While we might know some popular bands by one name,
During the early 90s, Nirvana was at the top of rock music and pop culture. Their sound and influence could be felt in almost facet of culture from music and films to clothing and style. Nirvana defined almost everything about the early 90s. So it stands to reason that major record labels were on the lookout for the next big thing. Here are 11 bands that were considered the “next Nirvana.”
- Mudhoney. Kurt Cobain listed Mudhoney as one of his influences, so it stands to reason that record labels were looking to the Seattle-based grunge band as the next Nirvana. While Mudhoney experienced a lot of success in the local Seattle scene during the late 80s and early 90s. They just never hit as big as Nirvava.
- Mevlins. Another Washington-based grunge band from the early 90s, Melvins were another contender for the next Nirvana crown. However, their harder edge was too harsh for mainstream listeners.
- Hole. It’s only natural that major record labels looks to Courtney Love’s rock band to fill the void Nirvana left after Kurt Cobain committed suicide. While they saw a lot of success with “Live Through This” and “Celebrity Skin,” they were not as influential as Nirvana.
- The Vines. Back in the early 2000s, The Vines emerged from Australia during the emergence of indie rock and the “The” bands. Although their single “Get Free” was a chart topper, The Vines didn’t stick around in the United States, as they’re indie counterparts The Strokes or The White Stripes.
- Butthole Surfers. Although they pre-date Nirvana, Butthole Surfers experienced a resurgence in American pop culture in the early 90s. They were weird enough and “grungy” enough to be considered the next Nirvana, but music tastes shifted to a cleaner rock sound.
- Pavement. While indie bands during the early 90s wanted to sound completely unlike Nirvana, a new band from the college indie circuit emerged. While still popular in underground scenes, Pavement never took the nation by storm like Nirvana.
- Babes in Toyland. Not quite a grunge band, Babes in Toyland really didn’t gain in popularity among mainstream listeners. Their record label dropped them after two poor performing records in 1996.
- Beck. While he’s no longer seen as a one-hit wonder, Beck certainly grew as a recording artist over the years. His first single “Loser” was considered an anthem for Generation X, Beck was often compared to Nirvana because they both appealed to the same demographic and audience.
- Local H. Local H could be seen as a post-grunge band that is more suited as “influenced” rather than “influential.” They band had a few moderate hits during the 90s, while they can be considered copycats more than anything else. The song above is called “Eddie Vedder,” but you can easily change the lyric to “Kurt Cobain” and not miss a beat. “If I were Kurt Cobain, would you like me just the same?”
- The Afghan Whigs. This Ohio-based band broke on to the scene in 1990 after signing with Sub-Pop. The Afghan Whigs shared the same producer Nirvana’s, so it’s easy to draw comparisons between the two bands.
- Foo Fighters. After Kurt Cobain died, Nirvana disbanded. Instead of joining Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Grohl recorded new songs under the name Foo Fighters. His sound was cleaner and more upbeat than Nirvana, while die-hard fans wanted him to continue Nirvana’s legacy with the same (or at least) similar sound. Foo Fighters outlasted Nirvana, while the latter is far more influential and important to American music, in general.