Nirvana Legend ‘Not A Fan’ Of Band’s Album


“Nevermind” remains to be ever controversial album of Nirvana, given the album art. Now, the album producer Butch Vig recalled how his famous collaboration with the band began, going in-depth about some of the key moments and challenges from the recording process behind the band’s iconic sophomore LP.

Butch Vig talks about Nirvana’s debut album

Introducing Butch Vig as “the ‘Nevermind’ producer” doesn’t nearly capture the extent of his opus and impact on the music world. The 67-year-old Wisconsin native has also done producing work on many seminal albums – including Smashing Pumpkins’ 1991 debut “Gish” and its ’93 follow-up “Siamese Dream”, Sonic Youth’s “Dirty” and “Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star”, as well as several Foo Fighters albums, to name a few – while also serving as the drummer of Garbage.

However, “Nevermind” does remain one of the crowning jewels of Vig’s producing career, as he managed to tighten Nirvana’s sound enough so that it could confidently take over the world, while retaining enough of the iconic Seattle outfit’s much-cherished rawness and underground sound.

To that effect, Vig told Consequence in a new interview how he wasn’t particularly impressed by Nirvana’s debut album “Bleach”, produced by Jack Endino:

“I was kind of unimpressed. I thought their record was kind of one-dimensional, but there was one song on there About a Girl which to me was a brilliant pop song and sounded like Lennon-McCartney-style songwriting.”

Even so, that was enough to pique Vig’s interest, and Nirvana went over to his Smart Studios in Wisconsin to begin work on early versions of songs that ended up on “Nevermind”.

He continued:

“They hadn’t written ‘Teen Spirit’. I knew that Kurt’s songwriting had progressed a lot because of the songs that we recorded for those ‘Smart’ sessions. ‘In Bloom’ was one of them, which is just a fantastic song and a great melody over a chord structure. ‘Stay Away’ was on there. I think it might have been called ‘Pay to Play'”

“I knew that he [Cobain] was trying to grow as a songwriter and it was during those early ‘Smart’ sessions… I discovered he was a huge Beatles fan, and as much as he admired John Lennon’s aesthetic, he really admired Paul McCartney’s melodic songwriting and his melodic sensibility. So I filed that away as a reference point that I would use later on when we recorded Nevermind.”