Best Quotes by Steve Albini

By | September 12, 2016

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, there was a slightly retro drum sound that was popular in hip-hop music called the 808 bass drum sound. It was the bass drum sound on the 808 drum machine, and it’s very deep and very resonant, and was used as the backbone as a lot of classic hip-hop tracks.

Steve Albini

Know what you’re trying to do before you do it. Turning knobs at random isn’t enlightening any more than throwing paint at a wall blindfolded will let you paint a nice picture.

Steve Albini

Cooking is about presenting flavors and other aspects of food in a way that makes best use of them and makes an engaging, satisfying meal. Taste necessarily comes into it along with technique. Some ingredients require cooking, cleaning or otherwise denaturing them, some are fine as they are.

Steve Albini

In heaven, after antipasti, the first course will be pasta.

Steve Albini

I’m not a particularly good cook. Part of it is that it is the kind of cooking anybody could do if they bothered. It’s improvisational. I cook with whatever I have laying around.

Steve Albini

Doubt the conventional wisdom unless you can verify it with reason and experiment.

Steve Albini

Almost any decent cook will make food by eye and taste. Virtually all of my family cooked that way.

Steve Albini

Buy groceries and feed yourself, even on the road.

Steve Albini

Of the people who cook on television, I have admired people like Jacques Pepin, Julia Child, Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver and a few others because they are free of drama, display good taste and masterful technique, and use clear exposition to bring you up to speed.

Steve Albini

I’m busy doing my job, and being a loudmouth doesn’t appeal to me as much as when I was younger and had the youthful delusion that I was smarter than everybody else.

Steve Albini

You see something happen to a population whereby everyone adopts something that’s just preposterous in a way that makes it normal instantly. If any one person prior to the rash of puka shells, for example, was seen wearing puka shells, he would look like an idiot. But when everyone is wearing them, it instantly makes them normal.

Steve Albini

Cranking the Auto-Tune is so easy to do that there’s almost no systemic resistance to trying it. So when someone’s stuck for an idea, that’s what they do. I mean, to the extent that it’s been embraced by an entire idiom of club music and culture.

Steve Albini

My dad, Frank Addison Albini, was a terrific shot with a rifle and had generally excellent hunting skills. While my dad loved hunting and fishing, he didn’t romanticize them. He was filling the freezer, not intellectualizing some caveman impulse or proving his worth as a real man.

Steve Albini

We have no general conceptual thrust for the band, other than trying to make music that keeps our interest. When things are novel, they are probably things we have discovered by accident or investigation rather than by design.

Steve Albini

There is a lot of use of ProTools in professional studios, but this is mostly for the special effects it allows, not for sound quality. These special effects soon fall out of fashion, and I don’t think this trend will define studios permanently.

Steve Albini

The woman I am currently crazy about was a vegetarian for a year until I started dating her. As is the case with most vegetarians, she had never eaten properly prepared meat, only commercially packaged or otherwise abused flesh.

Steve Albini

The band cannot sign to another label or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens.

Steve Albini

Many rock musicians are excellent cooks, I’ve found, and those that are prefer to eat their own cooking in the studio. I encourage this behavior as I also enjoy the benefits of fresh food.

Steve Albini

Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.

Steve Albini

It betrays hubris on the part of the artist to think his medium is limiting him, and I think we all recognize this.

Steve Albini

In 1980, I moved to Chicago, and I recorded demo tapes for my friends’ bands, and in 1981, the first Big Black record – the first thing I did that was an actual record.

Steve Albini

If the label presents them with a contract that the band don’t want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength.

Steve Albini

I moved to Chicago in 1980 to go to college.

Steve Albini

I don’t think anyone has exhausted the range of sound possible in a conventional rock band, but people do become slaves to their own easiest techniques.

Steve Albini

For less than the cost of a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, you can buy a loaf of fresh bread and some good cheese or roast beef, which you will enjoy much more.

Steve Albini

Find people who think like you and stick with them. Make only music you are passionate about. Work only with people you like and trust. Don’t sign anything.

Steve Albini

By now all rock bands are wise enough to be suspicious of music industry scum.

Steve Albini

A more important reason is that the bands will intuitively trust someone they think is a peer, and who speaks fondly of the same formative rock and roll experiences.

Steve Albini

As a recording engineer – someone who is deeply embroiled in the process of making records every day – you see trends and fads run through the social organization of the population of musicians in the same way that they would run through a high school.

Steve Albini

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.

Steve Albini

I feel like bands should be growing, living, functioning entities and to crystallize a band into a single album, and for that to be a touchstone – I understand it from a fan’s perspective but I also feel like it’s a little bit misleading in terms of the way bands actually function.

Steve Albini

Shellac was asked to do a recreation of our first album, but we’ve always been a band that improvised our sets. That’s critical to the way that we function on stage. Whatever the mood takes us on stage can vary from night to night with what you feel like playing.

Steve Albini

I think fashion is repulsive. The whole idea that someone else can make clothing that is supposed to be in style and make other people look good is ridiculous. It sickens me to think that there is an industry that plays to the low self-esteem of the general public. I would like the fashion industry to collapse.

Steve Albini

The bands that have been the most important to me, and the records that have been the most important to me as a fan, have been records that surprised me for one reason or another.

Steve Albini

If I’m working as an engineer for another band, the responsibility for brilliance pretty much rests on their shoulders. I think I’m pretty good, but I’m not good enough to turn a trout into a sausage, or the other way around.

Steve Albini

Suicide was such a formative band for me, so influential in the development of my taste. They’re one of those bands that operated in absolute isolation for so long that they developed a completely unique world view.

Steve Albini

Harmonics are vibrations a fraction of the length of the vibrating string, which add higher-pitched and more complex content to the notes. With a dull instrument, the harmonics die out, but with a sustaining instrument, the harmonics continue to sound along with the fundamental note.

Steve Albini

New York has magnificent eating available, both in restaurants and in the materials available to home cooks in the many specialty markets.

Steve Albini

I have no problem with bands using participant financing schemes like Kickstarter and such. I’ve said many times that I think they’re part of the new way bands and their audience interact and they can be a fantastic resource, enabling bands to do things essentially in cooperation with their audience. It’s pretty amazing, actually.

Steve Albini

A lot of musicians are good cooks, and a lot of cooks are musicians, but I think that may just be a result of the creative impulse finding several means of expression. Probably an equivalent number are visual artists, woodworkers or compulsive liars.

Steve Albini

I hate ‘foodie’ because it’s cute, like pretty much all diminutives associated with eating. ‘Veggies,’ ‘sammies,’ ‘parm.’ I eat food, and I cook it: it’s for eating, preferably with friends, and I don’t make a fetish out of it.

Steve Albini

The only kind of restaurant I could imagine doing would be the extraordinarily snooty restaurant with three or four tables, and I would cook what I felt like cooking. And you could eat it or not.

Steve Albini

I learned to cook from my mom. Most of what I ate growing up was Italian cooking.

Steve Albini

My father was an expert hunter, so we ate a lot of wild game when I was growing up in Montana. That helped broaden my palate generally, but I know it informed my distaste for factory farms and unspectacular commercial meat.

Steve Albini

When I’m in a restaurant, I don’t eat red meat. It doesn’t taste like anything. But if a friend of mine is grilling stuff at his house, its almost always great.

Steve Albini

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