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Butch Vig’s Smart Studios, Where Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins Recorded, to Close


This isn’t a big surprise per se (it costs a ton of money to keep even a legendary studio in business), but we have a soft spot around here for some spaces and walls that once resonated with such classic records. And so, we sadly must report that Butch Vig and Steve Marker’s Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin plans to close up shop this spring, according to Milwaukee’s Shepherd Express.

Their source, a current studio employee, revealed that they simply couldn’t make ends meet, or as he put it: “Money out > money in.”

Not only were all the Garbage (Vig and Marker’s own band) records made at Smart Studios, but also eight demo versions of songs from Nirvana’s Nevermind were tracked there (the Smart Studios version of “Polly” made the final album), and then subsequently shopped to major labels. Also, Death Cab For Cutie’s major label debut Plans was mixed there, as well as the recording of the Smashing Pumpkins’ debut album, Gish.

R.I.P. Smart Studios. You will be missed.