Dave Grohl Said Playing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Again At Cal Jam Was Like ‘Being Shot Into Outer Space’

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Nirvana can’t ever really get back together. The tragic loss of their frontman Kurt Cobain back in 1994 really kind of rules that out, but that doesn’t mean the surviving members can’t get together every once in a while and play some of their most beloved songs live again. That’s exactly what happened just a few weeks back at Foo Fighters Cal Jam Festival, when Dave Grohl got back behind the drum kit and invited his buddy, bassist Krist Novoselic out at the end of their set.

In a new interview with Kerrang! both Grohl and Novoselic talked about what it was like to play Nirvana songs again for a massive audience. “After we played the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I considered the idea that, if there was an opportunity, we could do it again”, Grohl said. “But it’s delicate territory, and you can’t treat it like just another show. It’s very complicated, and very special. In those moments, when it just happens naturally, I think is the best way.”

He went on to describe the sensation of playing that band’s biggest hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” like “being shot into outer space. Being able to play that drum fill and break into the chorus…it’s spiritual, physical, emotional.” Novoselic added that “personally, it was great to play with those guys again, and to play those songs.”

Check out footage of Grohl and Novoselic, along with guitarist Pat Smear playing Nirvana songs fronted by Joan Jett and Deer Tick’s John McCauley below.