Goodbye to Steve Albini

Steve Albini's ideas for “In Utero”

Today i Nirvanaon their social accounts they shared the four-page letter which Steve Albini sent to the band, offering to produce their historic album “In the Uterus“, the last of their career.

In the letter Albini talks about his approach and methodology to music and how he intends to manage the album's recordings.

Already a year ago the producer had spoken in an interview about his work on the album (Read here)

Nirvana's release of the letter also comes after fans began resharing the same letter and discussing Albini's refreshingly honest approach to production.

In Albini's four-page proposal, he declared that “if a record takes more than a week to make, someone is screwing up.”

“I think the best thing you could do at that point is exactly put out a record in a couple of days, with high quality but minimal 'production' and no interference from some idiot,” he wrote. “If this is really what you want to do, I would love to be involved.

“If, however, you find yourself in the position of being temporarily lenient with the record company, only to have them jerk the chain, nagging you to rework songs/sequences/productions, hiring hitmen to “sweeten” your record, entrusting everything to some disk jockey for the remix, or something like that…, then you're in for a disappointment and I don't want to be part of it.”

He continued: “I'm only interested in working on records that legitimately reflect the band's perception of their music and existence. If you will commit to this as a core tenet of your recording methodology, then I will work my ass off for you. I will work for you.”

Albini wrote of his recording methodology: “I consider the band the most important thing, as a creative entity that has generated both the personality and style of the band itself and as a social entity that exists 24 hours a day every day. I don't consider it my job to tell you what to do or how to play. I'm willing to make my opinions heard (if I think the band is making good progress or making a big mistake, I consider it part of my job to tell you) but if the band decides to pursue something, I'll see to it that it gets done.”

He then underlined that he likes to “leave room for accidents and chaos”. “If every element of a band's music and dynamics are controlled by clicks, computers, automated mixes, samplers and sequencers, then the record might not be bad, but it certainly won't be great.”

Albini also refused royalties for the album's production and mixing in his proposal, writing: “I do not want and will not take royalties on any record I record. No points. I think paying a royalty to a producer or engineer is ethically indefensible. The band writes the songs. The band plays music. It's the band's fans who buy the records. The band is responsible for whether it's a great record or a horrible record. The copyrights belong to the band.”

“I would like to be paid like a plumber: I do the work and you pay me what it's worth. The record company will expect me to ask for a point or a point and a half in royalties. If we consider three million sales, the total comes to around $400,000. There's no way I'm getting that much money. I couldn't sleep.”