She was a summer intern at Rolling Stone in New York. She did research for a cover story on the Jonas Brothers, sitting in a cubicle across from a giant painting of her father, Kurt Cobain. She is now a 22-year old visual artist.
Frances Bean Cobain sat down withRolling Stone for her first public interview on the topic of her father, her mother Courtney Love, and her thoughts on ‘Montage of Heck’, the HBO documentary that tells the story of Kurt’s life.
You can read the full story from Rolling Stone, but here are some of the most interesting moments from her:
“Kurt got to the point where he eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him…I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn’t want to be here and everyone would be happier without him.”
“…in reality, if he had lived, I would have had a dad. And that would have been an incredible experience.”
Frances on ‘Montage of Heck‘:
It’s emotional journalism. It’s the closest thing to having Kurt tell his own story in his own words – by his own aesthetic, his own perception of the world. It paints a portrait of a man attempting to cope with being a human. When Brett and I first met, I was very specific about what I wanted to see, how I wanted Kurt to be represented. I told him, “I don’t want the mythology of Kurt or the romanticism.” Even though Kurt died in the most horrific way possible, there is this mythology and romanticism that surrounds him, because he’s 27 forever. The shelf life of an artist or musician isn’t particularly long. Kurt has gotten to icon status because he will never age. He will always be that relevant in that time and always be beautiful.
There is, with any great artist, a little manic-ness and insanity. Tropic of Cancer is one of my favorite books. And [author] Henry Miller had this work ethic, where he would get out of bed every day and force himself to write five pages. It taught me that if you do the work, you progress. 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 f*cking voice of a generation.
Did she like any Nirvana 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. But “Territorial Pissings” [on Nevermind] is a fucking great song. And “Dumb” [on In Utero] – I cry every time I hear that song. It’s a stripped-down version of Kurt’s perception of himself – of himself on drugs, off drugs, feeling inadequate to be titled the voice of a generation.”
“I would have felt more awkward if I’d been a fan. I was around 15 when I realized he was inescapable. Even if I was in a car and had the radio on, there’s my dad. He’s larger than life. and our culture is obsessed with dead musicians. We love to put them on a pedestal. If Kurt had just been another guy who abandoned his family in the most awful way possible . . . But he wasn’t. He inspired people to put him on a pedestal, to become St. Kurt. He became even bigger after he died than he was when he was alive. You don’t think it could have gotten any bigger. But it did.”
Frances Speaks About a Visit with former members of Nirvana:
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.”
But I was glad they came over [smiles]. It was a cool experience, like having a Nirvana reunion minus one. Except for his spawn.