We’re taking a moment to look back at the nicest guy in rock—AKA the legendary Dave Grohl—and his finest moments behind the drum kit for Nirvana. After being challenged by 10-year-old Nandi Bushell to a drum-off, we thought we’d bring you one of the reasons she challenged him in the first place, as we’re listening back to the isolated drums of Grohl on Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’.
The second track from Nirvana’s iconic album Nevermind seems the perfect track to show us all the expert precision and power of the world’s nicest percussionist, Dave Grohl. While he may always have a smile on his face he has some thunder in his sticks.
While Grohl has gone on to be a part of some of the best rock bands of recent times, QOTSA and Foo Fighters to name two, most people have reserved a special place in their heart for the drummer and singer since Grohl made his name with Nirvana. The youngest member of the group, Grohl often provided a welcome refrain from the disengaged Kurt Cobain and the somewhat antagonistic Krist Novoselic.
Joining the band at the beginning of their meteoric rise to the top, Grohl had a quite unenviable task when he became the drummer in 1990. With much of Nevermind already written, Grohl would have to take on the drum fills of the previous drummer, Chad Channing, and add his own spin with aplomb. No better is this seen than on the band’s Nevermind track, ‘In Bloom’.
The arrangements for ‘In Bloom’ and the other songs previously recorded with producer Butcher Vig in 1990 were largely unchanged but, under instruction, were begin re-recorded. This meant the recently hired drummer Dave Grohl stayed mostly with his predecessor’s patterns but he added so much more to the song’s final spot in the hearts and minds of Nirvana’s fans.
The song was, to all intents and purposes, Nirvana providing the growing set of fans that began to show up at their previously unfrequented shows with a grunge track doused in some sugary sweet pop and a heavy dose of sarcasm.
Like a chewable vitamin, this was all the nutrients you needed but with a palette-pleasing coating to get it past the children.
Bassist Novoselic recalled that it “originally sounded like a Bad Brains song. Then Kurt turned it into a pop song”. Not much of that would’ve been possible without Grohl’s drumming, as the percussionist keeps a tight line while providing a heavy dose of pounding rhythm wherever possible.
Grohl brings a whole new level of precision and power to the affair and pushes the song into the higher echelons of the trio’s work. It’s a piece that has even inspired the youngest of drummers like nine-year-old Nandi Bushell who we covered last year for her very impassioned performance of the Nirvana song.
For now, sit back and enjoy some of Dave Grohl’s finest work.