Kurt Cobain

Frances Bean Cobain speaks publicly for the first time about her father: "He didn't want to be the f**king voice of a generation"

Here are the most interesting things we learned from Frances' intimate Rolling Stone cover story


Colin Gorenstein
April 8, 2015 10:34PM (UTC)

Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love, is speaking publicly for the first time about her father in a forthcoming Rolling Stone cover story. The interview comes on the heels of "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck's" premiere at the Sundance Film Festival -- a documentary which Frances serves as executive producer on -- and in anticipation of its HBO wide-release May 4.

Fans and scholars alike have endlessly and obsessively dissected Kurt Cobain and what happened in the days leading up to his suicide in April of 1994. Frances, herself, was only a newborn when Cobain ended his life but her Rolling Stone cover story provides a deeply personal layer to the narrative, nonetheless -- one of heartbreak, desperation and a whole lot of goth clothing. Growing up "in the shadow of a father she [couldn't] even remember," made a profound impact on the the 22-year-old visual artist.

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In one particularly emotional part of the interview,  Frances insists that it was fame that ultimately took her father's life: "He eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him," Frances said.

Here are other things we learned from Frances Bean Cobain in her intimate Rolling Stone account of her late father:

Kurt Cobain never wanted to be the voice of a generation.

"So many people are content to settle. My dad was exceptionally ambitious. But he had a lot thrown on him, exceeding his ambition. He wanted his band to be successful. But he didn't want to be the fucking voice of a generation."

Frances never particularly liked Nirvana's music. 

"I don't really like Nirvana that much [grins]. Sorry, promotional people, Universal. I'm more into Mercury Rev, Oasis, Brian Jonestown Massacre [laughs]. The grunge scene is not what I'm interested in."

Frances feels like she's carrying the ghost of her father everywhere she goes.

"It's very weird how genes are. Dave [Grohl], Krist [Novoselic] and Pat [Smear] came over to a house where I was living. It was the first time [the ex-Nirvana members] had been together in a long time. And they had what I call the "K. C. Jeebies," which is when they see me, they see Kurt. They look at me, and you can see they're looking at a ghost. They were all getting the K. C. Jeebies hardcore. Dave said, "She is so much like Kurt." They were all talking amongst themselves, rehashing old stories I'd heard a million times. I was sitting in a chair, chain-smoking, looking down like this [affects total boredom]. And they went, "You are doing exactly what your father would have done."

Courtney Love broke down in tears while watching the documentary at Sundance. 

"My mother held me, cried on me and just said, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," Frances tells us, recalling watching that scene with her mother. "Just kept saying it over and over. But then she said, 'Do you realize how much your father loved you?' And I said, 'Yeah, I do.'"

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Read the full preview via Rolling Stone here.


Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email cgorenstein@salon.com.

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Entertainment Kurt Cobain Nirvana Rolling Stone

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