Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan clearly remembers the day Nirvana's Nevermind reached Number One on the Billboard charts. He and his band were hanging out with the album's stunned producer, Butch Vig, who previously helmed the Pumpkins' sessions for their debut LP, 1991's Gish.
"[Vig] just looked like somebody who'd woken up in a weird dream," Corgan says in a clip from The Smart Studios Story, which documents the unlikely ascension of that Madison, Wisconsin, studio into an alternative rock hub. "He couldn't believe he was the producer of the Number One record in the world."
"And we were congratulating him, and you could just see him wrestling with 'What does this mean?'" Corgan continues. "Because very much part of Butch's story was that rock & roll had sort of passed them by. They start this little studio, and they're just gonna make their little indie records and sort of ride off into the sunset and have their beers. Next thing you know ...
"Once Butch was successful, people started to say, 'Is there something to be found here?'" he says. "And he had a lot to do with what set up to be a very successful run at the studio."
The Smart Studios Story, the official film of Record Store Day, features archival footage and in-depth interviews with Corgan, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins), Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab for Cutie) and the studio's co-owners, Vig and Steve Marker, among others.
The film will embark on an American screening tour on September 29th in Milwaukee, continuing across the country for two months. The trek precedes the November 25th Record Store Day Black Friday release of a DVD edition and the vinyl set American Noise Volume 1, which features legendary tracks recorded at Smart Studios.
The Smart Studios Story Screening Tour Dates
September 29th – Milwaukee, WI @ Oriental Theatre
October 3rd – Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop
October 4th – Athens, OH @ The Union
October 5th – Columbus, OH @ Gateway Film Center
October 6th – Chicago, IL @ Brew & View at The Vic
October 7th – Detroit, MI @ El Club
October 17th – Austin, TX @ The North Door
October 18th – Houston, TX @ The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
October 19th – New Orleans, LA @ Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
October 20th – Hot Springs, AR @ Low Key Arts
October 22nd – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 23rd – Dallas, TX @ The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
October 23rd – Long Beach, CA @Frida Cinema
October 24th – El Paso, TX @ The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
November 11th – Boston, MA @ Brattle Theater
November 13th – Brooklyn, NY @ St Vitus
November 14th – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
November 15th – Philadelphia, PA @ MOCCA
November 22nd – Durham, NC @ Motorco (Tentative)
November 27th – Madison, WI @ Sundance at Hilldale