Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg was interviewed on the Whatever, Nevermind podcast & revealed Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain criticizing Motley Crue while recording ‘Nevermind’ album.
When the interviewer asked:
“On ‘Nevermind,’ Kurt would complain about the production eventually, he said it sounded like a Motley Crue record, which I don’t necessarily agree with.”
“I think that he had a balance of his relationship with the punk subculture, which had inspired him enormously in his teenage years. He recognized the outsiderness of it, the need for integrity, the emotions of that audience.
“And even though they were only a small percentage of the total audience of Nirvana, they were the original audience, and he always wanted to stay true to that part of himself.
“So after ‘Nevermind’ was incredibly successful, he would sometimes say sh*t like ‘the album sounds like Motley Crue’ in interviews to try to recognize the difference between the pure punk fans, and this mass rock audience that also liked Nirvana.
“But he completely controlled the sound of that record. It’s not like anyone imposed anything on him. He controlled how much echo or no echo was on the mic, he controlled the mixes, he controlled the mastering…
“He physically went to the mastering of the record, he had to approve of everything, he had the final say of anything, and he then wanted a remixer, he approved the remixes, he picked the guy. It was his record.
“But the success of it turned it into another thing. It was separate from the work of art, it became this mass cultural statement, and he emphasized with the punk fans who felt that the sheer success of it.
“It’s just weird when the people that used to kick your a*s in high school are now part of your audience.
“He said some things like that about the production, but I really don’t think that he really believed there was anything wrong with the production of it. It was his record.