Def Leppard’s Rick Allen Explains How Kurt Cobain Changed Music Forever

In his recent interview with Eon Music, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen shared the details about his latest art exhibition ‘Wings of Hope 2021,’ and talked about the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s creation of an alternative subgenre in rock music and Def Leppard’s reaction to this change.

The multitalented musician Rick Allen is also a remarkable painter who has already displayed his three collections, which are ‘Electric Hand, Rhythm, and Change,’ ‘Rock-On-Canvas,’ and ‘Wings of Hope 2021.’ His latest collection consisted of the Legends theme by immortalizing music legends on his canvas. As a part of the theme, his Kurt Cobain portrait drew the great attention of both art and rock music lovers.

During a recent interview, while he was talking about his artwork, Allen stated that Kurt Cobain and Nirvana changed rock music by being the milestone of grunge which was also known as the Seattle sound or scene. Nirvana’s success made alternative rock popular and the other bands had different responses to this change. Rick defined Def Leppard’s response as going back to basics.

Moreover, Allen revealed that Def Leppard released their sixth studio album, ‘Slang,’ as a reaction to the change which was created by Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. According to the iconic drummer, ‘Slang’ was their most underrated album even though they went back to the basics during the recording and composing process of the album.

Rick Allen stated in the interview that:

“The other person that I feel really changed music forever really turned it on its head, was Kurt Cobain; another really amazing, amazing person. At first, it was completely black and white, and then I was looking at some pictures of Kurt, and I remembered how stunning his eyes were, so I ended up just coloring in one of his eyes, and it just really created a beautiful focal point. The piece is kind of revealed to you after you see his eye. A lot of people, particularly rock bands, didn’t quite know what to do with the whole Seattle scene. Our response to it was to go make ‘Slang’ and go back to basics.

I think, when it first came out, I feel the same as you, but it was a creeper, and it became some people’s favorite record. I think without our experience of working with Mutt Lang, I think Def Leppard would have probably sounded more like that; a little more stripped-down, and a little rawer. That whole time period reminded me of when I first heard the Sex Pistols. It was like; ‘wow! This is so to the point; no-frills, no self-indulgence.’It was just really to the point, rock songs, and that’s kind of what I got out of it. So I had, and still do have a massive appreciation for Kurt Cobain.

Rick Allen also described Nirvana legend, Kurt Cobain, as the creator of the new subgenre which was grunge, and stated that it was hard to catch up with this new genre by saying that his admiration and appreciation for Cobain will never end.