Jack Black: 'Nirvana Were The Last Big Rock Band'

Jack Black was inspired by a dearth of quality rock bands to write "Rock Is Dead" on Tenacious D's new album, "Rise Of The Fenix".

Jack Black: 'Nirvana Were The Last Big Rock Band'
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According to Jack Black, rock is dead... or at least on extreme life support. The actor/rocker was inspired by a dearth of quality rock bands to write "Rock Is Dead" on Tenacious D's new album, "Rise Of The Fenix", according to Rolling Stone. "When you think about rock at its origin, and you think of The Beatles and millions of kids screaming as loud as they can and running as fast as they can towards The Beatles, there's no one who is that kind of lightning rod, who commands that kind of power and has that kind of creative magma," he said. "I contend that the last band to really have that kind of power, I'm gonna say, was Nirvana. Who since Nirvana has been as big as Nirvana, in that way?" That's not to say that Black isn't still a huge rock fan and that he doesn't have some modern favorites. "My counterpart Jack White, whatever he does is always worth checking out and his archnemesis, The Black Keys, are also tremendous," Black said. "The Foo Fighters. I loves me some Foos. But it does get thin after that." Thanks for the report to Bryan Wawzenek, Gibson.com.

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    lail88
    Am I the only one who think that it's hilarious that Jack Black listen to Jack White?!
    iplayat11
    Elderer wrote: Just because you dont know doesnt mean its not there.
    That is not the point Jack Black is trying to make. He's saying there are currently no rock bands that have achieved Nirvana's or the Beatles' level of popularity.
    Salvo416
    lail88 wrote: Am I the only one who think that it's hilarious that Jack Black listen to Jack White?!
    well he did say he was his counterpart.
    Minivirus2
    I wouldn't say they were the last big rock band. I'd be more incline to say they were the last big meaningful rock band. The irony is, grunge was a movement to a more streamlined and direct sound and the grunge movement spawned the post-grunge (or second wave of grunge bands if you will) movement that's lead to the stylisticly boring, cookie cutter rock of today. When I look back, innovation in rock/heavy music in the mainstream ended with grunge. Do I blame Nirvana/grunge, maybe a bit, but only because of their simplistic approach that's molded a simplistic soundscape in mainstream music of today.
    hmcguire
    Most of the good rock bands today are unfortunately underground (Rival Sons, The Sheepdogs, The Answer, etc)
    spiff-corgi
    The Beatles, theres no one who is that kind of lightning rod, who commands that kind of power
    Justin Bieber? One Direction -
    and has that kind of creative magma
    Aha.
    CoreysMonster
    This article is full of baloney, and as much as I love JB, his opinion is flawed: Nirvana were the last "huge" rockband because they were the last big band to exist before the internet. Before the internet, people found out about bands through radio and television, which are heavily controlled mediums. With the internet, for the first time in history, people could choose what kinds of things they wanted to be exposed to. As a result, people are exposed to a myriad of rock bands and artists from all over the world, which means that the ability of the record labels to concentrate attention on a single money-making machine are long gone. If the Beatles or Nirvana had emerged today, they would have never have had the success they did, because the marketing strategies from those times simply don't work today. It has nothing to do with the music itself or the quality of the band, it has to do with the way people GET their music.
    spiff-corgi
    lail88 wrote: Am I the only one who think that it's hilarious that Jack Black listen to Jack White?!
    I personally want Jack Black and Jack White to get married and adopt a child and call it Jack Grey. This would be amazing.
    Tarsplitter
    Abacus11 wrote: There are so many amazing rock bands out there. The only thing that's changed is the media and what they're selling to people. We're constantly fed shitty pop music selling cell phones and soda but rock music has been evolving and getting better and better... you just have to be willing to look for it. I love Jack Black but he's pretty off on this one.
    But that's exactly his point. ._.
    badfish_lewis
    I think the days of massive success like that are pretty much gone. To get to that level of popularity you'd really have to have a new genre emerge and for that genre to make it into the mainstream of rock. What Jack's really talking about isn't just popularity, he's talking revolutionizing a type of music and then that type of music becoming the mainstream.
    tom11
    TheHawkdaddy wrote: But I disagree about Nirvana being the last big rock band. Bands like Oasis, The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Weezer, White Stripes, My Chemical Romance (whether you like it or not), and a few other bands have been pretty massive all things considered. I'm not sure what Jack expects. Big monumental rock bands don't appear weekly. It goes in cycles about every 4 to 5 years. Something big will come soon enough.
    You really putting Weezer and MCR as big as Nirvana? Weezer and MCR have some great tunes and a loyal fan base, but nothing close to the Nirvana-mania in the mid 90s.
