'Good Will' Revives Nirvana Archival Hopes

Unreleased Nirvana material may see daylight by the end of the year, ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic tells Billboard.com. Although he and drummer Dave Grohl will continue their battle against Cobai

Unreleased Nirvana material may see daylight by the end of the year, ex-Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic tells Billboard.com. Although he and drummer Dave Grohl will continue their battle against Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, for control of the band's assets later this month in a Washington state courtroom, Novoselic says "there's actually good will going on right now."

Novoselic said he couldn't discuss details, but he hinted that the much-discussed unreleased Nirvana cut "You Know You're Right" will likely be among the songs unearthed. "I can't say until the ink's dry, but it's just probably what you'd expect, what you've been hearing." (There has been talk of a Nirvana box set since last year, when the legal fight began.)

"All your assumptions would be safe. Unless [you think] it's gonna be this freaky, like, experimental noise record, no. It's all safe," Novoselic added. "And that way the band wins, the estate wins, the fans win, everybody wins, so it's good will." As far as when this new Nirvana product may arrive, Novoselic said, "They [Universal Music Group] got that motherf***er on a rail, they're talking fourth quarter here."

In attempt to gain control of Nirvana's assets, Love filed a three-count suit against Universal Music Group (UMG) and Grohl and Novoselic in October 2001 seeking a declaration that Nirvana's contract with the label is void and all rights pertaining to the band should revert to her. In June 2001, she filed a suit against Grohl and Novoselic seeking dissolution of Nirvana LLC, which splits rights among the three.

Love argues that Nirvana's contract with Geffen was terminated once UMG gained control of the label. Additionally, she claimed UMG has withheld approximately $3.1 million in royalties.

Last fall, UMG had planned to release a 45-track box set to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the band's breakthrough album, "Nevermind." The box was to include the unreleased track "You Know You're Right," which some call a hit waiting in the wings. After Love was granted an injunction by a Washington State Superior Court judge against the release of "You Know You're Right," the box set was delayed.

In December 2001, Grohl and Novoselic filed a countersuit, in which they claimed that Love has "thwarted negotiations" with Geffen over the release of a Nirvana hits set because she is "attempting to force Geffen and UMG into modifying her personal recording agreement." The suit also said that the former leader of Hole "is irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent, and unpredictable" in her professional dealings.

Grohl and Novoselic's action's allegations include tortious interference with contract, related to the failure to deliver the boxed set; abuse of process; and trademark infringement, regarding rights to the Nirvana.com domain name. The action seeks dismissal of Love's complaint, court costs, and damages to be determined at trial.

Love's attorney, Yale Lewis, has denied Grohl and Novoselic's "perception that they were full partners in Nirvana," which he says "seems to be the thrust of their counterclaim."

In April, Novoselic and Grohl's request that Love undergo a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation was rejected by a Seattle judge, who ruled that the former bandmates failed to show that Cobain's widow suffers from "an identifiable mental problem" that would require the exam.

Novoselic says, "At the end of this month, the judge is gonna do a summary judgment; who knows what he's gonna say. He might throw it all out, or he might throw part of it out."