Hey, Gene Simmons, About That Phone Call With ‘Kurt Cobain’
Producer Steve Albini claimed he once pretended to be Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain when talking on the phone with Gene Simmons.
In a recent interview at the SXSW music festival, Albini said that the Kiss bassist called up during the sessions for Nirvana's 1993 In Utero album.
“Gene Simmons actually phoned the studio looking to speak to the band," Albini recalled (via NME). "He had been given the number by the record label or management or something. He called the studio and Kurt didn’t want to talk to him, and he handed me the phone and said, ‘You can deal with him.’ I pretended to be Kurt for a while talking to Gene Simmons."
"They had a thing set up where you could record the telephone calls," Albini continued. "So we recorded the conversation with Gene Simmons, where he admitted basically that he wasn’t familiar with Nirvana’s music or any of the bands that Kurt was sort of friends with."
Nardwuar, who was interviewing Albini, added, “I one time interviewed Gene Simmons, and he said, ‘Oh, I talked to Kurt Cobain’” -- to which Albini countered, "Yeah, sorry to break the spell there, Gene."
Albini, known for his raw and unpolished approach to recording, was hired to produce In Utero to avoid the radio-friendly sheen that marked Nevermind. But there were fears, from both the label and the band, that the album wasn't commercial enough. So Nirvana then hired Scott Litt, who had produced several hit records for R.E.M., to remix a few of the LP's tracks.