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NIRVANA Producer Talks About Kurt Cobain’s Unique Guitar Playing

Steve Albini, the producer of NIRVANA‘s third and final album, talks about Kurt Cobain‘s guitar playing style and production process of the album.

NIRVANA is an American grunge music group founded in 1987. The band is one of the most iconic alternative rock bands ever which consisting of Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. Kurt Cobain is undoubtedly the most popular name of the band that made big hits like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

Kurt’s guitar playing style and charisma caused him to have an enormous fan base. Kurt Cobain, who passed away in 1994, is still a popular and respected name in the music world. In fact, last year Post Malone raised $500,000 to fund the COVID-19 charity by singing Kurt Cobain‘s songs.

Steve Albini interview with the Cobras & Fire Podcast and he also talked about his time with NIRVANA and about Kurt Cobain’s unique guitar playing style:

Steve: “Kurt Cobain plays to that emotional intensity on the guitar”

Steve was the producer of NIRVANA‘s third and final album, “In Utero”, and had the chance to get to know Kurt closely. He says that Kurt’s guitar playing style is something that no one can apply and that he builds an emotional bond with the dynamics of the song.

Kurt Cobain‘s guitar playing is gentle and gloomy, and it depends on the intensity of the songs, says Steve.

Also, he added: “And then when it’s meant to be raging and explosive, he goes all the way to 11. I don’t think there’s any black art to it, it’s just that he was paying attention when he was putting the arrangements together and when he was writing the songs.”

Steve Albini, producer of "In Utero"
Steve Albini, producer of “In Utero”

Steve Albini also talked about the In Utero album process and said that no record company liked the album.

When the recording process of the In Utero album was completed, Steve got a call from Kurt and there was some pretty bad news. No company liked their recordings and asked them to do it again. But Steve didn’t think that way, he even thought that Kurt was doing a great job.

However, NIRVANA wanted to re-record the album, and they wanted to remix a few songs. Steve’s response was as follows:

“The next time I spoke to Kurt, I said, ‘Look, I don’t think I can do any better. I think all this stuff sounds fantastic.

And if you want to redo some stuff, you have my blessing; I’m not going to be a dick about anything, I just feel like you did a really great job and that you should be proud of yourself.”

He also added that “Everybody hated the In Utero record in that time”

Later, Steve made a few minor adjustments on the album and added backup vocals. In the final, the album “In Utero”, which is still listened to and became a legend, was released.

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