Major record labels are in deep strife. One person shedding no tears is Steve Albini. ‘There won’t ever be a mass-market record industry again, and that’s fine with me,’ he’s said. ‘The industry didn’t operate for the benefit of the musicians or the audience, the only classes of people I care about.’
Albini has seen the machinations of the industry up close and from multiple vantage points: a veteran producer, audio engineer and musician, he’s worked with huge international acts including PJ Harvey, Nirvana and Pixies. Despite recording with some of the biggest names in the business, Albini has continued, throughout his career, to collaborate with countless obscure, experimental bands. He’s estimated to have worked on more than 1500 records.
With broadcaster and music programmer Woody McDonald, Albini reflects on his storied career, his thoughts on the current state of music and predictions for the future.
Steve Albini is a recording engineer and member of the rock band Shellac of North America. He has worked on several thousand records, for well-known bands (Pixies, Nirvana, Breeders, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) and working bands for whom music means everything. He lives in Chicago, where he owns Electrical Audio, a recording studio that opened in 1997. He is deadly serious about everything. He is married, likes to cook and has three cats and a bicycle.
Woody McDonald is a Melbourne based music curator, booker & DJ. Currently music director at Meredith & Golden Plains festivals, his background has included numerous music orientated projects including over 13 years as a 3RRR announcer.