Read Steve Albini's Iconic Proposal To Produce Nirvana's 'In Utero'

By Katrina Nattress

May 8, 2024

Steve Albini 2014
Photo: Tribune News Service

News of Steve Albini's death shook the rock world on Wednesday (May 8), with tributes pouring out from groups that worked with the famed producer and those who were inspired by him. The indie hero famously produced Nirvana's 1993 album In Utero and sent the trio a no-nonsense four-age proposal before they began working together that famously ended with the line, "If a record takes more than a week to make, somebody's f***ing up."

The proposal is making the rounds on social media after Albini died of a heart attack at age 61. It's also notable for laying out that Albini refused to take royalties on the albums he made. “I do not want and will not take a royalty on any record I record. No points. Period," the proposal stated. I think paying a royalty to a producer or engineer is ethically indefensible. The band write the songs. The band play the music. It’s the band’s fans who buy the records. The band is responsible for whether it’s a great record or a horrible record. Royalties belong to the band."

“I would like to be paid like a plumber," Albini added. "I do the job and you pay me what it’s worth.”

Read the full proposal below.

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