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Alter Bridge’s Mark Tremonti + Myles Kennedy Reflect on Impact of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’

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Sept. 24, 1991 was a big day in the history of rock, as Nirvana‘s Nevermind arrived on the scene and changed the music landscape as we knew it. As the album reaches its 25th Anniversary, we spoke with several artists about the landmark album, and Alter Bridge‘s Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy spoke about the disc’s personal and global impact.

Tremonti tells us that he was once in a band with Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, who turned him onto the Bleach album when it first came out, so he was well aware of Nirvana at the time that Nevermind arrived. He ran out the day it hit stores and recalls, “The very first day I heard the opening of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and you know, I probably listened to it 15 times that night. I played it for my older brother Mike, and he was like, ‘Yeah, that song is amazing.'”

The guitarist continued, “That song transformed the world, that album did, and I was a massive fan. It was probably one of the most influential albums or songs that I’ve ever seen since I’ve been old enough to realize how much a song can change the whole scene.”

Kennedy chimed in, “The impact that it had, I haven’t seen since then. There’s like a pre-Nevermind, and really ‘Smells Like Teen Spirt,’ and post.” He explained, “The scene, it was changing slowly, because you had metal and I don’t want to say watered down, but there was more of a pop element that was introduced and then it became mainstream, and so once something becomes mainstream, there’s the reaction.”

The vocalist cites acts like Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction as signs that the scene was changing away from the pop metal, but he adds, “Once Nevermind dropped, it was official. That was the summit right there. It has such a massive impact, not just musically, but on so many different levels.”

Watch and hear Tremonti and Kennedy’s full commentary on the impact of Nirvana’s Nevermind in the player above.

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