Sunday’s Blessings: Butch Vig

Butch Vig

God Bless Butch Vig. Born Brian David Vig, this alternative rock-producing mastermind adopted the nickname Butch in response to the crew cut his father gave him as a boy. But even a haircut as straight edge as the crew cut could not reflect the wild and fanatical music that Vig has been known to play and produce for the past 28 years.

The Vig, as I like to call him, is popularly known for his producing credits on the highly influential Nirvana album Nevermind and his role as the drummer of the band Garbage. His milestones also include producing hit albums for the Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, Green Day and several other 90’s mainstays. His work, with emphasis on his presence at the recording helm, was one of the main forces in the solidifying of alternative rock as an important, legitimate musical genre.

If you like Nirvana, check Sara’s story about a cover they did by The Meat Puppets:

In the early 90’s both Vig and Nirvana simultaneously became widely recognized for their work. It wasn’t only the incredible passion that the late Kurt Cobain gushed, or the spastic fingering of bassist Krist  Novoselic that made Nirvana iconic. The man behind the kit, Dave Grohl, cemented himself a mechanically savvy, fast paced drummer, emerging as one of the pioneering grunge rock drummers. Although we know now that Grohl is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, when in Nirvana he often held back his ideas, especially ones involving guitar riffs or lyrics. It was only towards the end of Nirvana’s run and the time after Cobain’s suicide that Grohl flourished as a full-fledged song-maker, thus resulting in the formation of his band the Foo Fighters and his thrust into stardom.

A connection made during the production of one the greatest albums of all time, Vig and Grohl’s association has only recently become a relationship. In 2009, the Vig produced two new tracks for the Foo Fighters greatest hits compilation album, “Word Forward” and “Wheels,” a song about one of Grohl’s late friends which was recorded exactly for a compilation with Vig. As exciting as the news was that the two would be teaming up for two tracks, even more recent news has surfaced that has this writer wetting his jockeys.

As early as August 2010, the Foo Fighters and Vig have been working together to produce a new album according to various publications. As time has passed, small details have been released hinting that this forthcoming, still un-titled, record stands to be a classic. Grohl has said in a number of interviews that this “hardest” Foo Fighter album yet and that acoustic guitar is nonexistent. I perceive a Foo album filled with songs like “Monkeywrench,” “Drive Me Wild” and “My Hero” to be very exciting.

I am hotly anticipating this new album. Grohl has said in recent interviews that the band has been practicing in his garage. Hopefully that type of scenario brushes some rawness onto the tracks, and with a little of Vig’s magic he smoothes it into a full-fledged classic.

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