Foo Fighters Guitarist Pat Smear Reminisces About His Time With Nirvana

"My Nirvana experience was much different than the other three guys," says the axeman.

Ultimate Guitar

It's almost been 20 years since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain took his own life. Despite the band's dissolution afterwards, fans still go nuts for the grunge band's ageless music. This interest has led to an interview with Foo Fighters member, Nirvana touring guitarist and founding Germs member, Pat Smear, who spoke in depth about his time jamming with the group.

Smear's first gig with Nirvana was on a September 1993 episode of "Saturday Night Live," where the seminal grunge act performed the songs "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Rape Me." "I remember the first day of rehearsal at the 'SNL' studio, they forgot me," Smear tells Rolling Stone (via Loudwire), laughing. "A couple hours later, someone called me and goes, 'Oh, we're used to having three guys, sorry!'"

Smear also recalls hearing Nirvana's third studio album, "In Utero," before the classic disc was released. "I had heard all the rumors and controversy swirling about the 'In Utero' recordings there was a lot of, 'Oh, the record label hates it,' it was going to ruin the band, that kind of stuff," Smear reveals. "When I heard it, I was like, 'What's the big deal? I get it, it's not as polished as 'Nevermind,' but it's still full of great songs that everyone's going to want to play on the radio.'"

Although ties within Nirvana were becoming estranged, Smear remembers his time with Nirvana has a mostly positive experience. "My Nirvana experience was much different than the other three guys," he says. "For me, it was really new and exciting. I was just a guy from a punk rock band, thrown into this huge thing. There were dark periods, too. But there wasn't a dark cloud over the whole thing."

Foo Fighters are currently working on their eighth studio album. "[I've got] a crazy idea of what I want to do with the next record and how we record it," frontman Dave Grohl told Billboard in March. "It's not conventional. It won't be a conventional record."

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The more I hear about this new Foo's record the more anxious I get, I have no clue what new thing they are gonna try but its exciting and scary at the same time, but in Foo's We Trust.
    Honestly, who edits these articles? I'd say about 90% of them have one or more errors. Somebody is not earning their paycheck.
    Who gives a shit, i mean honestly.
    All autistic and obsessive compulsive people are going apeshit.
    When oh when will one of the Foo Fighters do something to make me hate them, the suspense is killing me. They appear to be able to do no wrong.
    Is it just me or does his name remind you of what ya misses goes and gets every so often. Pat Smear.
    ahh.. in utero's heart shaped box - vigina? meat eating orchid flower - vagina? umbilical noose - vagina?
    Pat Smear is one of the coolest guys around. He is also a class act. Those musicians are few and far between nowadays...
    Maybe they'll record the new album with no springs on the snare drum a la "St. Anger." Epic! Actually, did anyone see that NASA astronaut that recorded "Space Oddity" while on a mission?!? That was fanatastic. Kudos to that dood!
    Springs on the snare drum "a la" St. Anger. What the hell is wrong with you. Why would the Foos stop doing something they've never done. Is that even possible? "Kudos to that dood" comment
    Well they recorded Wasting Light completely analog, think this record is gonna be recorded into the old wax cylinders?
    Who gives a shit about the FF's? Dave Grohl should be mandated, by constitutional amendmemt to play drums on three full albums for every one FF album.
    i think everyone who goes on this website gives a shit about the foo fighters and do you know why? they ****ing rock!
    Connor494, that might be the most ridiculous comment I've seen all week. Not everyone who goes on this website give a shit about the foo fighters. Hell I can't stand them but I also don't bash people for liking them. The only reason I came to this article was to see how pathetic all the Idol Worship would get
    The foo fighters are the pinnacle of modern rock. That being said, modern rock is the cesspool of musical form.
    Thank you younger is you that has failed rock & roll.....and made it the cesspool of modern music....
    I clicked this link looking for an interview with Pat. Instead, I found a third person take on a Rolling Stone interview. I'm a little tired of Ultimate-Guitar giving me babyfood spoon fed from other mags.
    Jacques Nel
    I really REALLY REALLY hope they don't go DubStep on us as well. PLEASE DON'T DO IT! I hope they don't step into that trap...