Dave Grohl Thought It Was ‘Implausible’ Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Would Achieve Huge Success
As we now know it, Nirvana's Nevermind changed the face of music back in 1991, but Dave Grohl says he never envisioned the kind of success they'd achieve, even though friends were quick to praise the album ahead of its release.
Speaking with Uncut magazine, Grohl recalls a number of friends telling them that they were going to be huge. “We would go, ‘What? What are you talking about?'” the drummer continued. “Donita [Sparks] from L7 came by and said we were going to be fucking huge. My old friend Barrett Jones, who I had grown up with in Virginia, who was a musician and a producer himself, heard ‘Lithium’ and said we were going to be fucking huge. He thought ‘Lithium’ should be the first single."
“Everyone had these lofty opinions and I thought, ‘Well, it’s nice of you to say so, but there is no fucking way that is ever going to happen,’” adds Grohl.
It was easy to see why Grohl would have his doubts as he adds, "You also have to remember what was popular [in music] at the time. It was Wilson Phillips, it was Mariah Carey and fucking Bon Jovi. It was not bands like us. So it seemed totally implausible that we would ever even get close to that kind of success."
That said, Grohl said he knew the band had a great record on their hands. “It all sounded great: the drum sound at [recording studio] Sound City, Butch Vig’s production. The band was tight and Kurt’s songs were fucking great," recalls the drummer. "We would do one or two takes and maybe do an overdub here and there, Kurt would go in and do the vocal and it was crystal clear and so fucking powerful, melodic and beautiful that you’re proud of [it] – and we were definitely proud of it.”
Nevermind was Nirvana's second release. After a September 1991 release, buoyed by the success of radio and MTV hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the album finally hit No. 1 in January of 1992. The record would yield four singles with "Come As You Are," "Lithium" and "In Bloom" following. The album is now diamond certified in the U.S. with over 10 million albums sold.
Earlier this year, Dave Grohl revealed that the living members of the band - himself, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear - still get together and jam. "We don’t like run through a big old Nirvana setlist but we do like to fool around and sometimes as we’re fooling around, songs happen. And you know if we’re in a studio we’ll record them. So we’ve recorded some stuff that’s really cool. But we’ve never done anything with it. But to us, I think, to us, it’s, it’s more just like friends, jamming around, it doesn’t really seem like any sort of like big official reunion or anything," Grohl told Howard Stern.