Kurt Cobain’s Daughter Explained Why Nirvana’s Song ‘Dumb’ Makes Her Cry

Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, is a classic rock fan, but she isn’t a big fan of Nirvana. Despite this, one of Nirvana’s songs, “Dumb,” makes her cry. During an interview, Frances discussed why the song resonates with her so much.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana wearing a sweater
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana | Frank Micelotta

What Kurt Cobain’s daughter thinks about Nirvana and the public fascination with her father

During a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Frances discussed her feelings on Nirvana’s songs. “I don’t really like Nirvana that much,” she said, grinning. “Sorry, promotional people, Universal.”

Frances discussed which bands she actually enjoys. “I’m more into Mercury Rev, Oasis, Brian Jonestown Massacre,” she said, laughing. “The grunge scene is not what I’m interested in.” Notably, the three bands she mentioned were popular during Nirvana’s heyday: the 1990s.

Frances was asked if her feelings about Nirvana’s music made her life awkward as a teenager. “I would have felt more awkward if I’d been a fan,” she opined. “I was around 15 when I realized he was inescapable. Even if I was in a car and had the radio on, there’s my dad.”

Frances shared her opinion on why Kurt is so famous in death. “He’s larger than life and our culture is obsessed with dead musicians,” she said. “We love to put them on a pedestal. If Kurt had just been another guy who abandoned his family in the most awful way possible … But he wasn’t.”

Frances Bean Cobain said Nirvana’s ‘Dumb’ is about Kurt Cobain’s self-perception

While Frances isn’t a Nirvana fan, she enjoys some of the band’s songs. “‘Territorial Pissings’ is a f****** great song,” she said. “And ‘Dumb’ — I cry every time I hear that song. It’s a stripped-down version of Kurt’s perception of himself — of himself on drugs, off drugs, feeling inadequate to be titled the voice of a generation.”

Frances noted her father wrote “Dumb” before the album Nevermind made him a star. She said the song was a form of “projection.” Frances added there’s no way someone else could understand the situation Kurt was in.


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The way the world reacted to Nirvana’s ‘Dumb’ and its parent album ‘In Utero’

“Dumb” appeared on Nirvana’s In Utero. It was not a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. In Utero spent one week on the top of the Billboard 200 and 94 total weeks on the chart.

The Official Charts Company reports “Dumb” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, In Utero reached No. 1 in the U.K. for a week and stayed on the chart for 61 total weeks. Best Coast covered the song for the album Summer Is Forever 2. “Dumb” isn’t one of Nirvana’s most famous songs; however, it meant a lot to Frances.