Steve Albini on Joe Rogan and Barstool Sports: "Just F*** Them All in the Eye"
"Anybody who uses a position of power, status or authority to exploit people who are vulnerable to that power, status or authority is dead to me"
Published Mar 03, 2021While Steve Albini was able to laugh off some cranky commentary from Elvis Costello late last year, he has pulled no punches in sharing how he finds current cultural provocateurs like Joe Rogan to be no laughing matter.
Last month (February 21), Albini was interviewed by Oxbow frontman Eugene Robinson for his newsletter's "Five Easy Pieces" feature, in which subjects are asked five questions, "not a single one about music."
In addition to race and class in America and the producer's charitable work, the pair discussed the complications of separating art and artist upon Robinson asking Albini about his own potential "Keep/Toss list" of entertainment figures.
"I've never had a problem with transgressive art, but it sure seems like you can tell when it's just a veneer used to justify being a fucking creep," Albini answered before playing media critic. "Always hated Vice, still hate it. Just a parade of gawkers reveling in whatever misery they can observe from an ironic distance. Fuck that shit completely."
"[Joe Rogan], [Barstool Sports], all the anti-woke comics, just fuck them all in the eye," he continued. "It's trash garbage and I want it all to fail. What if all the stupid shit your racist neighbor you can't stand said was typed up and put on a blog? Nope, still trash, still fuck it. I want them all out looking for work. Into the chipper with all of it."
Albini shared with Robinson that, to him, "Anybody who uses a position of power, status or authority to exploit people who are vulnerable to that power, status or authority is dead to me. I don't care what kind of movies a rapist makes, don't care if other people think they're good, they're rapist movies and I'm not watching them."
"The older I get the less certain I am of some things, the more obvious others seem," he added. "One that has become clear over time is that nobody deserves your attention, you dole it out and you can decide who deserves it. The idea that we can remove the artist from the art means that art isn't communicating anything after all, it's just decoration, an amusement.
"I refuse to look or listen that way. If when you hear music it's just sounds, brother I pity you. If you look at a picture or read a book and it's just a picture or a story then why fucking bother?"
You can read Albini's full interview with Robinson here.
Albini most recently manned the boards for Cloud Nothings' new album The Shadow I Remember.