This time last year, we honored the release of Nirvana’s classic album “Nevermind” with “20th Anniversary” editions, screenings of the “Live at the Paramount” performance, exhibits, benefit shows, Krist, Dave and Butch went live at the SiriusXM Studios and much more. - Thank you to everyone that participated in this celebration.
“We actually met her [Shirley] in London the same day Kurt Cobain died, which is very weird because we had lunch with her and then I went to a meeting with a couple of engineers and producers I know. And someone walked up and said Kurt Cobain committed suicide. It was very bizarre. It all happened in like a matter of hours.” - Butch Vig.
“Even in rehearsals when they started playing it, you know their guitar and bass rigs were so loud, so unbelievably loud and Dave didn’t have any mics on him or anything and the drums were equally as loud in the room. And I remember literally standing up and starting to sweat and pacing around the room because the song was so powerful and so amazing and so hooky… I didn’t even know what Kurt was singing at that point.” - Butch Vig on “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Today in 1991, Nirvana begin recording “Nevermind”. Originally titled “Sheep”.
“Kurt really wanted to do everything on the first or second take, he’d do a couple of takes and say, “That’s it. I’m not gonna do it anymore.” The tricky part was trying to figure out how to motivate him to give really good performances. Sometimes his first or second takes were brilliant, but sometimes they needed work. They needed to be more focused. What I ended up doing was recording everything he sang, even the warm-ups. A lot of times, I’d actually be going for a first take, but he would think it was just a warm-up. Then I’d have the engineer flip to a new track and I’d tell Kurt, “Okay, you’re ready for your first take.” If I was lucky, I could get as many as four takes out of him. Then I’d take the best pieces of each one and make a master out of it.” - Butch Vig.
March, 1991 - The “Boombox Rehearsals” are recorded in Tacoma, WA.
“It was a really raw boombox cassette recording. It distorted so badly that you could barely make out what they’re playing.” - Butch Vig.
Order the 20th Anniversary of “Nevermind” featuring the “Boombox Rehearsals” here.
In the last week of April 1991, Nirvana journeyed down to LA to begin recording their major label debut, “Nevermind”. It was the band’s own decision to have Butch Vig as their producer, choosing him over several other “big-name” producers. “It was such a great experience working with him in Madison,” recalls Krist Novoselic. “The label wanted us to work with other people, but it was kinda intimidating, and we were comfortable with Butch.”
“You have to be a little insane to make a record this way, and I’ve got all these young bands asking, ‘Will you do records in analog now?’ My answer is, ‘Not unless you can play as good as the Foo Fighters!’” - Butch Vig.
Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl recently wrote a note to fans on the Foo Fighters’ official website, thanking them for their dedication and support during the band’s most recent, Wasting Light, run. Grohl also mentioned that he’s already thinking about the next Foo Fighters album, and now, things have gone a step further and Grohl has met with Wasting Light (and Nevermind) producer Butch Vig to get a feel for some demos!
Butch Vig tweeted confirmation of his meeting with Grohl last week (Dec. 20): “Spent all day yesterday with Dave at 606 listening to new demos, some great new songs!” Does this mean Foo Fighters’ next album, once again, will have production by Mr. Vig? This tweet is a good indication. As the old adage goes, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
In Grohl’s aforementioned note, he actually hinted at another Butch Vig-produced Foos album and gave the producer chief credit for the success of Wasting Light. He stated that, “most of all, we wanted [the album] to sound huge: That’s why we decided to use Butch Vig. His role in this whole experience is huge, and he deserves a great ‘thanks’, too. Not many producers would accept the challenge that we handed him. He’s the best, for sure. Together, we made the album of a lifetime. Again.”
He added that the Foos are, “not finished yet. There are still more shows to play, more songs to write, more albums to record, for years to come. I mean…..If you would have told me 17 years ago that in 2012 I would be writing songs for our 8th studio album….well….. If it weren’t for you guys, we wouldn’t be here.”