Krist Novoselic

This page was last edited on 3 January 2018, at 15:46.

Krist Anthony Novoselic (/ˌnoʊvəˈsɛlɪtʃ/; Croatian: Krist Novoselić; often referred to as Chris Novoselic, born May 16, 1965) is an American rock musician, and was the bass guitarist and founding member of the grunge band Nirvana. After Nirvana disbanded following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, Novoselic formed Sweet 75[1] in the same year and Eyes Adrift in 2002, releasing one album with each band. From 2006 to 2009 he played in the punk band Flipper, and in 2011 contributed bass and accordion to the song "I Should Have Known", on Foo Fighters' studio album Wasting Light, along with playing bass guitar and accordion in Giants in the Trees since June 2016.[2]

Apart from his musical endeavours, Novoselic has been active politically, including the creation of the political action committee JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee).[3] From 2007 through 2010 he wrote a weekly column on music and politics for Seattle Weekly's website.[4] Since 2008 Novoselic has been board chair of the electoral reform organization FairVote.

Krist Novoselic
Novoselic performing at the "Nevermind 20 Years Celebration at the EMP" in 2011
Background information
Birth name Krist Anthony Novoselic
Also known as Chris Novoselic
Born May 16, 1965 (age 52)
Compton, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • Activist
  • songwriter
  • author
  • director
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • accordion
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts


Early life (1965–1986)

Krist Anthony Novoselic was born on May 16, 1965 to Croatian[5][6][7] immigrant parents, Kristo and Maria, in Compton, California. He lived there for one year before his parents moved to the ethnically Croatian Los Angeles neighborhood of San Pedro,[8] where he remained for most of his childhood.

Novoselic has a younger brother Robert, born in 1968. His sister Diana was born in 1973. His family moved to Aberdeen, Washington in 1979, because of rising property prices in California. In 1980, his parents sent him to live with relatives in Zadar, Croatia.[9] Novoselic returned to Aberdeen in 1981. His earliest memories of listening to music was listening to Chuck Berry with his father.

Pavitt commodore
Krist with Kathleen Hanna, Bruce Pavitt and Dylan Carlson, Paramount Theater, Seattle, October 31st, 1991

Novoselic was already interested in hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who, Van Halen and Aerosmith. He also enjoyed listening to Yugoslavian bands such as Zabranjeno Pušenje, Prljavo kazalište and Azra. While in Yugoslavia, he picked up an interest in punk rock, and discovered bands such as the Sex Pistols and Ramones.[10] He has cited Paul McCartney, Geezer Butler, John Entwistle, and Gene Simmons as the fundamental influences of his bass playing.[11]

Sometime later, Novoselic's brother Robert introduced him to his friend Kurt Cobain, who had noticed loud music coming from upstairs. Robert told Cobain that it was his older brother, who listened to punk rock. Cobain eventually befriended the older Novoselic, as the pair ended up sharing similar musical tastes, including a fondness for local band Melvins. The two had several mutual friends and began hanging out shortly thereafter. They both attended Aberdeen High School. At one point, Cobain gave Novoselic a demo tape of his former band Fecal Matter, and asked him to form a band together. After several months, Novoselic finally listened to the tape, liked it, and agreed to start a band with Cobain.[12]

Nirvana (1987–1994)

Cobain and Novoselic's first band lasted barely a few weeks before it disbanded, leaving the pair to move on. However, the duo eventually discovered that Melvins could pull $80 a night for one show. Inspired, Cobain and Novoselic started a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, in which Cobain played drums and Novoselic sang and played guitar. That band was short-lived as well.[13] Some months later, Cobain and Novoselic met drummer Aaron Burckhard. While the new band never used the name, it was the first incarnation of Nirvana.

Burckhard lasted only a few months and Melvins' drummer Dale Crover filled in until Novoselic and Cobain met Chad Channing. The trio recorded their debut album Bleach, released in 1989. Channing left the band in 1990 and was briefly replaced by Crover and Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters. Novoselic contributed to song writing of various songs, helping out Cobain, such as giving ideas.

