Courtney Love / Photographed for SPIN by Daniel Jackson
Fifteen years ago, Hole escaped Seattle obscurity and captured grunge hearts everywhere, thanks to the girl-power prowess of their eccentric frontwoman Courtney Love and the mope-rock anthems on the band’s breakthrough album Live Through This. The band was active for another five years before going on indefinite hiatus. In the time since, some former members have found solo success (we’re looking at you, Melissa Auf Der Maur) while C. Love became a beloved piece of tabloid fodder and couldn’t go a day—a drink or a toke—without landing herself in the headlines.
At long last, Courtney has sobered up, returned to her punk-rock roots and reformed Hole—with all new members, mind you (including guitarist Micko Larkin, bassist Shawn Dailey and drummer Stu Fischer.) Miss World opened up exclusively to SPIN for the magazine’s March issue and revealed details about what to expect from the band’s new long-awaited album Nobody’s Daughter, the legal woes between her and Kurt Cobain’s family and how the turmoil has affect her relationship with her daughter Francis Bean.
MTV Buzzworthy caught up with SPIN scribe Phoebe Reilly for an exclusive interview about her experience with the former Mrs. Cobain:
MTV BUZZWORTHY: Have you always been a Hole fan?
PHOEBE REILLY: Yes, I was a huge Hole fan. I bought Live Through This the day it came out. I loved the music but what I most remember are her lyrics, which were so vivid and unusual and repetitive in an interesting way. Sour milk, old age, pee girls, witches—those words come up over and over in her songs. She sounded both proud of and grossed out by womanhood. For teenage girls, there was a lot to connect to there.
Had you met Courtney before the interview or was this the first time you came face-to-face with her?
No, I had not met her. I interviewed her over the phone for SPIN in 2005. We spoke for 10 hours. She kept getting interrupted—she was getting on a plane and had to go through airport security—but she would call back. She’s a talker.
Was she like how you expected her to be?
For the most part, after that 2005 interview, yes. In our previous interview, though, it was on the phone, she was immediately familiar. Obviously, Courtney is very comfortable talking so she tends to just dive right it. When I went to her apartment, it was the same way. She was very disarming despite also being very preoccupied. At moments, she would be completely interested in talking about the album and her career. Then, she might wander away and take a phone call or get online. The stuff with Frances had just happened and, naturally, that was her primary interest.
Based on your experience, what do you think is the biggest misconception surrounding her?
I think the biggest misconception about her is that she’s incoherent, which I don’t think is quite true. Courtney talks in a stream of consciousness. Sometimes I wouldn’t know how we ended up talking about one thing when I’d asked another. But she’s sharp. If she wants to, she’ll come back to the topic at hand, sometimes 20 or 40 minutes later. Her mind never stops.