Butch Vig Biography
Butch Vig is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, He is best known as the drummer and co-producer of alternative rock band Garbage and producer of diamond-selling album Nevermind by Nirvana.
His native of Wisconsin, is based in Madison for much of his career, he studied from the University of Wisconsin, to perform in local bands Spooner and Fire Town, he is also known for setting up his own recording studio, Smart Studios, with bandmate Steve Marker in the town. After becoming well known as a producer, he formed and played drums with Garbage, who sold 17 million records over a ten-year period. Vig returned to producing full-time once Garbage went on hiatus in 2005. The band reconvened in 2010 to record material for their fifth album. In 2012, he was ranked number nine in NME’s Top 50 Greatest Producers Ever.
Butch Vig Age
Butch Vig was born on August 2, 1955 in Viroqua, Wisconsin, United States. He is 63 years old as of 2018.
Butch Vig Height
Butch Vig stands at a height of 1.7 m.
Butch Vig Net worth
Butch Vig has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
Butch Vig Family
Butch Vig was born to Betty Vig (mother) and DeVerne Vig (father) His mother Betty Vig was a music teacher in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
Butch Vig photo
Butch Vig Siblings
Butch Vig has two siblings, Chris Vig and Lisa Vig.
Butch Vig Wife
Butch Vig is married to Beth Halper, who was a former Dream Works and A&R executive; they were both blessed with a daughter, Bo Violet. They live in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles.
Butch Vig Education
Butch Vig graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison where he enrolled in film direction. He studied piano for six years. After seeing The Who perform on The Smothers Brothers, he swapped his piano for a $60 drum kit.
Butch Vig Musician | Producer
Butch Vig started his music career while still in the university. He had so many appearances in most of the shows. He acquired his nick name Butch at his childhood stage due to the severe crew cut of which his father gave him. He contributed several electronic soundtrack of music and low-budget films, including the one song of Slumber Party in Massacre, which is a Hollywood B-movie. This soundtrack work stirred his interest in the manipulation of sound. Vig joined a number of garage pop bands, including Eclipse, and in 1978 formed Spooner with Duke Erikson, Dave Benton, Jeff Walker and Joel Tappero.
The following year, Vig helped Marker to build a home studio in Marker’s basement. Marker and Vig also started a small label, Boat Records, to release records of both Spooner – which included their 1979 debut EP, “Cruel School” – and other bands they liked, which led to around twenty local acts. The self-producing was later described by Vig as “kind of a trial by fire”. In 1984, Vig and Marker founded Smart Studios in Madison, while still performing drums in Spooner at night and driving a taxi cab during the day.
When Spooner lost momentum, Vig formed a band called First Person with Marker and Phil Davis and a side-project called Fire Town featuring Davis and Erikson. Fire Town quickly became Vig’s priority, and after their first album were signed to Atlantic Records. Atlantic hired producer Michael Frondelli to work with Fire Town on their second album. While the sessions did not do well, and the resulting record sank, Vig learned a lot of production techniques from the process. Fire Town split, and Vig reformed Spooner for a final album before Vig’s production work became a full-time career for him.
Butch Vighad had his first high-profile production work in 1991, when he produced his albums by two bands, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish and Nirvana’s Nevermind. He incorporated overdubs and vocal doubletracking, whereas Nirvana’s previous album, Bleach (produced by Jack Endino) had a more “lo-fi” sound. Kurt Cobain originally refused to double-track his vocals and guitars but Vig reportedly got him to comply by saying “John Lennon double-tracked”. Cobain would later criticize Vig for the album’s slickness, although this might be due to Andy Wallace’s mixing of the album. Cobain said that “Butch Vig…recorded the album perfectly,” in a 1993 MTV interview. Billy Corgan welcomed Vig’s elaborate production on The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream.
His album met positive, commercial and critical reception, that was inteded in breaking another indie band into his mainstream. He also produced two criticall praised Sonic Youth albums, titled Dirty and 1994’s Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star. In 2003, he worked with AFI to produce their first major label album with DreamWorks, Sing the Sorrow. Vig worked with Jimmy Eat World on their sixth album, Chase This Light, released in October 2007. He is also working on soundtracks for two new movies. His first production for an English band was 2008’s All or Nothing by The Subways. He also worked with Against Me!, producing their two Sire Records releases, New Wave and White Crosses, as well as working with singer Laura Jane Grace on her solo EP, Heart Burns.
