Nirvana Producer Reveals What 'Nevermind' Song Was Hardest To Record
By Katrina Nattress
January 15, 2021
Butch Vig has been spending a lot of time reminiscing about making Nirvana's Nevermind lately, and during a recent interview with NME, the famed producer revealed that "Something In The Way" was "by far" the hardest track to record on the album.
“The other songs we tracked pretty quick – once we were set up, had the sounds and everything, they nailed everything in one or two, three takes tops," he explained. “Then we go back and I get Kurt [Cobain] to overdub some guitars or double guitars or double some vocals and things. We tried doing ‘Something In The Way’ out in the studio and it just didn’t work, the drums were too big and loud. Kurt tried an electric guitar, he couldn’t play it on acoustic [at Sound City Studios] because the room was just too loud.”
“So out of frustration he came into the control room and started playing it on the couch," Vig continued. "And I said, ‘Hold on, let’s just record it right here.’ So I kicked everybody out of the control room, brought a mic in, turned the fans off and unplugged the phone and we recorded him on acoustic guitar there and then, and built the song from it.”
“We moved from the big studio into the small studio and I had to go back and overdub Krist [Novoselic] and Dave [Grohl], and that was hard because they were used to all playing together and now they had to play to this real mellow acoustic [track]," the producer recalled. "We drove Dave real crazy because he’d start playing and immediately it would start getting louder, I’d go ‘You have to play it quiet!’ [but] Dave can’t help himself. He played it great every time but it was always getting louder and louder."
“After five or six takes he finally nailed one that had a really good dynamic to it," Vig added. "You can’t get starker than that [song]. Kurt’s very much writing about himself. He could be the guy under the bridge [in the lyrics]. The band was in great form [making ‘Nevermind’], they were excited to be down there and they practiced their asses off, they were ready for it.”
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