We know we've been speculating that Butch Vig is the top contender to produce Hole's follow-up to 1994's Doll Parts and perhaps there's a good measure of wishful thinking in our news reportage. Vig, as you surely know, produced albums for Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, among others. The pairing of Vig and Hole would be irresistible, kind of like Willie Shoemaker astride Secretariat. We've gotten scores of e-mails telling us that it's a certainty, and even Vig's publicist at Geffen held out more than a ray of hope for the project, but realists that we are here at news central, we decided to go to the source, so we dialed up the infamous Cheese Head, drummer, noisemaker, loops and EFX player for Garbage at his Smart Sounds studio in Madison, Wisconsin and plunged right in with the our burning question.

Addicted To Noise: We've heard that you're considering producing the next Hole album. True or false?

Butch Vig: At this point it's speculative, I had talked to both Q-Prime, their management, and also their A&R man, Mark Kates. I know that Courtney is doing this film and I'm also in the middle of a rather lengthy Garbage tour, so it's basically that I'm not sure whether our schedules will coincide and I don't know that she's really finished songs. I really haven't talked to her or heard songs yet. I'm definitely interested but again it's something that's speculative at this point.

Addicted To Noise: I've heard that you'd rather focus on Garbage than produce anybody at this point. Is that accurate? Are you letting go of some of your production work?

Butch Vig: For the time being I am. I'm in the Garbage-zone full time--that's the best description of what I'm doing. Originally we weren't going to tour, now that we are touring we're beginning to enjoy it a little bit. As soon as we told the label that we were going to do that, they began to plan out the next six months with playing live shows.

Addicted To Noise: Has making the transition to live performance been difficult?

Butch Vig: Yes, it was definitely a headache. I nearly had a nervous breakdown before we went out on the last leg because we were spending six hours in rehearsals and then we'd come into the studio and spend all night transferring samples and loops and sound effects and ambient tracks that we could trigger live. And between the guitar, the midi guitar effects and samplers that Duke Erikson and Steve Marker were playing I also got this massive drum sampler so I could trigger samples. Just technically it was somewhat of a headache. As the tour started it took us about two or three weeks into it to kind of figure out what didn't work and what was working. And so we started rearranging the songs so that they would work better live and didn't necessarily worry about playing the arrangements exactly the same as the album. By the time we finished the first two month leg the shows were pretty good, and as I said all of the technology become second nature and we started to have a lot more fun.

Addicted To Noise: I'm sure everyone goes through this, but you just had to face the touring dilemma later, because you spent so many years exclusively producing. You did come into this as a musician, didn't you?

Butch Vig: Yeah, years ago I was in bands before I started the studio with Steve Marker and so in a way it's gone back full circle, although at some time I will be producing again, I just don't know when.

Addicted To Noise: If you had to make a choice, would you?

Butch Vig: No, I want to do both. If I can that's what I'm going to try to continue to do.