He produced the eighth studio album by Green Day, in 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown, which won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. Recently, he had been partnered in duties by his engineer and mixer Billy Bush who worked in a composed and produced soundtrack for the film. In 2009 he recorded two new tracks for the long and awaited greatest hits release by the Foo Fighters, most notably the single “Wheels” and ultimately produced their April 2011 follow-up, Wasting Light. In 2010, Vig produced Muse’s single, “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever),” which was featured on the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack.
Butch Vig Garbarge
When a group of three full-time producers and part-time musicians decided to find a singer and make a record, the name “Garbage” had, unbelievably, not yet been used by another band. The singer the trio hired was a Scottish woman with the equally unlikely name of Shirley, and their 1995 debut sold a million copies in its first year, earning the band a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Jason Cohen, writing in Rolling Stone, called Garbage’s genesis “a tale of friendship, experimentation, and a fateful symbiosis of music and personalities.” Shirley Manson concurred. “If I wasn’t in this band, I would go, ‘Yeah, right, three producers and a girl,'” she told Cohen. “But we found a chemistry that I don’t think you can predetermine. It was just absolute luck.”
Butch Vig foo fighters
Vig, who first worked with Dave Grohl when he produced Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ in 1991, is co-producing the record with Steve Albini (who recorded Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ in 1993) and the says that the band are toying with a range of various different recording techniques in order to find their best sound. Vig likened the approach to that of Foo Fighters’ 2011 record ‘Wasting Light’, an album which was recorded in frontman Dave Grohl’s garage.
In an interview with Kerrang magazine, Vig said: “We’ve been recording at some different locations but we’re almost halfway done with the recording and it’s going well. It sounds different – we’ve thrown a few things into the mix, in the recording process, that are going to five the record a different sound and a different feel. It’s been a challenge, but it’s also been exciting.”
Butch Vig plugin free download
Widely considered one of the most influential rock producers of recent decades, Butch Vig helped spawn an entirely new rock genre. From Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins to Foo Fighters, Green Day and his own band Garbage, Butch Vig has contributed his signature sound to some of the most legendary albums of the modern rock era. One of the defining elements of the “Butch Vig Sound” is Vig’s unique vocal stamp. The celebrated producer ushered in the sound of distorted vocals in a beautifully musical way, and this feature is an integral part of the sound that the Butch Vig Vocals plugin faithfully recreates.
Designed for those looking for a creative approach to shaping vocals, Butch Vig Vocals features intuitive EQ controls, a compressor and a de-esser, and several tools for coloring your sound in numerous shades, including Tube and Solid State saturation, a unique Focus knob, and other inspiring features, all carefully crafted by Butch himself to help you realize your vocal vision. With instantly hyped vocals that cut through the mix and a sound that is dripping with character, Butch Vig Vocals now gives everyone the opportunity to work with the sound of a true rock innovator.
