Butch Vig

Butch Vig Biography

Butch Vig was the premier producer of the alternative rock boom of the early 1990s, helming records for bands including Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth, before finding success as a performer with the group Garbage. Born in the small dairy farm community of Viroqua, Wisconsin, Vig studied piano as a child, picking up the drums during his teen years; after two years as a pre-med student at the University of Wisconsin, he dropped out to pursue a career in music.

Recently he took time out of his busy schedule to play “EITHER/OR” with ARTISTdirect.

AD: Beer or Wine?

BV: Wine! I'm in love with Dan Duckhorn's wines lately: the Paraduxx, a red Zin blend, and the Duckhorn Sauvingnon Blanc! I always crack a bottle or two at a party, and my friend Mike X says that I'm becoming the Duckhorn distributor of Silverlake!

AD: On the Rocks or Straight-Up?

BV: Vodka on the rocks, sometimes with a splash of seltzer.

AD: Pizza or Sushi?

BV: Sushi...pizza makes me schluffy.

AD: Corn or Flour?

BV: Corn.

AD: The Onion or The Simpsons?

BV: Hard to choose, they both make me laugh. I'd have to say the Onion because we always have it lying around the studio.

AD: Stars Wars or Lord of the Rings?

BV: I'd have to say Lord of the Rings, but I'd rather vote for Harry Potter.

AD: Ashley or Jessica?

BV: I'll go with Ashley....she's a bit more of a beautiful mess.

AD: Favre or Marino?

BV: Are you kidding me? You're talking to one of the band members of The 6 Packers, who wrote the Lambeau anthem, Go Pack Go! Farve is so fun to watch....and Marino never did win a Super Bowl.

AD: Lakers or Packers?

BV: Oh man, now your really getting into it with me. As far as I'm concerned, the Packers are THE GREATEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. Plus, being from Wisconsin and now living in LA, I take some pleasure in being a Laker Hater.

AD: Packers or Badgers?

BV: I'm a UW Badger alumni, so I watch some of the games. But at the end of the day, it's all about the Pack.

AD: Madison or Milwaukee?

BV: Madtown.

AD: L.A. or N.Y.?

BV: Silverlake, Los Angeles!

AD: Hot or Cold?

BV: I like it exactly 78 degrees...is that hot?

AD: Sunrise or Sunset?

BV: Sunset, I never see sunrise, unless I've been a bad boy.

AD: U2 or R.E.M.?

BV: Tough choice...I gotta go with U2 because they are still making great music, and in my eyes currently hold the heavyweight title: "The Biggest Band In The World". Plus, we've toured with them, they are super cool, and we got to fly on the band's personal jet! But I can't dis REM. Both bands set a standard for many aspiring musicians on how to carve out your own path in the music biz and retain your dignity.

AD: The Replacements or Husker Du?

BV: I'm a huge fan of the Replacements. Paul Westerberg is a brilliant songwriter.

AD: Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana?

BV: I can't choose between them, it's like picking a favorite child. This one is a tie!

AD: Zwan or Foo Fighters?

BV: Man, you're really trying to get me into trouble aren't you. I'll go with the Foo's, cuz I gotta give Dave some props for playing on “Bad Boyfriend,” and we're going to be playing with them in Russia next month. But I heard Billy's new solo album and I really like it...lots of synths and electronics.

AD: Summerfest or Coachella?

BV: Summerfest. There are so many bands you can see over the course of a week, and the ticket prices are really a bargain. But if you want to see the hot bands of the moment, I'd go to Coachella. Now if they could only figure out how to get in and out of the festival site a bit easier.

AD: Producing or Performing?

BV: Producing, cuz I love being in the studio. But I still like performing because you get that endorphin rush from making a glorious noise and indulging yourself in front of an audience!

Click here to go to Garbage's page!

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