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The Dark Side of The 90s and Nirvana

In the Vice TV series The Dark Side of the '90s the episode 'Grunge and the Seattle Sound' shows the impact of grunge music and Nirvana.

Gen X'ers and Boomers who lived through the 90s would remember the new sound that came outta Seattle. Most notable of many would be Nirvana and Pearl Jam. The episodes tells that grunge tore down existing music trends and paved way for bands that would follow.

The show is narrated by musician Mark McGrath on the grunge scene Mark says “What grunge did was eliminate, kind of what punk rock did in the mid ’70s, that bloated corporate hair metal, which I love the genre but it became a little bit monotonous there in the late ’80s. You had to be a virtuoso on your instrument or you could never make it.”

And just like Ramones and The Sex Pistols did in 70s with influencing people to start their own punk bands, Nirvana did the same with grunge. They showed that musos didn't need to conform to what was on radio or TV.

“Grunge came in and Nirvana came in and just said, ‘We’re taking this all down. We’re exploding it back up. Three chords and the truth. We don’t want guitar solos. We don’t want any of that,’” McGrath said. “So if you were a band in the early 90s and you had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul guitar and you played loud, distorted, you had a really damn good chance of getting signed to a major label and we were one of those bands.”

Brian May weighs in on grunge

In an interview with Ultimate Guitar Rock, Brian May weighs in on his opinion on grunge, Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.

“I wish I’d met him. Nirvana were great. I love people with passion. And it’s not related to how much dexterity they have on their instruments, it’s what comes from the soul.

“Kurt Cobain, for me, looked like a kindred spirit.”

May was working on his debut solo album Back To The Light in the early nineties. May recalls visiting Seattle when grunge music was smashing it.

“I remember visiting Seattle around that time and kind of drinking it in,” he recalled. “I was realising that something big was happening – and in a good way.”

May continued: “I remember getting kind of immersed in the graffiti. I’d always kind of hated graffiti up to that time, because in Britain it’s just a mess. When I went to Seattle, I saw all of these beautiful coloured things on the walls everywhere. It kind of reminded me of psychedelia and the days when I was a boy. It was cool to paint everything in fluorescent paint or whatever. I just felt it was a great community. There was a movement going on there.”

We're lucky to have had Nirvana, now who's the next breakthrough artist?

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