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HOW MATT BOWEN MORPHS KURT COBAIN & OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ON HIM!
MATT BOWEN DOES HIS THING, AND DARN GOOD!
MATT BOWEN MORPHS KURT COBAIN AND HOW HE DOES IT!
Just wrote another article with the help of Matt Bowen, it's great. HERE IT IS: I had a chance to sit down with Matt Bowen who has been doing Nirvana-Kurt Cobain and really found out what makes his “COBAIN” tick. So read about him and how he “morphs Kurt Cobain”.
What started you with the Kurt Cobain things?
It was more what got me started with the band Nirvana. I first heard “In Utero” from my friend Derek when I was about 9 and it changed my outlook on music forever.
It’s basically a sonic piece of art. I went and bought the newly released cassette of “From the Muddy Banks”, live performances, and I loved the raw power combined with well-crafted and catchy songs.
The distortion was also really appealing. Kurt’s voice almost sounded familiar the first time I heard it and I instantly related to it. Nirvana got me through a lot of tough times.
As far as the whole resemblance thing, that started when my friend Robby saw me wearing a shirt with Kurt on it and said “Dude, you look exactly like Kurt Cobain!”
I had never even thought about that before and when I looked in the mirror, I saw how much we looked alike but thought he looked like a brother or something, not like a clone.
The reason I grew my hair long originally was because I just wanted to have long hair and I dyed my hair blonde not because of Kurt as some people accused me of later, but I was dying it blonde since I was like 12 because I didn’t want my hair to turn dark in general. People sometimes make too big of a deal of things but yes I admit that I look like I could be Kurt’s brother.
How long have you been doing it?
I don’t know exactly what I’ve been doing but I started to play guitar when I was 12 on a right hand-guitar but I played it left handed. I’m ambidextrous and play guitar right-handed now after having to do it that way in a population of mostly right-handed people.
I write with my left hand most of the time, sometimes I switch off. When I was young I wrote with my left hand and was punished for it by my school so I think I write more sloppy with my right hand.
When did you start doing music in general?
As I said, I was 12 when I played left-handed on a righty guitar and started off with instrumentals and covers, then I progressed to actual songwriting. I recorded about 17 demo tapes from like 2000-2004 that included mostly sang and played guitar, bass, and keyboard. In high school, I recorded tons of songs on the computer and started to experiment with editing, mixing, producing, and manipulating sound. I did this on regular Windows Sound Recorder and treated the songs like compositions. Most of those songs wound up on “Lost in Catacombs of Doubt.”
I helped start a band called Perfect Union with a couple friends from school and we lasted for a long time with different line-ups but recorded a lot of material.
After that band was no more, in 2010, I helped form another band Free Music with intent of expanding on the older songs and creating newer ones that I would throw out. I encouraged the other guys to write but nothing we ever got done together ended up on tape.
Where do you want to take this music on Cobain?
So many people say I should dedicate my life to being a Kurt Cobain impersonator or whatever but I have a unique soul. I want to be my own person with my own unique stamp on the music world (not to put down impersonators of Cobain).
I’ll always play Nirvana covers live, record them maybe, or just jam on them. I wouldn’t mind play at least one show where I paid tribute to Kurt and played a Nirvana set-list or something to that effect. So many people have said since I was 14 that if a Nirvana movie was made, I should play Kurt Cobain.
After watching Montage of Heck, I think they’re right; my home videos are very similar to certain ones in that documentary and at times Kurt reminded me of a younger me. Having said that, I am NOT him but would definitely consider doing either of the following things I mentioned. I’d also like to meet his very talented artist daughter, she seems like a cool person.
What's your favorite thing about doing this, and looking like and
sounding like Kurt and yourself, you have your own identity too?
Exactly right, I have my own identity too and the credits for a movie would read “played by Matt Bowen” and a tribute show would read “Matt Bowen Plays Nirvana” because my integrity and SOUL matter to me. Kurt would probably agree with my stance on that. My favorite thing about playing Nirvana songs is the nostalgia I feel and it reminds me of my dead best friend Derek Miller who ironically introduced me to the band. So many fond memories when Nirvana was either in the background, we were singing it, or we would watch the unplugged special (a Christmas present I gave him). Anyway though, I like making people happy and I’ve got many compliments on my performances of Kurt’s songs over the years. That’s a rewarding feeling providing joy since he’s gone now.
I hope one day that my albums are looked upon half as well as Nirvana’s or The Beatles’ or Elliott Smith etc. I don’t want to be famous to have attention, I just want to share what’s meant to be for everyone which is my music/my albums. If you hear Nirvana i