Dave Grohl, The Melvins & Other Grunge Legends of the ‘90s — Where Are They Now?
Grunge music is certainly not dead, in fact it’s still alive and kicking with grunge pioneers The Melvins, who were a major influence in the ’90s scene, are going on tour this year to celebrate being together for 40 years! Dave Grohl recently gave them a shoutout for their help in connecting him with grunge legends Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana when they were looking for a drummer.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see where the other icons of the 1990s alternative rock scene have ended up, starting with the remaining members of what is probably the most well-known grunge band ever.
As founder and lead singer of Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl went on to have perhaps what is the most successful post-grunge career in music following his time drumming for the most well-known band to come out of Seattle: Nirvana. Foo Fighters formed in 1994, right after Cobain’s death. Ten studio albums later, they’re still going strong, as hits like “Everlong” and “Best of You” continue to get played frequently all over the radio. Foo-Fighters also just announced a new album, “But Here We Are”, being released this summer. It’s the first the band has put out since the sudden death of longtime drummer Taylor Hawkins and intend to still continue on as band in honor of their dearly departed friend.
Bassist Krist Novoselic continued to dabble in music after the death of Cobain, joining several lesser-known alternative bands for brief periods of time, such as Sweet 75, Filthy Friends, and Flipper, who reunited in 2005 and were an early inspiration of Nirvana itself (Cobain can be seen wearing T-shirts of this band frequently in photos). I can attest to his involvement personally, having once run into Krist Novoselic in downtown Portland, unloading his gear from a truck into the bar where Flipper happened to be playing a show in the summer of 2007. The man is impossible to miss — he’s nearly 7 feet tall! Unfortunately, this was before smartphones, so I do not have proof of the encounter, but we did help him with his gear and even stayed for the show. The singer was so drunk he kept forgetting his own lyrics and nearly fell off the stage. Very on point!
Pearl Jam’s lead vocalist Eddie Vedder was another key player in 1990s flannel rock. In 2007, he released his first solo album as a soundtrack for the film Into the Wild and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. He is still the lead singer of Pearl Jam and continues to release both band and solo albums, but nothing has had the success of 1991’s massive hit album Ten. Songs like “Even Flow” and “Jeremy” continue to be played on regular rotation on many alternative radio stations.
Kurt Cobain’s widow and frontwoman of the grunge band Hole, Courtney Love, has had quite a sordid history since her husband’s death (there’s even a conspiracy theory that she murdered Cobain, as demonstrated in the 1998 film Kurt & Courtney). Between stints in rehab, various bizarre lawsuits and run-ins with the law, and her on-and-off estrangement with her only daughter and heir to the Cobain fortune, Frances Bean Cobain — who is now in her thirties and currently dating the son of famed skateboarder Tony Hawk — Love never goes too long without being mentioned in entertainment news. In 2017, she played Kitty in the Lifetime film Menendez: Blood Brothers. Most recently, she was blasting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for its lack of female inductees. She is also working on a new album for the first time in more than a decade.
After providing the world with hits like “Black Hole Sun” and “Show Me How to Live,” Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died in 2017, another tragic case of a rock icon who turn to suicide.
Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley died in 2002 of an overdose. He was replaced by William DuVall, who shares vocal duties with Jerry Cantrell. They are still performing and creating new music.
Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland was fired in 2013 and found dead of an overdose in 2015. He was replaced by former Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, who died by suicide in 2017. Eventually, former X Factor competitor Jeff Gutt became the new frontman and continues to lead the band.
Yikes, there seems to be quite a pattern here. Perhaps it’s okay that grunge is going by the wayside!