Michael Angelo Batio on Kurt Cobain: “I Never Liked His Guitar Playing”

The American heavy metal guitarist Michael Angelo Batio, known for his works with glam metal band Nitro, has just discussed the grunge’s killing glam metal and recalled the unfair moments they exposed from the MTV.

In a new interview with Ultimate-Guitar, the 64-year-old artist was asked the sudden appearance of grunge and was asked how he reacted to grunge music when it appeared for the first time with Nirvana and Soundgarden.

He replied: “You know, you asked a very great question. And let me tell you, when we did the first Nitro record, our singer was 20 years old. By the time our second album came out, he’s now 22, going on 23.

“When grunge came in… You know, I’m a student of music and of music history – always a student, that’s my motto. I never think I’m so great I can’t learn something new. Here’s what happened: I lived it.”

Michael explained MTV’s unfair behavior to them.

“And so I’m thinking like, ‘Rap isn’t demeaning to women?’ You know, ‘Oh yeah, hip-hop, they treat women great.’ But here’s what happened: they just cut us off. They stopped. And when they stopped, all the hair-metal bands like Skid Row, Mötley Crüe, we stopped. MTV would no longer play us.”

He also said he enjoyed with grunge and explained why he loved it.

“Now here’s the irony of it: I really enjoyed grunge, and I’ll tell you why. As a student of music – listen to the snare-drums in grunge, listen to the style – you know in the ’80s, the drumming was very regimented. Not Nitro ’cause we had Bobby Rock, he was amazing.

“But a lot of the hits, Def Leppard and all that – very simple, Neanderthal-style drumming. But when you listen to grunge, it freed up – the drummer was more ’70s, and the singing was lower, they had this thing. It was a major third, down to a flatted seventh.

“That’s like the grunge interval to me. But I actually liked the music. I didn’t like the fact that our label dropped us, but I liked… I remember talking to [Alice in Chains guitarist] Jerry Cantrell some years ago, and I said in an interview that I really liked Alice in Chains, and he came up to me and said, ‘You know, Mike, I never thought you would like us.’

“You know, as a businessperson in music, I didn’t like them ’cause it hurt me. But it didn’t hurt me at all ’cause you know what I did? I went into clinics and the educational side… and I never stopped.”

Michael also recalled the tours he played with Nitro.

“I toured more after our record company dropped us than I toured before. I mean, Nitro toured a lot. I hit the road in January of 1993 for Europe, and for years I just toured and toured. And I was able to help other guitar players, and it was amazing! And I was able to do my own music.”

While concluding his words, Michael stated that the music of grunge is pretty good. He also praised Chris Cornell and said he never liked Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain.

“So, it’s a complicated question but it’s an excellent question that you asked ’cause it literally killed the LA scene, but the music of grunge was really good, for a lot of reasons.

“I mean, Chris Cornell, he’s one of my all-time favorite singers. So that’s what I felt: the music was amazing. Not the musicianSHIP – I never liked Kurt Cobain’s guitar playing, but I liked the songs.”

The epic guitarist Michael Angelo Batio is preparing to release a new album titled “More Machine Than Man” on June 12, 2020.


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