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Kurt Cobain Music School

November 7, 2008

Brian Clark from Lateral Action wrote a great article about the innovative entrepreneurial skills of Kurt Cobain. According to Brian there are 3 major points that Cobain taught us:

  1. Always use a new and better approach, or a fresh and innovative way to do the tried and true. If the “do it the way it’s done” crowd tells you you’re wrong, crazy, or stupid, you may be onto something.
  2. You can’t ignore the realities of market demand and human psychology, but often the market doesn’t realize what it wants and the mind craves something new.
  3. Create things that people naturally want to market for you.

This applies today as much as it did in 1990 when Nirvana first broke. The internet has flattened the world and if you have the right song, using Myspace, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter you can reach new audiences and grow your fanbase organically.

I don’t think we’re better than the other bands… We got attention because our songs have hooks, which stick in people’s minds. ~Kurt Cobain, About a Son

Cobain knew what he wanted. He wanted to be a rockstar. He set that  goal and then went about achieving it in the only way possible, by writing killer songs.

The 3 main points can all be boiled down to the songs. People need to believe in your music. You need to believe in your music. Too often artists are swayed into changing their music for someone or something. Stick to your guns and believe in yourself. If you WRITE GREAT SONGS you’re probably going to hit on all of Cobain’s points.

Oh yes, Number 4 on the list was “be careful who you marry.” An important point, but it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand you could end up writing some of the most significant music of your career (Heart Shaped Box, All Apologies) but on the other hand you could die young and have your legacy slowly tarnished by your dearly beloved.

Take Control of Your Music,


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