Nevermind is one of the biggest albums of Nirvana’s discography, of the ’90s, and of all time. Dave Grohl says now that before it came out, though, he was in disbelief when friends told him the album would be popular.
“[Friends would say,] ‘Oh my God. You guys are going to be f*cking huge! We would go, ‘What? What are you talking about?’ Donita [Sparks] from L7 came by and said we were going to be f*cking 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 f*cking 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 f*cking way that is ever going to happen.'”
He went on to explain why he felt that way, saying that it was because what Nirvana was doing was so against the grain of the then-popular musical styles:
“You also have to remember what was popular [in music] at the time. It was Wilson Phillips, it was Mariah Carey and f*cking 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. But, you know, it all sounded great: the drum sound at [recording studio] Sound City, Butch Vig’s production. The band was tight and [Kurt Cobain’s] songs were f*cking great. 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 f*cking powerful, melodic and beautiful that you’re proud of [it] — and we were definitely proud of it.”
Meanwhile, the surviving members of the band have actually been recording new music, although it may never be heard by anybody but them.