Later in 1990, Melvins' singer-guitarist Buzz Osborne encouraged Novoselic and Cobain to check out a punk band called Scream. The pair were impressed by their drummer, Dave Grohl. A few weeks later, Scream disbanded, and Grohl placed a call to Osborne for advice. Osborne gave him Novoselic's phone number, and Novoselic invited Grohl up to Seattle (from San Francisco, where Scream broke up). Grohl passed the audition and joined Nirvana. Grohl was Nirvana's fifth and final drummer. This was after the first few recordings of songs from their Bleach Album. Novoselic spent the following months with Nirvana traveling to various labels as the band shopped for a deal, eventually signing with DGC Records.

In the spring of 1991, the band entered Sound City Studios in Los Angeles to record Nevermind. Upon its release, Nevermind (1991) exceeded all expectations and became a worldwide commercial success. Nevermind had launched the band as a worldwide phenomenon with their hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Nirvana around 1992
Novoselic (Left) playing bass alongside singer Cobain (right) in 1992.

In 1992, at the MTV music awards show, Nirvana would win awards for Best New Artist in a Video and Best Alternative Video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." At the show, Nirvana performed "Lithium." When Novoselic started playing the opening bass riff, he signaled that he could not hear his bass. Instead of continuing to play, Novoselic threw his bass guitar in the air, to perform a "Bass Toss". He failed to catch it, later stating that he misjudged the height; he further stated that he "faked like he was knocked out." Musician Brian May ran to give him medical attention; he did not suffer any injuries.

During Nirvana's 1992 Reading concert, Novoselic sang "The Money Will Role Right In" with Cobain. Novoselic was an occasional vocalist and backing vocalist in Nirvana.

Nirvana ended abruptly in April 1994 following Cobain's death.[14] For most of the rest of that year, Novoselic retreated from the spotlight. One of a few public appearances came that September at the MTV Video Music Awards, where the video for Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" was awarded for Best Alternative Video. Novoselic took the opportunity to pay tribute to Cobain.

Prior to their 1994 European tour, the band scheduled session time at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle to work on demos. For most of the three-day session, Cobain was absent, so Novoselic and Grohl worked on demos of their own songs. The duo completed several songs, including "Exhausted", "Big Me", "February Stars", and "Butterflies". On the third day of the session, Cobain finally arrived. The song "You Know You're Right" was the band's final studio recording. The band had split up following Kurt's death, with both members going their separate ways.

Post-Nirvana (1995–present)

The following year, Novoselic continued to dabble in musical endeavors. He formed the band Sweet 75 in 1995, releasing a single self-titled album in 1997. In 1998, Novoselic directed his first movie, L7: The Beauty Process, a pseudo-documentary that utilizes concert footage taped in 1997 in three American cities. In 1999, he joined Jello Biafra and Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil in the No WTO Combo.

Krist Novoselic, 2007
Krist in 2007.

In 2002, Novoselic performed uncredited background vocals on Foo Fighters' song "Walking a Line", written as a tribute to Cobain, during the One by One album sessions. The track is included on the One by One bonus DVD, as well as being a bonus track to the album. He then joined former Meat Puppets[15] front man Curt Kirkwood and former Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh to form Eyes Adrift,[16] which disbanded in 2003. This band was significant as it was the first official release in his career where he sang lead vocals. He also took a highly active role in the songwriting process, co-writing several songs with Kirkwood.

Following the end of Eyes Adrift, Novoselic announced that he was quitting the music business, noting that he disliked the process of building up publicity for new records. However, in recent years, Novoselic has occasionally worked on music for a possible solo album, noting, "Right now, I'm just doing it for myself, and that's what it's all about."[17]

In November 2006, it was announced that Novoselic would join Flipper,[18] replacing Bruno DeSmartas on bass, for a tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.[19] He was a full-time member of the band and had been working on their new album.[20] On September 22, 2008, because of responsibilities at home, Novoselic announced his departure from the band.

[21] As a result, the band canceled the remainder of the tour. Rachel Thoele then replaced Novoselic.[22]

In 2009, Novoselic played a newspaper vendor in the movie World's Greatest Dad starring Robin Williams. In October 2010, Dave Grohl, former Nirvana bandmate of Novoselic, announced live on BBC radio, that Novoselic would be joining Foo Fighters as a bassist and accordionist on their next album, Wasting Light, which was released in 2011.[23]

Novoselic also played bass on children's music artist Caspar Babypants' 2010 album This Is Fun!, for a cover of the Nirvana song "Sliver".[24][25] In 2011, he performed "On a Plain" and "Sliver" with the band at the Nevermind 20th anniversary celebration in Seattle.[26][27]

Krist Novoselic
Novoselic performing in 2011.

