The Nirvana moments by Pascal Deweze, Stijn Meuris, Johannes Verschaeve and others

Knack Focus early five Belgians to their Nirvanamoment, 25 years after ‘Nevermind’.

© GF

Also read:

  • 10 things you might not know about ‘Nevermind’ of Nirvana.
  • How to grunge thanks to Nirvana is a breach beat to the mainstream.

Pascal Deweze (ex-Metal Molly): ‘Nirvana was vital’

In 1991, the video of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in world premiere on the MTV show ‘120 Minutes’. Also Pascal Deweze was at that time for his cathode ray tube. “When that song came by, I was immediately very impressed,” recalls Deweze. “What the fuck is this?’, I thought. Really a earth-shattering experience. When the name of the band appeared on the screen, I have immediately written a letter to: Nir-va-na. I thought that the song accidentally broadcast, that recording would be illegal, and that I never again to hear or see. I had the impact of Nirvana when all the way through.’

Not much later, copied Deweze the cassette-edition of Nevermind from a friend. Afterwards, he took just about everything in house, which of Nirvana appeared. “I have Incesticide, In Utero and Bleach’ bought, as well as a host of boxsets, demos, bootlegs and live recordings, all singletjes and all the B-sides. I know almost every note out of my head. I had also tickets for their gig in Belgium in 1994. Unfortunately they’re not showing up, eh.’

“My favorite Nirvana album? That must be In Utero, especially in terms of sound, continues Pascal Deweze. ‘Milk it, Very Ape are really crazy. Territorial Pissings off Nevermind what I also find quite funny: “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not after you.’ Nevermind is a fantastic, hard-popplaat, but the sound is softer than that of In Utero. I would like to have one more Nirvana album to see come true, that is based on In Utero.’

Coincidence or not: Pascal Deweze is in 2014 with Mauro’s Gruppo di Pawlowski, a sheet of recording in Chicago, more specifically in the studio of Steve Albini, the producer of, oh yes, In Utero. “When Albini the drums had been prepared and Jeroen Stevens (drummer of Gruppo di Pawlowski, ed.) for the first time on slapped, I heard from the control room, just a glimpse of the typical In Utero-sound.’

Nirvana was also a major influence for Metal Molly, Dewezes first band. “When we started out, we played loud guitar music with influences by Ween, and Frank Zappa. But in the village where we came from, worked that for a second. Everyone found that very strange music. Just at the moment that we have a bit started to run, came Nirvana and in Belgium, dEUS and Evil Superstars – on, and it was weird to do and hard to make music, suddenly the norm. Those bands gave us confidence, because thanks to them, we knew: this is the way to go. From then on, we voted our guitars even louder and we made the song structures are still somewhat weirder. Nirvana was a matter of survival.’


My father came to us repetitiehok in and said: ‘The singer of one of those grungegroepjes has committed suicide. I think that of Spin Doctors.’ That’s good news, we thought. It turned out to be a sad misunderstanding.

In rock music there is, according to Deweze a period before and a period after Nirvana. ‘For Nirvana, we played Hotel California by Eagles, I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges and songs of The Kreuners, and The Ramones. It kept us all the same, as long as it’s cool nummerkes were. But after Nirvana, there was a division into good guys and bad guys. For all clarity: The Stooges were the good guys, Eagles the bad guys.’ (laughs)

When the news about the death of Kurt Cobain became known, was Pascal Deweze with Metal Molly in the repetitiehok that was adjacent to his parental home in Tremelo. “My father was at a given point in time and said: “The singer of one of those grungegroepjes has committed suicide.” And when we asked who it was, he replied: “I think of Spin Doctors”. That’s good news, we thought. But it turned out to be a sad misunderstanding. Half an hour later, we had that Kurt Cobain was. The atmosphere in the repetitielokaal struck: we were a hero poorer.’

Stijn Meuris: ‘Nevermind is pure perfection’

Stijn Meuris was in 1991 at Pukkelpop when the Limbomaniacs afbelden and Nirvana them replaced. “I remember nothing more of that occur,” says Meuris. ‘Nirvana was at that time an unknown group. I think that no one from the public there is still something to know about. It was only a few weeks later that Nevermind was released and Nirvana, suddenly a wereldgroep was.’

