Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm: ‘Grunge wasn’t going well until after Kurt Cobain’s death’

Seattle pioneer also plays down his own role in grunge scene

Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm says the legacy of grunge wouldn’t be so strong had Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain not died.

Reflecting on the Seattle scene both bands emerged from, he said: “It seemed to me that when [1993’s] ‘In Utero’ came out, it wasn’t doing that well until after Kurt died.”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, he also played down his own role in the scene he’s widely credited with helping pioneer. It is believed in some quarters he even coined the term ‘grunge’.


He said:

I don’t think we did anything groundbreaking. It wasn’t like we invented something that didn’t exist before.

Arm went on to praise label Sub Pop, however, saying: “Ugly people weren’t allowed to rock before us. Sub Pop came up with the idea of the ‘loser’.”

Despite Mudhoney‘s influence on many grunge bands – Cobain often cited them as an inspiration on Nirvana’s sound – it was in fact Nirvana who went on to global attention with ‘Nevermind’.

The band’s iconic 1991 album is 20 years old on September 24, an occasion that will be marked with a deluxe re-release of the record.

Check out this week’s issue of NME for an in-depth look at the impact of ‘Nevermind’ and classic interviews with Kurt Cobain.