Steve Albini speaks out on his past “edgelord” behaviour: “Nothing was off-limits”

"I’m responsible for accepting my role in the patriarchy, and in white supremacy, and in the subjugation and abuse of minorities of all kinds"

Steve Albini has spoken out about his past transgressive and “edgelord” behaviour, explaining that “nothing was off-limits” at the time.

The producer/engineer played in bands called Rapeman and Run N***** Run in the 1980s, touted his friend’s child pornography magazine in the Forced Exposure zine in ’78, and is reported to have used a racial slur against Tyler, The Creator in an online forum in 2011.

The latter incident occurred after Albini shared a shuttle bus with Odd Future in Barcelona. He called the group “little pricks”, adding: “I haven’t wanted to strangle anybody that much in a real long time.”


Taking to Twitter last month, Albini said that he had “some ‘splainin to do” after becoming aware of people attempting to “out” him in regards to his past controversies.

“A lot of things I said and did from an ignorant position of comfort and privilege are clearly awful and I regret them,” he explained. “It’s nobody’s obligation to overlook that, and I do feel an obligation to redeem myself…”

Albini went on to say he’d “matured, evolved and learned over time”, adding that his actions were “miscalculated”.

“I’m overdue for a conversation about my role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit,” he continued. “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.”

Now, in a new interview with Mel Magazine, Albini explained that he was “deaf to a lot of women’s issues” at the time of naming his band Rapeman.


“Within our circles, within the music scene, within the musical underground, a lot of cultural problems were deemed already solved – meaning, you didn’t care if your friends were queer,” he told the outlet.

“Of course women had an equal place, an equal role to play in our circles. The music scene was broadly inclusive. So for us, we felt like those problems had been solved. And that was an ignorant perception.”

He continued: “That’s the way a lot of straight white guys think of the world – they think that it requires an active hatred on your part to be prejudiced, bigoted or to be a participant in white supremacy.

“The notion is that if you’re not actively doing something to oppress somebody, then you’re not part of the problem. As opposed to quietly enjoying all of the privilege that’s been bestowed on you by generations of this dominance.”

Albini said this was a “fundamental failure of my perception”, adding: “It’s been a process of enlightenment for me to realise and accept that my very status as a white guy in America is the product of institutional prejudices, that I’ve enjoyed the benefits of them, passively and actively.

“And I’m responsible for accepting my role in the patriarchy, and in white supremacy, and in the subjugation and abuse of minorities of all kinds.”

As for his Odd Future run-in, Albini told Mel Magazine that it was “a single and extreme scenario where young kids who were really full of themselves were behaving like assholes”.

“It was basically me not appreciating the distinction between the casual usage and the hard R usage,” he said. “And that’s my fault. That’s just cultural ignorance on my part.

“They were behaving atrociously, and I was simply describing their behaviour and language, but I did it in a way that portrayed my own cultural ignorance.”

Elsewhere, Albini said that “nothing was off-limits” as he recalled the “genuinely shocking” abusive language he used within his circles.

“I realised that there were people in the music underground who weren’t playing when they were using language like that and who weren’t kindred spirits. They were, in fact, awful, and only masquerading as intellectuals. That was one of many wake-up moments.”

Earlier this year, Steve Albini hit out at “all the anti-woke comics” including Joe Rogan, who he labelled as “trash garbage”.

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