Pat Smear Thinks Nirvana Should Perform Without Kurt Cobain: 'Why the F--k Not?'

"I wouldn't be surprised if it happened," the guitarist says.

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Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear commented on the idea of the band performing without late frontman Kurt Cobain, saying it's something the surviving members should most definitely do.

Smear, who joined Nirvana in 1993 as a second guitarist, told Digital Spy that the thought of jamming Nirvana tunes is "different for those guys than it is for me," referring to his bandmates.

"I know Nirvana's a strange thing," he explained. "It means a lot of things to a lot of people. I personally wouldn't have a problem with it."

The axeman continued, "Yeah, why the f--k wouldn't we play Nirvana songs?! That's my attitude. I get it, y'know, but I don't know ... for me it's like, 'Why wouldn't we?' It was one of those crazy things. It was fun, it was amazing. It's great to play with those guys again - always. We've done it enough times now that it kind of feels comfortable."

When asked about who would take over the frontman duties in such situation, Smear was slightly caught off guard, saying, "I've never thought about who else could do it. It was one of those things that just happened. I can imagine the three of us hanging out together, somewhere, with something or jamming."

He concluded, "So I don't really know. I wouldn't be surprised if it happened, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't. There's no-one in particular that I've thought of or thought about."

Do you think Nirvana should fully get back on track without Cobain? And who do you think could front the band? Let us know in the comments.