    Soundservant
    Minivirus2 wrote: I wouldn't say they were the last big rock band. I'd be more incline to say they were the last big meaningful rock band. The irony is, grunge was a movement to a more streamlined and direct sound and the grunge movement spawned the post-grunge (or second wave of grunge bands if you will) movement that's lead to the stylisticly boring, cookie cutter rock of today. When I look back, innovation in rock/heavy music in the mainstream ended with grunge. Do I blame Nirvana/grunge, maybe a bit, but only because of their simplistic approach that's molded a simplistic soundscape in mainstream music of today.
    Grunge isn't necessarily simplistic. Remember there's Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Screaming Trees making some of the best rock music available.
    Maiden95
    Totally agree with Jack. Tis quite a shame we can only think of 3 worthy rock acts.
    ironman316
    I would say Muse is definitely up there... They're pretty super-massive, if you know what I'm saying.
    joe4020
    creed was one of the first horse**** bands to come after nirvana
    fede01_8
    I.shower.naked wrote: I might get a lot of hate for this, but I never really liked The Black Keys.
    why would you get hate for saying you don't like a band? it's not like you said they suck!
    spiff-corgi
    Whoops, meant to quote the bit where he talks about screaming girls, not the bit where he talks about power. Now it looks like I'm a Justin Bieber fan. For shame.
    fede01_8
    Powerpro wrote: People don't want to admit it but Creed was the last mega huge rock band.
    we're talking about quantity AND quality
    meringo
    Muse? Sell out any venue multiple nights in a row AND how come everyone forgot Arctic Monkeys?? Their first album in 2002 was fastest selling album in U.K. history and have been doing quite well in the U.S. btw, the Josh Homme produced "Humbug" was my favorite
    RadioTape
    Muse, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys. (Probably the biggest british bands of the last 15 years, but that's just what came into my head i've probably missed some really obvious ones.) I can't speak for the USA but it's hard to judge due to each band releasing albums at different points and having different rises in popularity because of that. You can see what Jack means that there aren't masses of fans after one band anymore but there are some bands that are generally very popular. A lot of people will hate it but in every school/college or whatever has kids that love Blink 182 or Green Day at least. Or is that just my experience?
    Geetar_Axel
    How the hell did everyone forget how big Green Day were in the Dookie and American Idiot era's? Just sayin'.
    theogonia777
    I love how half of the comments here indicate that people don't understand the article at all. He's not saying there aren't good bands, he's just saying that none of them are as big, or have the same level of cultural impact, as Nirvana had.
    meringo wrote: Muse? Sell out any venue multiple nights in a row AND how come everyone forgot Arctic Monkeys??
    I mean, like everyone and their mother knew Nirvana's stuff in their prime back in the early 90's. Do you know how often you see people with Nirvana t-shirts? You ask anyone that's into rock music, "hey, how about that Nirvana" and they're going to know them, be familiar with their discography; they're going to have an opinion on them. Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time I've seen anyone wearing a Muse or Arctic Monkeys t-shirt. If I asked the average college kid "how about those Arctic Monkeys" they probably couldn't name a single song by them. I know I sure can't. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a single one of their songs. What about Muse? Most people I know probably only know Knights of Cydonia from Guitar Hero or Hysteria from Rock Band. Muse t-shirts? Lol nah. You really can't honestly say that either of those bands have nearly the impact that Nirvana did. Nirvana's still huge today, and back in their day, they were the biggest rock band in the world more or less. They were at a level that no rock band since has come close to. It's as simple as that.
    mnf50
    Queens of the Stone Age anyone? I mean, he even featured on Burn The Witch.
    vIsIbleNoIsE
    come2gether wrote: Simple. Rock is dead because people began to obsess over image rather than the music. John Mayer is the best guitarist of his generation, not because he's the fastest (he's not) or because he's the most original (he's not). But it's because he has inspired millions of kids to pick up a guitar AND been incredibly commercially successful. People like to ignore the fact that Hendrix, Clapton, Townshend, Page and all the greats that inspired everyone playing today were not only rock stars, but also POP stars. They all went number one on the POP charts. Fans today see Mayer and all they do is associate him with pop songs that brought him into public consciousness, and then they ignore or downplay his abilities because he doesn't wear black or eyeliner or yell into his microphone. Grunge was the beginning of style over substance, yet most of it's great bands still had the talent and substance that would be gone from later generations who watered grunge down. If you want to listen to good music, check your ego and opinions at the door metalheads and realize that thirty years from now, Mayer, not Laiho, Kerry King, synester gates, dave grohl or any of these faux-rock stars are going to be on the lists of greatest ever. You gotta be able to do it all and make millions listen. If you don't agree, well then who cares. go listen to more metal
    you must have been bullied by metalheads at school. my condolences.
    Alan Ciccone
    This shit has been talked of so many times In 1998, Billy Corgan was saying the same thing when The Pumpkins released 'Adore'. There were rumours flying around that Marilyn Manson's 'Rock is dead' was a thinly barbed critique of this statement. Two years later Billy claimed he had said it to ignite people to make rock music and suddenly we got lumbered with Limp Bizkit in the charts. Just seek out good music, it's always there just not normally on the top of the album charts.
