An updated version of Paul Brannigan’s 2011 biography This Is A Call: The Life And Times Of Dave Grohl is on the way, and in an excerpt shared by Louder (as NME notes), Grohl says that In Utero “makes [his] skin crawl.” He noted:
“That album captured a moment in time for the band, and it’s definitely an accurate representation of the time… which was dark. It’s a f*cking dark album. I don’t like listening to that record. It’s a weird one for me. I hear songs on the radio every once in a while, and I like the sonic difference of hearing ‘All Apologies’ or ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ come on in the middle of a bunch of compressed, Pro-Tooled modern rock radio music, because it stands out, but lyrically and conceptually it’s not something that I like to revisit too often. But maybe what I love the most about that album is the sound of urgency, and the sound of the three of us in a room playing.”
He went on to speak about how In Utero was a response to the hugely successful Nevermind, saying:
“Nevermind and In Utero are two totally different albums. Nevermind was intentional, as much as any revisionists might say it was a contrived version of Nirvana, it wasn’t: we went down there to make that record, we rehearsed hours and hours and hours, day after day, to get to Nevermind. But In Utero was so different. There was no labored process, it was just… bleurgh… it just came out, like a purge, and it was so pure and natural.
And both of those things I’m very proud of, the structured exercise of making an album like Nevermind versus the reckless purge of making an album like In Utero. If you can make one of those albums in your lifetime, you’re lucky: we got two in a row, and that’s awesome.
Obviously In Utero was a direct response to the success and sound of Nevermind. We just pushed ourselves in the other direction, like, ‘Oh really, that’s what you like? Well, here’s what we’re going to f*cking do now!’ But it is a hard album for me to listen to from front to back. Because it’s so real, and because it’s such an accurate representation of the band at the time, it brings back other memories, it kinda makes my skin crawl.
It’s funny: I spend a lot of my time planning things to come, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking back on things I’ve done. But In Utero, man, what a trip.”
Meanwhile, Nevermind is currently at the center of a lawsuit levied by the guy who appeared on the cover as a baby.