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My Favourite Nirvana Song

Rock Sound
Rock Sound 22 September 2011 at 17.09

Members of Gallows, Deaf Havana, Modestep, Saves The Day and more pick their favourite Nirvana track!

Dan O'Connor from Four Year Strong said it best when he recently admitted to Rock Sound that "Nirvana changed the way I heard music, I no longer heard a catchy chorus or a guitar solo. I heard feeling behind every note and drum hit. It was pure energy and passion."

As the band's second album 'Nevermind' turns 20 this weekend we ask a load of musicians what their favourite Nirvana song is. Read on to see who loves what and why!

"My favourite Nirvana song is one that was only released on the greatest hits album. It's called 'You Know You're Right'. For me, this song is perfect music. The whole thing is so simple, beautifully quiet and melodic verses and heavy as shit chorus', what the hell more could you ask for?! We also played a cover of this song on our last tour and needless to say I enjoyed playing that one more than all of our own songs."
James Veck-Gilodi


"If I had the money I would build a room filled with vases, chairs, and other objects that rated high on the 'destroyability' scale. When life would start getting to me I would enter this room, smash everything in sight and leave feeling a whole lot happier. The soundtrack for this release of energy would be 'Territorial Pissings'. Even the chord sequence in this song is far better than the oh so popular 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in my opinion."
Laurent Barnard, Gallows

"If I had to choose a favourite Nirvana track (a hard job seeing as there are so many!) I would have to go for 'Territorial Pissings'. When I first started drumming I had 'Nevermind' on loop. I used to play along to that album until my hands bled. ‘Territorial Pissings’ is an incredible track to drum along to, I actually broke through my first ever snare head whilst playing along to it, and that felt amazing!! To this day I still love jamming along to this tune, it's testament to what can be achieved with three instruments and a lot of pent up angst!"
Matthew Curtis, Modestep

"My favorite Nirvana track is 'Drain You'. I love it because it’s such a weird lullaby type of song, the lyrics at the beginning are strange and poetic, and then it just drops like a thousand anvils and your brain is like 'woah now'. It's such a great pop song whist still being insanely heavy."
Matt Bigland, Dinosaur Pile-Up

"My favourite Nirvana song is 'In Bloom' from their second album "Nevermind". I love the fact that the song has such a heavy riff but is still very melodic. It's so simple. It's so effortlessly cool. It's not trying to be anything other than a pop song. I love the irony that there is a song written about his friend who tragically bought the shotgun that he ultimately used to commit suicide. I love the music video making fun of old,"butter wouldn't melt" 50's bands on tv shows. So much feeling and so much opinion with iconic statements like 'nature is a whore' or 'sell the kids for food, weather changes mood', in such a simple song... makes it my favourite."
Sam McTrusty, Twin Atlantic



"My favorite Nirvana song is 'In Bloom' because it sounds like Black Sabbath doing The Beatles with sick and twisted lyrics loaded with sarcastic commentary. The chords are strange, the bass line is catchy, and the drums are monstrous, all with a maniacal pop melody over the top. It's a total gem."
Chris Conley, Saves The Day

"I'd have to say that 'Territorial Pissings' is my favorite Nirvana song. Mainly because it's hard as hell. I saw it in a skate video, I think it was Chris Cole's part in an old Zero video, and its been one of my favorites ever since."
Tim Landers, Transit

"Nirvana are one of those bands I forget about so often when I consider the bands that influenced and shaped me growing up. I'd been raised on classic rock and pop, so 'Nevermind', like 'Dookie' by Green Day a couple of years later, were the gateways to modern rock music when I was in my early teens. What Nirvana did so brilliantly was capture the raw and visceral nature of their music on record. It was such a departure from what was popular before, and ushered in a whole new wave of Seattle bands into the popular consciousness: Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. Listen to 'Breed' from 'Nevermind', and you won't see a better example of a band converting raw emotion into a storming rock song."
James Davies, The Blackout


"It's exceedingly hard for me to pick just one Nirvana song to write about considering the strength of their collection. 'In Utero' is one my favourite records of all time, I personally prefer it to 'Nevermind' but I'm not here to debate, I'm here to write about a song. In terms of songwriting I could have easily picked 'All Apologies' or 'Dumb', two songs that really showcase Cobain's songwriting talents which have more in common with The Beatles than they do The Pixies. However, I am going to write about 'Milk It', one of the dirtiest tracks on 'In Utero'. The fact they had the balls to write this track, let alone put it on a record which would be released by a major label kind of sums up Nirvana's ethos. The verses are exceedingly sombre and create a pretty unsettling image with lyrics like 'her milk is my shit, my shit it is her milk' being sung in a droned like fashion. The chorus is made up of Kurt Cobain screaming 'Doll steak! Test meat!' in a possessed fashion. You will never hear him sound so raw. The middle eight is one of the greatest things done by a rock band, they may as well have cut the music and screamed 'WE DO NOT GIVE A FUCK!'. This song is a real middle finger salute to every single person that thought they had 'sold out'/wanted them to write 'Nevermind' part two."
Murray Macleod, The Xcerts

"'Aneurysm' - Not one of Nirvana's most popular songs, but it probably stands out as my favourite mainly due to the tempo changes, dynamic transitions, crazy structure, catchy shouting vocals and Dave Grohl's drum fill near the beginning! It also means a lot to me because I used to cover it in a band when I was 13 and it was one of the first songs I learnt on guitar!"
Dane Campbell, Straight Lines

"Nevermind sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. It had pop sensibilities but still felt like a punk record. It made me want to understand where this music came from and opened my eyes to The Sonics, The Melvins, The Wipers and countless other bands. A record like this can change your life.”
Wade MacNeill, Gallows


"Nevermind came out when I was five years old and so, obviously I listened primarily with my dad in his car but even at five, I was stunned by how hauntingly beautiful a song 'Polly' was and still is today twenty years later."
Dan 'Soupy' Campbell, The Wonder Years

“As a kid growing up in the 90’s I was rather sheltered from contemporary music. My home life provided me two drastic polars, my mother only allowing religious music and radio in the house and my father always playing classic rock in his workshop. I remember listening to Cream, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, thinking all the best songs have already been written so why do all these modern bands bother writing music anymore. Then I heard 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and instantly matured passed that mindset. Until that point I had never heard a song carry such a carelessly defiant tone, it changed something in me.”
Richard Perry, Evaline

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