Steve Albini recalls offering to record In Utero for free if Nirvana could beat him at pool

If they lost however, they’d have to fork over double in production fees.

Nirvana and Steve Albini

Photos: Kevin Mazur Archive / Matthew Eisman / WireImage

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

Steve Albini, the producer behind Nirvana’s legendary final album In Utero, revealed he once offered his production services for free – but only if the band could best him in a game of pool first.

Albini issued the challenge to Nirvana ahead of the 1993 album’s sessions at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The band didn’t take him up on the bet, but if they had and lost, they would have had their production fees doubled.

“I did that with every band I worked with, and no-one ever took me up on the offer,” Albini recalled in a new interview with Kerrang!,​ “It’s not like I’m a particularly good pool player, but I have an equal chance of winning in a fair game.”

He added: “Ultimately, it wasn’t going to make that much difference to my life if I got double the money for the session or worked for free. But I guess Nirvana were a little more risk-averse than I was.”

Former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl previously spoke about why the band didn’t take Albini up on his wager.

“We were paying him $100,000,” Grohl said. ​“Anyone who’s got the stones to gamble something that large must be amazing [at playing pool], so everyone said no.”

“Plus he had his own stick. We didn’t want to fuck around with that.”

For more music news, click here.

Related Artists

Related Tags


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.