Kurt Cobain Solo Album Of Unreleased Material Coming This Summer, Says ‘Montage Of Heck’ Director
In 2002, “You Know Your Right,” a Nirvana composition considered to be the last known song the trio recorded before frontman Kurt Cobain’s death in April 1994, was finally released as part of the band’s self-titled compilation. Further unreleased demos and rare material saw the light of day in 2004 with the release of the With The Lights Out box set. But now it seems a virtual treasure trove of Cobain’s home recordings, done sans Nirvana bandmates Dave Ghohl and Krist Novoselic, was discovered by filmmaker Brett Morgen — and he says an album culled from the material is coming this summer.
Morgen is the director of Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck, a two-hour documentary that will premiere on HBO this Monday, May 4. (The film has been doing the rounds in a limited theatrical run that ends tomorrow.) Through Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, Morgen was given access to the Nirvana singer’s storage facility sometimes after 2007, where, he notes in an interview with Bedford And Bowery, he discovered 200 hours of audio recordings, along with home movie footage and other items.
When asked by the site if any of the recordings were original songs not yet heard over the years, Morgen stated, “We’re going to be putting out an amazing album this summer that I think will answer that question. [The album] will feel like you’re kind of hanging out with Kurt Cobain on a hot summer day in Olympia, Washington as he fiddles about. It’s going to really surprise people. Just to be clear, it’s not a Nirvana album, it’s just Kurt and you’re going to hear him do things you never expected to come out of him.”
The interview is a pretty fascinating read that gives insight to the preparation Morgen did for making Montage Of Heck. Below you’ll find more of what he had to say about finding the cassettes full of audio recordings:
Well, I entered into a non-descript industrial storage room with industrial lights and carpet and low ceilings. The caretaker, if you will, the guy who worked at the facility had gone to the trouble of putting all of Kurt’s paintings along the walls, and his guitar cases were spread out on one side of the room, open with the guitars out. And in the middle were maybe a dozen boxes that felt quite small within the space. I remember thinking as I gazed upon this, ‘What did I just get myself into? Where is all this stuff?’
I go and open a box and out comes a big collection of videotapes. Nobody had mentioned to me there were going to be videotapes or home videos there, so that was a big find. And then I opened up another box and there were 107 cassettes featuring over 200 hours of never-before-heard or rarely heard music — I mean I would lean heavily of the never-before-heard, probably 95 percent. And nobody had told me about that. And it goes to show you that it’s not really the size or the quantity, because obviously cassettes and film don’t take up a lot of space. So even though the boxes looked rather small they contained a treasure chest of material that would serve as the foundation for Montage of Heck.
The audio ran the gamut from jam sessions with Courtney, some jam sessions with various friends and Nirvana, his first demo tapes, his Fecal Matter demos, his mix tapes and oral canvases like Montage, a lot of silly spoken word stuff and not-silly spoken word stuff like the story he told of losing his virginity, covers of the Beatles songs, it just ran the gamut.
So far there’s been no mention of a label involved with the album Morgen describes — or even any official release details. Nirvana’s final two albums, Nevermind and In Utero, were released by David Geffen Company, now part of Universal Music Group.
Montage Of Heck is produced and distributed by Universal Pictures, along with HBO.
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