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Catching Up With The Member Of Nirvana You Forgot About

Krist Novoselic - who turns 51 today - will always be best known as the bassist for the iconic grunge band Nirvana. But that doesn't mean he's rested on his flannel laurels over the 22 years since Nirvana disbanded.

Here's a look at what he's been up to since stepping aside from the spotlight.

1. Activist

Nirvana and other grunge bands have been criticized for promoting apathy, but Novoselic says that's a misconception. "We came out of the punk rock music of the early 1980s, and that was very political," he told C-SPAN in 2012, noting anti-corporate sentiments and individualism as some of the subgenre's political themes.

Novoselic has been involved in politics since Nirvana's heyday, when he, Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl played shows to promote gay rights and other causes. Today, Novoselic is currently the chair of FairVote - a non-partisan group dedicated to reforming America's electoral system by broadening representation, de-polarizing issues and increasing voter involvement.

But he doesn't subscribe to any specific ideology. "I'm an anarcho-capitalist-socialist....I don't know," he sighed when Reason TV asked him to define his political stance in 2014. "I'm kind of a moderate....I mean, I'm a gun-owning pacifist, so there you go."

2. Author

Novoselic fleshed out his political musings into the memoir/treatise "Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy" (2004), in which he discusses how music shaped his life and views. He also commented on drugs, offering highly critical reflections of the stoner subculture:

"In the mid-1960s, smoking marijuana was a political statement, the counterculture's answer to the mainstream martini crowd. But by the time it hit my scene, pot was a cliché icon....It was token rebellion against the forces that threatened a Saturday night party. 'Stoner' was a counterculture without a mission."

That does't mean he's anti-cannabis. In the same interview with Reason TV, he said he supports marijuana legalization in his own state of Washington, and he thinks that drugs in general should be decriminalized.

3. Conspiracy theorist

From Elvis hunting down law-enforcement memorabilia, to Jack White's love of taxidermy, musicians are known for collecting strange things. Novoselic is no different: he is perhaps the biggest fan of Melanie Safka, better known simply as Melanie - singer of the 1971 hit Brand New Key.

But she also released over 30 albums, and Novoselic is proud to say he owns them all. "She has been erased from music history," he told Reason TV. "It's Stalinist revisionism. It's a program directors of FM classic rock stations. You know that book The Commissar Vanishes? It's the same thing...They just airbrushed her out."

Here's one of his fave Melanie tunes.

4. Musician

Novoselic hasn't turned his back on music. Over the years, he's dusted off the bass to collaborate with former bandmate Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. And he's also showed off his accordion playing. Yes, you read that right.

Check out Novoselic playing "Sweet Child O' Mine" with Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses.

h/t Billboard

banner image: Flickr / Stephen Dygras


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