According to Meuris is the breakthrough of Nirvana not only to the good songs on Nevermind are. ‘That album is pure perfection. Smells Like Teen Spirit is the kind of song that you can within the three seconds to recognize. But there is also a very penalty production behind the plate. If Nevermind is not so heavy, we had perhaps never seen anything of Nirvana heard. Everything just, even the death of Cobain. The magic that is around Nirvana depends, is there precisely because the band just three years after her breakthrough has continue to exist. That would not have been if Cobain was still alive and the group has twelve years, plates had to stay.’

© Alexander Doing So

Nirvana has undeniably had a huge impact on the band, also on Belgian bands. ‘When you’re in the nineties, to The Settlement on Studio Brussel listened, you could hear from a distance, where the musicians take their inspiration from took,” says Meuris. ‘You can speak of a kind of post-Nirvanapop. I think that 75 percent of the groups in that time participated in Humo’s Rock Rally, a copy of which were of Nirvana. That influence should be in the music, I do not mind. But I annoy me to bands that the whole body language and facial expression of Cobain take over. That is simply ridiculous.’

The impact of Nirvana lies in contemporary music, Stijn Meuris. ‘Nirvana has ensured that there is a new kind of freedom emerged. I wonder, for example, or Radiohead, or Björk without Nirvana ever born had seen. Cobain and co. have made it possible to push beyond the limits to thinking. They saw to it also, indirectly, for example, that festivalprogrammatoren groups that are ‘different’ a chance gifts.’


“When Cobain committed suicide, I went to his house in Seattle went. I climbed on a fence and looked inside the spare room above the garage, where he was found.’

When it became known that Kurt Cobain had committed suicide, Stijn Meuris to Seattle flown. “I went to his house went to the site of the famous photo. By on a fence to climb, we could right a glimpse in the spare room above the garage where Cobain is found. Daily stood for hundreds of grungers to grieve. Very impressive to be in that atmosphere.’ (FL)

Matthias Dillen (School Is Cool): “Without Dave Grohl was the chemistry of Nirvana, not been there’

‘When I was 13 or 14 was still plenty to wrong punk rock à la Blink 182 listened, had someone asked me to Nirvana’s liveplaat MTV Unplugged in New York. It was at that time not really my thing, but by a few songs, I was still triggered. I wanted more of Nirvana hear. So I am switching it on From The Muddy Banks of Wishkah, a liveplaat. In addition, I got really the feeling: I want music, go play.”

© GF

And so it came to pass: Dillen started together with a friend, a group. “He had a guitar bought, I was the drummer. The condition was that I drumlijnen of Nirvana’s songs Aneurysm and About a Girl, that he for me had written, within the week, could play (laughs).’ Afterwards tried Dillen, a whole slew of other drumming of Dave Grohl. “In my first years as a drummer, I have some very, Nevermind from the outside learned. The funny thing is: almost all of the novices that I know of, cover Nirvana songs. There seems to be a certain simplicity. But although that drumlijnen not that hard and they provided the necessary exercise can play, you can never have Nirvana-way sound.’

What made Dave Grohl as an exceptional drummer? ‘In terms of technicality, he is certainly not the best drummer in the world, but his style shines, however, a kind of primal force. He can knock down blow.’ Pure power is what the School Is Cool-the drummer on a stage trying to convey. “I looked enormously to Grohl and the way he played the drums. With him went not only to the drumlijnen, he sméét also fully. That I also try to do, because sitting still on my drumstoeltje I can’t. With each stroke, I feel that I have something broken to beat am. That I have of Grohl acquired.’


I was allowed to come play the drums in a group of a friend, on the condition that I within the week Nirvana-the songs could play. I have a Nevermind from the outside learned.

According to Dillen was the current Foo Fighters leader, so a very decisive factor within Nirvana. Kurt Cobain made the songs, the structures, the chord progressions, and in addition to Grohl has Nirvana a couple of other drummers had. But the songs that Grohl has not played, you can be so hurtful. Without Dave Grohl was the chemistry of Nirvana, there never has been.’

When Kurt Cobain died, was Matthias Dillen a year or six. For him it was Nirvana that group whose singer committed suicide’. That drew him a certain way. ‘A singer who, as getormenteerd is that he himself, from the side, that has me very long bright intrigued. I found that pure rock’n’ roll. But now that I’m older to start to be, I come to the realization: see on to the music, not the myth.’

