Brian May shares thoughts on Nirvana and grunge: “Kurt Cobain, for me, looked like a kindred spirit”

“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”

It was when Brian May visited Seattle in the 90s that the Queen guitarist realised grunge was on its way to becoming a big movement.

May was weighing in on grunge, Nirvana and Kurt Cobain in a conversation with Ultimate Classic Rock.

“I wish I’d met him. I never did,” May said of the late musician. “I thought [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.

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

At the beginning of the 90s, May was working on his debut solo album, Back To The Light, which he reissued earlier this month with a bonus second disc. May recalled visiting the Emerald City when the grunge music movement was about to peak.

“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.”

He 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.”

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