In 2012, the Nirvana members partnered with Paul McCartney on the song "Cut Me Some Slack"—a jam who was composed especially for the soundtrack of the documentary Sound City directed by Dave Grohl. The song was first shown on December 12, 2012, at the 12-12-12 festival. Which brought together music stars for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York. The song was received well by critics. Allmusic called it a "tune with an immediate hook [and] melody".[28] The song won the Grammy award for Best Rock Song in 2014.[29] The partnership was called as "Sirvana" by Novoselic, referring to "Sir Paul McCartney".

On April 17, 2016, Novoselic performed with Paul McCartney on "Helter Skelter" in Seattle as part of the One on One (tour) during the encore.[30]

In November, 2016, Novoselic confirmed through a reply to a tweet that he is writing more new music.[31] His current band is Giants in the Trees. He is also in the band Filthy Friends. He also collaborates with Lepidopterist and author Dr. Robert Michael Pyle with the musical project Butterfly Launches Off Spar Pole.

Performance and recording with Foo Fighters

Grohl originally asked Novoselic to join Foo Fighters as a full time band member, but he declined, stating people would refer to it as "the second Nirvana".

Novoselic's first experience with Foo Fighters was participating in the encore of their show on August 29, 1997 at Memorial Stadium as part of the Bumbershoot festival, where he played bass for the band's covers of "Purple Rain" and "Communication Breakdown".[32] In January 2002, Novoselic performed backing vocals for a non-album track titled "Walking a Line", later released on a special edition of the band's album One by One.

Later, during the encore of Foo Fighters' secret show at Paladino's in Tarzana, California on December 22, 2010, the band, with Grohl on drums was joined onstage by Novoselic and the band's live guitarist Pat Smear for a version of Nirvana's "Marigold" a 1992 Grohl original, which was a B-side on Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box", the first single from In Utero.[33] Novoselic also recorded bass and accordion on the song "I Should Have Known", appearing on Foo Fighters' seventh studio album called Wasting Light, released on April 12, 2011.[34]

Political and social activism

Krist Novoselic 15A
Novoselic in 2008

Novoselic has had an interest in politics from High School. This included the sectarian conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.[35]

In 1992, the Washington state legislature attempted to pass a bill called the Erotic Music Law. The law would allow courts to declare certain albums "erotic" by their content, and would make it illegal to sell those albums to those under the age of 18. A lobbying group called the Washington Music Industry Coalition formed as a response to the bill. Novoselic and Nirvana actively campaigned against the bill and performed a benefit concert for the lobbying group in September 1992.[36]

In 1995, the Erotic Music Law was reintroduced to the Washington State Legislature as the Matters Harmful to Minors bill. Noting that the music industry had serious clout in Seattle given the success of the scene, Novoselic proposed creating a political action committee, which was named JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee). Over the next several years, JAMPAC fought a number of different issues, including the Teen Dance Ordinance, a 1985 law that severely limited the ability of minors to attend shows. With JAMPAC, Novoselic began to turn his focus more and more towards politics.

Novoselic remains active in politics making appearances to advocate electoral reform (especially instant-runoff voting[37] and proportional representation) and running the website.[38] He considered a 2004 run for Lieutenant Governor of Washington as a Democrat, challenging an incumbent of the same party, but ultimately decided against it. He also joined the board of FairVote, then the Center for Voting and Democracy, and was appointed chair in January 2008.[39]

Novoselic's first book, Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy, was published in October 2004. It covers Novoselic's musical past, including Nirvana's rise to a worldwide phenomenon of the early 1990s.[40] It also covers his interest in politics, his support of electoral reform, and his belief in the need to return to grassroots movements and clean up politics overall.

