Krist Novoselic

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Krist Novoselic Singer

Krist Anthony Novoselic – Krist Novoselic, an American musician and activist, rose to prominence as the bassist of the legendary rock band Nirvana, co-founded by him and Kurt Cobain in 1987. Their journey began with the recruitment of drummer Aaron Burckhard, marking the inception of Nirvana into the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene of the late 1980s. The band’s debut album, “Bleach,” released in 1989, laid the groundwork for their ascent.

However, it was Nirvana’s second studio album, “Nevermind,” unleashed upon the world in 1991, that catapulted them to global stardom. The infectious energy of tracks like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” not only defined a generation but also solidified Nirvana’s place in music history. The subsequent release of “In Utero” in 1993 further cemented their legacy as one of the most influential bands of all time.

Tragically, Nirvana’s meteoric rise was cut short by the untimely death of Cobain in 1994, marking the end of an era. Nonetheless, Krist Novoselic contributions to the band earned him a well-deserved place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the aftermath of Nirvana’s dissolution, Krist Novoselic embarked on new musical endeavors, forming bands like Sweet 75 and Eyes Adrift, each leaving its mark on the alternative music landscape. Notably, his stint with the punk rock band Flipper from 2006 to 2009 showcased his versatility as a musician.

Beyond the realm of music, Krist Novoselic has been a vocal advocate for political reform. His weekly column on music and politics for the Seattle Weekly website from 2007 to 2010 underscored his commitment to social commentary. Moreover, his involvement with organizations like FairVote and Zócalo Public Square reflects his dedication to effecting tangible change.

In a surprising turn of events, Krist Novoselic’s foray into politics took a significant leap when he joined the Forward Party in 2023, eventually assuming leadership in Washington. His transition from music to politics speaks volumes about his enduring passion for driving meaningful transformation in society.

Compton, California, U.S.

Riverside, California, U.S
Krist Novoselic
Name Krist Novoselic
Date of Birth May 16, 1965
Birth Place Compton, California, U.S.
Political Forward (since 2023)
Genres
  • Grunge
  • hard rock
  • heavy metal
Profession Singer, musician, songwriter
Instrument
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
Preceded Chris Vance (May 2023 )
Member of the Board of the Forward Party
Assumed office May 30, 2023
University Washington State University
Wife 1st Shelli Hyrkas
Reltionship m. 1989; div. 1999
Wife 2st Darbury Stenderu
Reltionship m. 2004
Children 2

Early life

Krist Anthony Novoselic was born on May 16, 1965, in Compton, California, to Croatian immigrants Kristo Novaselić and Marija Mustać. Kristo hailed from Veli Iž on the island of Iž, while Marija’s roots traced back to Privlaka. Interestingly, the family name was originally Novaselić, but a clerical error altered it to Novoselic during Kristo’s passport application process. After spending a year in Compton, the Krist Novoselic family relocated to San Pedro, a Croatian enclave in Los Angeles. Krist’s mother tongue is Croatian, and he grew up alongside his younger brother Robert (born 1968) and sister Diana (born 1973). Seeking more affordable living, the family moved to Aberdeen, Washington, in 1979, with Krist spending a year in Zadar, Croatia, in 1980, before returning to Aberdeen the following year.

His musical journey began with fond memories of listening to Chuck Berry with his father, despite grappling with a severe underbite that required corrective surgery during his upbringing. Krist’s musical palette expanded to encompass diverse influences, from iconic acts like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and The Who, to Yugoslavian bands such as Zabranjeno Pušenje and Prljavo kazalište. It was during his time in Croatia, at the age of 14, that he delved into punk rock, discovering the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones.

Krist’s entry into the music scene was further catalyzed by his younger brother Robert, who introduced him to Kurt Cobain. Their mutual love for raucous music, including local band Melvins, laid the foundation for a deep friendship. Despite attending different high schools—Krist at Aberdeen High School and Kurt in nearby Montesano—their shared passion for music solidified their bond. Cobain even entrusted Krist Novoselic with a demo tape of his former band Fecal Matter, eventually persuading him to form a band together.

Following their high school years, Krist found employment as a painter and decorator, albeit temporarily, before diving headfirst into the burgeoning music scene with Cobain.

Career

Cobain and Novoselic’s initial foray into the music scene was short-lived, their first band disbanding after a brief stint. Undeterred, the duo, inspired by the potential earnings of the Melvins, experimented with various musical endeavors. They formed a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, albeit briefly, before fate intervened, leading them to drummer Aaron Burckhard. Although this initial formation never adopted a formal name, it marked the inception of what would later become Nirvana.