214 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    pat: "why the f--k not??" - So who's gonna be your frontman? pat: "... I don't know."
    That would be the same as Queen teaming up with Paul Rodgers or Adam lambert. It sounds OK, but it's just not the same. so yeah it would be cool, but why would you do it when you have the foo fighters as 1 of the biggest bands around at this day and age.
    That's like saying why noodles when you can eat macaroni. They are two different bands with different music. Yeah... Why listen to the Ramones when I can listen to the Offsping or NOFX...
    Last time I checked i didn't even get close to comparing their music. I'm just saying this already happened with queen and it was OK but it wasn't queen. wtf does the music genre have to do with this?
    Jacques Nel
    I really don't like this idea. Kurt's voice was a fundamental part of Nirvana's signature sound. This won't work without him.
    Death are doing a tribute tour at the moment, so far it's looking good, something like that would be fine, but a proper reunion? Nah I don't think so, look at what happened to Black Flag.
    How would you describe what happened with Black Flag?
    How 'bout Courtney Love as the singer/guitarist? Bwaahaaaaa.... sorry, had to throw it out there.
    Although Greg Ginn writes most of the band's material, he has seriously lost the plot when it comes to songwriting, I'd rather listen to Family Man for all eternity than listen to the new stuff, the guy has taken a massive dump on the band's legacy.
    If they couldn't find a decent enough singer for a reunion, I think Dave could sing if they found another drummer and had Dave is the singer/guitarist. His voice isn't identical to Kurt's, no, but he could pull off a good show.
    Jacques Nel
    You just described the Foo Fighter's with guest star Krist Novoselic performing Nirvana Songs
    And what'd be wrong with that? The Foo Fighters are awesome and they'd do a good job of performing as Nirvana. Honestly, I don't know why people would get so uppity about them 'being' Nirvana just because Kurt isn't there. I'm not saying that Nirvana should produce more records, but I think having Nirvana around as a touring band every few years would be satisfactory for almost (if not) everyone.
    Jacques Nel
    Dude, watch a DVD of Nirvana performing live and realize that this idea would NEVER produce anything nearly as great as the original Nirvana's performance.
    See this is what I hate about fanboys and fangirls... The same shit went down when Queen went on tour with Paul Rodgers. Yes! He is not the same. Yes, he doesn't sound like him, and the songs weren't written with him in mind, but why the **** wouldn't a band play songs just because it'll sound different? Who says it has to sound the same anyway? Just because the original was great it should never again be performed for the people that never got to hear it? I think Pat is on to something and Nirvana should regroup. Either with Dave on vocals or someone else. Who knows... Maybe someone will come around that can FULLY pull it of.
    This is very different than the Queen reunion imo. Kurt was responsible for almost all of Nirvana's sound, he wrote nearly all the songs, and gave them a distinctive voice and guitar sounds. In Queen you had all 4 writing, and Brian Many was a huge part of their sound. Regardless of anyone's opinion, Mercury was not the sole creative voice in Queen. Kurt essentialy was for Nirvana. It would be completely unfair to him to have his songs covered by "Nirvana" just so Pat Smear could get a payday and have fun, I like to think that the songs he wrote meant much more than that.
    It's not about trying to be as good or even trying to beat their original performances, it's about bringing Nirvana back into the world as a band that people can actually go and see live. I don't care if Kurt isn't there, it'd still be a Nirvana performance. Queen doesn't have Freddy M., but that doesn't stop them bringing Queen to their fans and they've done a bloody good job too. Avenged Sevenfold doesn't have The Rev, Metallica doesn't have Cliff and Slipknot doesn't have Paul Gray; no, it's not quite the same as losing a singer, but the point is that they're still able to put on a good show and entertain millions around the world. Stop trying to enforce this 'original Nirvana' bullshit and let Nirvana come back into the world.
    "Stop trying to enforce this 'original Nirvana' bullshit and let Nirvana come back into the world". Surely your realize how ridiculous your statement sounds.....
    Sammy Mantis
    "I don't care if Kurt isn't there, it'd still be a Nirvana performance." This is where most people would probably disagree.
    Ac dc have had at least 3 singers. Black Sabbath. Evans blue. Flyleaf. 10 years. Killswitch Engage. Three Days Grace. I'm sure there are lots of other bands that have had more than one singer.
    Sammy Mantis
    Kurt wasn't just a singer though, he WAS Nirvana. This would be like Smashing Pumpkins without Billy Corgan. Primus without Les Claypool. White Stripes without Jack White. It would simply never work. Ever.
    Bonus upvote for including Claypool! I think it's being misinterpreted, I guess Pat's talking about a one off jam or live performance, like Dave was considering around the Sound City thing, I believe he (Dave) even went as far as saying they got in touch with PJ Harvey about doing "Milk It" or similar but schedules conflicted
    I'm with you and all of those who would welcome this. I saw Alice In Chains just last night. The last time I saw them live was 1993. It still tears me up that Layne is gone, but I'm really glad that those guys are still around, making good music. And I certainly don't begrudge them using the AIC moniker. I'm not saying that Layne had as much to do with the writing in AIC, but his voice was so unique and powerful, that it cannot be argued that he was not a very large part of their original sound. William's doing a great job for them, so if the Nirvana guys all want to get it fired up, more power to them!!