Butch Vig Movies
Classic Albums: Nirvana – Nevermind 2005
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth 2011
Absolute Garbage 2007
The Other Side (2011 film) 2013
Butch Vig Tv shows
Butch Vig Songs
- Stupid Girl Garbage · 1995
- Only Happy When It Rains Garbage · 1995
- I Hate Love Not Your Kind of People · 2012
- I Think I’m Paranoid Version 2.0 · 1998
- Queer Garbage · 1995
- Cherry Lips Beautiful Garbage · 2001
- #1 Crush Garbage · 1995
- Why Do You Love Me Bleed Like Me · 2005
- Push It Version 2.0 · 1998
- Vow Garbage · 1995
- Blood for Poppies Not Your Kind of People · 2012
- Special Version 2.0 · 1998
- Androgyny Beautiful Garbage · 2001
- When I Grow Up Version 2.0 · 1998
- Milk Garbage · 1995
- Sex Is Not the Enemy Bleed Like Me · 2005
- The Trick Is to Keep Breathing Version 2.0 · 1998
- Supervixen Garbage · 1995
- You Look So Fine Version 2.0 · 1998
- Run Baby Run Bleed Like Me · 2005
- The World is Not Enough The World Is Not Enough · 1999
- Empty Strange Little Birds · 2016
- Even Though Our Love is Doomed Strange Little Birds · 2016
- Battle In Me Not Your Kind of People · 2012
- Automatic Systematic Habit Not Your Kind of People · 2012
- Because the Night 2013
- Magnetized Strange Little Birds · 2016
- Big Bright World Not Your Kind of People · 2012
- The Chemicals 2015
- As Heaven Is Wide Garbage · 1995
- Girls Talk 2014
- Subhuman Garbage · 1995
Butch Vig Discography
- Every Corner Dance (1982)
- Wildest Dreams (1985)
- The Fugitive Dance (1990)
- In the Heart of the Heart Country (1987)
- The Good Life (1989)
- Garbage (1995)
- Version 2.0 (1998)
- Beautiful Garbage (2001)
- Bleed Like Me (2005)
- Not Your Kind of People (2012)
- Strange Little Birds (2016)
Butch Vig served as the record producer, or co-producer on the following records:
- 1982: Die Kreuzen – Internal
- 1984: Killdozer – Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite
- 1984: Juvenile Truth — no enemy
- 1985: ivory library – 1st e.p.
- 1985: The Other Kids – Living in the Mirror
- 1985: Killdozer – Snake Boy
- 1985: Laughing Hyenas – Come Down to the Merry Go Round
- 1986: Killdozer – Burl
- 1987: The Other Kids – Happy Home
- 1987: Killdozer – Little Baby Buntin’
- 1988: Die Kreuzen – Century Days
- 1988: The Cheeters – Sign of Fire
- 1988: Killdozer – For Ladies Only
- 1989: Killdozer – Twelve Point Buck
- 1989: Laughing Hyenas- You Can’t Pray a Lie
- 1989: Stuart Stotts – Music in My Mother’s House
- 1989: feedtime – Suction
- 1990: Urge Overkill – Americruiser
- 1990: King Snake Roost – Ground into the Dirt
- 1990: Laughing Hyenas – Life of Crime
- 1990: The Fluid – Glue
- 1991: The Fluid – Spot the Loon
- 1991: Gods of the Revolution
- 1991: Cosmic Psychos – Blokes You Can Trust
- 1991: The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
- 1991: Nirvana – Nevermind
- 1991: Tad – 8-Way Santa
- 1991: Young Fresh Fellows – Electric Bird Digest
- 1991: Overwhelming Colorfast – Overwhelming Colorfast
- 1991: Die Kreuzen – Cement
- 1992: Sonic Youth – Dirty
- 1992: House of Pain – Shamrocks and Shenanigans
- 1992: L7 – Bricks Are Heavy
- 1992: Chainsaw Kittens – Flipped Out in Singapore
- 1992: Drain – Pick Up Heaven
- 1992: Gumball – Wisconsin Hayride
- 1992: Sky Pilot – ‘Chicago Illinois – Mike DeFoy”
- 1993: Gumball – Super Tasty
- 1993: Gumball – The Damage Done
- 1993: Crash Vegas – Stone
- 1993: The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
- 1993: Gumball – Real Gone Deal
- 1994: Sonic Youth – Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
- 1994: Helmet – Betty
- 1994: Freedy Johnston – This Perfect World
- 1995: Soul Asylum – Let Your Dim Light Shine
- 1995: Garbage – Garbage
- 1997: The And – Day
- 1997: The And – And Night
- 1998: Garbage – Version 2.0
- 2001: Garbage – Beautiful Garbage
- 2003: AFI – Sing the Sorrow
- 2005: Garbage – Bleed Like Me
- 2006: Kilroy – LP
- 2007: Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light
- 2007: Against Me! – New Wave
- 2008: The Subways – All or Nothing
- 2008: Laura Jane Grace – Heart Burns
- 2009: Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
- 2009: Foo Fighters – Greatest Hits
- 2010: Against Me! – White Crosses
- 2010: Muse – “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”
- 2010: Never Shout Never – Harmony
- 2010: Goo Goo Dolls – Something for the Rest of Us
- 2011: Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
- 2012: Garbage – Not Your Kind of People
- 2013: Sound City Players – Sound City: Real To Reel
- 2014: Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
Butch Vig Twitter
Butch Vig Youtube Interview
Butch Vig Interview
Having started his production career with the opening of Smart Studios in 1983, a joint commercial enterprise with fellow Garbage member Steve Marker, Vig has amassed an impressive and expansive collection of vintage and analogue gear over the years, plenty of which has made its way into his current home studio, after Smart closed its doors in 2010.