However, Burckhard’s tenure was short-lived, and after his departure, Dale Crover of the Melvins temporarily filled in until the fateful encounter with Chad Channing. Together, they recorded Nirvana’s debut album, “Bleach,” which hit the shelves in 1989. Personnel changes followed, with Channing exiting the band in 1990, briefly replaced by Crover and later by Dan Peters of Mudhoney. Throughout these transitions, Krist Novoselic’s creative input was evident, his songwriting contributions enriching the band’s repertoire.

In a serendipitous turn of events, Melvins’ Buzz Osborne introduced Novoselic and Cobain to Dave Grohl, drummer for the recently disbanded punk band Scream. Grohl’s audition proved successful, solidifying Nirvana’s lineup. With Grohl onboard, the band embarked on a journey through various record labels before signing with DGC Records.

The spring of 1991 saw Nirvana entering Sound City Studios in Los Angeles to record their breakthrough album, “Nevermind.” Krist Novoselic’s creative influence extended to songwriting, notably contributing to tracks like “Polly.” The album’s release surpassed all expectations, catapulting Nirvana to global stardom with the iconic single “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Their meteoric rise was further affirmed at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, where Nirvana clinched multiple awards. However, Krist Novoselic memorable performance of “Lithium” was marred by a mishap when he attempted a daring “Bass Toss,” inadvertently missing his catch.

Subsequent releases, including the compilation album “Incesticide” in 1992 and the critically acclaimed “In Utero” in 1993, continued to showcase Krist Novoselic’s multifaceted talents. The latter’s recording process, although met with some internal criticism, didn’t hinder its commercial success.

Tragically, Nirvana’s journey came to an abrupt end in 1994 with Cobain’s untimely death. In the aftermath, Novoselic retreated from the limelight, making sporadic appearances to honor his late bandmate.

Novoselic’s contributions to music were duly recognized when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 as a member of Nirvana. Further accolades followed, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for Nirvana in 2023, reaffirming the band’s enduring legacy.

1995–present

After the tragic loss of Cobain, Krist Novoselic embarked on a diverse array of musical ventures, showcasing his versatility and passion for music. One notable project was his collaboration with Venezuelan musician Yva Las Vegass in forming the band Sweet 75 in 1995. Their self-titled album, released in 1997, was a testament to Novoselic’s ongoing creativity and dedication to exploring new musical avenues.

In addition to his work with Sweet 75, Novoselic contributed to various musical endeavors, demonstrating his eclectic tastes and collaborative spirit. One such collaboration was with legendary singer Johnny Cash, guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, and drummer Sean Kinney of Alice in Chains. Together, they recorded a cover of Willie Nelson’s “Time of the Preacher” for the tribute album Twisted Willie in 1996, showcasing Novoselic’s ability to adapt to different musical styles.

Beyond his contributions to established artists, Krist Novoselic also ventured into filmmaking, directing his first movie, “L7: The Beauty Process,” in 1998. This pseudo-documentary provided a unique insight into the music scene of the late ’90s, further highlighting Novoselic’s multifaceted talents beyond his role as a musician.

Despite briefly stepping away from the spotlight after the dissolution of Eyes Adrift in 2003, Novoselic’s passion for music endured. In 2005, he hinted at a possible solo album, reaffirming his commitment to artistic expression on his own terms.

Krist Novoselic musical journey continued to evolve, with notable collaborations and projects marking each phase of his career. From joining Flipper in 2006 for a tour of the UK and Ireland to his involvement with the Foo Fighters and his diverse range of side projects, including his current bands Giants in the Trees and Filthy Friends, Novoselic’s impact on the music industry remains significant.

His most recent endeavor, the formation of the band 3rd Secret alongside Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron, underscores his enduring creativity and willingness to explore new sonic territories. Their self-titled album, released in April 2022, stands as a testament to Novoselic’s continued relevance and innovation in the ever-changing landscape of music.

Grohl and Novoselic Collaboration

In 1994, Dave Grohl embarked on a new musical journey, founding the renowned band Foo Fighters. Despite their shared history in Nirvana, Grohl and his bandmates opted against inviting Krist Novoselic to join. While the reunion might have seemed like a natural progression, Grohl recognized the potential discomfort it could cause for both the band and Novoselic himself, understanding the weight it would place on his shoulders.

Nevertheless, glimpses of their collaboration emerged over the years. In a memorable encore during the Foo Fighters’ performance at the Bumbershoot festival in 1997, Krist Novoselic joined them on stage, lending his bass skills to covers of iconic tracks like “Purple Rain” and “Communication Breakdown.” The chemistry between the musicians was palpable, showcasing their enduring connection beyond Nirvana’s legacy.

Their musical paths intersected again in 2002 when Krist Novoselic provided backing vocals for the Foo Fighters’ track “Walking a Line,” a rare gem released on a special edition of their album “One by One.” This collaboration hinted at the ongoing camaraderie and creative synergy between the former Nirvana members.

