As the legendary and now-defunct CBGB venue celebrates its contributions to the world of underground rock with a four-day multi-venue festival, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic took the opportunity to deliver the festival’s keynote address. The musician-turned political activist spoke for an hour about the Seattle grunge scene, his life in politics, late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain + much more.

The bassist spoke to the CBGB Festival crowd about the rise of grunge in the early 1990s. “We didn’t do it by ourselves,” explains Novoselic. “There was a whole structure supporting us. There were clubs. There were promoters. I mention anarchism right? But there was some hardcore, raw capitalism … corporate rock whores, we were. Bye-bye anarchism.”

“I’m very proud of Nirvana,” Novoselic continues. “When people stop me all the time and recognize me all the time … I always use that as an opportunity to remember Kurt Cobain. He was such a driven artist. That’s my regret — that Kurt Cobain isn’t alive and didn’t live. He was a wonderful person and he deserved a fulfilling life.”

Before Novoselic’s keynote speech, the legendary musician spoke with Rolling Stone about his history of political awareness, which began in 1984 when Novoselic voted for Democrat Walter Mondale over Republican President Ronald Reagan. Novoselic was an active Democrat until he left the party in 2009.

“I was disillusioned,” says Novoselic of his political affiliations. “I got tired of volunteering for a Super PAC. It wasn’t a grassroots organization. It could be if the other Democrats wanted it to be, but I wasn’t getting a very good value for my time and energy. So I’m an Independent now.”

Check out the footage below of Krist Novoselic speaking about Nirvana at the CBGB Festival.

Krist Novoselic Talks About Nirvana