Johannes Verschaeve (The Van Jets): ‘Kurt Cobain still looks over my shoulder’

Nirvana Johannes Verschaeve initiated into the world of alternative music, when he was thirteen or fourteen. The Van Jets-frontman remembers his first encounter with Nevermind still alive. “A friend of my brother had me pointed to the cover with that baby on’, he says. ‘Then we have with z’n threes researchers gather for a illegally copied cassetje of the album, that we at the flea market in Ostend have purchased. When I was in the cassette deck of my parents stopped, play crowds and the intro of Smells Like Teen Spirit by the boxes, heard the vultures, said that the emotions that I have never before in music had felt until then, I was listening to Roxette and the like. In the beginning I could do that dark, dangerous, and urgent music of Nirvana and the evil, almost distorted voice of Kurt Cobain is difficult to grasp. But it was in any case pure excitement. To be a revelation.’

© Wouter Van Vaerenbergh

Afterwards, Verschaeve of the whole oeuvre of Nirvana bought, with the money of his parents. “I have full evenings to my room, sat down to the plates and to listen, always with the cd-booklets at hand. I understood hardly anything of the text, but in imitation of Cobain began I, too, dark, semi-poetic phrases to put on paper. No one understood them, also I am not (laughs). Then I went to Nirvana’s songs to re-enact, with the guitar of my father. I did that by ear, without books with music theory. Kurt Cobain never used to special chord progressions. He could very primitive numbers, almost like a child. It was ideal music to start with.’

The best Nirvana album is, according to Verschaeve perhaps Incesticide, an album of rare recordings and B-sides from 1992. ‘Not their most poppy album, but there are pearls of songs, such as Aero Zeppelin and Hairspray Queen. By comparison sounds Nevermind much more polished. But in the end, all the Nirvana records a character of its own.’


Following In the footsteps of Cobain, I’m dark, semi-poetic phrases at paper start to convert. No one understood them, not me. (laughs)

What have The Jets of Nirvana learn? Verschaeve: ‘Cobain for me is still a kind of guru, someone who I’m not allowed to betray. If I start to experimenting with drumcomputers or urban stuff à la Prince, I feel Cobain almost over my shoulder looking on and saying: ‘do not forget an organic sound to them.

Cobain has Verschaeve is also a kind of ‘antihouding’ drummed, ” he says. “He gave me made it clear that music is not always too early or too friendly to sound. A little moeilijkdoenerij can’t hurt.”

Filip Verbeurgt, ex-Democrazy: ‘The first Belgian Nirvana concert was not good at all’

Nirvana played for the first time on Belgian soil on 2 december 1989, a few years before Nevermind. It was in the hall of the independent music club Democrazy, then based in the Reinaertstraat in Ghent. Hardly a good hundred man had a ticket for bought. At that time the band was around Kurt Cobain after all, isn’t the figurehead of the grunge that the in the years years would be. “There were very young guests that just their first album had and that for the first time in Europe came to play,” says Filip Verbeurgt, the then programmator of Democrazy which is already a few years active as a mechanic.

© Charles Peterson

How did Democrazy than Nirvana? Verbeurgt: ‘The question should really be: how did Nirvana in Democrazy? (laughs) The record label Sub Pop had a tour organised for five of their groups: TAD, Mudhoney, Nirvana… They are trading all in the same evening. That ‘package’ was us at a given moment just offered. It is not that we are as much in Nirvana saw, but that whole event spoke to us. Mudhoney and TAD had had already a certain name. It was rather for them than for Nirvana that we night have organized, you know.’

The first passage of Nirvana in our country, there was hardly one for the history books, Verbeurgt. “That was not a good concert. The people who claim that they were there when all the Nirvana a few years later in saw, to the zwanzen, ” he says. ‘Their debut album had something, but on the basis of this fell really cannot predict that Nirvana is ever so successful it would be. I don’t think that the guests themselves when all the potential international stars were.’


How Democrazy when Nirvana came to be? The question should be: how did Nirvana in Democrazy?

“I especially remember that Kurt Cobain and co. very were tired, ” Filip Verbeurgt. “If I have it correctly, was that a European tour had just started and they had a lot of trouble with jetlag. They are their locker room hardly been out and also right after the show. According to me, they are not even more up in their hotel hit.’

Proud that he Nirvana has ever managed to tie, Filip Verbeurgt also not really. “I’m proud of what we do with Democrazy have realized; that we are one of the engines behind the creation of the club scene and the music club still exists. But now to say that I proudly am that Nirvana is ever with us has occurred? No, not really. That was not a merit. I am subsequently also never been to a concert of them go and have a look.’

Also read:

  • 10 things you might not know about ‘Nevermind’ of Nirvana.
  • How to grunge thanks to Nirvana is a breach beat to the mainstream.

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