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Producer Butch Vig Recalls Recording 'Nevermind' With Nirvana

Arvelisse Ruby

by Arvelisse Ruby

Published March 5, 2013

butch-vig-talks-nevermind-nirvana-recording-sessions

It's been more that 2 decades since Nirvana released their second studio album Nevermind, an album so powerful it transformed not only  generations (past and present, who knows even future), but also the life of its iconic lead singer Kurt Cobain. It impulsed the Seattle grunge scene to a wider coverage in the mainstream press  and also influenced emerging and existing bands who wanted to be part of the grunge era in the early 90's. Recording such an important album and sophomore to Bleach, ended up backed up by producer Butch Vig.

Rolling Stone magazine interviewed the legendary producer where he stated that,

"the week before I flew to L.A. , Kurt sent a cassette, which was done on a boombox," said Vig. "It was really terrible sounding. You could barely make out anything. But I could hear the start to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' and I knew it was amazing."

butch-vigAlong with mixer Andy Wallace, Vig spent a little more than a month recording and mixing the album with Cobain, Novoselic and Grohl at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California in 1991. "They were living in this apartment complex, and it was chaos," Vig remembers. There'd be graffiti on the walls, and the couches were upside down. They'd stay up every night and go down to Venice Beach until six in the morning. I'd go into the studio at noon and they'd wander in around four." Among all this chaos recording the corrosive ballad "Something in the Way" that presented a more contained Cobain according to Vig, which make him tell Kurt that his voice was as important as the rest of the instruments but he refuted at times that it needed to sound that way,  "It was mesmerizing. I pulled a couple of mikes in, and we built the whole song around it."

After all the work done by Vig, production wise, the band decided to hire another engineer,  Andy Wallace who had worked with the trash metal band Slayer.

Source: Rolling Stone

 

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