Butch Vig has been producing records for nearly 30 years now, some of which — Nirvana’s Nevermind, the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown — you’re probably familiar with. And while production has certainly brought him fame, it’s by no means his first love. After all, he’s been a Green Bay Packers fan for a lot longer than three decades.
“I grew up in Wisconsin, and every Sunday during football season, it was like time stopped. You could go downtown and rob a bank, because everybody was watching the Packers play,” he laughed. “My dad was way into them, and funnily enough, my mom hated the Packers and loved the Vikings, so that was a dilemma. But I’ve always loved the Packers, ever since I can remember.”
So when you consider the fact that Vig has followed the Pack through their Vince Lombardi-led heyday in the ’60s, slow decline (and eventual bottoming-out) in the ’70s and ’80s, Brett Favre-spurred return to glory in the ’90s and their march to Super Bowl XLV this year, his current project makes even more sense. Along with Garbage member Duke Erikson and guitar tech (and fellow Packers nut) Chad Zaemish, he formed a group, the 6 Packers, and recorded an updated version of “Go! You Packers! Go!,” the team’s long-running fight song.
And with the Packers’ Super Bowl showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers looming on the horizon, Vig’s version of the song — called simply “Go Pack Go!” — has begun picking up steam on Wisconsin rock radio, though the tune’s story actually begins four years prior, immediately following a Garbage gig with No Doubt.
“There’s a couple different versions of the original [song] that have been played at Lambeau [Field, the Packers’ home] for years, and about four or five years ago, we decided to make a new version,” Vig explained. “It was on the last Garbage tour. We played a show with No Doubt somewhere, and so in the men’s locker room in this arena, I had all the members of Garbage and No Doubt and whoever was around — people on road crew, you know — I just had them record, like, 20 takes [of] ’Go Pack Go!’ and I stacked them all to make it sound like it was in a stadium.
“And so we just kind of put it out there, when the Packers went to the NFC Championship Game and lost to the Giants [in 2007], and then Favre left, and in our original version, in the middle break, there were all these references to Favre, so we went back in and did a new version about a month ago, and deleted, of course, any references to Favre,” he continued. “And now it’s just getting hammered on the radio back in Madison and Milwaukee and Green Bay. And today, there’s an article in the State Journal, the Madison newspaper, and the top of the page is Obama’s speech, and the bottom of the page, there’s a big article about the 6 Packers’ ’Go Pack Go!’ ”
And for a die-hard Packers fan like Vig — who says he’s considering taking the 6 Packers down to Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas, to play an impromptu tailgate gig before the big game — the success of “Go Pack Go!” ranks pretty high on his list of accomplishments, though you might be surprised to learn how high.
“The cool thing is, we sent it to the people at Lambeau — I know one of the DJs, Malcolm, who does on-field [music] at Lambeau Field — and when they first got it, Chad and I went to the game, and they played it, like, 15 times during the game,” he laughed. “We were just in heaven, and, like, I know I’ve done Green Day and the Pumpkins and Garbage and whatever, but now I can die a happy man. I’ve had a song played at Lambeau.”
What do you think of Vig’s “Go Pack Go!”? Let us know in the comments!