In the May/June issue of Death + Taxes magazine, R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe was questioned about his influence on and relationship with Kurt Cobain, and Stipe revealed that he finds it difficult to listen to Nirvana since Cobain's death.
"In the '80s I went through every kind of awful—I don’t want to sound hyperbolic or self-pitying—but it was awful," Stipe said. "And I went through it alone. But it was when we didn’t have the focus or the spotlight of the media. All people paid attention to was what was going on on-stage.
"And Kurt—the great tragedy of his death is that, as an artist, as someone pushing things forward, he was really pushing himself. And he had reached a point where he was about to push through to something that was so phenomenal and so beautiful. It was all written, it was all right there, and it was so obvious where he was going, and then he didn’t make it. I still have trouble—I can’t listen to an entire Nirvana record."
Kurt Cobain died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994.