January 25, 2013

Kurt Cobain managed to be himself and make a living, but he realized that his identity had turned into a mere brand. He often spoke about how much he hated his own audience. They were exactly the kind of people who made his life miserable when he was younger; jocks, frat boys, and other normative people. For him, the fact that he became successful was a sweet revenge against them, and he enjoyed that status for a short period of time. But once the honeymoon period was over, he realized that it is these normative people who were making him rich and famous, and they just wanted him to perform his catchy songs as if he were a wedding singer. They consumed his music like they consumed Coca-cola, Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.. He probably felt like those normative people beat him again. But at that point, what was he to do? He was being himself, singing about what he believed in. The problem is that the consumers of his music didn’t get it, nor did they care to get it. In a way, they made a mockery of his art. He then deliberately wrote songs that weren’t so catchy. But, ironically, he was lying to himself by doing so; he was writing out of spite. It was no longer about writing something he liked, but about something the mainstream hated. Most musicians sell their souls to be loved by their audience (write what they think their audience would like); in his case, he sold his soul to be hated by the mainstream. It was a strange situation and he obviously did not know how to get out of it.