Nirvana Producer Says He Used John Lennon To Convince Kurt Cobain To Double Track His Vocals

Nirvana producer Butch Vig recently took over Nirvana’s official Twitter account for the ‘Nevermind’ listening party. Vig unveiled how he used The Beatles’ John Lennon as an example to convince Kurt Cobain to use double-tracked vocals in ‘Come As You Are.’

Nirvana released their second studio album ‘Nevermind’ on September 24, 1991, which became the band’s one of the most popular and commercially successful albums. It was Dave Grohl’s first album as the band’s drummer and the album included more polished and radio-friendly sounds than their debut album ‘Bleach’ which was considered as a change in Nirvana’s style.

‘Nevermind’ tracks, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ ‘Come As You Are,’ ‘Lithium’, and ‘In Bloom’ brought the band popularity all around the world. Butch Vig, who was the album’s producer and the person known as the ‘Nevermind Man,’ shared important details about each song of the album during a listening party on Nirvana’s official Twitter account.

When the iconic song ‘Come As You Are’ started playing, Butch shared an interesting story about the recording of the song. He stated that he had listened to ‘Come As You Are’ before joining the rest of the band in the studio. Apparently, at that moment, he understood that Nirvana was working on an album that would become legendary.

The Nirvana producer said that Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic used double-tracked bass and guitar in ‘Come As You Are.’ Therefore, Vig wanted to double-track Cobain’s vocals to strengthen the song’s psychedelic vibe, however, Cobain denied his request in the beginning since he tought it could sound fake. However, the producer was able to convince the frontman by using John Lennon as an example, who used the same technique in his songs and didn’t sound fake at all.

Vig’s tweet read:

“This was one of the few new songs Nirvana recorded onto a rehearsal cassette tape the group sent to me before I flew to LA, so I knew they had written something special.”

He added in the following tweets:

“The track has a psychedelic vibe to it, it really shimmers, and a lot of that is because I had both Kurt and Krist used the Small Clone pedal for all the overdubs.

The bass is double-tracked, high and low octaves, and we double-tracked the guitars. Kurt recorded his guitar solo in two takes, as well as three takes of vocals.

I told Kurt I’d like to double-tracked, his vocals throughout the entire song, at first he said no, he thought it sounded ‘fake’…but I reminded him that John Lennon double-tracked, most of his vocals, and he acquiesced.”

You can check out the tweets and the song below.