11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee: Nirvana and Soundgarden Member Turned Green Beret Jason Everman

October 5, 2021Hannah Ray Lambert
Jason Everman 11 questions & a cup of coffee

Jason Everman stands behind the wheel of his sailboat on July 7, 2021, in Bremerton, Washington. Photo by Hannah Ray Lambert/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Jason Everman has more interests than time. He played guitar for Nirvana in the band’s early days, got kicked out, joined Soundgarden as a bassist, and got kicked out again. He found a new calling as an Army Ranger, trekked through the Himalayas and traded bootleg Metallica cassettes with fellow monks at a Buddhist monastery, then reenlisted and became a Green Beret with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan during the start of the Global War on Terrorism.

Now Everman spends his time sailing the world, writing, playing guitar in the SOF-veteran hard rock band Silence & Light, and competing with the Dos Equis guy for the title of Most Interesting Man in the World.

Coffee or Die Magazine caught up with Everman this summer on his boat in Washington state. You can read the full profile in our October print edition, but we also snuck in “11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee” because when you get a chance to talk to a rock star, you milk it for all it’s worth.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Chad Channing, Krist Novoselic, Jason Everman, Kurt Cobain, Nirvana
From left, Chad Channing, Krist Novoselic, Jason Everman, and Kurt Cobain sit on a sidewalk in Chicago, Illinois, during a 1989 Nirvana tour. Photo courtesy of Jason Everman.

COD: How do you make your coffee?

JE: A coffee press. Generally French press.

COD: How do you take your coffee?

JE: A little half-and-half and raw sugar.

COD: What’s the most bizarre or extreme place you’ve ever had or made a cup of coffee?

JE: Probably in a war zone, or in the Himalayas. During the Iraq invasion, we had inverters in our GMVs just so we could heat up water to make coffee.

Jason Everman Special Forces
Jason Everman served as an Army Ranger in the 1990s, then reenlisted in 2000 in the special operations forces, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Photos courtesy of Jason Everman.

COD: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

JE: The Ranger Indoctrination Program. It was hard at the time; in retrospect, it probably wasn’t that hard. But I just remember after the 12-mile road march watching someone pour blood out of their boots. That had a profound impact on me. Psychologically, it was hard, and it physically was hard too. I’ve probably done harder stuff since then, but at that point in my life it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

COD: What motivates you to do what you do?

JE: It’s a time management thing. Make the most of my time on this sphere and try to squeeze every last drop out. Because it is a finite time. And like, the older I get, the more finite it gets.

Jason Everman Thubten Choling monastery Nepal
Jason Everman sits on the steps of the monastery in Thubten Choling in 1998. Everman fondly remembers listening to bootleg Metallica cassettes with other young monks during his time in Nepal. Photo courtesy of Jason Everman.

COD: What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about you or the work you do?

JE: I have a hard time thinking about people thinking about me or my work. So I don’t know what’s misunderstood. I’m just a normal guy. Yeah. I’m just some schmoe.

COD: How do you define success?

JE: Experiencing joy on a regular basis.

Mind Funk Roskilde Festival Denmark
Totally average “schmoe” Jason Everman, second from left, stands with the other members of Mind Funk at Roskilde Festival in June 1992 in Denmark. Photo courtesy of Jason Everman.

COD: Mountain view or ocean view?

JE: See, that’s tough because I’m here [on the Puget Sound] where I can do both simultaneously. I’m torn because I love the mountains, but I’d have to say the sea would probably take precedence.

COD: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

JE: Time travel. I would like to see historical events as they actually happened.

Bremerton, Washington
Jason Everman stands on his sailboat July 7, 2021, in Bremerton, Washington. Everman played with iconic grunge bands Nirvana and Soundgarden before joining the Army in the 1990s. Now the former Green Beret spends his time traveling the world, cooking, and playing guitar with the all-veteran band Silence & Light. Photo by Hannah Ray Lambert/Coffee or Die Magazine.

COD: What are your hobbies outside of what you’re known for?

JE: I like to build scale models, mostly of military subjects. I’ve always been a history nerd. So again, I tend to get wrapped up in minutiae. It’s like, “Oh, I’m gonna build a scale model of the C-130 from the Entebbe raid because I think it’s cool or whatever.

COD: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you could survive a post-apocalyptic world — 1 being that you are dead on day one, 10 being that you are the ruler of the new world order?

JE: I think I’d be a solid eight. I think I would be an asset to whatever group I was with. I’d have that strong survival instinct and would want to see how the post-apocalyptic world pans out. Even if it is a complete shit show, I still want to see it. But I don’t care about running it. You know, I don’t want to be the ruler of the barbarian wasteland.

Read Next: 11 Questions & A Cup of Coffee: Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist Royce Gracie

Hannah Ray Lambert
Hannah Ray Lambert

Hannah Ray Lambert is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die who previously covered everything from murder trials to high school trap shooting teams. She spent several months getting tear gassed during the 2020-2021 civil unrest in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working, Hannah enjoys hiking, reading, and talking about authors and books on her podcast Between Lewis and Lovecraft.

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