Interview: “Kurt” Jon O’Connor Nirvana Tribute UK

Nirvana was the voice of a generation and tragically we lost front man Kurt Cobain too soon. But as music continues on so does the growth in fans. Luckily we live in a day and age where tribute bands for such acts exist, and the Nirvana Tribute UK act are nothing short of the real deal. For the first time ever, they are gracing our Australian shores this weekend!

Thanks to John Howarth from Silverback Touring, we got the chance to speak to front man (Kurt) of the group- Jon O’Connor ahead of their Australian tour.

SR: It’s your first time coming to Australia! How are you feeling!?

Really excited, like really excited. It’s been on my list of things to do, and places to go.

SR: Do you have anything you’re really wanting to do while you’re here?

I think my plan is to survive the jetlag [laughs] and just take each day as it comes and I just want to deliver the best show possible. I want to take in some sights while I’m there, but we don’t have much time.

SR: You guys have basically been holding a legacy for the last 10 years, what has that been like?

It’s been a bit of a ride to be completely honest with you, a lot of unexpected things along the way. I certainly didn’t expect it to last over 10 years. It’s insane sometimes you have to stop and kind of look at it and I’ll be forever grateful for it.

SR: You have been commented on your “authentic” take on Nirvana, what are some of the craziest things that you’ve done to kind of hold that statement true?

[Laughs] I never really plan anything but onstage I can be a little bit chaotic, I’m in the crowd and on the floor a lot. There are a lot of crazy things that happen and I could wind up anywhere, so. [Laughs]

SR: How many guitars have you broken though [laughs]?

It is a lot [laughs].

SR: When did Nirvana first influence your life?

When I was 8 years old, so it was before Nirvana had even released Nevermind and nobody else knew who they were and an older kid had handed me a cassette tape and was like “hey, you should listen to this”. And they absolutely changed everything- everything.

SR: Reading about your live shows, there has been comments made about your likeness and your embodiment of Kurt. I’ve got a quote here from a Loudwire review which says “I finally got to see Nirvana live.” It’s a pretty incredible statement, what’s it like to read something like that?

It’s really strange for me, obviously growing up as a fan and once I step off the stage I’m just me. I don’t like, think I’m Kurt [laughs] I’m a totally different person. So when somebody comes up to me, like sometimes they don’t know my name and they’ll be like “oh hey Kurt” and it’s just really strange. It took a long time to get used to. It’s like admiration for somebody else but aimed at me, so it’s really odd. I’m always grateful when I hear things like that, though.

What’s your SR: favourite Nirvana song?

Drain You.

SR: On the flipside, what song do you wish you never had to play again?

Smells like Teen Spirit [Laughs] if I never had to play that song again – I would be so happy. I get it, I get why people like new fans and stuff would gravitate that song but I have heard and played that song so many times that it just becomes too much. Don’t get me wrong- I always think this, but as soon as we play those chords and the crowd’s reaction, you just kind of fall in love with it all over again. It’s totally crazy, and chaotic but it’s what keeps that sound alive for us.

SR: Aside from Nirvana- if there was any song in the world you wished you’d written what would it be?

Wow, what a question. Honest answer I would say Adagio in D Minor.

Catch Jon along with the rest of the Nirvana Tribute UK Act. Final last minute tickets available now!

nirvana tribute