In case you didn’t know, Dave was the drummer for a little known band called Nirvana. It would be impossible for me to try and touch on every thing that they did for music, and there are plenty of good websites out there dedicated to Nirvana. Honestly, I couldn’t do any justice for them here. They mean so much to so many people, so I thought I’d just sort of have a few things here and there about the group.
Here’s Dave again talking about joining up with Nirvana in 1990:
With only my drum set in a huge box and a bag of clothes, I was greeted at the Seattle airport by the biggest guy I had ever seen and the scrawniest guy I had ever seen. After a brief run through of the songs on Bleach a few days later, it was clear that this was my new position.
On my trips back to Va., I started recording more and more at Barrett’s studio. I had probably finished six or seven songs and was writing a lot of stuff in my spare time in Olympia. After recording Nevermind, I went home for a few days and recorded at a different local D.C. studio. This tape was heard by a friend named Jenny Toomey who had a label called Simple Machines. She had heard other recordings and asked if I was interested in doing a cassette release. I was a little hesitant, always having been very shy about people listening to me sing, but I eventually said yes. This was to become my alter ego, “Late.” The cassette was entitled Pocketwatch and was (and still is) duplicated from a second generation copy that I had given Jenny months before and included early versions of “Winnebago” and “Marigold” (later Nirvana B-side).
The explosion of my real band kept me pretty busy for a while, but I always managed to bring along a guitar so that I could write songs to record upon returning home. By this time, Barrett had moved to Seattle and become my roommate. The 8 track studio was in the basement, at our disposal anytime we came up with an idea.
This is where I really started to focus on my songs. After touring America and Europe for Nevermind, we had some time to relax. It was my time to get to work downstairs. “Alone & Easy Target,” “Floaty” and maybe 10-15 others were recorded there. Then it was back on the road with the N-band.
The summer of 1992 was a blast. With little action on the Nirvana front, I could pay more attention to my music. The studio was moved to a different location, as were we, and recording became a full time deal. Between sporadic Nirvana trips and visits to D.C., most of my time was spent writing and experimenting with harmonies and arrangements. Songs like “Good Grief” and “Exhausted” were written around this time.
“Weenie Beenie” and “Podunk” were thrown together in early 1993, as were lots of other songs I sure hope no one ever hears. “For All The Cows” was done around the same time, and my growing love of recording cover songs led me to record “Ozone” from Ace Frehley’s solo record and the Angry Samoans’ “Gas Chamber.”
Around the summer of 1993, I had been talking to a fellow in Detroit about possibly releasing some of my stuff on his small label. I wanted to remain anonymous, but ultimately have something to send to friends and stuff. Nirvana’s upcoming tour put that stuff on the back burner, but I was genuinely looking forward to pursuing it once the band had some time off.
After Kurt’s death, I was about as confused as I’ve ever been. To continue almost seemed in vain. I was always going to be ‘that guy from Kurt Cobain’s band’ and I knew that. I wasn’t even sure if I had the desire to make music anymore. I received a postcard from fellow Seattle band 7 Year Bitch, who had also lost a member. It said, ‘We know what you’re going through. The desire to play music is gone for now, but it will return. Don’t worry.” That fucking letter saved my life, because as much as I missed Kurt, and as much as I felt so lost, I knew that there was only one thing that I was truly cut out to do and that was music. I know that sounds so incredibly corny, but I honestly felt that. I decided to do what I had always wanted to do since the first time I’d recorded a song all by myself. I was going to book a week in a 24 track studio, choose the best stuff I’d ever written out of the 30-40 songs that had piled up, and really concentrate on them in a real studio.
So I booked time at the studio down the street and got my shit together.