You Won’t Ever See Steve Albini at Fashion Week

Posted October 7th, 2010 by eric

Steve Albini says seemingly outrageous things in interviews, but he never comes across as glib or unprepared. The guy means what he says, and he’s actually thought about his opinions before giving them. He’s one of the most uncompromising musicians I’ve ever admired. Sure, he can sound like an asshole, but he makes sense. Most of the headlines about his recent Q&A with GQ focus on the lashes he gives Sonic Youth for signing to a major label, but they’re just the simple example in a much bigger picture. His over-arching point gets lost in the supposed “controversy” of his remarks, which is in regard to mainstream culture as a whole:

“I’m not really interested in participating in mainstream culture. Participating in the mainstream music business is, to me, like getting involved in a racket. There’s no way you can get involved in a racket and not someway be filthied by it.”
The entire interview is a must read. The culture of “selling out” seems to have been lost on today’s youth, as bloggers tend to sympathize with bands who sell their music to any old car company or sausage factory willing to shake a few bucks in their faces. Since it is accepted as a given that nobody actually “pays” for music anymore, the attitude seems to have shifted to allow for what used to be anathema to rock ‘n roll, which is the corporatization of counter-culture music. My attitudes were shaped long before the era of illegal downloading, so I find myself agreeing with just about everything Albini says.

Tags: commentary · interview