Joe Elliott Explains Whether He Holds A Grudge Against Kurt Cobain

In a recent chat with Yahoo Entertainment, Def Leppard‘s Joe Elliott touched on a topic discussed over the years in the rock community. He expressed his thoughts on the emergence of grunge in the ’90s, the role Kurt Cobain played, and why he doesn’t harbor any resentment towards him.

The rise of grunge, spearheaded by bands like Nirvana, brought a shift in the music industry. This shift was viewed by so many as the ‘destroyer’ of the previous era’s bands.

However, Elliott doesn’t think Kurt Cobain was out to wipe out Def Leppard from the scene. It appears that Joe never resented the grunge movement that allegedly replaced most of Def Leppard’s 1980s MTV counterparts; instead, the band moved away from high production and stripped down their sound.

Joe Elliott’s words about Kurt Cobain read:

“The Foo Fighters are the greatest thing that’s happened this century, [and I had] no issues with Kurt Cobain trying to kill the ’80s. I don’t think he tried to kill Def Leppard; I think he tried to kill 99 copyists. I think he’d have been fine with it if we’d have been the only ones out there. But it was saturated, and so that’s why we moved away from [pop-metal] after ‘Adrenaline,’ and we went in to record what we jokingly called ‘commercial suicide,’ which was ‘Slang.’

He added:

“We weren’t jumping on any bandwagon; we weren’t trying to write songs that sounded like Soundgarden or Nirvana. We were just stripping it back down because we’d done three albums that were massive productions. We’d done ‘Raiders of the Last Ark 1, 2, and 3.’ We wanted to do something else, not 4.”

Elliott does not see Cobain as the villain of their story but rather as an artist who, like them, was trying to express himself in an industry that had become over-saturated. Def Leppard’s shift wasn’t a surrender to grunge but a tactical move towards authenticity, away from all of ’80s rock sound-alikes.