Fecal Matter

Fecal Matter was a band formed in late 1985. It was the first band conceived by Kurt.

The band consisted of Cobain on guitar and vocals, Dale Crover (Melvins) on bass, and Greg Hokanson on drums. In December 1985 they supported the Melvins at a concert in Pacific Beach, Washington. Later that month Hokanson left the band. Following the departure, Fecal Matter continued to rehearse as a two-piece. Cobain and Crover journeyed up to Seattle, to the home of Cobain's aunt Mari Earl, to cut a demo on her 4-track TEAC A-2340 deck. Cobain performed guitar and vocals, while Crover played bass, guitar, and drums.

"He arrived with a huge notebook full of lyrics," recalled Earl. "I showed him how to adjust a few things, how to record with the reel-to-reel, and he went right at it."

"The drums were strong and forceful," Earl remarked. "The guitar riffs were fast and furious, with a powerful hook. The lyrical content was rebellious and angry. Mostly slams against society in general. Kurt didn't like the social ladder in school. Kids thinking they were cool because they wore the "right" clothes or were handsome or pretty, or had money. His songs back then reflected his opinions about these things."

Early versions of Spank Thru and Downer were tracked, as well as Sound Of Dentage, Bambi Slaughter, and a slew of untitled songs. Upon returning to Aberdeen, Cobain used the Shillingers' tape deck to dub off copies. He named the demo Illiteracy Will Prevail.

The demo tape was first rumored to exist in Michael Azerrad's 1993 Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana. It was so desired that a faked copy turned up in 1997.

The song "Spank Thru" was the only one from the tape to be officially released; it featured on the 2005 Nirvana rarities album Sliver: The Best of the Box. However in March 2006, incomplete poor-quality clips of many of the songs were leaked on a Nirvana website. One week later, three full songs from the demo were briefly hosted on a MySpace site; "Sound of Dentage", "Bambi Slaughter" and "Laminated Effect". The clips were confirmed as authentic by collector Mike Ziegler (and others who had heard the demo) on a website popular with Nirvana collectors. The source of the three full songs remains unknown.

In January 1986, Buzz Osborne joined on bass and Mike Dillard joined on drums. According to Michael Azerrad's Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Cobain thought Osborne did not take the band seriously enough and refused to buy a bass guitar amplifier. In February, Fecal Matter disbanded.

After Fecal Matter disbanded, Cobain began passing the demo tape around to friends and peers in hopes of starting a new band. Cobain was particularly proud of the tape. To him, the tape showed that he did have talent and finally it caught the attention of Osborne's friend, Krist Novoselic, who was impressed enough that he approached Cobain about forming a band which became Nirvana.

Confirmed songs:

"Sound of Dentage"
"Bambi Slaughter"
"Laminated Effect" (aka "Made Not Born")
"Spank Thru"
"Class of '86" (aka "Buffy's Pregnant")
"Blather's Log" (aka "Vaseline")
"Anorexorcist" (aka "Suicide Samurai")
"The End"

Fecal Matter - Class Of 86