Butch Vig : “The home studio I have now is pretty awesome,” Vig beams, affable and disarmingly modest for a producer of such calibre. “I do everything in Pro Tools (HD 12), I’ve got my Drum Workshop drums here and I’ve got a Baldwin Acrosonic acoustic piano and I’ve got a bunch of Line 6 direct input guitar modellers. I have a lot of virtual synths but I also have a bunch of analogue keyboards. I use Barefoot MM27 monitors, which I love, and a really good mic collection, some great Neumanns and AKG ribbon mics. That’s the first part of the chain, so the microphone is a key component, especially when recording drums and vocals.” His current set up has evidently evolved significantly from his formative days at Smart working with lock punk rock bands.
“Our gear was pretty minimal at the start,” he continues. “We had an Allen & Heath console, JBL speakers, a Crown power amp, a Tascam 38 reel-to-reel eight-track, a Technics two-track to mix on to ¼” tape. We had very minimal outboard gear. We had a dbx 160 compressor, a Roland tape echo that we pretty much ran everything through and we had some sort of graphic EQ but I can’t remember who made it now. We didn’t have very much; we had a pair of Valley People Dyna-mites, which were great because you could use them as noise gates or compressors or limiters. We used those on drums a lot, and then we bought a Plate reverb, which was great.”
Today, the world of production, engineering and recording has evolved and mutated immeasurably, not just since Smart Studios opened for business 27 years ago, but even since it closed just seven years ago. And while rapid technological innovation has been the most obvious development in recent years, Vig also believes that quick and easy access to information online and the increasing access to specialist training courses has helped change the game.
Butch Vig : “Digital technology has levelled the playing field,” Vig states. “It’s completely changed how we record music and how we consume music. When I started out there were very few recording schools, so how to get into engineering or producing was a mystery. I learned how to make records by the seat of my pants, I never had any formal training. There used to be a hierarchy, where you would start out as the tea boy and, if you could handle that long enough and take the abuse, then you got moved up to tape operator, then second engineer, then engineer, then maybe after years of that you could go into producing. That was the way it was for a long time. Now, a kid can write a song on his laptop and put it on the Internet and a million people can hear it within 24 hours.
“The digital revolution has empowered everyone with a DIY mentality. The young bands and artist are way more savvy and smart; there is so much more information and schools you can go to, there are tutorials online… If you want to figure something out, whether it’s how to mic a drum set or a bass amp, just click on YouTube and you’ll probably find hundreds of videos on how to do that. That kind of information was never around 20 or 30 years ago. It’s enabled everyone to take on their own role of being an engineer of a producer.”
Vig does, however, believe that the digital revolution has proved to be something of a double-edged sword, arguing that, while technological innovation has unquestionably opened up opportunities for people to make solid sounding records from the comfort of their bedrooms, it has in some cases diminished the art of production.
There used to be a hierarchy, where you would start out as the tea boy and, if you could handle that long enough and take the abuse, you could gradually get moved up into producing. Now, a kid can write a song on his laptop and put it on the Internet and a million people can hear it within 24 hours.
Butch Vig : “There is so much music out there now and 99% of it is incredibly mediocre,” he sighs. “Everyone has these tools to get great drum sounds and keyboard sounds, so you really have to write a great song to rise above the mediocrity of the masses of music out there. But there are still amazing producers who go beyond just firing up a preset sound and a virtual synthesizer and saying, Hey, I’ve got a new song; they work with performances and arrangements. There is a lot more than just the technical side of making a record. A lot of what producers do is about getting inside the psyche of the artist and helping figure out what their vision is and focus them and steer them on that course.”
