Kurt Cobain and Nirvana made a lasting impact on the landscape of music, and that they made the same type of impact on their fans. And some of those fans went on to become musicians in their own right. Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler was one of those fans, and he recently shared his thoughts on Cobain, Nirvana, and what they meant to him — first as a kid growing up in Texas, and then as a musician trying to operate in the same public sphere that haunted Cobain.
Butler remembers what it was like the first time he heard Nevermind in 1991:
“All the sudden the whole kind of social dynamic at my junior high changed where these kind of misfit kids who maybe come from a broken home and they’re smoking cigarettes in the back and they didn’t have money for nice clothes, all the sudden those kids socially were in a weird way on the same level as everyone else. I was sort of like a weird kid who didn’t know where I fit in or whatever and just to have that kind of voice be that big in culture, I feel like that was a magical period of alternative music where we had Jane’s Addiction and R.E.M. and Nirvana, it was like seeing these kind of freaks from all the different cities of North America and you’re like, oh wow.”
After the dust settled from their Grammy win in 2010, Butler and Arcade Fire found themselves thinking about In Utero:
“Imagine Nirvana having the biggest record in the world and spending nine days and coming back with this super-raw album with pretty acoustic songs and crazy metal songs, I don’t know, just artistically In Utero was a constant source of inspiration. It stands the test of time so well, and “All Apologies” is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, I think.”
Billy Joe Armstrong, Beck, and Neil Young also weighed in on Cobain and Nirvana, you can read their comments in the full story from the Associated Press.