In a recent episode of Justin Hawkins Rides Again, the Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins shared his thoughts about the people in denial about Nirvana‘s influence on the rock scene and its fans.
Nirvana’s grunge rock sound had a monumental impact on the music industry because the band never conformed to what the mainstream required. They shaped the grunge rock scene by crafting songs relatable to teenagers and young adults at the time. They were not afraid to challenge social norms, as their frontman Kurt Cobain had worn dresses during performances and interviews.
The band’s second album, ‘Nevermind,’ popularized grunge and increased rock music’s appeal. Thus, it is safe to say that many contemporary musicians looked up to the band. Justin Hawkins recently stated that after Nirvana released their second studio album, ‘Nevermind,’ suddenly everyone he played football with changed drastically. Everyone was influenced to bleach their hair and had the desire to be in bands. Their kick-off in the scene after their second album changed everyone’s lives.
Hawkins added that he was a teenager when Nirvana changed the music scene, coinciding with his formative musical years. He mentioned that Darkness had also drawn inspiration from Nirvana, but there was hardly anyone they hadn’t impacted, especially during those years. The frontman finally said that it annoys him when people claim they haven’t heard of Nirvana while looking like a copycat of Kurt Cobain. He added they were lying because everyone was influenced by Nirvana one way or another.
Justin Hawkins’ words about the influence Nirvana had on everyone that had a band at the time:
“I remember when ‘Never Mind’ came out; that was the second Nirvana record, and then suddenly, all these people I was playing football with didn’t look the same. They started bleaching their hair and looking a bit f*cked up, wearing military clothes and buying stuff in second-hand shops, and next thing you know, they’re all in bands. They’re all playing Grunge music in more or less every Pub in Lowestoft has got a grunge band playing in it with somebody that I was on a football team with at one time or another, and it just changed a lot of people’s lives profoundly.
I was lucky because I was a teenager when it all kicked off. It was kind of those formative musical years for me. Darkness is definitely inspired by Nirvana. It’s not an obvious touchstone for us, but in terms of dynamics and the looseness of it and the groove, they are an influence. You’ve got to say that they’ve influenced everybody you know. I think if when people were saying back then that they weren’t into Nirvana, they were f*cking lying. The people suddenly started dressing like Kurt Cobain and were saying, ‘Yeah, no, I love mud honey; who’s Nirvana again?’ F*ck off, mate, you’re lying. They touched everybody in a really profound way.”
You can watch the episode below.