A particularly poignant moment occurred during a secret Foo Fighters show in 2010, where Novoselic, alongside live guitarist Pat Smear, joined Grohl on drums for a rendition of “Marigold,” a song penned by Grohl during his time with Nirvana. This unexpected performance served as a heartfelt tribute to their shared history and musical evolution.

Their partnership continued to flourish, with Krist Novoselic contributing bass and accordion to the track “I Should Have Known,” featured on Foo Fighters’ acclaimed seventh studio album, “Wasting Light.” This seamless integration of talents reaffirmed their enduring bond and mutual respect as artists.

In a touching reunion onstage, Krist Novoselic reunited with Foo Fighters in 2017, gracing the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon, with his bass prowess during a rendition of “Big Me,” a beloved track from the band’s debut album. This reunion underscored the timeless connection between Grohl and Novoselic, transcending the boundaries of time and musical projects.

Their reunion reached new heights in 2018 when Novoselic, alongside Grohl, Pat Smear, and guest vocalists John J. McCauley and Joan Jett, captivated audiences with electrifying performances of Nirvana classics during a Foo Fighters encore. This memorable collaboration celebrated the enduring legacy of Nirvana while honoring their continued friendship and musical evolution.

Political and Social Activism

Krist Novoselic interest in politics ignited early in life, drawing him into issues like the Northern Ireland conflict between Irish Nationalists and Unionists. However, it was in 1992 that his activism took a public stand. The Washington State Legislature proposed the Erotic Music Law, aiming to label certain albums as “erotic” and restrict their sale to individuals under 18. Novoselic, alongside Nirvana, vigorously opposed this bill. Their activism extended to performing benefit concerts and engaging in media campaigns, such as Novoselic’s appearance on KOMO-TV’s Town Meeting.

The battle against censorship continued in 1995 when the Erotic Music Law resurfaced as the Matters Harmful to Minors bill. Recognizing the influence of Seattle’s thriving grunge scene, Krist Novoselic co-founded JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee) to advocate for artistic freedom and youth rights. Through JAMPAC, Novoselic delved deeper into political activism, tackling issues like the restrictive Teen Dance Ordinance of 1985.

Over the years, Novoselic’s political engagement evolved, focusing on electoral reform, particularly advocating for instant-runoff voting and proportional representation. While he contemplated a run for Lieutenant Governor of Washington in 2004, ultimately, he diverted his efforts to initiatives like FairVote and later became chair of Zócalo Public Square in 2020.

In his book “Of Grunge and Government: Let’s Fix This Broken Democracy,” published in 2004, Novoselic delves into his musical journey with Nirvana and intertwines it with his political awakening.

Krist Novoselic’s political affiliations have been diverse and dynamic. While he initially supported Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential primaries and general election, he later distanced himself from the party, criticizing its hierarchical structure. His political aspirations took an unconventional turn when he briefly pursued the role of county clerk of Wahkiakum County, Washington, under the fictional “Grange Party” banner, as a protest against the state’s party system.

Attempting to encapsulate his political ideology proves challenging, as Krist Novoselic himself admits to a blend of anarcho-capitalism, socialism, and moderation. His support for candidates transcends traditional party lines, as seen in his endorsement of Lawrence Lessig in 2015 and his campaign efforts for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in 2016.

However, Krist Novoselic’s political statements have not been without controversy. In 2020, his Facebook post regarding President Donald Trump’s response to the George Floyd protests sparked backlash, leading him to retreat from social media and clarify his stance as an independent who denounces fascism and authoritarianism.

Despite the tumultuous political landscape, Krist Novoselic commitment to advocating for political reform and civil discourse remains unwavering. His recent involvement with the Forward Party underscores his ongoing dedication to shaping a more inclusive and democratic future.

Personal life

In 1989, Krist Novoselic tied the knot with Shelli Hyrkas, his high school sweetheart, but their journey together ended in 1999. However, he found love again in early 2004 when he married Darbury Ayn Stenderu, an accomplished American artist. Their union has blessed them with two wonderful children. Nestled on a serene farm near Deep River, Washington, they’ve cultivated a lifestyle close to nature, growing their own nourishment. Novoselic cherishes the tranquility of their rural abode, remarking, “I live out in the country now, and it’s quiet—a place where I can do a lot of introspection.”

Beyond his musical pursuits, Krist Novoselic has soared to new heights as an FAA-licensed pilot. His journey began with a single-engine land rating in April 2002, followed by the acquisition of a multi-engine pilot certificate in February 2018. A man of diverse interests, he holds a fervent passion for animals, geology, and the natural sciences.

In 2016, Krist Novoselic added another feather to his cap by earning a Bachelor of Science in social sciences from Washington State University, showcasing his dedication to academic pursuits alongside his artistic and adventurous endeavors.

