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Nathan Howdeshell – The Collapse Board Interview

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Nathan + Beth (The Gossip)

I love that you’re working with Everett [True]! How amazing is Everett?


How crazy is it that he coined the term ‘grunge’?


Isn’t that insane? That’s so fucking amazing! It’s ridiculous. He was like the John Peel of the 90s, he discovered Nirvana pretty much. He has so much to do with Nirvana’s success that it’s bizarre.

I find that over here and I guess maybe in general, many people don’t seem to appreciate what he’s actually done.

Yeah he’s kind of like a super underdog there right?

A lot of people just want to associate with him because of the Nirvana connection without really knowing his work and what it is that he has done.

Yeah! Oh my god he is amazing!

On the weekend both Everett and I spoke on a Documenting Music panel and ran a DIY Publishing workshop at a music conference here in Brisbane. We made a zine with 20 participants in about an hour-and-a-half about the conference. It was so much fun!

Amazing! I gotta say that Everett True, he is like a middle-aged, straight man with a baby and could probably just be a fucking total asshole but he is dedicated to this feminist music scene. It’s pretty amazing. It’s so inspiring ’cause it would be so easy to be a shitty guy, it’s so easy to be a stupid guy. If you have any possible glimmer of fame it would be so easy to be this stupid reject guy but here he is a middle-aged man and Bikini Kill have a song with his name in it.

I really hope I get to interview Everett sometime. I’d love to see a book or in-depth feature on his life.
I know. It would be amazing! I was thinking about doing a Kurt Cobain fanzine because when I live in Arkansas I was so into Nirvana — I was so obsessed. Me and Beth [Ditto] moved to Olympia, I moved into this house that was the same house that Kurt lived in. He had stayed in the same room that I stayed in. It was so magical. I threw a bunch of shows there. You know that band The Frumpies?

Yeah, Tobi Vail and Molly Neuman’s band.

I did the last show The Frumpies ever played; I set up a show for them. It was magical. It was amazing. It was like The Frumpies in my fucking basement! The Gossip played and this band called Gene Defcon. The Frumpies played like 20 songs. I was down stairs hanging out watching The Frumpies super happy, super high on life and I looked underneath the stairwell and ‘Nirvana’ was carved there. It was hand-carved by Kurt Cobain when he lived there.

Wow! What a moment.

I know how amazing! That night was so beautiful. The Frumpies stayed in my bedroom. When I set up the show I never really told my roommates so they were really pissed at me. People came from Canada and kids came from California. The Frumpies were a real popular Riot Grrrl band. Every member that was ever in the band played. I was so stressed out, the cops came twice and I persuaded them to leave both times. The only place for me to watch in the basement was under those stairs because it was so filled with people. I was looking at Tobi Vail on stage – who was Kurt Cobain’s girlfriend; when I moved there she took me on this tour of Olympia and told me about Kurt; she’s why I started working at kill rock stars; she was the drummer of Bikini Kill; we were pen pals; she told me to come to Olympia and that she’d get me a job; she had told me all about Kurt – I was watching her having this really blissful moment and when I looked up that’s when I saw the ‘Nirvana’ carved under the stairs with a backwards ‘N’. It was fucking so magical.

It gives me goosebumps hearing that story. I’ve been lucky enough to go to many amazing shows with that kind of magical feeling, where everything clicks and it’s just so fucking beautiful.

Yeah, that’s the magic of music.

I know, I know exactly what you mean, that’s why I do what I do. Music is magic.

I love how we can just talk. It’s been such an interesting ramble.

I wouldn’t call it a ramble I’d call it a connection.

Yeah I know a connection! How amazing is it that I’ve only talked to Australian people all day?

It is, it’s kind of fun.

[Laughs] That’s just so random.

(continues overleaf)

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