For all your punk rock attitude, you still wanted the band to be successful.
"We did. We enjoyed playing together. That was our salvation, really. Loving pop music, not being dogmatic and trying to have as many different types of songs as we could was important to us. And trying to have as much fun as possible. We had a sense of humour. The music could be dark, intense, menacing and, at times, light and melodic. Maybe that was the key to it all. We weren’t just this spooky, heavy gang. We could be light, too. Maybe that’s what made us different in the end."
When we met in 1989 you both said you wanted to be in the biggest band in the world. Is that how you actually felt?
"I think Kurt felt that more than I did. He got there and then he hated it. But he was always like that. He would spin things around a lot. That happened all the time."
In the wake of the success of Nevermind, was it a case of be careful what you wish for?
"Yeah. It really was. There was so much pressure, too. And of course what happened was really hard to deal with for everybody."
When you wrote a tour diary in 1992, you described Nirvana as playing with "all the passion of a wet fish". Did you feel lost as a band?
"I remember that. It was when we went to Argentina. I suppose I could’ve put that better. There were good times and bad times. When Richard Nixon resigned as president in 1974, he gave a speech to his staff – and I have this on LP – which was off the cuff. He said, ‘Sure, I’ve been knocked around, but until you’ve been down in the valleys, you don’t realise how glorious the peaks are.’ That’s a good line. And it’s true, but sometimes it was just such a blur."
When Kurt died in 1994, how did you end up coping?
"That’s a good question. I took a long time. It was so traumatic. I was depressed from it. It had terrible effects. I had other things in my life at that point that held me back, too. But in the end, time healed it and you end up dealing with it. Then, eventually, you come to terms with things… but I don’t know, really. You just have to try to be positive."