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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a funny pairing that proves that good things do occasionally result from the existence of social media: Steve Albini and Max Collins.
You almost certainly know Steve Albini’s name and probably some of his work, too, but I’ll share this brief summary anyway: As a musician, he has played in some incredibly influential bands, most notably Big Black and Shellac. As a producer/engineer/studio owner, he has helped make records by thousands of small independent bands and several huge mainstream ones, most notably Nirvana, with whom he recorded In Utero. (Other notable credits include PJ Harvey, Pixies, and the list goes on.) Albini is also a poker enthusiast who holds a World Series bracelet, though that part of his life doesn’t come up here. Throughout his career, Albini has been an outspoken champion of independence from the major-label system, and even penned a widely shared essay way back in the day about the general shittiness of the mainstream music business.
Which makes it kind of funny that he’s speaking today with Max Collins, frontman for the band Eve 6, who were sort of a prime example of the major-label machinery in the ‘90s—though through no fault of their own. Signed to a huge deal just out of high school, the band had a pretty massive hit with a song called “Inside Out,” whose chorus features the phrase “heart in a blender.” Eve 6 largely disappeared after the turn of the century, but Collins found a hilarious new way to connect with fans during the pandemic: Twitter. His no-holds-barred tweets are funny and self-effacing, and they gained him an instant following. He refers to himself frequently—even once during this podcast—as the “heart in a blender guy,” and he openly shares his stories about other alt stars of the ‘90s, his opinions on current and older bands, and even some of his personal life. Albini, no stranger to no filter himself, became a fan after the two started playfully sparring about the relative merits of Counting Crows. A Twitter beef was born. If you don’t like that phrase, this is not the episode for you.
Eve 6 has since started recording and releasing new music, and the two talk a bit about that in this episode. They also get into Eve 6’s financial history, the evils of major-label deals in the ‘90s, and for brief moment of non-playfulness, the idea of art as the antidote for the hellscape we all live in. Then there’s talk of starting a new beef, this time with Dave Grohl. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Steve Albini and Max Collins for chatting. If you liked what you heard, follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and please rate us—it actually does help. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Joshua Ford; right, Naz Massaro; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)