Lounge room, 3.45pm, 2004, Broadmeadows
Once high school was done for the day, I had my routine: walk the kilometre or more home through the quiet suburban streets, throw my bag on the lounge room floor, grab a packet of chips, put on the CD player. Loud.
I first heard Nirvana a year before in my lounge room when my brother, Daniel, purchased their greatest hits album. At the time, I was listening to a lot of old school hip-hop such as Eric B and Rakim and KRS-One, with some Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit bringing in the rock. I didn’t actively listen to the Nirvana tracks when Dan played them, they were merely noise as I tried to write or read. After a few months though, I began to appreciate the pure and raw anger, passion and energy.
After a another day at a rough and tumble school with plenty of egos and groups, and feeling tired and numbed from learning about stuff that would be of no use in later years (maths methods and its circular functions?) it felt good to have some light at the end of the tunnel, good to unwind to the crunchy riffs and rough growls, particularly the rarities and B-sides album Incesticide, which was produced between the debut album Bleach and their world-dominating Nevermind.
The fuzzy and distorted guitar of Aneurysm, and Kurt Cobain’s scruffy vocals always made me feel alive no matter what was going on. The chorus had me thrashing about in the lounge room, head banging with my almost shoulder length hair and ripping out the air guitar to my heart’s content. My parents didn’t mind because this was as troublesome as I got. There was nothing like escaping from the world for a moment, lost in a powerful song. Once I had listened to the song enough on the CD player, I would play the VCR tape with the live version.
Aneurysm was one of the first songs I learnt on the bass guitar and I always jammed it whenever I played the bass. I never wanted to be the best musician on Earth or be a famous rock star. I simply wanted to connect with Nirvana’s music on a greater level. By belting out their tunes on the bass I felt a part of the band and the songs, especially because I was only a child when Nirvana was around.
Aneurysm still fires me up. I have flashbacks to my youth, being carefree and the fun times playing in our band Half A Chance. While we don’t play together anymore, we are best mates and still love music.
During the scorching Melbourne summer of 2013-14, when we had four 40 degree days in a row, I pumped out Incesticide. Once I reached the final track, I couldn’t help but head bang one more time to the track that says Nirvana best of all for me. My parents still didn’t mind.
© Matthew Naqvi. Matthew is a writer and filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter @MatthewNaqvi.