Steve Albini has discussed his “role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit”

The US musician and producer acknowledged past actions in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Steve Albini has spoken out about his role in promoting a toxic “edgelord” culture within the music industry. 

On Tuesday evening (12 October), the US musician and producer – who’s known for his work with acts such as Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey, plus his own music projects, which include bands such as Rapeman – took to Twitter to speak on past actions, stating that he’s “overdue for a conversation about my role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit”. 

Albini opened the lengthy thread with: “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. I am not afforded the luxury of secret shame, guys. Knock yourselves out.”

The “outing” in question was a number of Twitter users responding to an earlier tweet from Albini in which he labelled comedian Dave Chapelle an “asshole”. (Chapelle’s new comedy special The Closer has been heavily criticised for its transphobic content.) Albini’s critics noted that, in the mid-80s, the musician was involved in an outfit whose name featured a racist slur, and whose only single contained a homophobic slur.

Albini didn’t delve into specifics surrounding past bands, or indeed the names of such bands nor their releases in the thread, however he did state: “I certainly have some ‘splainin to do, and am not shy about any of it”.

Continuing, he added: “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”.

Later, he wrote: “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.”

View Albini’s full thread below.