Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic look back on the 20th anniversary of Nevermind

By Tim Nudd and Pearl Chen
Updated September 26, 2011 02:30 PM
Chris Cuffaro

When Kurt Cobain killed himself on April 5, 1994, he left behind two shell-shocked musicians who suddenly lost a close friend – but not their desire to make music.

“I remember the day after Kurt died, waking up and thinking, ‘Wow, I get to wake up again. Okay. Make good with what you’ve got,’ ” Dave Grohl said Saturday in a radio interview with Jon Stewart to mark the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s seminal album Nevermind.

Asked if he thought he wouldn’t be able to enjoy music again, Krist Novoselic said he had felt the opposite. “It was so much reality,” Novoselic said, and he recalled thinking to himself: “No, I’m going to live.”

But of course, Grohl, 42, and Novoselic, 46, Nirvana’s drummer and bassist, would never forget their friend, who was just 27 when he died.

“Kurt could be really mellow and sweet, and then he would just flip. Just be, like, really intense,” Novoselic said. “So, that’s a lot of Nevermind‘s and Nirvana’s music. It was Kurt’s intensity captured through the music.”

At the end of the interview, Novoselic added: “I wish Kurt was here. It’s a big hole.”

Still, the interview, broadcast on Sirius XM, wasn’t all doom and gloom. “There’s a popular misconception that the band just traveled with a black cloud over our head all the time,” Grohl said. “But it was so not that way.”

Nevermind producer Butch Vig recalled Novoselic’s attempts to meet Lenny Kravitz. During one rehearsal, Kravitz happened to be playing in the studio next door.

“And all of a sudden you hear over the microphone: ‘Would Lenny Kravitz please come to the office?’ ” Vig recalled, imitating Novoselic’s crackly, nasal broadcasting voice. “Krist had broken into the office and grabbed the microphone.”

Another fond memory involved Cindy Crawford. “I was at the MTV Video Music Awards, and I had this beer,” recalls Novoselic. “And Cindy’s like, ‘What you got there?’ I’m like, ‘Beeeeer.’ And she took a hit off of it.”

As the studio audience cheered, Stewart joked, “You totally made out with Cindy Crawford. Same glass. That counts.”