Thursday, May 27, 2004

BIG BLACK HAT

Steve Albini was another hero. He recently gave a lecture to a Mid-Tennesse State University class on sound engineering and somebody caught it here (it's long). If you don't have time to watch the entire thing, it's summarized here quite well courtesy of Andrew. Here's an interesting quote:

Another audience question concerned Albini's work on his most notorious project, the Nirvana In Utero sessions. The recording sessions themselves were "totally normal, it was just like any other record I've ever done. We go to the studio, we make the record, they're happy with it, they go home. After that, when the record label finally heard it, that's when it started. That's when the record label started to try and influence the band, and started to call me names. It didn't affect me on a personal level … but it did begin an ugly period when I almost went bankrupt … The core clientele eventually came back, and I lived."


Another quote from the video when asked about favorites that he had engineered:

"If I rated them purely on the sonics, I was very fond of the records I did with the Jesus Lizard in the '90s. They were a great band and they were playing really well and their recordings were like real bare and I like how those records came out...Um, I did a record with the Pixies and Kim Deal, the bass player from the Pixies had started a band called the Breeders and I made a record for the Breeders shortly thereafter and... the Pixies became real popular and that baffled me cause I thought they were a trivial band. But I really like the Breeders. I thought that they were a real interesting, really unique... Kim carried on with the band for a few years and then took some time off and came back in 97 or 98 to work on another album and I got to work on that album and I liked that album alot as well..."

3 comments:

Mark said...

OK, Jim, I'm starting to think that maybe we knew each other back in the 80's, possibly? There weren't a whole lot of us in DC that were heavy into Big Black - I was one of the Tower Records crew that included Vanessa Skantze, Dave Grohl, Ruben Radding, David Grubbs, Mark Robinson, Chip Tennille, etc. and most of us were at the DC Space show - and some of us took the train up to NYC to see one of Big Black's final shows at the Cat Club in the summer of '87 (with Urge Overkill and Honeymoon Killers opening - I'd KILL for a bootleg of that show). (sigh) - looks like I'll be posting about Big Black on my own blog Friday, so many memories are flooding back.

Again - your blog is great, absolutely great - it's making me think about things I haven't thought about in a while.

Jim H said...

Mark - our paths might have crossed. I wrote for the DC Period and hung out with Gordon and Tim W. who I have maintained some contact with. I didn't know Grohl but Grubbs and Robinson, sure... both extraordinary folk.

And yeah, of course I was at the dc space show. Spoke a little bit with Albini there but couldn't muster up the courage to ask for an interview. God, I drove by 7th and E today -- I hated dc space and miss it terribly at the same time.

Norton Fortune aka Chip Tennille said...

Holy shit, Mark! It's the aforementioned Chip Tennille. I suppose this post is rather old but I just somehow ran across it. I'm glad you remember our crazy NYC Big Black adventure of '87. I have pictures of that very weekend so get it touch with me at www.strictlybutter.com. love to hear from you and catch up. Cheers, Chip