Some of us tend to think of rockstars as overnight successes (when that is clearly not the reality for many). For numerous bands, there is a lot of struggle involved with reaching such stardom; for example, prior to becoming mega rock stars, things were financially rough for the guys in Nirvana.
Things were so rough in fact that, in order to cover the costs of their demo, the late Kurt Cobain took on a job cleaning toilets. During an interview with Rick Beato, ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic revealed that Cobain worked odd jobs in order to pay for the band’s demo.
Per Novoselic (as transcribed by Ultimate Classic Guitar): “He had a job as a janitor. He would go clean like dentist’s office in the evening. There are some crazy stories of what happened. He cleaned toilets to earn the money to make that record.”
At another point during the conversation, Novoselic provides more detail about how there was a lot of “pain” within Nirvana (speaking to the struggles taking place within the band):
“I was broke before that. There are all these blessings, but see, there was a lot of pain, too. Kurt had this addiction. He had a lot of pressure. He was like ‘the guy’, too – he had more attention than we had. He was out there out front, he was the singer. When I think about that time, it was a joyful, beautiful time. But there was a lot of pain. I can’t get into that. And the way it ended was terrible.
“That time of my life from ’91 to ’94, it seems like it was like 20 years, because it was so compressed. And then it ended so terribly. I had to decompress for years. And all the issues that come from being under so much stress like that.”
You can check out the full interview with Krist Novoselic below.