Dave Grohl: “Listening to Nirvana’s In Utero kinda makes my skin crawl”

Dave Grohl has revealed that while he is proud of Nirvana’s final studio album, In Utero, listening to the record “kinda makes [his] skin crawl” due to the memories it brings back.

In an excerpt from the forthcoming updated 10th anniversary edition of Paul Brannigan’s Grohl biography, This Is A Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl (released Sept 2) shared by Louder, Grohl discusses the difference between Nirvana’s 30 million-selling sophomore album, Nevermind, and the band’s more raw follow-up, In Utero.  

“Nevermind and In Utero are two totally different albums. Nevermind was intentional, as much as any revisionists might say it was a contrived version of Nirvana, it wasn’t: we went down there to make that record, we rehearsed hours and hours and hours, day after day, to get to Nevermind. 

"But In Utero was so different. There was no laboured process, it was just… bleurgh...it just came out, like a purge, and it was so pure and natural. And both of those things I'm very proud of, the structured exercise of making an album like Nevermind versus the reckless purge of making an album like In Utero. If you can make one of those albums in your lifetime, you're lucky: we got two in a row, and that's awesome."

“Obviously In Utero was a direct response to the success and sound of Nevermind. We just pushed ourselves in the other direction, like, “Oh really, that's what you like? Well, here's what we're going to fucking do now!” But it is a hard album for me to listen to from front to back. Because it's so real, and because it's such an accurate representation of the band at the time, it brings back other memories, it kinda makes my skin crawl. 

"It's funny, I spend a lot of my time planning things to come, I don't spend a lot of time thinking back on things I've done. But In Utero, man, what a trip."

Footage of In Utero producer, Steve Albini recently surfaced, where Albini discusses working with Nirvana. Specifically revealing that Cobain recorded the bulk of his first-take vocals for the album in one sitting.

Meanwhile, Dave Grohl and former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing are named - alongside Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and the late Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love - on a lawsuit filed by ‘Nevermind baby’, Spencer Elden alleging sexual exploitation.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.