Krist Anthony Novoselic jokingly known as Chris Novaselic in Bleach's personnel credits (born May 16, 1965), was the bassist of Nirvana and one of its founding members. After Nirvana disbanded following the death of singer Kurt Cobain, Novoselic formed Sweet 75 and Eyes Adrift, releasing one album with each band. From 2006 to 2009 he played in the punk band Flipper, and in 2011 contributed bass and accordion to the song "I Should Have Known", on Foo Fighters' studio album Wasting Light.
- 1 Early life (1965–1986)
- 2 Nirvana Years (1987-1994)
- 3 After Nirvana (1995-Present)
- 4 Flipper
- 5 Political and Social Activisim
- 6 Personal Life
- 7 Discography
- 8 Tourography
Early life (1965–1986)[edit | edit source]
Novoselic was born to Croatian immigrants Krsto and Maria Novoselic in Compton, California. He lived there for one year before his parents moved to the Croatian neighborhood of San Pedro, where he remained for most of his childhood.
Novoselic has a younger brother Robert, born in 1968, and a sister Diana, born in 1973. His family relocated to Aberdeen, Washington in 1979, as a result of surging real estate costs in California. In 1980, his parents sent him to live with relatives in Zadar, Croatia, then part of SFR Yugoslavia. He returned to Aberdeen in 1981.
Novoselic was already interested in bands such as Led Zeppelin, Devo, Black Sabbath, Van Halen and Aerosmith. He also enjoyed rock bands like Zabranjeno, Pušenje, Prljavo kazalište, and Azra. While in Yugoslavia, he picked up an interest in punk rock, and discovered bands such as Sex Pistols and Ramones. He has cited Paul McCartney, Geezer Butler, John Entwistle, and Gene Simmons as the fundamental influences of his bass playing.
Sometime later, Novoselic's brother Robert introduced him to his friend Kurt Cobain, who had noticed loud music coming from upstairs. Robert told Cobain that it was his older brother, who listened to punk rock. Cobain eventually befriended the elder Novoselic, as the pair ended up sharing similar musical tastes, including a fondness for local band Melvins. The two had several mutual friends and began hanging out shortly thereafter. At one point, Cobain gave Novoselic a demo tape of his former band Fecal Matter, and asked him to form a band together. After several months, Novoselic finally listened to the tape, liked it, and agreed to start a band with Cobain.
Nirvana Years (1987-1994)[edit | edit source]
Cobain and Novoselic's first band lasted barely a few weeks before it disbanded, leaving the pair to move on. However, the duo eventually discovered that Melvins could pull $80 a night for one show. Inspired, Cobain and Novoselic started a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, in which Cobain played drums and Novoselic sang and played guitar. That band was short-lived as well. Some months later, Cobain and Novoselic met drummer Aaron Burckhard. While the new band never used the name, it was the first incarnation of Nirvana.
Burckhard lasted only a few months and Melvins' drummer Dale Crover filled in until Novoselic and Cobain met Chad Channing. The trio recorded their debut album Bleach, released in 1989. Channing left the band in 1990 and was briefly replaced by Crover and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters.
Later in 1990, Melvins' singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne encouraged Novoselic and Cobain to check out a punk band called Scream. The pair were impressed by their drummer, Dave Grohl. A few weeks later, Scream disbanded, and Grohl placed a call to Osborne for advice. Osborne gave him Novoselic's phone number, and Novoselic invited Grohl up to Seattle (from San Francisco, where Scream broke up). Grohl passed the audition and joined Nirvana. A few months later, in the spring of 1991, the band recorded their major label debut, Nevermind, which launched the band as a worldwide phenomenon with their hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
Nirvana ended abruptly in April 1994 following Cobain's death. For most of the rest of that year, Novoselic retreated from the spotlight. Novoselic and Cobain had been virtually inseparable for almost a decade, and the loss of his close friend was especially hard on him. One of a few public appearances came that September at the MTV Video Music Awards, where the video for Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" was awarded for Best Alternative Video. Novoselic took the opportunity to pay tribute to his bandmate and best friend, Kurt Cobain.
After Nirvana (1995-Present)[edit | edit source]
The following year, Novoselic continued to dabble in musical endeavors. He was offered the position of playing bass in a new band, Foo Fighters, with friend and former bandmate Dave Grohl but both decided against it, because they believed people would think of Foo Fighters as a new incarnation of Nirvana. Novoselic instead formed the band Sweet 75 in 1995, releasing a single self-titled album in 1997. In 2002 he performed uncredited background vocals on Foo Fighters' song "Walking a Line", written as a tribute to Cobain, during the One by One album sessions. The track is included on the One by One bonus DVD, as well as being a bonus track to the album.
