July 6th, 2011

"Jeremy" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" directors evaluate each other’s landmark videos

"Jeremy" director Mark Pellington on Samuel Bayer’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video:
 Fucking Sam Bayer is great. Just totally different style than mine. Incredible song, of course. It was dark and ugly and sexy, and Cobain was creepy and funny. It’s just like, God, I can’t imagine the song and the video separate from each other. The video sort of defined that song, and the time—it was just post-Madonna, post-Jovi, you know what I mean? It was like, This is what we need. It was the tonic for the times. 

"Smells Like Teen Spirit" director Samuel Bayer on Mark Pellington’s "Jeremy" video: I think Mark Pellington is a really talented guy; Pearl Jam’s an amazing band. I just thought my Nirvana video was more interesting. I never liked seeing lyrics brought to life literally. I don’t wanna see children frozen, covered in blood. I don’t wanna picture who Jeremy is. I was too much of an ambitious, jealous, competitive guy to see any merit in that video.

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Official Tumblr for Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, a Time magazine book of the year. (Now in paperback; purchase info here.) The blog is run by the author, freelance writer/editor Mark Yarm; he is of no relation to Mark Arm of Mudhoney.