Regardless of this whole 90s revival thing going on, Nirvana were a pretty fantastic band. They had at least two excellent rock albums, and aren't now endlessly splintering and disbanding and reforming like some kind of ballad-ridden grunge petri dish (here's looking at you, Soundgarden). Endless articles and books have debated the circumstances of Kurt Cobain's death, and might've happened to the band had he survived. But none have commemorated the man in adhesive-backed vinyl.
That is, until now. London-based publishers and promoters, Belly Kids, are set to release Kurt and the Gang, featuring illustrations of Kurt, Courtney Love, Dylan Carlson, El Duce, The Pixies, Lead Belly, Daniel Johnston, Dave Grohl and many more. Following on from their February release, Thrill Murray - a colouring book inspired by Bill Murray, we think Belly Kids have found another vital pulishing niche. We speak to Mike Coley to find out more.
So, why Nirvana? And why stickers?
For me, Nirvana were one of those turning point bands. They were loud, obnoxious, addictive and My Parents hated them with a passion. They also brought to my attention a whole scene of new music. Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Daniel Johnston, Flipper, The Breeders. Nirvana were my introduction to good music.
After putting together the Bill Murray colouring book (Thrill Murray) I guess a sticker book seemed like the next obvious step. I was a big fan of the Merlin Premier League annuals as a kid, I grew up with swaps and shinies. The illustrators I wanted to work with lent themselves nicely to a sticker book. The madness began.
What's your favourite Nirvana track, and which sticker do you think it fits with?
There are so many amazing Nirvana tracks and I just want to say, for the record, that my choice in no way reflects my personality. I promise. My favourite track is probably 'Negative Creep'. Chris Golden did an amazing illustration for it. These weird eyes coming from out of a repeating psychy fuzz. I love it.
If you could stick any of the stickers anywhere, where would it be?
When you read this, I'll have just been to Supersonic and I'm really pumped to see Dylan Carlson play. So I guess, suffering the rage from the crowd, I'd place the Dylan Carlson sticker straight on Dylan Carlson's forehead. Followed by a sloppy kiss for the gorgeous man.
Is grunge really dead, or did we just leave it behind the sofa?
You see when I think of grunge, rightly or wrongly, such bad bands spring to my mind. Of course the association with Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters doesn't help in anyway whatsoever. All the bands I mentioned though, they're living on strong.
The last book you released was Thrill Murray - A Colouring-in Book. Does Bill Murray know about this?
If he does know, well, he's keeping it real quiet. I've been so desperate to get one into his hands though. I had this dream were we both sat down colouring in the sheets, holding hands, sipping Hennessy. I want that life, so people, get in touch and help me get one to him!
Tell us a bit about Belly Kids...
We release a whole host of the weird and exhibit the tasty. Books, Comics, Records, Prints... Basically if we think it's awesome, we're going to try our hardest to put it out. Coming up in 2013 we have a collection of poems from XIU XIU's Jamie Stewart, a magical picture book of nightmares and a series of comics based around Egyptian myths
In December we will have a Kurt and the Gang exhibition at KK Outlet in Hoxton.
From your website you seem really into pizza. What's your favourite, and where's the best place for it?
You wouldn't believe how much I love pizza. Take your average pizza loving fan, times it by pie, add 1000 and then you've got something nearing me and my pizza obsession. The sourdough pizza at Franco Manca in Brixton is great (Ed - Great choice! Our old offices were nearby. Those were the days...), I don't go there nearly enough and it's a new years resolution to start. Of course, I'm partial to an Icco's if anyone wants to swing by with me? Or take me out on a date to Pizza East?
Kurt and the Gang will be out next Monday, 29th October. The first 50 come with a free print, so pre-order now.