100% guaranteed to be Courtney Love-free…
The underground music scene of the North-west of America arose from the early 1980s, initially as a marginalised phenomenon with barely a handful of adherents, strung out in isolated towns across the vast state of Washington. In its early days bands who showed an allegiance to their roots of punk risked social ostracism and worse. Yet, by 1991, the biggest band in the world – Nirvana- had been born from this community of outsiders.
Sub Pop Records subsequently became “a new Motown” with Seattle substituting for Detroit.
The Soul Jazz label now has a new compilation aimed at fleshing out part of the so-called hidden history of the era and the region: No Seattle, which is subtitled, appropriately enough, “Forgotten Sounds of the North-West Grunge Era 1986-97. It features some of the many divergent bands of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s that emerged out of the region during this era. Intensely researched and documented, this album features many bands who have now disappeared from history, after releasing maybe just a couple of singles, or an album, or even never making it onto vinyl – alongside some bands that continue to this day.
With in-depth sleevenotes, interviews with most of the bands, exclusive photography and all tracks sonically remastered, this is a comprehensive double CD (and 2 volumes of 2xLP vinyl releases), bringing together the hidden, lost and forgotten sounds of the North-West grunge era. It’ll be available as either a double CD or double vinyl LP. It’s due out Sept. 8. Some details:
· Attica and Helltrout both feature former full members of Nirvana (Aaron Burckhard – Nirvana’s 1st drummer – and Dave Foster – Nirvana’s 3rd drummer respectively)
· 17 of the bands on the record played on stage alongside Nirvana between 1987 and 1993, while members of every single band on the record would share a stage with Nirvana in that time period.
· All the key Seattle producers are on the record: Jack Endino, Conrad Uno who runs the PopLlama label, Steve Fisk, John Goodmanson – even Steve Albini is on here.
· Jack Endino is the founding father of grunge – his band Skin Yard were one of the first and he produced more Nirvana songs than any other producer, while also working on all the albums that ‘made’ the Seattle scene what it became at its peak. He’s on here as a performer, as a producer and more recently helping salvage some of the lost songs present.
· Bundle of Hiss went on to become TAD, one of the top Seattle bands at the height of the scene and also featured Dan Peters (later of Mudhoney) on drums – the song featured is the last known unreleased song by the band.
· Calamity Jane were the band Nirvana famously took to perform in Argentina for 50,000 fans in 1992 and who were treated so abysmally by the crowd that they broke up as soon as they got home
· Aaron Burckhard is now in the rock band Under Sin, Dave Foster plays in Mico de Noche, Kurt Danielson plays in Vaporland (album released last month), John Purkey plays in Sleeper Cell (album released earlier this year), Maria Mabra plays in Corinne Rose, Terry Lee Hale released his latest album last year, Jack Endino now plays with Endino’s Earthworm while continuing to produce a dozen+ releases a year, Timo Ellis support Yoko Ono on her 1996 album Rising and continues to perform in a range of bands, Daniel Riddle is focused on soundtrack work for indie films
· Many of these musicians went on to release music with Sub Pop but also with the other North West labels of significance like C/Z Records, PopLlama, K Records…