Kurt Cobain didn’t like interviews.
Why is that?
Because he didn’t feel like revealing himself in conversation. He felt pensive about putting his life under the microscope in the name of publicity and pubic image. This comes across quite well in Penguin Random House’s latest book in their The Last Interview series, a collection of interviews Cobain gave in his life, cumulating with the final interview he ever gave.
Given his feelings about the press, the offerings here are a mixed bag. One interview with a DJ is bad, but the interviewer at least acknowledges that it is his fault the interview’s not great. An early interview from 1990 is perhaps the most relaxed of the bunch; they’re not famous, they’re just three guys sitting around talking, and Cobain is relaxed and upbeat. Even the great David Fricke—a master interviewer—finds himself having to spar a bit with his subject. The best interview here by far is his conversation with the legendary Jon Savage. Savage knows how to talk to people, and he lets Kurt speak without interjecting too much personal stuff into the conversation, letting Kurt lead the conversation. It’s a fascinating talk, and one that highlights Kurt at his most real, most open and honest.
As for that last interview? Well, given the nature of the subject and that he died unexpectedly at 27, there’s nothing revelatory in what he has to say. In fact, it’s easily the blandest and least interesting interview in the bunch. One would hope that there would be some sort of revelation in the last interview of a subject, but alas, it’s not always to be. That said, Kurt Cobain: The Last Interview is still an interesting study of a reticent young man and his interaction with the public.
Purchase Kurt Cobain: The Last Interview: Penguin Random House
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