Under The Influence #20: Elysian Divide on “Live In Roma 1994” by Nirvana!

There can’t be many people on Planet Earth who don’t know who Nirvana were. A band that influenced a generation on musicians before Kurt Cobain’s tragic death. During their time they racked up a string of hits despite being an unconventional sounding band and were arguably the biggest band in the Grunge scene at the time. One of the bands last shows in Rome Italy in 1994 featured 25 songs in 70 minutes and appeared like many of the time in bootleg audio and video posthumously.

Jon Sick from Elysian Divide comments: “As co-founders of Elysian Divide, Atashi and I work well together. There’s a symbiotic meeting of the minds when it comes to what gets heard on an ED recording. But we must admit to there being a divide in terms of our own individual musical differences; while Atashi prefers bands like Slot, In This Moment and Slipknot, I like it darker and heavier. Dimmu Borgir, Belphegor and Dissection are rarely far from my ears. The result is what we like to think as a good mixing of styles to produce what ED does. But the one band we can both agree on is Nirvana. Growing up with rock and metal, I always preferred live albums over studio releases. I found the lack of studio polish and energy you can only get from a live rock show more captivating no matter how terrible the quality. I remember buying bootleg CDs of bands I liked at a market stall in Romford when I was too young to go to shows (or so my parents thought). I own at least 20 or so Nirvana bootlegs on CD, not to mention a load of Pantera, Sepultura and Skid Row shows. But the one that sticks out in my mind is Nirvana “Live in Roma 1994“. To me it  representeda seminal if not quite official representation of Nirvana at the time. The quality is perfect, the performance is faultless and the live shots in the inlay card were captivating. Atashi is part of that generation that was on the cusp of the world transitioning to digital music consumption as opposed to buying CDs. Attempting to name what albums held her influence was difficult as digital music fans tend to listen to songs more than albums. While we both mooted around selecting “In Utero” for this feature (and we almost did), there was plenty on “Nevermind” that we both like a lot, not to mention some great numbers on “Bleach“. After a few ciders and a listening party, we were still struggling to pick our favourite Nirvana album. But upon putting “Live In Roma” on the CD player, we could find no reason not to select this album for Under The Influence. It’s an unconventional choice, but then Nirvana were an unconventional band. And the performance herein not only contains nearly all our favourite Nirvana tracks, it’s from start to finish one of the most invigorating albums that showcases Nirvana’s amazing legacy. In retrospect, despite our diverse influences from the soft to the hard, there is a lot of the spirit of Nirvana that comes into ED’s music. As a guitarist who owns two Kurt Cobain style guitars (the jaguar signature and a black strat with THAT sticker) but still needs a daily fix of black metal, in a way it’s what I want from ED: to be as inclusive to any genre-specific fan as possible. Atashi has a lot of the ethic that come out in Nirvana’s interviews and backstage antics. That is a hard working ethic, can do attitude and not afraid to go with something experimental even if it doesn’t work. Live In Roma is a great live album. And to us, they don’t make them like they used to! Atashi is currently raiding my bootleg CD collection!”

“Beast” by Elysian Divide is out now

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