Steve Albini talks his “role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit”
Steve Albini has a reputation being grumpy and often speaking his mind, no matter how controversial the topic (which you likely know if you've read Our Band Could Be Your Life or old interviews). More recently (relatively speaking), in 2011 he berated Odd Future in a post on his message board, and threw around the N-word in the process. Meanwhile, in addition being a notable producer (of Nirvana included), Albini is also a member of many beloved indie bands... including one called Rapeman. The list goes on.
Last night he addressed his many years of "things I said and did from an ignorant position of comfort and privilege" that are "clearly awful," and "words and behavior that ultimately contributed to a coarsening society" in a Twitter thread that acknowledges his "role in inspiring 'edgelord' shit." "Genuinely charmed by people trying to 'out' me regarding stuff that had print runs in the tens of thousands, bands that toured the world, stuff that was already reported on by Pitchfork... whatever," he writes. "I am not afforded the luxury of secret shame, guys. Knock yourselves out."
I certainly have some 'splainin to do, and am not shy about any of it. A lot of things I said and did from an ignorant position of comfort and privilege are clearly awful and I regret them. It's nobody's obligation to overlook that, and I do feel an obligation to redeem myself...
A project I've undertaken piecemeal as I've matured, evolved and learned over time. I expect no grace, and honestly feel like I and others of my generation have not been held to task enough for words and behavior that ultimately contributed to a coarsening society.
For myself and many of my peers, we miscalculated. We thought the major battles over equality and inclusiveness had been won, and society would eventually express that, so we were not harming anything with contrarianism, shock, sarcasm or irony.
If anything, we were trying to underscore the banality, the everyday nonchalance toward our common history with the atrocious, all while laboring under the tacit *mistaken* notion that things were getting better.
I'm overdue for a conversation about my role in inspiring "edgelord" shit. Believe me, I've met my share of punishers at gigs and I sympathize with anybody who isn't me but still had to suffer them.
Albini also responded to a twitter user who replied to his thread with, "And this is just one of many flaws of the social media age. Stuff said years ago is held over people like they have no ability to be wrong, learn and grow. I've seen politicians have tweets from when they were 14 held against them. It's ridiculous."
"I disagree this is a problem or ridiculous," Albini replied. "People of privilege expecting not to have to take ownership of their own words and actions, like fucking grownups, that's ridiculous. These were formative experiences for me, and owning the embarrassment of them is *my* responsibility."