He supported Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election,[41] and in the primary.[42] He has since broken with the Democratic Party, partly because "it's a top-down structure" adverse to reform from its grassroots.[43] In 2007, he made a donation to libertarian Republican Congressman Ron Paul.[44]

He withdrew from the campaign for county clerk of Wahkiakum County.[45] He was running under the "Grange Party". He is a member of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry.[46] However, the Grange is not actually a political party. He was running in order to protest Washington state's system, in which a candidate can claim any party as their own (real or fictional) without consent or support from the party.[47]

Novoselic continues to support political reform, even looking at social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as major factors in shaping the political future.[48] He explained his support for fair voting reforms on C-SPAN's Washington Journal in 2012.[49]

EMP, Seattle - Krist Novoselic (9656227679)
Krist's Bass, displayed at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Seattle.

In an interview for Reason TV, Novoselic was asked how he described his political views, and he responded, "I'm an anarcho-capitalist, socialist, moderate... I don't know" and continued to say that while his political views couldn't be easily categorized, he finds fault in the political philosophies of both the left and right-wing.[50] On his Twitter page, he announced that he had voted for 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.[51] On his blog, he supported Lawrence Lessig and his political campaign.[52]

In other media

In 2014, ahead of Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Krist and Dave made guest appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

In 2017, Novoselic was the DJ numerous times for Coast radio.

Novoselic has a blog entitled "Dream Journal."[53]

Personal life

In 1989 Novoselic married Shelli Hyrkas, whom he dated from high school. The two would divorce in 1999.[54]

In early 2004, Novoselic married American artist Darbury Ayn Stenderu. They reside near Deep River, Washington, in rural Wahkiakum County, Washington.[55]

Novoselic wrote a blog[56] for the Seattle Weekly website from 2007 to 2010. In 2016, he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in social sciences from Washington State University. Novoselic is of Croatian descent, with his parents being Croatian.


With Sweet 75

With The No WTO Combo

With Eyes Adrift

With Flipper


Year Artist Release Additional information
1990 Mark Lanegan The Winding Sheet Bass on "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"
1995 Mike Watt Ball-Hog or Tugboat? Organ on "Against The 70's"
Foo Fighters Foo Fighters Bass on "Big Me"
The Stinky Puffs A Little Tiny Smelly Bit of...the Stinky Puffs Bass on "Buddies Aren't Butts", "Menendez' Killed Their Parents", "I'll Love You Anyway" and "I Am Gross/ No You're Not"
1996 Johnny Cash Twisted Willie Bass on "Time Of The Preacher"
1997 Sky Cries Mary Moonbathing on Sleeping Leaves Acoustic Bass on "Gliding"
2002 Aya Senjou no Hana Bass on "Prisioner"
Foo Fighters One by One Backing vocals on "Walking a Line"[57]
2010 Wasting Light Bass and accordion on "I Should Have Known"
2012 Nirvana members and Paul McCartney reunited to play for film Sound City Sound City: Real to Reel Bass on "Cut Me Some Slack"
2014 Kultur Shock IX Bass and accordion on "S One Strane Plive"
2015 Peter Buck Warzone Earth Bass on "Long Time Dead"
2016 Melvins Basses Loaded Bass and accordion on "Maybe I Am Amused"
2017 Filthy Friends Any Kind Of Crowd (single) Bass on "Editions Of You"
Invitation Bass on "Brother" and "Makers"


