Butch Vig says Billie Eilish has impacted a generation the same way Nirvana did with Nevermind


Guitar.com | All Things Guitar

Billie Eilish onstage at Glastonbury 2019

Billie Eilish is contemporary music’s answer to Nirvana, said the diamond-selling album’s producer Butch Vig.

Speaking to NME, Vig believes that if the grunge band’s landmark Nevermind were to be released today, it wouldn’t have the “same cultural impact” as it did back in the 90s.

“It was perfect timing coming out when there was a shift in music and it felt like a revolution,” he said, adding that it would be “tough to repeat that zeitgeist moment”. “I can see that happening again, but not in the same way.”

Instead, the pop star Billie Eilish might be one of the closer acts we have to Nirvana today, Vig continued. “I saw something similar with Billie Eilish,” he said. “I’m friends with her and Finneas [Billie’s brother] and their mum was my daughter’s music teacher. They live down the street from us.

“Billie speaks for a whole generation of youth, much like Nirvana did with their zeitgeist moment.”

Vig also mentioned in his interview that one of the big challenges faced by artists in the age of streaming and instant gratification is the difficulty of building “mystique”.

“When you really want something but can’t quite get your hands on it, that makes it all the more powerful,” he explained. “Everyone has access to everything these days.”

He added: “Maybe someone will come along with a band who sounds like Nirvana but a lyricist who writes like Bob Dylan and is into hip-hop and doesn’t have Instagram or Facebook. Maybe they’ll do a couple of shows and disappear. If they did, people would go mental because they’d want them all the more.”

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