Eyes Adrift: Few have heard of group, but members hail from Nirvana, Meat Puppets, Sublime

When the members of Eyes Adrift step onstage Monday, they´ll be in a room that barely holds as many bodies as the plush tour bus idling outside.

Separately, these men sold millions of records. Krist Novoselic pummeled bass in Nirvana, which sent grunge music into the commercial stratosphere. Curt Kirkwood sang and played guitar in the Meat Puppets, which influenced countless indie-rockers. Bud Gaugh manned drums in Sublime, which mixed reggae, ska and punk into a palatable radio recipe.

But mention Eyes Adrift to the average music fan: You´ll be met with a blank stare.

Sure, these men helped mold the musical clay of the 1990s. But can they harness lightning again? And does anyone -- including the band members -- really care?

"There´s no pressure," Kirkwood says, phoning from a tour stop in Chicago. "We´ve all been through situations where people said, ´Wow, trendsetting, oh boy, whatever.´ We´ve all had our dreams come true and seen them shattered. On goes the life, so they say."

Eyes Adrift materialized in 2001, a coincidental collision of three post-grunge warriors floating through space: "I have no idea how this happened," Kirkwood admits.

Novoselic, who´s known Kirkwood for about a decade, saw him performing solo in Seattle in 2001. He approached the middle-aged ex-Meat Puppet about jamming. Days later, as Kirkwood was driving home to Austin, Texas, he got a phone call from Gaugh, who hadn´t met Kirkwood, but had heard about him through friends. He wanted to jam, too.

The three men got together and bashed instruments. Something clicked. Yet none of them fully comprehended the haunting effect that the past would have on this band.

"It´s stupid that we didn´t think that this is going to be seen as a ´supergroup,´ " Kirkwood admits. "... It seemed like a dream group more than a supergroup. To me, it was like a dream come true."

It didn´t take long for the trio to realize that Eyes Adrift was more than a side project. They recorded an album and released it on SpinArt Records, an independent label. Then they organized a club tour, which they are paying for themselves. Thanks to the ´90s, none of them is strapped for cash.

Eyes Adrift has committed to touring through 2003. After all, what else are they going to do?

"There is nowhere to go back to," Kirkwood, 43, explains. "It doesn´t work that way. That´s what you find out. Once you´ve been to the top of the mountain, that´s it. That one´s done. You just go on and find another one."

This expedition rivals Mount Everest. Popular music magazine Blender awarded Eyes Adrift´s self-titled debut just two stars and complained that it "sounds like any one of the hundreds of guitar-seriousness bands that arose in the wake of (Nirvana´s ) ´Nevermind.´ "

That criticism is true. It´s also understandable, based on the group´s roots. Kirkwood sings most songs and sketches hollowed-out guitar webs -- the same kind that made him popular with country-loving punks. In some ways, "Eyes Adrift" feels like the sequel to the Meat Puppets´ weighty "Monsters" album.

"Every time I play with these guys, I just have to smile to myself, because it´s just so much fun," Kirkwood says. "The music takes care of itself."

Anyone hoping to revive the flannel era will be disappointed. Eyes Adrift´s concerts have contained no musical references to the band members´ past lives. The trio sees no reason to open their scrapbooks: "The association never hurt the Meat Puppets, for instance, with Nirvana," Kirkwood claims, "but it never helped (either)."

Not to point fingers at the holy, but that sounds a little like denial.

Nirvana´s late frontman, Kurt Cobain, supercharged the Meat Puppets´ career in 1993 when he invited the band to perform on "MTV Unplugged." The packaging of the Meat Puppet´s biggest-selling album, 1994´s "Too High To Die," contained a sticker with this Cobain quote: "The Meat Puppets gave me a completely different attitude toward music -- I owe so much to them."

