Does the name “Greg Prato” sound familiar? Perhaps you know me from writing for Alternative Nation…or perhaps from the books I write. And this month (July 2015) saw the release of my 16th book overall, ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s.’
Since its inception in the late 1960’s, heavy metal has experienced quite a few ups and downs in popularity. But there was one specific decade that sticks out as the most troubling – the 1990’s. In what seemed like one fell swoop, a style of metal that had been popular for much of the 1980’s was rendered obsolete, and in its place, was a much more real, raw, and unique approach – detected in several new metal-based “sub-genres.” Add to it several changes in the music industry and media, and it appeared as if traditional metal may have met its expiration date…before several bands (and a certain traveling festival tour) helped put headbanging rock back on track.
For the book, I conducted over 80 interviews with current or past members of Pantera, Sepultura, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, Faith No More, Primus, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, Stone Temple Pilots, and Kyuss, among many others, while Pantera bassist Rex Brown penned a foreword.
Below is the first exclusive excerpt of three for Alternative Nation, in which Scott Weiland recounts how Kurt Cobain’s death affected him:
“Very intensely [in response to being asked ‘How did Kurt Cobain’s death affect you?’]. I was actually in detox or rehab for the first time, kicking heroin. When I knew that Kurt was over at Exodus [Recovery Center, a rehab center in Marina Del Rey, California], I was in a place in Pasadena. I was actually supposed to be going to Exodus, and [Stone Temple Pilots] had just finished our tour with the Butthole Surfers, and I found out that Gibby [Haynes] was there, so my manager made a change and put me somewhere else. And everything went down – we heard over the TV that he’d jumped the wall [a famous story in which rather than traditionally checking out of Exodus, Cobain jumped over the facility’s wall], I’ve known a lot of people who have done that. Then he was missing, and then found out that he was dead. It was really heavy. It was kind the death of the age of innocence of our thing we had going. As far as that genre of music, there was a certain innocence about it, and then the innocence was gone. I guess every generation has their ‘Don McLean moment.’ Y’know, ‘This will be the day that I die’ [in reference to the McLean song ‘American Pie’] – the whole ‘death of rock n’ roll’ moments. And that was our generation’s death of rock n’ roll.”
You can read an entire chapter from the book (which recounts how guitar solos nearly vanished from rock music by the mid ’90s) here, and find ordering info for the paperback/Kindle versions here, and the Nook version here.