The acclaimed documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck will premiere on HBO on May 4th, and in another sneak peek from the authorized film about the Nirvana singer, we’re shown footage of Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic performing for a crowd of two people in a living room. The clip also features a new interview with Novoselic about Nirvana’s beginnings.
In the video from the New York Times, we see Cobain and Novoselic rocking out a primitive rendition of the Bleach cut “Mr. Moustache” while an audience of two people sit at the floor and watch. “If we played together in the house for a couple of hours and if two people stopped by we considered that a gig,” Cobain says through an archival interview. “That was good enough, if we had an audience of two people; locals who hated our guts and thought it was terrible music.”
Later in the clip, Novoselic also talks about first performing with his friend Cobain, who at the time was employed as a janitor. “[Cobain] liked punk rock music, so that piqued my interest,” Novoselic says in Montage of Heck. “He’d always have to do some kind of art – usually defacing something. He never had, like, idle hands. It just came out of him; he had to express himself.”
In a New York Times profile on the film, director Brett Morgen talks about the 100 never-before-heard audio cassette tapes Cobain made that were sitting in a California storage facility for years. (When asked why the tapes sat undisturbed the past two decades, Courtney Love said, “I’m not going to listen to 108 noise cassettes!”) The tapes – most of which predate Bleach – feature song sketches, other artists’ recordings, phone conversations and the “Montage of Heck” noise collage that gave the film its title.
In the new issue of Rolling Stone, Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean discussed Montage of Heck and her father’s legacy. “For me, the film provided a lot more factual information about my father – not just tall tales that were misconstrued, misremembered, rehashed, retold 10 different ways,” Cobain said. “It was factual evidence of who my father was as a child, as a teenager, as a man, as a husband, as an artist. It explored every single aspect of who he was as a human being.”