12 Bands Featuring Former Members of Nirvana

Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Nirvana in early 1989: Chad Channing, Kurt Cobain, Jason Everman, and Krist Novoselic

Nirvana in early 1989: Chad Channing, Kurt Cobain, Jason Everman, and Krist Novoselic

In the decades since Kurt Cobain’s death on April 5, 1994, Nirvana has become ingrained in American pop culture. The familiar trio of Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Kurt Cobain is as easily and ubiquitously recognized as any band could ever hope to be — though, sadly, for many, they are remembered largely for the tragic end of their front man.

But life has gone on for the surviving former members. Despite the fact that Grohl, Novoselic, and Cobain are considered to comprise the “classic” lineup of the band (and are the only three to gain entrance to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during Nirvana’s 2014 induction), many musicians passed through the band, unbeknownst to the casual fan. Nirvana included among its ranks a grand total of nine full-time members (including six drummers), plus three more touring members.

Each former member of the group has made music outside of Nirvana, with the vast majority still busy playing today. Here’s a look at some of their projects.

Mind Funk (Jason Everman)

From February to July 1989, Jason Everman served as Nirvana’s second guitarist, funding the recording of the band’s debut album, Bleach, and receiving credit in the liner notes (though not actually appearing on the album).

In 1990, Everman served as the bassist for both Soundgarden (for only several months) and Old Lady Drivers. Later he joined Mind Funk, and appeared on the band’s 1993 album Dropped. He left the band and the music industry altogether in September 1994 to join the US Army 2nd Ranger Battalion and the Special Forces, serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Everman received an honorable discharge in 2006, and eventually earned a B.A. in philosophy from Columbia University in 2013.

“Mama, Moses and Me”

Fire Ants (Chad Channing)

Next to Dave Grohl, Chad Channing was the longest-serving drummer of Nirvana, playing with the group for two years, from June 1988 to mid-1990. He appears as the drummer on most of the tracks on Bleach, as well as on “Polly” on Nevermind and several tracks on Incesticide, the live album From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, and the box set With the Lights Out.

Channing has played in multiple bands since leaving Nirvana. He was a founding member of Fire Ants in 1992, which included Brian Wood (vocals) and Kevin Wood (guitar), the brothers of the late Andrew Wood, who sang for Mother Love Bone.

“Bodies By the Side of the Road”

Sweet 75 (Krist Novoselic)

In 1995, a year after the demise of Nirvana, Krist Novoselic teamed up with Venezuelan-born vocalist Yva Las Vegas, whom he met after his wife hired her to sing at his birthday party. The duo created Sweet 75, and like Nirvana would play with a rotating cast of drummers (four would play with the band during their lifespan).

Novoselic and Yva Las Vegas played together off and on from 1995 to 2000, releasing one self-titled album in 1997. However, they eventually broke up due to creative differences.

“Lay Me Down”

Love Battery (Dan Peters)

Best known as the longtime (and current) drummer of Mudhoney, Dan Peters had a very brief stint as Nirvana’s drummer in the summer of 1990 following the departure of Chad Channing. Peters recorded the single “Sliver” with the band in July of that year, and performed at one show: September 22, 1990 in Seattle.

In addition to his extremely lengthy tenure with Mudhoney and his blip on the Nirvana radar, Peters has had two separate stints with the long-running Seattle grunge band Love Battery. Peters joined the band upon their formation in 1989, drumming for the band for less than a year (and departing before they could even record their first single, “Between the Eyes”).

By the mid-’90s, Peters was playing (and recording) with the band, appearing as the drummer on the majority of the tracks on 1999’s Confusion Au Go Go. He would continue to play off-and-on with the band until 2002.

“Transcendental Fornication”

Screaming Sons Of (Aaron Burckhard)

The original drummer of Nirvana was booted out of the legendary band way back in 1988, but that hasn’t stopped Aaron Burckhard from soldiering on with his various musical projects in the years since. Burckhard played with thrash band Attica from 1988 to 1991, and as of today drums for the alternative rock band Under Sin. He also had a stint beginning in 2011 with the rock trio Screaming Sons Of.

Live cover of “D-7”

Eyes Adrift (Krist Novoselic)

Eyes Adrift were a band seemingly borne out of tragedy. The band played from 2002 to 2003 and featured Novoselic on bass, Bud Gaugh (formerly of Sublime) on drums, and Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets on guitar and vocals. While Novoselic and Gaugh had endured the deaths of their bands’ respective front men in the ’90s, Kirkwood performed with Eyes Adrift during a period of inactivity with Meat Puppets due to the troubles with drugs of his brother and bandmate, Cris.

Eyes Adrift released just one album, breaking up due to its poor sales.


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