid drummers ever. i guess my point is that i have yet to see a shred of talent in the current genre thats even close to any of those 80s dudes.

MikeM
09-01-2006, 12:18 PM
HFD and Loki are right on. I've always considered Nirvana a punk band more than anything. In Utero is such a killer album.

musical-monkey
09-01-2006, 02:21 PM
I personally think Nirvana was really overrated and I think now they would be hyped for a week and forgotten the next. The internet has totally change the playing field and lets kids discover music on their own.

BNO
09-01-2006, 02:34 PM
What I don't get is that if you listen to ANY popemo bands which I do, you automatically get lumped in with people who just got into MCR, FOB, and Panic!. I don't listen to those bands, I have a diverse taste in music, and hate being lumped into that category.

Its quite possible for someone to be into Motley Crue and Nirvana.

I don't think there is such a divide.

I'm not making sense but yes, everyone at punknews.org would hate nirvana.

JayG7582
09-03-2006, 12:26 AM
The whole grunge era in my opinion is kind of a hoax. The main players of that time period were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and the Smashing Pumpkins. None of those bands really sound alike (to me anyway) but got lumped together because most of them came from the same Seattle region. Of course they are going to dress somewhat similarly if they come from the same place.


Where as today, these emo-pop bands are all very similar and like-minded. They obviously have a goal of ambition and it just completely lacks the sincerity that the early to mid nineties bands had.


I forgot what the point of this thread was, I know I just ended up comparing the two eras.


And also most of those bands could actually play (or in Nirvana's case display great songwriting). I'm not seeing much of that w/ this current trend.


*edit* Oh right, now I remember the point. No, nobody should look back at these current bands with the same admiration as bands lke Nirvana.

BARONE
09-03-2006, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by JayG7582
The whole grunge era in my opinion is kind of a hoax. The main players of that time period were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and the Smashing Pumpkins. None of those bands really sound alike (to me anyway) but got lumped together because most of them came from the same Seattle region. Of course they are going to dress somewhat similarly if they come from the same place.


Where as today, these emo-pop bands are all very similar and like-minded. They obviously have a goal of ambition and it just completely lacks the sincerity that the early to mid nineties bands had.


I forgot what the point of this thread was, I know I just ended up comparing the two eras.


And also most of those bands could actually play (or in Nirvana's case display great songwriting). I'm not seeing much of that w/ this current trend.


*edit* Oh right, now I remember the point. No, nobody should look back at these current bands with the same admiration as bands lke Nirvana.

you're overlooking the bands that actually were the basis for "grunge". ie the mid to late 80's sub pop bands like The Melvins and Mudhoney.

Skapunk
09-03-2006, 05:08 PM
Territorial Pissings is pretty punk if you ask me, I dont see fall out boy doing that so thats my logic as to why circumstances are different.

HaveFunDying
09-03-2006, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Skapunk
Territorial Pissings is pretty punk if you ask me, I dont see fall out boy doing that so thats my logic as to why circumstances are different.

The majority of In Utero is "punker" than that song.

Skapunk
09-03-2006, 05:34 PM
I think tourrettes is the only one on in utero that is "punker"

HaveFunDying
09-03-2006, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Skapunk
I think tourrettes is the only one on in utero that is "punker"

I'm guessing we just have different opinions on what "punk" is. I think these songs are pretty punk though:

"Tourettes"
"Scentless Apprentice"
"Serve the Servants"
"Very Ape"
"Milk It"
"Radio Friendly Unit-Shifter"

Whipping Boy
09-03-2006, 08:44 PM
Do you like it? Would you listen to it out of your own volition? That's all that matters.

ModernDrunk
09-03-2006, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by Whipping Boy
Do you like it? Would you listen to it out of your own volition? That's all that matters.

Are you trying to kill the internet?

HaveFunDying
09-04-2006, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by Whipping Boy
Do you like it? Would you listen to it out of your own volition? That's all that matters.

I suspect this post was made only to satisfy the poster's desire to use the word 'volition.'

JayG7582
09-04-2006, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by XxBloodRedXx
you're overlooking the bands that actually were the basis for "grunge". ie the mid to late 80's sub pop bands like The Melvins and Mudhoney.



this is true, but I'm talking about the more mainstream players. But even bands like Mudhoney and the Melvins work for my same argument. When most people think of grunge, they think of the early-mid 90's bands.

