When Nirvana released the super deluxe version of “Nevermind” in 2011, it included a disc called “The Devonshire Mixes”. These were rough mixes made in May of 1991, that producer Butch Vig put together during production of the album for the band to hear. They were called “The Devonshire Mixes” because they were mixed at Devonshire Sound Studios in North Hollywood, California. Devonshire Studio has since closed down but here is the building now.
10733 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
One of the studio assistants said, “They were at Devonshire for 3 or 4 days before they decided to move the mix to another studio. No real tracking occurred at Devonshire, however I recall Kurt doing a few guitar overdubs and I think he did a few vocal fixes as well. Kurt carved the word
NIRVANA on the underside of a wooden chair rail in the back of the control room.”
Here’s some great recent photo’s of the men responsible for the “Devonshire Mixes”, Vig, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic from the Foo Fighters “Wasting Light” sessions and the Nirvana “Nevermind” Deluxe press junket.
Sure miss Kurt in these photo’s.
The Devonshire mixes remained unreleased until the anniversary reissue – why were they deemed inadequate?
Krist Novoselic –
“Butch wanted to take a week or two off, to rest his ears. But the recording went on too long, and we just immediately moved on to the mixing.”
Butch Vig –
“We only had seven or eight days booked, but around the third or fourth mix I realised it wasn’t sounding optimal. Part of it was that the band were hanging out with me. Kurt would keep coming up to the board: “Turn the trebel off all the tracks.” And I’m like: “I don’t think that’s going to sound very good.” So I’d turn all the cymbals down and it made it all sound like Black Sabbath. We went around and around. When we played stuff for the label they felt it could sound bigger and bolder – and I think it was smart to get Andy Wallace to come in with a fresh perspective.”
Dave Grohl –
“We liked Andy because he had mixed some Slayer records and we felt you can’t get any more in your face than that.”