  1. ^ "Life After Nirvana For Krist Novoselic - Page 1". Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  2. ^ "Giants in the Trees Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Krist Novoselic Dedication Page -". Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  4. ^ "Reverb – "Krist Novoselic" Archives – Seattle Weekly". Archived from the original on October 6, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "Krist Novoselic ne vjeruje Bushu". (in Croatian). index.
  6. ^ "Nirvanin basist hrvatskog porijekla duboko u politici". (in Croatian). tportal.
  7. ^ "Novaselići: Nismo ni sanjali da će nam sin postati rock zvijezda!". (in Croatian). Zadarski list.
  8. ^ Interview with Krist Novoselic – Audio file
  9. ^ "Novoselic Dedication Page". Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  10. ^ "Krist Novoselic Biography – AOL Music". May 16, 1965. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  11. ^ Novoselic, Krist. "The Daily Weekly: Krist Novoselic: My Favorite Bass Players (Seattle Weekly)". Archived from the original on August 24, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  12. ^ "Nirvana Biography". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  13. ^ Azerrad, Michael (1993). Come as You are: The Story of Nirvana. New York: Doubleday. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0-385-47199-8.
  14. ^ "Krist Novoselic Discusses Kurt Cobain's Suicide". Loudwire. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  15. ^ "Meat Puppets". Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  16. ^ "Novoselic Focuses on Eyes Adrift". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  17. ^ Jasmin, Earnest. "Novoselic drops hint of making solo album". The News Tribune January 10, 2005.
  18. ^ "FLIPPER". FLIPPER. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  19. ^ "Bring the Noise – Krist Novoselic to play with Flipper". Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  20. ^ Flipper Drafts Novoselic For New Album Archived November 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Exiting the Flipper Universe". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  22. ^ "News Ticker: Radiohead, Aerosmith, War Child and Flipper". September 22, 2008.
  23. ^ "Foo Fighters Return, Dave Grohl Recruits Krist Novoselic". Billboard. September 14, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  24. ^ harms blog on (December 9, 2010). "107.7 The End » Krist Novoselic Helps "Caspar Babypants" Cover "Sliver"". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  25. ^ "Caspar Babypants to rock Kirkland's socks off – Kirkland Reporter". November 22, 2010. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "See Nirvana Bassist Talk 'Nevermind' at 25, Band's 'Bash It Up' Approach". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  28. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2013-03-12). "Sound City: Real to Reel - Original Soundtrack | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  29. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Rock Song". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  30. ^ "Paul McCartney Brings Out Krist Novoselic for "Helter Skelter" - Pitchfork".
  31. ^ "Krist Novoselić on Twitter".
  32. ^ Bendersky, Ari (September 5, 1997). "Semi-Nirvana Reunion at Bumbershoot". Rolling Stone.
  33. ^ Grierson, Tim (December 22, 2010). "Foo Fighters Secret Show Becomes Nirvana Reunion". Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  34. ^ Grierson, Tim (October 28, 2010). "New Foo Fighters Album Will Be a Nirvana Reunion". Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  35. ^ garyalexw (2012-11-07), Nirvana in Belfast - MTV News, retrieved 2017-12-20
  36. ^ "Nirvana Bassist Turns Politician". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  37. ^ Katherine Turman (January–February 2005). "Krist Novoselic: Smells Like Governance". Mother Jones. Opposing Viewpoints. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  38. ^ "Wahkiakum Democrats Precinct Caucus". Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  39. ^ Kornelis, Chris. "The Daily Weekly: Smells Like a New Blogger: Krist Novoselic (Seattle Weekly)". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  40. ^ "Recalling the spirit of '91". The New Zealand Herald. September 24, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  41. ^ "Barack Obama For President". Archived from the original on January 30, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  42. ^ "Presidential Pick-A-Problem Primary". Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  43. ^ "Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on Punk, FairVote, Dumping the Dems, & Why the GOP Should Embrace Anarchy". June 19, 2014.
  44. ^ "Krist Novoselic - $1,570 in Political Contributions for 2008".
  45. ^ "Why I'm Dropping Out". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  46. ^ The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry
  47. ^ Times. "The Spokesman Review, Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic running for Wahkiakum County clerk… . Ret. June 5, 2009". Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  48. ^ Carla Meyer (September 27, 2010). "Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic sees political potential in social networks". The Seattle Times. McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  49. ^ "Krist Novoselic on Electoral Reforms".
  50. ^ (at 11:30)
  51. ^ "Krist Novoselić on Twitter".
  52. ^ Novoselic, Krist (2015-08-12). "This Is Krist Novoselić: Real Election Reform Enters The 2016 Race". Retrieved 2015-10-26.
  53. ^ "Dream Journal #1 – Deep River Dispatch". Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  54. ^ "Former wife of Nirvana bassist shares personal photos". theolympian. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  55. ^ "The Daily News, Longview". Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  56. ^ "Novoselic's Blog on". Archived from the original on October 2, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  57. ^ Winwood, Ian (March 2002). "Courtney. Kurt. Drugs. Rehab". Kerrang!.


  • Bloch-Garcia, Peter. "Kick Out the Jams". Real Change News. 2000.

Further reading

  • Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy (January 2004) ISBN 9780971920651
  • Nirvana: The Biography (March 2007) ISBN 9780306815546
  • Kurt Cobain and Nirvana - Updated Edition: The Complete Illustrated History (September 2016) ISBN 9780760351789

External links

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