Future Of The Left Say: ‘Don’t Mention Albini’

Andy Falkous sick of being asked about producer. Especially at ATP

Andrew Falkous of Future of the Left has been telling the Quietus how he’s tired of being asked about Steve Albini. The pithy singer, who has recorded music with the Big Black legend with his current band and formerly with Mclusky, says he particularly has to avoid All Tomorrow’s Parties, as it is there he is most frequently confronted with the ‘Albini’ question. The band recently played ATP vs the fans, and although bandmates Jack Egglestone and Kelson Mattaus stayed the weekend, Falkous could only stomach a few hours.

"I was stood in the bar next to some fucking cunt who looked a refugee from a Horrors photoshoot. And someone went to him: ‘what are Future of the Left like?’ and he went, ‘oh, they’re just an NME band’. And I looked at him and thought, the irony of what you just said is operating on a couple of levels."

So, what’s it like to work with Steve Albini? You get that a lot then?

"You certainly do at ATP. The other two guys were there for the whole weekend and stayed there with their girlfriends, but I decided not to for precisely that reason. The last time I was at ATP it was all about people turning up and going ‘what’s it like to work with Steve Albini?’ And I would say: ‘shall I give you his chalet number and you can go over and fucking ask him yourself?’ What do people think it’s like to work with Steve Albini? He’s a guy, with a body and a head. He presses record when you start playing. You need to say whether or not you like the take or not and then you get to keep it or you do another take. I mean, I don’t know what magic people think goes on in his studio. He inspires you using voodoo, or he’s the Jose Mourinho of record producing or something. I just don’t quite understand, and yet so many people ask it. I’m usually polite about it for the most part but it is very difficult to summon up the effort to answer the question for the seventh time in a day. You end up saying ‘I just told that guy over there, see the guy in the orange, fucking ask him what it’s like to work with Steve Albini, because I’ve already used up all the variant ways I can think of of expressing it.’

"People ask you who have very little time for Albini. It’s like ‘oh you met Mohammad Ali once?’ That’s right. ‘AND you recorded with Steve Albini.’ You know, I mean let’s face it, in terms of a certain strata of music, there’s nobody more… I wouldn’t necessarily say revered as Albini, but I would say definitely, I dunno, talked about… like some inscrutable godhead figure or something. I genuinely don’t understand it.

"A lot of the people who are fascinated with Mr Albini are older than us. They’re not, generally speaking, kids. A lot of kids don’t know where, why or who Shellac are. You could probably tell that after our shows talking to Bob Weston outside the main pavillion stage. Some little kid, dressed like a fucking… oh I dunno, I should stop talking about how people dress… but dressed like a fanny, comes up and pushes Bob out of the way, and I say ‘I was just talking to him’ and he says, ‘you can talk to him later’. I say ‘how about I talk to him now?’ and he goes ‘I always knew you were a prick’."

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today