Kurt Cobain’s Daughter Frances Bean: “I Don’t Really Like Nirvana”

Frances Bean Cobain
Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of the late Kurt Cobain, opened up to Rolling Stone about life without her famous father  Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Kurt Cobain‘s music was the soundtrack for an entire generation, but his own daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, could take it or leave it. The now 22-year-old visual artist — only child of the late grunge legend Cobain and Courtney Love — sat down with David Fricke recently for an interview in the new issue of Rolling Stone, during which she admitted that she’s not a fan of her father’s band.

“I don’t really like Nirvana that much,” Frances told Fricke during their chat, timed to the new HBO documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which the rock scion co-executive produced. “Sorry, promotional people, Universal. I’m more into Mercury Rev, Oasis, Brian Jonestown Massacre. The grunge scene is not what I’m interested in.”

There are a few exceptions, of course. “Territorial Pissings,” from Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind, is “a f–king great song,” she said. “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.” 

kurt and courtney with frances bean in 1993
Kurt Cobain plays with Frances Bean at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

The pressure of that title would be his undoing. “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,” Frances told Rolling Stone. “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.”

Frances wasn’t even 2 years old when her famous father died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994. But his bandmates have told her she’s a lot like him.

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,” she told the mag. “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.”

She continued: “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.'”

Read the full interview with Frances Bean in the new issue of Rolling Stone.

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