Nirvana fans are a fickle bunch.
Especially when it comes to frontman Kurt Cobain. The man is revered as a God in the eyes of some, his music elevated to the same majestic heights as a regal force of nature and God help anyone that has an opposing opinion.
So when Nirvana fans universally embrace a tribute band recreating previously sacred tunes then you know that there is more than a casual air of acceptance in the air.
Coming to you fresh from the UK, Niravana Tribute are the only internationally touring and thus sustainable band of their ilk doing the rounds. They have been praised the world over and have such an affiliation with Australian audiences that in just over one week they start their third tour of this country – and second in two years.
Whereas the band has previously covered the entire span of Nirvana’s musical accomplishments in greater detail, this time the band will be focussing on Nirvana’s third and final studio album, In Utero, which this year celebrates 30 years of existence.
Of course, Nirvana Tribute will also be playing all of the hits from Nirvana’s other albums, but by dedicating a larger portion of the set to the one album they also get the chance to showcase some of the band’s lesser known material.
With the tour kicking off in Adelaide on May 10, HEAVY sat down with frontman Jon O’Connor to find out what else Nirvana Tribute have up their sleeve.
“We’re gonna mix things up a little bit,” he promised, “and keep everybody guessing. So we’re not gonna do it (In Utero) in track order, because that would get boring pretty quickly when you know what’s coming next, and you’ve always got that ‘I don’t really like that song’ so you’re gonna skip away to the bar and do whatever you’re gonna do. But you won’t have the opportunity to do that with us, because we’re gonna keep you guessing.”
We ask Jon how difficult it was learning every song from In Utero, given that when the album was made the likelihood of the original band planning to play every track would have been slim.
“Some of the songs are a little harder to play live,” he nodded. “Milk It is a bit strange because the timing is a little bit funny and that song can fall apart pretty quickly. I’ve been playing that album since I was a kid. It’s one of their greatest albums, it’s an absolute classic.”
In the full interview, Jon talks more about what to expect, his memories of In Utero when it first came out, what made him decide to form a Nirvana tribute band, his first memories of listening to and playing Nirvana songs, the two new members since the band’s last Australian tour, deciding on what versions of Nirvana’s back catalogue to play and more.
Tickets available from http://sbttix.com/nirvtrib23