Beware The Grunge Curse

What is Grunge music and how is it deathly?

Grunge music is not just sounds and lyrics, but its also fighting social justice issues and helping in the fight against the man.


Grunge music is not just sounds and lyrics, but its also fighting social justice issues and helping in the fight against the man.

Macy Hutchinson, Staff Writer

Music is all around us. Everything we do has a rhythm or a sound. Whether you sing or play an instrument or you’re tone deaf, I am willing to bet you at least listen to music.

Everyone has their favorites, who they listen to the most, but there is one specific category that has this dark cloud hovering over it. A category that follows with a tragic death and has affected its generation to the extreme.


Grunge music is an alternative rock genre. It fuses elements of punk rock and heavy metal. Grunge is known for its distortion filled, down tuned, riff based rock featuring loud electric

The album cover to Chris Cornells, No body sings like you vol. 1, with songs like his cover of “Nothing compares 2 U” (Amazon)

guitar feedback, as well as bass that follow the melody in support.   This style of music came to be in the 1980s in northeast Washington State, or, to be more specific, Seattle.

Have you ever heard of a band named Green River? Well, Green River is what is argued to be the first grunge band ever. They were also the first to release a record. You may not have heard of Green River, but have you heard of Mudhoney, Mother Love Bones, or even Pearl Jam? The break up of Green River sparked the creation of all 3 of those bands.

This music aimed to talk about heavy topics that some songs might not have talked about. It wasn’t about being dumped by a guy or cheated on, even heavier. They had songs about abusive relationships like “Better Man” by Pearl Jam. They have songs written as tributes to friends who have died tragically like “Say Hello 2 Heaven” by Temple of the Dogs or “Would?” by Alice in Chains.

Grunge was all about advocating for human rights and equal rights, as well as breaking the social norms. Due to this, instead of charging $1,000 for one concert ticket, these artists refused to let companies like TicketMaster dictate their sale prices. They were not doing it for the money-they did it to share their music. 

Though for all the good and power grunge has brought, people have also gone as far to call this music a curse for anyone that dares to be a musician in this genre.

Kurt Cobain fighting social issues with music, if only he didn’t stop so soon. (Los Angeles Times)

Due to this conspiracy curse, there is a famous 27 club but this club is not one you want to be trying to get into. The 27 club is the group of popular musicians and celebrities that have died at age 27. The 27 club started to become more known when Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, became the newest member.

The death of Kurt Cobain was shocking. He happened to be one of the most impactful, biggest deaths of Generation X’s time.

Kurt Cobain struggled with mental health issues as well as an addiction to heroin. In April 1994, he took his own life, leaving his wife Courtney Love widowed, and his daughter, Frances Bean, fatherless.

The loss of Kurt Cobain was hard on Generation X because he was such a big name gone to fast, but they did not have much time to heal from the loss of Cobain. In 1995 they lost Bob Stinson and Sterling Morrison, Jeff Buckley in 1996, Bobby Sheehan in 1999 and it keeps going, all the way up to Chris Cornell in 2017.  

The benefit album created by Gavin Rossdale and the rest of the band, Bush, spreading realization and helping fight for women’s rights. (Loudwire)

All their favorite musicians were gone within years of each other. This caused Generation X to have the highest suicide rates yet. The deaths of all these big role models in their lives was damaging. Due to them fighting hard for strong social causes, and them creating a following, it only makes sense that Generation X’s suicide rates are so high.

All the people they looked up to and were “following” died, whether by suicide or an overdose. They were gone and never coming back.

Through out the 80’s all the way to the 90’s the use of heroine increased causing all of these suicides and early deaths. In 2017, 49 quickly became the age where most adults took their own life but, that is better than the age of 22. In 1993, people would normally take their lives around the age of 22. 

As of right now the suicide rate is not as high, but it still is hard when you lose so many great voices. Where we are as a society, we could use the healing, powerful voice of Kurt Cobain or the strong worlds of Chris Cornell.