Fightland talks to legendary engineer and guitar assassin Steve Albini about what song he'd choose to play during the long walk towards a cage fight.
The walkout song is a time-honored tradition in MMA. It's also a delicate balancing act. The perfect song has to pump a fighter up while settling his/her nerves, appeal to the crowd without appearing to pander. "My Walkout Song" is where we ask MMA fans who also happen to be famous musicians what makes for great pre-fight music and what song they would choose to accompany their walk to the cage.
Steve Albini—guitar assassin in Big Black, Rapeman, and currently Shellac, as well as legendary engineer (he hates being called a producer) of some of the most musically muscular music of the last 30 years (Nirvana, Neurosis, and Roger Plant-Jimmy Page, among dozens)—has also tried his expert hand at billiards, cooking, and animal husbandry. Well, not really animal husbandry but he’s one of those guys, usually autodidacts, who get great at anything they want to get great at through force of will, bad attitude, and smarts.
So we remain shocked that we’ve been unsuccessful at seducing him into giving fighting, specifically MMA, much more than a cursory, and contempt-filled, glance. His reasons are many and seem to actually make sense from a peace-love perspective. But we’re happy that, despite those reasons, he was willing to give us his hypothetical walkout music. Just amuses us to no end to imagine seeing shirtless Steve in some Tapout shorts, walking down the corridor toward a cage.