Nirvana Producer Doubts ‘Nevermind’ Would Have Same Impact Today
Though Nirvana's Nevermind is often credited with the launch of the grunge movement boom of the early '90s, the album's producer Butch Vig has shared his doubts that the record would have the same impact today.
While Vig is not downgrading the album's quality, he is stating that the environment surrounding how and when the record arrived played a big factor in making a great record reach even bigger heights.
Speaking with NME, Vig explained, “I think it would be tough to repeat that zeitgeist moment. If Nevermind came out this week, despite being a great record, it would not have the same cultural impact. It was perfect timing coming out when there was a shift in music and it felt like a revolution. I can see that happening again, but not in the same way.”
Vig also echoed sentiments similar to what Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl once shared about rising alt-rock/pop star Billie Eilish. He explained, “I saw something similar with Billie Eilish. I’m friends with her and [brother, producer] Finneas and their mom was my daughter’s music teacher. They live down the street from us. Billie speaks for a whole generation of youth, much like Nirvana did with their zeitgeist moment.”
Digging further into the impact the cultural landscape has, Vig states, “Everything is so instant that it’s hard to build up some mystique. When you really want something but can’t quite get your hands on it, that makes it all the more powerful. Everyone has access to everything these days. Maybe someone will come along with a band who sounds like Nirvana but a lyricist who writes like Bob Dylan and is into hip-hop and doesn’t have Instagram or Facebook."
He continues, “Maybe they’ll do a couple of shows and disappear. If they did, people would go mental because they’d want them all the more. If you know who that is, please call them because I want to produce them!”
Nirvana's Nevermind hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart in 1991, famously enjoying a steady climb to the top before knocking Michael Jackson out of the top spot in early 1992. The album yielded the singles "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come as You Are," "Lithium" and "In Bloom." It's been diamond certified (for over 10 million albums sold) by the RIAA in the U.S.
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