ABERDEEN, WA – Local Certified Public Accountant Krist Novoselic is getting his old band back together. “We had a pretty good thing going back in ’90, 91,” says Novoselic, 53, who is a senior partner at Prezler, Larner, Novoselic & Co, LLP, “and I think it’ll be pretty fun to get back together with the guys to rekindle a little of what we had going on.”
Although Novoselic gave up his dreams of making it big in music, he’s still passionate about the art form, taking out his bass to play along with classic hits every few weeks and even jam with his nephew Jeremy. “I ran into [former bandmate] Dave [Grohl] when I was getting the oil changed on my Corolla at Advanced Automotive. Turns out he’s the Service Manager, and I had some time to kill while I waited. We started talking about the old band, and it got me thinking.”
Novoselic started the band Nirvana with drummer Grohl and singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1990, and played a series of local gigs before ultimately disbanding in 1994. The band recorded three albums in Grohl’s garage and achieved modest success in the Aberdeen area after being featured on Grey’s Harbor College Radio. “I had a buddy of mine in the broadcasting practicum at GHC, so I gave him a tape of our song Smells Like Teen Spirit and he played it a few times. We got booked a couple of house parties, and things kind of took off from there.”
Nirvana’s biggest success came in 1992 when they were invited to open for The Melvins, a Montesano-based rock band, at the Grey’s Harbor County Fair. “It was incredible,” recalls Novoselic “we were up there on this stage in front of dozens of people, and you could feel the energy. It’s a feeling that’s hard to come by in the world of accounting.”
Although he’s largely been out of the music world for the last quarter century, Novoselic is looking forward to performing again, although he feels this time will be different. “Back in the 90’s, it was all about the partying, the girls. We’d put away a 6-pack during a rehearsal and, I’m not sure if I should say, well, sometimes a joint would be passed around. Things got pretty crazy,” Novoselic admits. “Then Kurt married Courtney and had Frances, and at some point, you have to settle down, and balancing work, music, and a family got to be too much for Kurt, so we all had to make some tough choices. It was certainly fun while it lasted”.
Cobain, considered the front man of the group, eventually settled in Tacoma and now works for the US Postal Service. “I hadn’t talked to Kurt since the band broke up, but it turns out Dave and him still talk from time to time and have toyed with the idea of getting together to make some music. Frances is grown now, and Tacoma’s only an hour away. We plan on getting together every other weekend or so and see what we can come up with. Plus my brother-in-law runs a bar in Olympia that has live music on the weekends, and he says we’ve got a gig there when we want it.”
Asked whether they’d perform original music, Novoselic was quick to say “I thought we had some good tunes, but I doubt if anyone remembers any of them. I think we’re safer covering some of old classics from Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and STP [Stone Temple Pilots] that people will recognize. Folks have a certain reaction to that music, that nostalgia, and I think it’ll be great evoking some of that emotion. It was an exciting time for music in the ’90s, and I think people can still relate to much of it.
Novoselic doesn’t have any regrets of his experience. “We were naïve, we thought we’d be rockstars. I worked 30, 40 hours at Little Caesars, spend all my money on a new bass, or a new amp, rehearse in our free time and then make maybe 30 bucks for a show, if we were lucky. Yeah, I would have loved if it had worked out, but at the end of the day you have to think about college, about building a family, about a career.” When questioned about if he thought things would be different this time, Novoselic added “absolutely, so much different. This is for fun, this is to get out there, make people smile, have a good time. I have a great career now, nice house, all that. This is simply the creative outlet I’ve been lacking”.
Nirvana has confirmed that they’ll be appearing at the Westside Tavern in Olympia on November 30th and at Galway Bay in Aberdeen on December 8th. More information can be found on their Facebook page.