Speaking in a recent interview with Build, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has shared the statement on how grunge was influnced by heavy metal bands.
He claimed that “there’s a lot of Black Sabbath in Nirvana”. Here’s the statement:
“I think there’s a lot of Black Sabbath in Nirvana that people don’t hear. In fact, obviously Come As You Are was right out Killing Joke, and Killing Joke was very influenced by Sabbath.
So there’s a direct lineage from Judas Priest and Sabbath through Killing Joke to alternative music, but the problem is you would get in the room with a critic who would look down his nose at the heavy metal influences, so the bands just wouldn’t mention it.”
He also spoke about how grunge music stopped heavy metal and said:
“Power. We considered it like if Curtis Mayfield was the softer dynamic of the band, Metallica and Slayer were the [other side]. Because a lot of alternative bands would stop at power, because to them it was a bit beneath them, like heavy metal was ‘not cool.’
I’m not saying we were the only ones, but Nirvana and the Pumpkins kind of opened the door, where it was cooler for alternative bands to be heavy. Before that, not a lot of alternative bands were heavy, unless it was Stoogesish, because it was seen as kind of punk. Metal moves were verboten in alternative world.”
You can watch the entire interview from below.