Producer Steve Albini recalled working on Nirvana‘s final studio album, In Utero, and said he chose to keep his relationship with the late-Kurt Cobain strictly professional. In a new interview with Kerrang! he revealed, “I didn’t try to become a bosom buddy of his, because I knew that everyone around him was trying to weasel their way into his world parasitically, and I wanted him to know that he didn’t have to worry about that with me. So I never pressed him for any personal intimacy.”

He added, “But I got to see him at work, and I saw that he was extremely serious about his music, and his passion was genuine. I think that’s what people responded to, because he had a distinctive voice. I grew to respect him as an artist and as a person.”

Albini refused to remix the album after Nirvana’s label DGC demanded changes be made, and brought R.E.M. producer Scott Litt to soften the sound and remix its singles. Albini admitted that going against the brass ended up hitting him where it hurt: “There was a backlash for sure after the publicity around that record. I was persona non grata with the big record labels, and I had a rough financial year after the release of that record, because my work with artists on those labels all dried up. But I reverted to working with underground bands.”

FAST FACTS

  • Nirvana‘s In Utero was released on September 13th, 1993, peaking in the U.S. at Number One.
  • “Heart Shaped Box” hit Number One on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.
  • “All Apologies” topped Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart.
  • On April 5th, 1994, Kurt Cobain committed suicide at the age of 27 with a shotgun in a room above the garage of his Seattle home.
  • Steve Albini was brought back to produce the 20th anniversary edition of In Utero.
  • To date, In Utero has sold over five million copies in the U.S. alone.

CHECK IT OUT: Nirvana’s video for 1993’s “Heart Shaped Box”: