New Documentary Focuses on the Studio Where Nirvana Recorded ‘Nevermind’

By Paul de Revere

Where did Nirvana record Nevermind? Where did the Smashing Pumpkins record Gish? Where have Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara and Fall Out Boy recorded various albums? In a nondescript spot next to a coffee shop on a humble block in Madison, Wis. called Smart Studios.

Smart Studios was essential to rock and punk history from its opening in 1983 to its closing in 2010. And it was all under the auspices of studio co-founder, renowned producer and Garbage drummer Butch Vig and co-founder/Garbage guitarist Steve Marker.

Related: Watch Kurt Cobain Pay Tribute to River Phoenix at Nirvana’s Last L.A. Show 

Now a trailer for The Smart Studios Story, a documentary by Wendy Schneider on the studio’s storied past, has surfaced on Kickstarter (via Gigwise).

The documentary features interviews with Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan, Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson and Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, among others who recorded at the legendary studio. It follows a Wisconsin Historical Museum exhibit featuring the studio’s contributions to the state’s music history.

Incentives for pledges on the film’s Kickstarter include your name in the doc’s credits, a digital copy of the movie and a copy of “We Are the Noise” to be written and recorded by its featured artists. Recordings of the documentary’s extended interview outtakes and “a salvaged moldy relic from the famous studio flood of ’96” are other gifts if you donate to the cause, reads the film’s Kickstarter page.

Related: Listen to Dave Grohl Rock Out in Pre-Nirvana Band, Dain Bramage

“There’s this contingency about it all,” Schneider said of Smart Studio’s legacy to Madison alternative weekly Isthmus. “If there was no 12 Point Buck,” she asked, referring to Madison noise-rock band Killdozer’s 1987 album, “would there have been a Nevermind?”

Watch the trailer for the documentary below.

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