NFC Nirvana Information Articles and Interviews "From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah"

"From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah"

Guitar World - 10/96

A sneak preview of Nirvana's upcoming live album


"From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah," an album of live performances by Nirvana, will be released October 8, 1996 on DGC records. The Wishkah River intersects Aberdeen, Washington, the town where Nirvana was founded. The album will feature 16 songs recorded between 1989 and 1994, from Seattle to Springfield, London to Amsterdam, in venues ranging from small American clubs to the giant Reading Festival in England.

"It's an aggressive record," says Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who along with drummer Dave Grohl listened to more than a hundred hours of tapes to select the tracks. "Hopefully, people who didn't get the chance to see us live will get a flavor of what the band was all about. Most of the songs we chose were the ones we played every night." Novoselic also contributed liner notes for the album.

If the previous live Nirvana album, 1994's "MTV Unplugged In New York," documented the acoustic side of the band--"Nirvana Lite," as Novoselic puts it--"From The Muddy Banks of Wishkah" is "Nirvana Raw." Sources for the tracks range from soundboard reference cassettes to 24-track recordings. The album was mixed by Andy Wallace, who also mixed "Nevermind."

A two-CD live set was originally planned for release in the fall of 1994; one disc from the acoustic MTV Unplugged show and another culled from the band's electric performances. However, the process of reviewing the live tapes so soon after the suicide of the band's singer-songwriter-guitarist, Kurt Cobain, proved too emotionally difficult for Novoselic and Grohl, so the Unplugged album was released on its own.

Two tracks on "From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah" pre-date the band's breakthrough album "Nevermind:" "Polly" and "Breed" were both recorded in London in December, 1989. The majority, however, come from the band's world tour in the winter of 1991: "Drain You," "Aneurysm," "(Smells Like) Teen Spirit," "Been A Son," "Lithium," "School," "Negative Creep," "Blew," and "Spank Thru." Nirvana's appearance at the Reading Festival in the summer of 1992 yielded "Tourette's." The remaining tracks are taken from the 1993-94 "In Utero" tour: "Sliver," "Scentless Apprentice," (recorded for "MTV Live and Loud"), "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Milk It," from a January 4, 1994 Seattle concert.