#1 How Nirvana Changed My Life
I grew up in a very musical household: My Mum was a singer, singing in pubs and clubs, my Dad would always be playing music like The Eagles, Smokie and The Bee Gees, one of my sisters would always be blasting whatever was in the charts at the time and my eldest sister loved rock, rap and even some 80's hair metal.
It was her that first introduced me to Nirvana's album; 'Nevermind'. I was immediately hooked in, songs like 'In Bloom' and 'Come As You Are' gripped me straight away. I felt like I was hearing something brand new but at the same time, something that felt so familiar to me. I think Kurt actually taps into this feeling with the lyrics in 'On A Plain': ""Somewhere I have heard this before, in a dream my memory has stored"
I was a kid at the time and probably only just discovering music, but there were some key things that had my attention from the off, the powerful sound, the simple yet effective chords and chord structures, the words and phrasing used in the lyrics, the imagery and metaphors and the sound of Kurt's vocal. All these things stood out to me and I would play the album on repeat from beginning to end, over and over again. It also amazed me that this was heavier music than I'd been used to hearing, but still somehow managed to use Pop Music formulas and structures.
My sister then informed me of the tragic circumstances in which Kurt had lost his life not that long ago, this just then amplified all those feelings that I got from the songs in the first place. Even at a young age, I remember thinking that I was getting an inside look into the thoughts and feelings of a very troubled soul, but this just made me want to listen even more.
A friend of mine had a guitar and we would try for hours to learn the songs from 'Nevermind' to no avail, but I think this was definitely the time that I knew I was going to be a musician.
My sister then got hold of a copy of 'In Utero', she told me that this was the last album he made before he passed away. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, such a dark and sad record, but so powerful and inspiring. The words: "I miss the comfort in being sad" still gives me chills every time I hear 'Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle'.
By this point I had got my own guitar and had tried a few different teachers, but I was getting bored with all the chord names and pentatonic scales. A friend of my sister's had said he could teach me Nirvana songs and that was great at the time, because that's all I wanted to do. He taught me what power chords were along with most of my favourite songs from 'Nevermind' and 'In Utero' and that was the beginning for me.
I still use power chords to this day, there's something so simple and raw about them and they work well with the songs that I write.
After that, I got the albums 'Bleach', 'Incesticide', a pretty rare copy at the time of 'Outcesticide' and all the other bootleg stuff in between.
I'm still a massive Nirvana fan to this day and I know everyone is always biased towards the band or artist that made them fall in love with Music, but I think Nirvana were definitely game changers in the music industry, & even though it's not completely noticeable in my own music, the influence is definitely always there.