Old man Steve Albini does not yell at the Cloud -- at least, not anymore. Just over 20 years after publishing his seminal 1993 essay "The Problem With Music," which painted a bleak picture of an industry driven by record label fat cats preying on baby bands that didn't know any better, the famously analog producer known for Nirvana's "In Utero" has changed his tune.
In an interview with Quartz, Albini praises the Internet for leveling the playing field. “The single best thing that has happened in my lifetime in music, after punk rock, is being able to share music, globally for free,” he said. "That's an incredible development."
Albini continues, “Record labels, which used to have complete control" -- and which he once compared to a trench filled with "runny, decaying shit," not unlike Thom Yorke's comment that Spotify is "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse" -- are essentially irrelevant. The process of a band exposing itself to the world is extremely democratic and there are no barriers . . . You can literally have a worldwide audience for your music . . . with no corporate participation, which is tremendous."