Steve Albini looks back on In Utero, 25 years after its release

In the summer of 1993, with the follow-up to Nevermind looming, there was great pressure on Nirvana, especially Kurt Cobain. How could the band possibly equal what they’d done over the last couple of years?

The answer? Don’t try. Exert power. Do what’s necessary from an artistic point of view. Ignore the industry machine. Defy expectations.

And thus was born In Utero, released on September 21, 1993, almost 25 years ago.

Recorded in Minnesota at Steve Albini’s studio, the record was much more raw than Nirvana’s industry masters had been expecting. Albini looks back on that record at PSNEuopre.com.

Nirvana’s In Utero celebrates its 25th anniversary next month, and its legendary engineer Steve Albini has spoken to PSNEurope about the studio techniques he employed to record the album, their efficiency in the studio and how Kurt Cobain sung almost the entire album in one session.

Recorded not at Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago but at Minnesota’s Pachyderm Studios in trademark Albini style, In Utero was recorded and mixed in just 12 days, showcasing the band’s sound in all the unadulterated glory of their frenetic live shows. And according to Albini, despite the band’s standing as one of the biggest acts on the planet, they approached the recording with all the amiability and diligence of his typical client roster.

“Everything about that session was consistent with all the other sessions I had been doing,” he told PSNEurope. “The band set up to play live, they knew the material and there wasn’t a lot of writing or arranging done on the spot. Everything proceeded in a very straightforward pattern. I was using the same live band recording methodology I’d been using with all my friends’ and peers’ bands that I still use today.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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