In 1998, Novoselic directed his first movie, L7: The Beauty Process, a pseudo-documentary that utilizes concert footage taped in 1997 in three American cities. In 1999, he joined Jello Biafra and Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil in the No WTO Combo. He then joined former Meat Puppets front man Curt Kirkwood and former Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh to form Eyes Adrift, which disbanded in 2003. This band was significant as it was the first official release in his career where he sang lead vocals. He also took a highly active role in the song writing process, co-writing several songs with Kirkwood.
Following the end of Eyes Adrift, Novoselic announced that he was quitting the music business, noting that he disliked the process of building up publicity for new records. However, in recent years, Novoselic has occasionally worked on music for a possible solo album, noting, "Right now, I'm just doing it for myself, and that's what it's all about."
Flipper[edit | edit source]
In November 2006, it was announced, that Novoselic would join Flipper, replacing Bruno DeSmartas on bass, for a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. He was a full-time member of the band and had been working on their new album. On September 22, 2008, because of responsibilities at home, Novoselic announced his departure from the band. As a result, the band cancelled the remainder of the tour. Rachel Thoele then replaced Novoselic.
In 2009, he played a newspaper vendor in the movie World's Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams. In October 2010, Dave Grohl, former Nirvana band mate of Novoselic, announced live on BBC radio, that Novoselic will be joining Foo Fighters on their next album as a bassist and accordionist which was released in 2011, Wasting Light.
Novoselic also played bass on children's music artist Caspar Babypants' (also known as Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America's) 2010 album This Is Fun!, for a cover of the Nirvana song "Sliver".
Political and Social Activisim[edit | edit source]
In 1992, the Washington state legislature attempted to pass a bill called the Erotic Music Law. The law would allow courts to declare certain albums "erotic" by their content, and would make it illegal to sell those albums to those under the age of 18. A lobbying group called the Washington Music Industry Coalition formed as a response to the bill. Novoselic and Nirvana actively campaigned against the bill and performed a benefit concert for the lobbying group in September 1992.
In 1995, the Erotic Music Law was reintroduced to the Washington State Legislature as the Matters Harmful to Minors bill. Noting that the music industry had serious clout in Seattle given the success of the scene, Novoselic proposed creating a political action committee, which was named JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee). Over the next several years, JAMPAC fought a number of different issues, including the Teen Dance Ordinance, a 1985 law that severely limited the ability of minors to attend shows. With JAMPAC, Novoselic began to turn his focus more and more towards politics.
Novoselic remains active in politics as an elected State Committeeman, making appearances to advocate electoral reform (especially instant-runoff voting and proportional representation) and running the website. He considered a 2004 run for Lieutenant Governor of Washingtonas a Democrat, challenging an incumbent of the same party, but ultimately decided against it. He also joined the board of FairVote, then the Center for Voting and Democracy, and was appointed chair in January 2008.
Novoselic's first book, Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy, was published in October 2004. It covers Novoselic's musical past, including Nirvana's rise to a world wide phenomenon of the early 1990s. It also covers his interest in politics, his support of electoral reform, and his belief in the need to return to grassroots movements and clean up politics overall.
He supported Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election, and in the primary. In 2007 he made a donation to libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul.
He withdrew from the campaign for county clerk of Wahkiakum County. He was running under the "Grange Party". He is a member of The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. However, the Grange is not actually a political party. He was running in order to protest Washington state's system, in which a candidate can claim any party as their own (real or fictional) without consent or support from the party.
Novoselic continues to support political reform, even looking at social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as major factors in shaping the political future. He explained his support for fair voting reforms on CSPAN's Washington Journal in 2012.
In an interview for Reason TV, Novoselic was asked how he described his political views, and he responded, "I'm an anarcho-capitalist, socialist, moderate...I don't know" and continued to say that while his political views couldn't be easily categorized, he finds fault in the political philosophies of both the left and right-wing.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Novoselic has been married twice. His first wife was Shelli Dilley; he met her in high school, and they began dating in 1985. They were married in December 1989; they divorced in late 1999. In early 2004, Novoselic married artist Darbury Stenderu. He resides near Deep River, Washington, in rural Wahkiakum County, Washington.
Novoselic wrote a blog for the Seattle Weekly website from 2007 to 2010. He attends Lower Columbia College and is studying for a pre-law degree.
Discography[edit | edit source]
With Nirvana[edit | edit source]
Studio Albums[edit | edit source]
With Flipper[edit | edit source]
Studio Albums[edit | edit source]
- Love (2009)
Live Albums[edit | edit source]
Guest Appearances[edit | edit source]
Tourography[edit | edit source]
With Nirvana[edit | edit source]
With Flipper[edit | edit source]
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