Career Statistics

Discography

Studio Albums 3
Live Albums 5
Compilation 4
Video 7
Music  8
EPs 2
Singles 21
Miscellaneous 17

Awards

WonN/A
NominatedN/A
TotalN/A

Studio Albums

TitleAlbum detailsUSAUSAUTCANFINNLDNZSWESWIUK
BleachReleased: June 15, 1989893426223033
BleachLabel: Sub Pop (SP-34)          
BleachFormats: CD, cassette (CS), LP          
BleachSales:          
BleachUS: 1,900,000          
BleachRIAA: Platinum          
BleachARIA: Platinum          
BleachBPI: Platinum          
BleachMC: Gold          
NevermindReleased: September 24, 19911221132125
NevermindLabel: DGC (24425)          
NevermindFormats: CD, CS, LP          
NevermindSales:          
NevermindUS: 10,640,000          
NevermindWorldwide: 30,000,000          
NevermindRIAA: Diamond          
NevermindARIA: 5× Platinum          
NevermindBPI: 6× Platinum          
NevermindGLF: 2× Platinum          
NevermindIFPI AUT: Platinum          
NevermindIFPI FIN: Gold          
NevermindIFPI SWI: Platinum          
NevermindMC: Diamond          
NevermindNVPI: Platinum          
NevermindRMNZ: 7× Platinum          
In UteroReleased: September 13, 199312836431161
In UteroLabels: DGC          
In UteroFormats: CD, CS, LP          
In UteroSales:          
In UteroUS: 4,258,000          
In UteroWorldwide: 15,000,000          
In UteroRIAA: 5× Platinum          
In UteroARIA: 2× Platinum          
In UteroBPI: 2× Platinum          
In UteroGLF: Gold          
In UteroIFPI AUT: Gold          
In UteroMC: 6× Platinum          
In UteroNVPI: Gold          
In UteroRMNZ: 3× Platinum         

Live Albums

TitleAlbum detailsChart positionsSalesCertifications
MTV Unplugged in New YorkReleased: November 1, 1994 Labels: DGC, Geffen (24727) Formats: CD, CS, LP1US: 5,100,000RIAA: 8× Platinum, ARIA: 5× Platinum, BPI: 3× Platinum, GLF: Gold, IFPI AUT: 2× Platinum, IFPI FIN: Gold, IFPI SWI: 2× Platinum, MC: 9× Platinum, NVPI: Platinum, RMNZ: Platinum
  1AUS: 
  1AUT: 
  1CAN: 
  3FIN: 
  2NLD: 
  1NZ: 
  2SWE: 
  3SWI: 
  1UK: 
From the Muddy Banks of the WishkahReleased: October 1, 1996 Labels: DGC, Geffen (25105) Formats: CD, CS, LP1US: 1,300,000RIAA: Platinum, ARIA: Platinum, BPI: Gold, IFPI AUT: Gold, MC: 2× Platinum
  1AUS: 
  3AUT: 
  1CAN: 
  2FIN: 
  14NLD: 
  2NZ: 
  6SWE: 
  9SWI: 
  4UK: 
Live at ReadingReleased: November 3, 2009 Label: Geffen (B0013503-02) (B0013501-00) Formats: CD, CD+DVD, 2×LP37US: 148,000ARIA: Gold, BPI: Silver
     
     
Live at the ParamountReleased: April 5, 2019 Label: DGC Formats: 2×LP
     
     
Live and LoudReleased: August 30, 2019 Label: DGC Formats: 2×LP

 

Compilation Albums

TitleAlbum detailsUSAUSAUTCANFINNLDNZSWESWIUK
IncesticideReleased: December 14, 1992392210211631271814
 Labels: Sub Pop, DGC (24504)          
 Formats: CD, CS, LP          
NirvanaReleased: October 29, 2002311291221023
 Labels: DGC, Geffen (25105)          
 Formats: CD, CS, LP          
Sliver: The Best ofReleased: November 1, 20052195268756
the BoxLabels: DGC, Geffen (000561702), Universal (1190)          
 Format: CD          
IconReleased: August 31, 2010
 Label: Universal          
 Format: CD         

 

Box Sets

TitleAlbum detailsUSAUTCANDENFRAJPNNLDNZSWIUK
SinglesReleased: December 1995517101
 Labels: DGC, Geffen (24901)          
 Format: 6×CD box set          
With the Lights OutReleased: November 23, 2004193410201665392856
 Labels: DGC, Geffen (000372700), Universal (9864838)          
 Formats: 3×CD+DVD box set          
Nevermind: The SinglesReleased: November 25, 2011
 Label: Universal          
 Format: 4 x 10″ vinyl box set         

 

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