Read Steve Albini's 1992 Letter to Nirvana About Producing "In Utero"

Karl-Lydie Jean-Baptiste

by Karl-Lydie Jean-Baptiste

Published September 27, 2013


One day after the release of the 20th anniversary In Utero box set, Steve Albini's four-paged letter to Nirvana was posted on imugur. The letter, which is included in the box set, is a proposal for him to produce the album. It starts off with Albini confirming that they should "bang a record out in a couple of days." He continues by expressing his disdain for interruptions by "front office bulletheads," and the importance for the band to be in a good mood throughout the recording process. He then goes on to explain how he works in his "recording methodology and philosophy." The five points detail what Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic should expect from him: creative freedom and no bullshit.

The letter is more of a statement about Albini's work ethic. He lets them know exactly what they're getting from him and their options. He expresses his dislike for remixing another engineer's work, his refusal to accept royalties, and the creative importance of the band. It's clear from the letter that Albini's only concern was to help Nirvana (and every band he's ever produced for) create a great album.

He closes the letter saying, "If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's fucking up," yet In Utero took much longer than that (especially when the "front office bulletheads" got involved).

For more insight to the process of making the album, check out Interviews with Steve Albini on Kreative Kontrol and Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic on NPR.

Here's the full 4 pages of Albini's letter (click images for full size):





Nirvana steve albini
Alternative Rock Grunge
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