We ran a rather lighthearted feature earlier this week about endearingly silly hair metal bands, one of which was the enduringly awesome Hanoi Rocks. At the time, we noted that despite inspiring many of the bands who’d rule the Sunset Strip in the 1980s, Hanoi Rocks had already broken up by the time hair metal went global. This got us thinking about how often this pattern has been repeated over the years — it’s not always the bands who are the first to play a new sound who enjoy that sound’s success. And in a happy coincidence, there’s a new album by one such band — Seattle proto-grunge pioneers Melvins — out this week, so it seems a fine time to explore the idea further.
Influenced: Nirvana (and grunge in general)
Kurt Cobain’s quote about Nirvana trying to rip off the Pixies with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has been done to death over the years, but if there’s any band who can really be cited as an influence on Nirvana’s early years, it’s the Melvins, who formed in 1983 and were hugely influential on the many northwestern bands who’d eventually become household names around the world. True story: Cobain used to be a Melvins roadie.