Nirvana’s Nevermind – which was released 30 years ago – offered a subversive outlet for a global audience, writes Arwa Haider, who discovers its impact on people from countries including Brazil, Poland and Japan.
A blend of political revolution and personal revelation also brought young music student Grzegorz Kwiatkowski (now vocalist and guitarist for acclaimed Gdansk indie rockers Trupa Trupa) to Nevermind: “We’re talking about Poland in 1991, only a few moments after defeating the communist system, and the beginning of the democratic system, which brought not only cynical capitalistic stuff from the West but super high-quality stuff – like Nirvana and Nevermind,” says Kwiatkowski. “For Polish teenagers, MTV was a signal that we are part of international youth.” Kwiatkowski grew up listening to everything from Schubert to The Beatles, and saw Nevermind as a natural progression: “Very beautiful, very simple songs; the perfect combination of killer sound and great singer-songwriting”. His own band would sign a worldwide deal with Seattle institution Sub Pop in 2019; Trupa Trupa continue to create original, expansive music while crediting their early inspirations. “In my opinion, Nirvana and Nevermind are still the symbols of freedom and normality,” says Kwiatkoswki. “Not unreal superstardom, but something ‘regular’, and at the same time, great.”