Fuzzy
09-04-2006, 02:35 PM
Nirvana wasn't the last band to shake the mainstream, in fact I'd say that Green Day may have done it moreso. While Nirvana took the mainstream away from cock-rock, Green Day made music a lot more fun again, when everyone was oh-so-depressed and wearing flannel shirts (myself included). While both still feel their effects today, I'd say that Green Day's lasting impression with bands like Blink182 and even the subsequent wave of Good Charlottes and whathaveyous being able to trace their lineage and reason for being signed back to the them.

And don't get me wrong, Nirvana changed the face of popular music but it's hard to really say if we'd hate them today since I'd say none of us have real, firsthand knowledge of their scene pre-blowup. We don't know what choices they made or the way they presented themselves to the underground at the time.

Mikey216
09-04-2006, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by Fuzzy
Nirvana wasn't the last band to shake the mainstream, in fact I'd say that Green Day may have done it moreso. While Nirvana took the mainstream away from cock-rock, Green Day made music a lot more fun again, when everyone was oh-so-depressed and wearing flannel shirts (myself included). While both still feel their effects today, I'd say that Green Day's lasting impression with bands like Blink182 and even the subsequent wave of Good Charlottes and whathaveyous being able to trace their lineage and reason for being signed back to the them.

And don't get me wrong, Nirvana changed the face of popular music but it's hard to really say if we'd hate them today since I'd say none of us have real, firsthand knowledge of their scene pre-blowup. We don't know what choices they made or the way they presented themselves to the underground at the time.

I think a major reason a band like Green Day was able to head the next wave of music was because of the popularity of bands like Nirvana in mainstream music. You could also factor in Kurt's death into that equation, had he not died, it would be interesting to see how much longer that scene would have lasted in the limelight. This isn't to say that certain bands of that era didn't enjoy sucess after Kurt's death, but I feel that even dealt a major blow to the alternative movement

The grunge movement was too specific to Seattle, where as the alternative movement or "college rock" was indicative of a multitude of bands from all over playing similar but still very different styles of music: Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, REM, Meat Puppets, Janes Addiction, Chili Peppers, etc... among others. Due to the popularity of these "alternative" bands, a wide variety of different sub-genres that were lumped in with alternative and college rock were given a chance in limelight: Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, The Offspring, etc...

I don't know where I'm going with this. It doesn't really answer the original question. Nirvana was a great band, Panic! at the Disco is shite. If they're considered groundbreaking and essential in 20 years, then music is fucked.

ModernDrunk
09-04-2006, 11:44 PM
You brought up some very relevant points.

I think you are correct in postulating that the popularity of Nirvana made it easier for other "alternative" bands to be signed to majors and be brought into the mainstream consciousness.

It should definately be agreed upon that the major/mainstream music industry would not be the same without the success of Nirvana.

Whether it was for the better or worse is a whole other argument.

BARONE
09-05-2006, 08:46 AM
after Kurt's death there was almost an immediate decline in the momentum that Nirvana had built. You had majors trying to fill the void with bands like Bush and other shit like that and it just didn't add up. After that came Rap-Rock in full force.

09-06-2006, 06:00 PM
Great topic. I never post, but this caught my eye due to the fact that I live in Seattle and posed a similar question on a now defunct Northwest Punk message board.

There were a lot of old timers on that board that had been into punk since the early 80s, some of which saw Nirvana play in people's living rooms. I was curious if people in the punk scene at the time hated them or loved em. To my surprise, they had nothing but good things to say about the band and the effect they had on the music scene here. Guys who are skins now had long black hair back then; it was definitely a different time. Try and find the film "1991 - The Year Punk Broke", it's pretty damn good.

Nirvana was the band that completely opened up the world of punk and alternative when I was in high school, so I'm completely biased as to how I think I'd feel about it these days. I think one thing that made such a huge impact was the fact that labels started seeking out music scenes based on region, looking for the "next Seattle". That's definitely the case with the East Bay (Green Day, Rancid, Jawbreaker, etc.). When I lived in San Diego, they had an annual May Day festival showcasing local bands and it was geared specifically to record labels looking to sign. I remember walking out on Jewel and seeing the lead singer of Unwritten Law trying to convince security that he was "in a band and desperately needed to get in to play". Funny stuff.