Saturday, March 17, 2012

Butch Vig

Butch Vig is perhaps the most legendary producer and has produced some of the most important albums of all time. He first got his big break in 1991 when he produced both Smashing Pumpkins debut album, Gish and the second album from a little known band (at the time) from Seattle called Nirvana. That album was called Nevermind and has become legendary. Some of his best known recording techniques is his use of overdubbed guitars and vocals. Originally Kurt Cobain did not want to overdub his vocals, he felt it was too pop, but Butch convinced him when he told him John Lennon overdubbed his vocals. Here is Butch talking about recording the Nirvana song, In Bloom where he mentions overdubbing vocals.
and here he is talking about recording overdubbed guitars and vocals on the song Drain You.
A few years after in 1993, he would record the Smashing Pumpkins breakthrough album, Siamese Dream. This album would be more expansive than Gish, with strings, lots of orchestrations and more than 40 guitar tracks on songs like Soma. Another recording technique he uses is recording to analog, which is a more raw sound.

He has also produced Dirty by Sonic Youth, which is one of their best albums, using the same recording techniques, and has produced AFI's Sing the Sorrow album, their most ambitious album in my opinion. This is their breakthrough and where they really became a real band. More strings, more expansive lyrics and you can tell they really put a lot of work on their recording, as did Butch.

Most recently Butch has been working with Green Day on the album 21st Century Breakdown, which is another example where he takes a band and really expands their horizons. The album took home a Grammy for Rock Album of the Year.

He has been the drummer for Garbage since around 1995 and has employed the same recording techniques on Garbage's albums.

In 2011, he also produced the most recent Foo Fighter's album, Wasting Light, once again working with Dave Grohl, whom he previously worked with on Nirvana's Nevermind. From wikipedia: "Wasting Light is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock band Foo Fighters. It was released on April 12, 2011 on RCA Records. As frontman Dave Grohl wanted a record that would capture the essence of the band's earlier work and lack the artificiality of digital recording, the group recorded in Grohl's garage in Encino, California with only analog equipment. The sessions were supervised by producer Butch Vig, with whom Grohl had worked on Nirvana's Nevermind. Since the old equipment did not allow for many mistakes to be corrected in post-production, the band spent three weeks rehearsing the songs, and Vig had to relearn outdated editing techniques. The band went for a heavier and rawer sound to contrast with the musical experiments in the previous albums, and most of the lyrics were written as Grohl reflected upon his life and possible future. Guest musicians include Bob Mould and Krist Novoselic." Foo Fighters went on to win 5 Grammys at this years Grammy Awards.

Currently, Butch is working with Garbage again, and they are releasing their new album, Not Your Kind of People on May 21, 2012, which was recording in or around the Los Angeles, Atwater Village, Glendale and Silverlake area. He is one of the best producers out there and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment