Director Doug Pray (SURFWISE) documents the Seattle grunge scene in a documentary that has become the defining record of a style that dominated American music for over a decade. It is also a critique of the industry that surrounds the talent and details how fame and overexposure undermined many of the gifted musicians who came out of this world.
Charting the rise of grunge, from its inception in garages around Seattle to its recognition worldwide, HYPE! Evaluates the impact the music has had and the ensuing attention of the public and press on the groups, some of whom were unprepared for the level of fame they attracted. At its heart is the troubled figure of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain, whose prodigious talent sat uneasily with his public profile.
HYPE! captures the energy of the music and includes interviews with and performances from bands such as TAD, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Gits, Love Battery, Flop, The Melvins, Mono Men, The Supersuckers, Zipgun, Seaweed, Pearl Jam, 7 Year Bitch, Hovercraft, Gas Huffer and Fastbacks. It is also one of the few films to contain video footage of Nirvana's first performance of their breakthrough hit, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.