The Nirvana legacy continues to affect Novoselic, too. His follow-up band, Sweet 75, got a sour reception from grunge fans, but he´s still a celebrity because of Nirvana. The recently released, last-known Nirvana song, "You Know You´re Right," currently tops modern-rock radio charts.

But Eyes Adrift won´t be playing a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That much seems certain. And so far, fans have been OK with that, Kirkwood says -- even if clubs are sometimes less than full.

"In a lot of ways, I think we wanted to start again from the ground up," he says. "We felt like we had nothing to prove."

Deprecated: Methods with the same name as their class will not be constructors in a future version of PHP; Twenty_Eleven_Ephemera_Widget has a deprecated constructor in /home/shpunt/novoselic.com/news/wp-content/themes/novoselic/inc/widgets.php on line 11

Notice: The called constructor method for WP_Widget in Twenty_Eleven_Ephemera_Widget is deprecated since version 4.3.0! Use
instead. in /home/shpunt/novoselic.com/news/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4720
Krist News:
Krist to join Dave Grohl & Paul McCartney at Sandy relief concert

According to many sources, Krist is set to join Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Paul McCartney for what appears to a Nirvana “reunion” at the 12/12/12 Sandy relief concert at the Madison Square Garden. View the article at NME.com

Krist discusses the 1992 MTV Music Awards

In his most recent blog post, Krist tells the story of the 1992 MTV Music Awards, of the band’s Gun’s and Roses fiasco and his infamous bass-tossing incident. See his blog post for more information

Flipper cancels entire tour, Krist Novoselic leaves the band

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEP. 17, 2009 It is with regret that Flipper must announce that we will be postponing our upcoming tour, scheduled to kick off on Nov. 8th. Bass player Krist Novoselic has decided that he will be unable … Continue reading

Flipper adds tour dates

Flipper has added a bunch of tour dates to their MySpace page.  Here they are: Sep 4 2008 8:00P Porky’s Lounge Longview, Washington Sep 5 2008 8:00P El Corazon Seattle, Washington Sep 6 2008 8:00P Dug Fir Portland, Oregon Nov … Continue reading

Article on Krist’s father & the recent capture of Radovan Karadzic

Writer David Rolland from the San Diego CityBeat has written an article entitled “Memories of War” relating to the recent capture of ex-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic, who until his capture recently was one of the most wanted war-criminals in the … Continue reading

Krist reflects on Seattle WTO protests, 9/11 and their affect on civil liberties

In his latest blog post, Krist reflects on the anarchist pamphlet You Can’t Blow Up A Social Relationship published in 1979 that notes violence and social disobedience only invites authorities to constrict civil liberties.  In the pamphlet it is evident … Continue reading

Krist comments on the recent capture of ex-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic

Krist has added a entry to his weekly blog at The Seattle Weekly discussing the recent capture of one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, ex-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic.  Karadzic commited unspeakable acts of violence in areas of Serbia … Continue reading

Flipper upcoming tour dates

Flipper will be performing a few select venues this upcoming weekend.  Here’s a run-down: Jul 26 2008 8:00P THE FILLMORE – PIONEERS OF PUNK SAN FRANCISCO Jun 27 2008 8:00P THE FUNNHOUSE SEATTLE Jun 28 2008 8:00P HELL’S KITCHEN TACOMA … Continue reading

Mudhoney Defined Grunge

In a recent article for The Daily Weekly, Krist expresses his congratulations to Sub Pop on their recent 20th anniversary. Sub Pop was the record label that produced Nirvana’s first album Bleach. In the article, Krist also mentions his favorite … Continue reading

Flipper plays tunes from upcoming CD

Novoselic finds roots in Flipper Flipper is no household name; the TV dolphin, maybe, but definitely not Bay Area punk band, which remained on pop’s fringes even as alt-rockers it inspired topped the charts in the ’90s. “The grunge sound … Continue reading

Help Support This Site
Site Details:

This site has been accessed:


times since 10/30/98

Last updated 7/28/08

I Support: