With their untucked flannel shirts, messy hair and laid-back air, the three members of Nirvana projected pure slackerdom when they burst onto the cultural scene in 1991.
By Kirk Weddle: Drummer Dave Grohl, left, on the simple production of 'Nevermind'.: "By today's standards, it might as well have been done at Sun Studio."
But that look was deceiving. As an expansive new multi-disc re-release of Nevermind reveals, the band worked incessantly for more than a year to craft an album that went on to rock the foundation of the music business in the same way that the Sex Pistols' (similarly titled) Never Mind the Bollocks caused a punk explosion in the disco age.
"These guys were far from slackers, they were very ambitious," says album producer Butch Vig, who spent time reminiscing about the late Kurt Cobain with both drummer Dave Grohl, now of the Foo Fighters, and bassist Krist Novoselic as the reissue was coming together.
"I remember that Kurt had these lists, how many albums he wanted to sell, what stadiums he wanted to play," says Vig, 56. "But ultimately, coming from a punk background, it was hard for him to deal with selling millions of albums."
Nevermind was pre-explosive fame.