Steve Albini calls online music sharing the best thing since punk rock

The analogue producer says that record labels are now 'essentially irrelevant'

Producer Steve Albini has called online music sharing the best thing since punk rock.

Speaking to Quartz – via Billboard – Albini commented: “The single best thing that has happened in my lifetime in music, after punk rock, is being able to share music, globally for free. That’s an incredible development.”

He added that the rise of online sharing is “extremely democratic” and is on its way to making labels “irrelevant”, giving consumers much more choice. He explained: “Record labels, which used to have complete control, are essentially irrelevant. The process of a band exposing itself to the world is extremely democratic and there are no barriers. Music is no longer a commodity, it’s an environment, or atmospheric element. Consumers have much more choice and you see people indulging in the specificity of their tastes dramatically more. They only bother with music they like.”

Albini concluded that the internet has been “tremendously good” for bands and audiences “but really bad for businesses that are not part of that network, the people who are siphoning money out. I don’t give a fuck about those people.”

A member of Shellac, Albini runs the Electrical Audio studio in Chicago and is famous for only recording bands on analogue equipment. He has worked with Nirvana, Pixies, The Stooges, Mogwai, PJ Harvey, the Cribs, Manic Street Preachers, Jarvis Cocker and many more. He is thought to be working with Foo Fighters on their forthcoming eighth album.