Skip to main content

Dave Grohl Talks Playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the First Time in 17 Years

In a recent interview with the Observer, Dave Grohl recounted playing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the first time in 17 years with former Nirvana bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear. The event in question happened during rehearsals for a Foo Fighters show.

"Krist is on bass, Pat's on guitar. I'm on drums," Grohl explains. "Krist says, 'You wanna run through some oldies?' Me and Pat look at each other. I mean, that's something I've never considered before. I was like 'OK.' Krist says, 'Fuck it, let's do 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. And Pat starts playing and we kick into it. I haven't played that drumbeat in 17 years."

"It was like… a ghost," he concluded "It was heavy."

Grohl said that no one sang on their rendition of the song and the only other person to hear it was the manager of the studio.

As previously reported, Nirvana's classic album Smells Like Teen Spirit, which was originally released on September 24, 1991, will be reissued in a deluxe format later this year.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.