NIRVANA ‘Nevermind’ Producer Says Working With KURT COBAIN Was ‘A Pain In The Ass’

Released in September 1991, NIRVANA‘s sophomore album and major label debut elevated Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from a critically acclaimed Aberdeen, Washington, cult band to generational spokesmen who’d unwittingly created a cultural shift and musical touchstone. Rising to No. 1 the world over by year’s end and ultimately selling over 30 million copies worldwide, “Nevermind” would come to be much more than one of the most successful and influential albums of its or any era. As the album that returned unaffected rock ‘n’ roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts, “Nevermind” would prove a singular inspiration to fans and musicians alike over the last two decades — and will undoubtedly do so for generations to come.

The band’s first attempt at mixing “Nevermind”, though, was a disaster. “I’d be balancing the drums and the guitars,” producer Butch Vig tells, “and Kurt would come and say, ‘Turn all the treble off. I want it to sound more like BLACK SABBATH.’ It was kind of a pain in the ass.”

He adds, “Kurt was charming and witty, but he would go through these mood swings. He would be totally engaged, then all of a sudden a light switch would go off and he’d go sit in the corner and completely disappear into himself. I didn’t really know how to deal with that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Vig recounts how Cobain, Novoselic and then-drummer Chad Channing arrived at his studio after driving 1,900 miles from Seattle without taking a break. “They rolled up in a van and they probably hadn’t taken a bath or shower in three or four days,” he said.

As previously reported, a 20th anniversary edition of “Nevermind” is due out in multiple formats on September 27.

It will arrive as a remastered CD, vinyl and digital release, a two-disc set featuring rarities, live cuts, B-sides and demo recordings, and a “super deluxe” four-CD/one-DVD limited edition that will include an alternate mix of the album, a 90-page book and a CD/DVD of NIRVANA‘s 1991 Halloween gig in Seattle.

A special art, photo and memorabilia exhibition celebrating the anniversary will take place next month in London, England.

Novoselic will join local musicians at a Seattle concert this fall to mark the 20th anniversary of “Nevermind”. According to, the event will take place on September 20 in the Sky Church venue at the Experience Music Project. It will double as a benefit for Seattle music industry figure Susie Tennant, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The album will be played from front to back by different groups, although Novoselic tweeted that he himself will be performing just one song with the PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Other musicians scheduled to appear include current and former members of Seattle acts like the FASTBACKS, THE SCREAMING TREES, VAPORLAND and others. Former NIRVANA drummer Dave Grohl will not be able to attend, as his band FOO FIGHTERS performs in Cleveland that same night.