The other bands that I was in — I think that either I or other people in the bands had some kind of, uh, expectation that it would take up the majority of our time. Right? Certainly when I was in Big Black, I only had a job because it was necessary, and if I didn’t need to have a job, I wouldn’t have, and I would have just done Big Black while it was active. But now, I kinda feel like having a job is great, and being in a band as a side project is great and not any kind of a compromise at all. And that’s one of the reasons why this band (the band I’m in now), Shellac, has been so durable. We just had our 20th anniversary, and I don’t think we could have survived that long—
Music means different things to everybody, right? Like some guys who are in bands, they think that it’s not — they’re not legitimate if it’s not their job, it’s not their profession, right? I don’t think that’s true because I have been moved by so much music that was made by people for whom it wasn’t their profession that I don’t make that parallel. I don’t see it as a lack of commitment to not try to make a living off of it. I see it — I see it like totally converse to that. I think of music as something that I’m willing to work 40 hours a week or more to support, like a wife and family, right? Music to me is that important. It’s so important that I don’t expect it to make a living for me. I expect that I will have to work a normal, regular job like a regular person in order to have the luxury of being able to play music.
That, to me, just seems like a totally sensible position, right? And also, once I had internalized that and made that my mentality, uh, I think that the reason that I love my band so much — and I do love playing with Bob and Todd, you know, to the core of my being, right? — the reason that I do is that I never have cause to resent it. There’s never a single time where I feel like, “Aw, crap, we have to go on tour?” You know, like, “Aw, geez, we have to knock out another album.” Those kind of thoughts never enter my mind. It never seems like an obligation, it never seems like it’s any pressure whatsoever. It’s just a pure, pure joy, you know?"
When Albini said this, it sucked all the air out of the room for me. Just awesome.