When we think of alternative music of the 1990s, bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine or Green Day immediately come to mind – bands who were supported by major labels and commercially viable.
However, there was a whole sea of other underground bands, spanning a few generations, who were completely fobbed off by the corporate music labels, who didn’t sell as many records, and whose careers were overshadowed by their commercially successful counterparts.
Joining us in this episode is Shaun Katz, director and producer of Underground Inc: The Rise and Fall of Alternative Rock (2019). His film dives into the meteoric rise and fall of the hardcore, underground alternative rock scene of the late 80s to mid-90s.
The film includes interviews with the likes of Joey Castillo from Queens of the Stone Age, Sean Yseult from White Zombie, Steve Albini (the record producer for Nirvana, the Pixies, and PJ Harvey), Todd Huth from Primus, and many more.
Underground Inc. will be available on all major cable and VOD platforms and on DVD on March 23rd.
“There was a generational shift happening at the underground rock scene, that left the music industry not knowing what to do.” – Shaun Katz
02:23 – The film we are discussing – Underground Inc.
04:14 – What the film is about and how Shaun Katz got the idea to make it.
05:46 – What came under term “alternative music” and who listened to it.
09:53 – How Nirvana changed the music scene.
14:54 – At what cost the bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains went mainstream.
19:35 – Why Shaun focused on what bands did right and wrong as they became popular.
22:45 – What response Shaun received from the musicians he approached to participate in it.
27:09 – How Shaun found all the archival footage for the film.
30:18 – What “the last physical rock scene” means.
33:30 – Why Shaun included many different bands in the film instead of focusing on one or two.
36:48 – What lessons bands learned from the alternative rock scene during the 80s and 90s.
39:18 – What the legacy of alternative rock is.
42:15 – The next steps for Shaun Katz.