Week 1 AUP230 Song Exploder Research

Although my music taste has changed over the years, whenever I am to mix a rock song, I find myself always going back to the rock sound of the good old 90s. My first exposures of rock music in my adolescences was spending my lunch time sitting with the cool kids in the class who play in band. I guess those days I spent listening to 90s rock bands like Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Pearl Jam has shaped my music taste and life much more than I have ever thought. Naturally when I saw the brief for the project, recreating those golden age sounds became one of my options.

After locking down doing 90s rock, my choice of producer has been a toss up between Butch Vig, and Rick Rubin, who produced Nevermind and Blood Sugar Sex Magik that needs no further introduction. Both are my favourite albums of all time and they have shaped the sounds of future albums. Eventually I chose to do Butch Vig because I want to challenge myself into doing a more polished sound featured in Nevermind. In terms of production quality, I think Nevermind is a more superior album between the two, perhaps largely due to the fact that Andy Wallace, who is doubtlessly my favourite mixing engineer, mixed the album with his magic. Furthermore, for a legendary album like this, there must be a million articles or videos about the production process so I need not to worry much about gathering enough material and information for this project.

(Butch Vig discussing his production process for Nevermind)

For the track I am producing, I was going to choose popular rock tracks of the same era but then our teacher David just gave me the best suggestion of covering old punk song in the style of new, polished, and commercial punk/ grunge rock sound. Ramones, The Clash and Sex Pistols are surely all great choices. Upon research, I found a lesser known recording of Nirvana jamming Should I stay or should I go by The Clash in a gig, which exactly fit my needs for this project and that is why I chose to do this song.

(Nirvana jamming Should I stay or should I go by the Clash during a gig in Sau Paulo)


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