Nirvana was active for about seven years but it was enough to cause a huge impact in the course of Rock and Roll, especially with the release of their groundbreaking and best-selling album “Nevermind” in 1991. Kurt Cobain, the band’s vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter had a broad musical taste, especially when it came to undeground bands that were not in the spotlight of the mainstream.
During his short career he talked about many of those groups he loved and Nirvana even took some of them on tour. One of those bands Cobain even said that was so good that made him cry.
The band Kurt Cobain said was so good that made him cry
The Nirvana frontman loved Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal but one of his favorite genres was Punk Rock. In 1992, when his group already was one the biggest in the world, Cobain listed to Melody Maker magazine some of his favorite albums at that time. One of the records mentioned was “Burning Farm”, released in 1983 by the Japanese Punk group Shonen Knife.
“Eventually, after a week of listening to it every day, I just started crying. I just couldn’t believe that three people from a totally different culture could write songs as good as those. Because I’d never heard any other Japanese music or artist who ever came up with anything good. Everything about them is just so fucking endearing. I’m sure that I was twice as nervous to meet them as they were to meet us,” Kurt Cobain said.
The band was formed in Osaka, Japan in 1981 and that was their second album. Cobain was such a big fan of them that invited the group to be Nirvana’s opening act in 1991 during a tour in Europe. At the time he said: “When I finally got to see them live, I was transformed into a hysterical nine-year-old girl at a Beatles concert.”
Two years later in 1993 they were the band’s opening act again during a tour across the United States. In an interview with MTV (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) at the time, the band members recalled watching the Japanese group.
Dave Grohl said: “They went into their first song and everyone seemed sort of baffled. (But) next couple songs, they won the audience by the end of the night. Every show people were almost in tears”.
Cobain chimed in, saying: “I was emotional the whole time. I’ve cried every night”.
Shonen Knife didn’t knew Nirvana before they were invited to tour with them
Curiously, the members of Shonen Knife had never heard Nirvana before they received the invitation to tour with them. In an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2005, the vocalist and guitarist Naoko Yamano recalled that she went to a record store and bought their albums to know them better.
“When Nirvana asked us to open, I didn’t know what Nirvana was. So I went to a record store, and I bought their CD. And when I saw their photograph, I thought they might be scary persons. Because their hairstyles and their clothes were very grunge.”
“But once the tour had started, I noticed that all the members were nice, good persons. Because this was our first experience of a long tour, the drummer Dave (Grohl) helped us with setting up the drum kit,” Yamano said.
How Cobain first discovered them
In a video made during one of their tours, Cobain explained how he first got in touch with the music from Shonen Knife. “When you guys put out the ‘Burning Farm’ EP on the cassette, my friend Calvin he sold me that tape. He worked at K Records. I heard it and I fell in love with it. It’s taken a long time for people to hear you guys. I’m glad we finally gonna go on tour with you,” Kurt Cobain.