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Steve Albini Hates Sonic Youth, GQ

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 6, 2010 6:40PM

Photo by Dena Flows
Steve Albini may be Chicago's most famous angry young man. Well, at least that's the rep he has. The music engineer and studio owner -- and sometimes musician -- has worked with everyone from Nirvana to that little band making a racket in the basement next door, but he's maybe even more famous for his personal brand of straight talk. We're still big fans of his essay in Maximum Rock 'n' Roll The Problem with Music (which we initially came across with the subtitle "Some of your friends may already be this fucked") and its acerbic, and pretty right-on, view of the modern music industry. If his presence in bands named Big Black and Rapeman hadn't hinted at it until then, it was the international salvo that cemented Albini's reputation.*

Albini has been quieter lately, more famous for talking about poker on message boards than anything else, but GQ recently got him to sit down and share some of his opinions about everything from Sonic Youth to funny cat videos on YouTube and the whole thing is a damn good read. Our favorite is when the magazine asks Albini to describe his personal fashion and Albini responds:

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. I think it plays to the most superficial, most insecure parts of human nature. I hope GQ as a magazine fails. I hope that all of these people who make a living by looking pretty are eventually made destitute or forced to do something of substance. At least pornography has a function.

Vintage Steve. Really, you should read the whole thing.

*You know, as an aside, it really must be said that while Albini does speak his mind I've never personally encountered him being an asshole about it. In fact the few times we've met and spoken I've found him to be nothing but polite and thoughtful. Can he help it if he's right most of the time and other folks don't like it?