Still, the fact it’s a decidedly more polished and accessible record than its predecessors wasn’t just a way for the band to prove to themselves they could produce a real commercial hit; it was also deliberately designed to provoke people. In an interview with Spin magazine back in 1998, Courtney and Eric discussed their creative intentions for the album:
“That was our biggest worry back then,” Eric said of the band’s start, “that Hole [the name] could not be a mainstream band, and we wanted to be popular enough and sell enough records.”
“But also, when we started out, all I really wanted to do is piss everybody off,” Courtney said.
“I think it’d be great if [Celebrity Skin] pissed a lot of people off,” Eric continued.
“It won’t piss anybody off,” Courtney remarked. “It’s supposed to provoke thought. There’s a good quote – I can only paraphrase it – that 95 per cent of all popular culture is pornography, five per cent creates inspiration, new aesthetic, and grace in people. I’d like to be in that five per cent, using pop.” Quite.
In the same interview, Courtney – in characteristic style – explained why it had taken four years for Hole to make Celebrity Skin: "Someone dies [Kurt]. Have a child. Someone dies [bassist Kristen Pfaff]. Do a major movie. Oh, by the way, stop putting things into your body that you’ve been putting in for, oh, a decade. Umm, gee, I don’t know, is that four years? I think that’s about four years of your life. I mean, it’s pretty obvious. I don’t care about 'prolific', I want a body of work that is like, everything was good.”