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Preview: Tom Petty, Trent Reznor Reminisce in Dave Grohl’s ‘Sound City’ Documentary

The Foo Fighters frontman goes inside the legendary recording studio

Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone Jul 19, 2012
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“That room really did sound just incredible,” says Tom Petty in Sound City, Dave Grohl’s upcoming documentary about the legendary Van Nuys, California, recording studio of the same name. Directed and produced by Grohl, the film takes a look at one of music’s most hallowed grounds, a studio that has hosted scores of rock royalty: Petty, Neil Young, Metallica, Cheap Trick, Rage Against the Machine and Grohl’s own Nirvana (it’s where they recorded Nevermind).

In this exclusive clip, you can check out Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Butch Vig and Trent Reznor discuss the studio, which was built in 1972, and its pièce de résistance: the Neve 8028, one of the best analog recording consoles on the market.

“It’s tube driven, it’s analog,” explains John Fogerty. “The bass sounds better, the human voice sounds better.”

Adds producer and Garbage drummer Butch Vig, “The Neve has incredible character, probably too much character.” 

Grohl’s directorial debut was inspired by that Neve console, in particular; he also purchased it last year. “Sound City is a film about America’s greatest unsung recording studio,” Grohl wrote in a handwritten public letter. “Deep in California’s sunburnt San Fernando Valley, tucked away behind the train tracks and dilapidated warehouses, it was the birthplace of legend.” 

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He added at the end, “Sound City is a film about the truth, the craft, and the integrity of rock & roll. Like the dark hallways of Sound City Studios itself, it might not be pretty… But it’s for fucking real.”

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