Indie Rock Producer and Musician Steve Albini Dead at 61

Music News Steve Albini
Indie Rock Producer and Musician Steve Albini Dead at 61

Few people made as a big a mark on the last few decades of rock ‘n’ roll as Steve Albini. The producer, musician and all-around provocateur died of a heart attack today at the age of 61, according to multiple reports from his staff at Electric Audio in Chicago.

Albini got his start as a music journalist and engineer and founding member of the punk band Big Black in 1981, while attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In 1992, he started a new band, Shellac, which is due to release its sixth album later this month.

The single press release for To All Trains, due out May 17, reflects Albini’s singular view of the industry he was a part of: “There will be no advertisements, no press or radio promotion, no e-promotion, no promotional or review copies, no promotional gimmick items, and otherwise no free lunch. … Shellac doesn’t have a website. Maybe we should get one.”

But it’s as a producer that Albini will be most remembered. He produced Nirvana’s In Utero, the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and PJ Harvey‘s Rid of Me, in addition to more recent work from black midi, Laura Jane Grace and METZ. By his own estimation, Steve Albini engineered or produced several thousand albums during his career, continuing to work with small indie bands at his studio to the very end.

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