What If Nirvana Had Been A Pop Group? One Austin Musician Found Out.

When Will Patterson reimagined “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” his pop version blew up online.

By Leah Scarpelli and Laura RiceJanuary 15, 2018 11:26 am

It might sound a little different than you remember, but there’s a new version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” going around online. With 2 million views online, it was finally taken down for copyright reasons.

The “new” track got a lot of people wondering about whether the legendary Seattle band could have easily been a pop group. The person behind the re-tuned song – which he renamed  “Teen Sprite” – is Austin musician Will Patterson, also known as Sleep Good.

Patterson says the idea came from a Nirvana CD-R he bought at a garage sale that had the individual components of each song separated.

“And then I was playing guitar to them and realized that if I strip everything out – the vocals and the drums – I could kind of like turn it into this whole different song,” he says. “Like a pop punk song.”

He says that from there, creating a new version was effortless – but he didn’t expect the huge reaction online.

“It felt really bizarre that people cared enough to spread it around,” he says. “I think it’s pretty controversial because there are a lot of people who really hated it and there are people who were really surprised and there were people who actually liked it better.”

Patterson says his new Sleep Good album, called Bohemian Grove, will be out in the spring.


Written by Jen Rice.