    Yeah! Kurts voice breaking, his singing out of tune and the sound of his shitty guitar that was never in tune can't be replicated...
    Well thats a dumbass argument. Even bands that are still with all original members sound worse then when they were selling the most albums. No one would expect to say this Nirvana sounds better then the original version. Its just bringing it back for the fans that want to hear there songs live again, go out have a few beers hear some good tunes. .....While you sit in the back drinking out of a tea cup with your pinky held high talking crap to yourself about the good old days.
    Nobody else in the world could either, Dave isn't a BAD choice, we all know any outsider who tried would be massively be shunned.
    Dave has said that the whole point of starting the Foo Fighters was to move out of the shadow of Nirvana. While I think them playing Nirvana songs again together would be a great idea, the realistic fact is that it would be VERY difficult to find someone who could play the role of Kurt - both in his singing and his presence. That said, I love Pat's attitude about this. It really shouldn't be about what fans or "Nirvana purists" think the band should do - Dave and Krist (and to a lesser extent Pat) were as much a part of Nirvana as Kurt was. And while he may be hard to replace, if those guys find someone to fill the role (I doubt Dave would want to do it) and really want to do it, they should just do it
    Jacques Nel
    ..and all I mean is I really don't think anyone should produce more Nirvana CD's with a different singer, would be terrible. Like new material
    if you let dave sing Courtney Love will probably through another hissy fit and try sue them
    Courtney can't sue. She owns 0% of Nirvana now. In 2010 when Frances turned 18 she got 37% of Nirvana and the rights to Kurt's likeness
    Or they could ya know....get Chad ****ing Channing to play drums with them. I mean no offense to Dave (i like his drumming quite a bit) but Chad is THE drummer for Nirvana. So the line-up would be Dave - vocals/guitar Krist - bass/sometimes vocals Pat - guitar Chad - drums
    THE drummer? Hmmm, Dale Crover & Dave would beg to differ...
    Dale wasn't with them for all that long and is primarily with Melvins. And even if Nirvana got back together, if they wanted someone who was in the band other than Dave to drum they'd either have to go with Chad or Aaron Burkhard. Because Dale is already committed to Melvins and I doubt he'd leave to play stuff with a reunited Nirvana. He and Buzz are the longest lasting members of ANY Melvins lineup even though Dale was their second drummer. And thats what I meant with the "Chad is THE drummer for Nirvana" thing. Out of all the rest of the drummers that they had (minus Dave of course because hes a ****ing machine) hes probably the one who'd more than likely do it since he may or may not have other obligations that would prevent him from doing stuff with them. I will say that Dale is a really great drummer. I love all of his stuff with Melvins, the stuff he did do with Nirvana, and the stuff he did with Shrinebuilder.
    Shaun Morgan. Just a reunion tour, no new stuff, that would not be Nirvana. Just something for the fans.
    Considering the fact that the guy practically worships Cobain and Nirvana, they're live shows are fairly similar to a Nirvana show. If it were a reunion tour, I think he'd be great.
    I saw Seether in 2011, when they opened for Three Days Grace and Avenged Sevenfold. They ****ing stole that show! Uproar 2011 was all theirs, 3DG and A7X were like afterglow by the time they showed up.
    "Just something for the fans"? As a fan since the early nineties I must say that I would be deeply offended. Just leave it where it is. They are already sniffing at the limits when releasing these "super deluxe" packages. And yes, I am buying them too.
    As a fan since the early 90s you are in the lucky position to have been able to see Nirvana songs live being played by members of Nirvana. Not all of us are so lucky, so we'd really like this one thing.
    Actually, no. I was not even 10 when I was introduced to Nirvana (and yes, I actually did enjoy them quite a bit) and I have never seen them live. I dont see this Smear-idea as anything positive. Nirvana is not Nirvana without Kurt. And since Pat didnt even write any of their material I think he should stick to a Germs-spinoff if anything. Dont touch this legacy.
    i was gonna say the same thing but i figured id get downvoted like hell i think he would be perfect for it
    The chunky guy from Seether standing in for Kurt Cobain? God...I hope you're autistic.
    I think Pat Smear works in my local kebab house. Is he one of the 'big name' musicians doing a regular job that that Misfits guy was on about?
    I really can't see a problem with these guys going together, having some fun and writing some new tunes. The only problem i see in this is that they keep on calling it a Nirvana Re-union. I believe their frontman is gone and therefore they can't call it Nirvana anymore. But that should'n hold them back to do something great together, with a new frontman AND a new name. To me it's like Queen without Freddy, Tool without Maynard, or Metallica without James. What do you think?
    You have lots of great points, but I still think they can call it Nirvana, Kurt Cobain wasn't the only one who made the music, it was the band as a whole, and they still have enough members to make a worthy Nirvana re-union. It's kind off like when Peter Gabriel quit Genesis and Phill Collins became the lead singer, the band had changed but you still had the feeling like you were listening to Genesis
    By "made the music" do you mean actually writing it? Cobain was the exclusive songwriter for the vast majority of their recorded material. I don't have anything against them getting back together, personally, but there's very few people (if anyone) that could replace him and not be at least a little cringe-worthy in my view.