Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)
Nostalgic, Sweet and Painful
In some ways, I feel like I was Nirvana's biggest fan in the Nineties. I'm sure there are a zillion people who would make that claim, but I was just so passionately in love with the music that it made me feel sick. It made my heart hurt. I can tell you the exact moment when I became aware of Nirvana: I was working at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in 1990, undergoing my yearlong transformation from being a speed-metal guitar player from New England to being an alternative songwriter and singer. The other, far-hipper employees at Tower kind of educated me. I remember they played "Sliver" for me, and I was immediately in love. It had the aggression that I needed from my upbringing as a metalhead, but paired with strong, major-key chord progressions and catchy, emotional melodies and lyrics that felt so nostalgic and sweet and painful. It just sounded like it was coming from the deepest part inside of me – a part which I hadn't yet come close to articulating in my own music.
Nevermind felt so close to what I wanted to do. This was right around when Weezer started. It's impossible to avoid the conclusion that Nevermind really inspired us to go for it.
I remember my friends telling me that Kurt had died. It was such a great blow – not only to me, but to everyone in Weezer. It was very hard to listen to any other music for weeks after that. Nothing sounded as sincere as Nirvana's music. It took a long time for me to accept that any other music could be good in other ways. Including my own.