It is this psychological aspect of the producer’s role that Vig thrives on. That’s not to suggest that his focus on the more technical elements of producing records is in any way lacking, but his emphasis on truly understanding how to coax best possible performances out of artists and his knack for a knockout arrangement is virtually unrivalled among his peers or today’s contemporary knob twiddlers.
Butch Vig : “When I started out I was very obsessed with sound,” he explains. “I was really looking at production almost from an engineering standpoint. When Steve and I started Smart Studios we were just recording bands, and it wasn’t until I’d been recording for a year and a half that someone said they wanted me as a producer, and I said I didn’t really know what a producer did, and they said, Well, you certainly steered us in the right direction and had a lot of opinions. And I am opinionated! I guess that’s one of the things that makes a good producer, that a band trusts the producer’s opinion. As I worked more and more with bands it became less of a technical aspect of recording, and more about the arrangements. Trying to help them play better and understand what everyone is playing: how you can support the vocal here, maybe you should play that part here, or move the end part to the beginning.”
He continues: “I always tried to bring a fresh perspective that the band might not have thought of because they aren’t as objective about it. The more I got into producing, the biggest aspect for me was the psychological aspect, and that entails understanding the band’s vision and trying to help them get there; getting them to relax, let their guard down and try things in the studio so they are uninhibited. Sometimes you have to work out problems with people in the band. Artists can be complicated beasts! I feel a lot of the time that 50% of producing is psychological – I’m a psychiatrist in the studio half the time!”
So who are the producers that helped shape Vig’s approach to the record making process during his formative years?
“The first record I ever really noticed the production on was Sgt Pepper’s, and like everybody else my mind was blown when I heard it,” he says. “George Martin completely raised the bar with what you could do in a recording studio. Many of the things he pioneered back in the day, everyone takes for granted now. Things like tape editing and automatic double tracking on vocals and running things in reverse, and just his clever use of arrangements; what he brought into songs was unorthodox and not necessarily live instrumentation, the studio became a canvas to paint on.
“When I started playing in bands in the late-‘70s/early-‘80s, I really looked at new wave and punk bands as my peers, and a lot of those records I really started admiring and analysing the production. Some of my favourite producers are Chris Thomas, who did the Sex Pistols and The Pretenders, those records still sound amazing. Steve Lilywhite – I love the XTC records and the tracks he did with U2; he got that great, huge drum sound that sounded incredible. Todd Rundgren, who was quite varied in his production techniques. There’s a band called Pursuit Of Happiness, he made a great record with them, like a power pop record. He had a great pop mentality, because he was a great artist himself.”
With the clock winding down on our time together, conversation returns to the present and Vig’s latest project 5 Billion In Diamonds. Despite being separated from co-bandmates Grillo and Jenks by the vast expanse of the Atlantic, the trio still managed to create a record rich in warm, analogue tone and featuring an array of acclaimed international instrumentalists and special guests, including guitarist Alex Lee (Goldfrapp, Strangelove, Suede), bass player Sean Cook and drummer Damon Reece (Spiritualized, Massive Attack, Elizabeth Fraser) and vocals from Helen White (Alpha), Sandra Dedrick (The Free Design), David Schelzel (The Ocean Blue) and Ebbot Lundberg of Swedish rockers The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. That it is such a triumph of musical diversity and versatility is a fitting testament to the talents and commitment of all involved in the project, but particularly its three co-founders.
“James, Andy and I all share co-production credits on the record,” Vig notes. “The biggest thing was that we really wanted to have an analogue feel to it, so we might start writing using a laptop or some synthesizers, but then we went back and Andy and I were really keen on making sure a lot of it was played by real people, so I did drums here and played guitar and keyboards there. Then we brought in a stellar band to play. We really wanted to get the human element in, we didn’t want it to sound like it had been made on a laptop. When I hear it I sort of see a dark fog over it, a little bit of noir floating around. Not on all the songs, but I think that comes from the presence of analogue instrumentation.”
In many ways, 5 Billion In Diamonds is emblematic of Vig’s career to date: a diverse array of artists from all over the world, encompassing a vast range of genres, all featuring the man himself on production and drumming duties. A veteran though he may be, with such a passion and voracious appetite for music that shows no sign of waning, somehow it still feels like Vig is just getting started.