    J.R. Legrasse
    None of this matters, for once the zombie apocalypse befalls us, the only band left standing amongst the ruins shall be Motrhead.
    Epiklesis
    I think the only reason for the death of rock music in the mainstream is that records label do not promote creativity anymore. They're only focusing on fast selling pre-made stuff.
    Maiden95
    AcdcTXfan wrote: dropclutchfan1 wrote: why does everyone seem to have a boner for Cobain its ridiculous, Nirvana SUCKS Agreed. Most overrated band of all time. They had like two hits.
    First, saying they had two hits is very inaccurate. And even with two hits, it doesn't mean a band sucks. About a Girl, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Frances Farmer, Heart Shaped Box, Breed, In Bloom, On a Plain, All Apologies, Very Ape, Polly, Scentless Apprentice. They are all great songs and there are so many great others. Whether you like them or not you have to respect their influence and songwriting abilities.
    TheHawkdaddy
    Two big factors in that. 1) The internet 2) Telecommunications act great article about it here http://www.digiave.net/piracy-didnt-kill... But I disagree about Nirvana being the last big rock band. Bands like Oasis, The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Weezer, White Stripes, My Chemical Romance (whether you like it or not), and a few other bands have been pretty massive all things considered. I'm not sure what Jack expects. Big monumental rock bands don't appear weekly. It goes in cycles about every 4 to 5 years. Something big will come soon enough.
    iamryanallen
    im pretty sure jack black doesnt care if you agree with him or not....thats why its an opinion
    Galfadez
    Maybe that type of rock.. but there's still big bands in others. Also in the UK Oasis were that big probably bigger
    NoMoreNoMore66
    -1 AcdcTXfan wrote on 05/04/2012 - 12:50 pm / quote | dropclutchfan1 wrote: why does everyone seem to have a boner for Cobain its ridiculous, Nirvana SUCKS Agreed. Most overrated band of all time. They had like two hits.
    smells like teen spirit, come as you are, lithium, In bloom, polly, on a plain, drain you, breed, heart-shaped box, about a girl, rape me, dumb, pennyroyal tea, all apologies. I think there's more than two there, but I didn't count. All rock radio standards.
    andyscoot
    Muse, The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance. 4 come to mind as bands that just exploded.
    blooddrunk
    Simple Jack : stop listening to american music. This is the problem with americans - if its not on mtv it doesnt exist to them.
    Cevacry
    hmcguire wrote: Most of the good rock bands today are unfortunately underground (Rival Sons, The Sheepdogs, The Answer, etc)
    nah all of the ones you just listed are not all that good. its no wonder that these guys are underground, they just don't have the capability of becoming big.
    RiffsanBridges
    rebreh wrote: BTW, never judge music on how much it sells.
    You do know we're judging the artist's popularity, rather than his/her quality. You're right ofc.
    Maiden95
    mauriciognr wrote: I never like Nirvana. Talk me about Guns N' Roses, Poison, Metallica, Kiss, Led Zeppelin.. But Nirvana? No ofense boys! I just never liked Curt :/
    No offense but Poison sucks Donkey boners. Everyone else there is pretty awesome though.
    silent_reaper
    I think you're all missing the big picture of what he's saying. Has nothing to do with quality or popularity (though it plays a big role), but purely IMPACT. No other rock band since has been the face of a generation and changed what mainstream rock is (from hair metal to grunge, pretty big change).
    p_a_morgan
    I love JB and totally read those quotes in his voice. LOL Though, to find out who the last BIG rock band was, one would have to define 'big.' Nickelback is 'big.' People hate them, though. But, I get what Jack is saying here, with his lightning rod metaphor.
    Maiden95
    sethkins wrote: Open you're eyes jack! FOO FIGHTERS, PEARL JAM, METALLICA, SOUNDGARDEN?
    Jack is saying that no band after AFTER Nirvana has achieved the insane fandom as well as a completely legendary status like they did. Foo Fighters are legendary but not to the degree of Nirvana who totally changed the landscape of rock at the time. That is what Jack is trying to say everyone. Out of those bands you mentioned, Foo Fighters is the only one who would fit the criteria because they came after. If you recall, Metallica was formed in 81. Soundgarden and Pearl Jam are still rockin, but they were essentially peers of Nirvana but not as worshiped. The same can be said about Red Hot Chili Peppers. I love all of the bands mentioned but everyone here is missing the point that Nirvana did achieve a status (like it or not) that the Beatles and Zeppelin and Floyd and the Who did and NOBODY else has since. And quite honestly no one may ever again.
    sickassfoo
    i really hate that most rock bands are a bunch of pussy ass hipsters, someone needs to step up now! it would be the perfect time for a new band to bring real rock music into the mainstream.