Conan O’Brien recently spoke with Steve Albini, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic about their memories of the band as they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s “In Utero.” When speaking about a joke he played on Gene Simmons a few years before to the album’s release, Albini said: “I called Gene Simmons back while pretending to be Kurt Cobain. Because Nirvana, the largest band in the world, was friends with the Melvins and the Melvins performed a KISS cover, he approached their management to see if they would be interested in performing a KISS cover for the KISS tribute album. Gene Simmons finds it incomprehensible that anyone on earth does not like KISS to the hilt. The producer explained the call in more detail: So, rumor has it that Gene Simmons is scrambling to get Nirvana to play on this album, and management is the source of the appeal. Something along the lines of, “Gene Simmons called. Your inclusion on this CD makes him look incredibly hot.
Would you like to call him back? I don’t wanna talk to f**king Gene Simmons, says Kurt. ‘I’ll do it,’ I declared. In order to deflect the situation, I called him back pretending to be Kurt and said that I wasn’t making all the decisions since I had a reliability issue. Kurt is sitting right next to me and is watching as I imitate him. Ultimately, Nirvana did record a KISS song for 1990’s ‘Hard To Believe: A KISS Covers Compilation.’ Grohl brought that up, and Novoselic said: “Oh, God! It was a catastrophe. ‘Do You Love Me?’ was captured on tape. We were buzzed. After taking part in the KISS tribute, Nirvana put out its second studio album, “Nevermind,” a year later. Later, the album’s lead track, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” made it to the US Billboard Hot 100’s top ten. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was performed by the surviving members in 2014 during their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction. KISS was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same year, but the band didn’t put on a show.