How Kurt Cobain Influenced Machine Gun Kelly
Ahead of the release of his highly-anticipated pop-punk album Tickets To My Downfall on September 25, Machine Gun Kelly has revealed to Kerrang! how Kurt Cobain’s emotion-fuelled guitar playing inspired him – both growing up, and on record.
Discussing the power of three simple chords and why technical proficiency should never overpower the feel of a song, he jokes, “Not all of us are born with fingers that move like fucking Ferraris, homie.
“Some of us are just fuck-ups who look normal and wear shitty clothes because we can’t afford good ones, and we’re angry and we just wanna take out our angst and shit with a guitar. I’m not inspired by how good you are, it’s almost like the opposite. I wanna feel you.”
Praising the Nirvana frontman and his influence directly, MGK continues: “Kurt didn’t give a fuck how he sounded, he gave a fuck how he felt. He was like, ‘Dude, my stomach hurts today. I feel like shit. I hate this song that you all love so much. I’m gonna play it terribly. I’m not even gonna sing the right lyrics to this shit. Fuck you!’
“That is how I felt when I was 13, waking up and my dad’s still asleep in bed, and the kids that I went to school with fucking hated me, and I’d worn the same clothes for five days, and I was tall, skinny and didn’t fit in. I was a basement; where the fuck was I going to learn how to play like Steve Vai? I couldn’t! I was broke. No-one gave a fuck about me. Give me three chords, though, and tell me to show you how I feel, and I bet you I will.
“Fuck the people who think that your technicalities are what defines you,” he adds. “You know robots can do things really fucking good, right? But a robot can’t make you feel. I bet you a robot can play the most technical guitar solo than anybody on this fucking planet, but it can play it better than Kurt at the Reading Festival in .”
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