Steve Albini, Legendary Producer and Musician, Dies at 61

Steve Albini, Legendary Producer and Musician, Dies at 61

Austin City Limits Taps Dua Lipa, Tyler, the Creator, Chris Stapleton
Austin Metropolis Limits Faucets Dua Lipa, Tyler, the Creator, Chris Stapleton
Steve Albini

Steve Albini, the legendary and outspoken musician and producer who oversaw Nirvana’s In Utero, Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me, amongst many different traditional albums, died final evening (Might 7) of a coronary heart assault at the age of 61. The information was confirmed to SPIN by an individual who answered the cellphone at Albini’s Chicago recording studio, Electrical Audio.

Albini additionally labored on tasks by Jimmy Web page and Robert Plant, Slint, Superchunk, the Stooges, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Jawbreaker, Songs: Ohia, Low, Mogwai and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Past these credit, Albini was the frontman of influential underground bands Shellac and Massive Black. Shellac’s first new album in 10 years, To All Trains, will likely be launched Might 17, and the group was planning to make its annual look at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound pageant on Might 30.

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Raised in Missoula, Mt., earlier than shifting to Chicago for faculty within the early Eighties, Albini had been an underground figurehead for a decade by the point he was requested to work on In Utero, and he had no compunction about sharing his disgust for the way Nirvana’s members had been pressured to make a extra business follow-up to their paradigm-shifting 1991 debut, Nevermind.

“The entire folks that had been carping at the band from the surface about what a mistake they’d made with this file, that fairly precisely represented what they needed to do with their music … all of these individuals [are] parasites,”Albini instructed the Kreative Kontrol podcast in 2013, the tenth anniversary of In Utero. “They weren’t concerned in making the file. They need, someway or one other, to say authorship of the artistic output of those different people who find themselves really doing the heavy lifting for his or her profession. I can’t have any respect for someone like that, who’s not concerned within the artistic course of however then decides that they wanna snipe at it from the surface and manipulate individuals into doing issues to go well with them. Fuck each a type of individuals.” 

“All of these individuals had been afraid that if this Nirvana album wasn’t superior, someway it could have an effect on them,” he continued. “Their first presumption wasn’t that this band really knew what they had been doing after they went off into the woods to make a file. Their first presumption was, ‘There’s no manner this file could be good with out us in cost’ — even though the band had executed very well by following their very own instincts as much as that time.” Regardless of this, Albini labored on a 2013 In Utero reissue as a result of Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic personally requested him to remaster the LP.

Albini fortunately celebrated the gradual decentralization of main label affect within the streaming period, telling Quartz in 2014, “file labels, which used to have full management, are primarily irrelevant. The method of a band exposing itself to the world is extraordinarily democratic and there aren’t any limitations. Music is now not a commodity, it’s an atmosphere, or atmospheric component. Shoppers have rather more alternative and you see individuals indulging within the specificity of their tastes dramatically extra. They solely hassle with music they like.”

In 2021, Albini addressed a number of the extra controversial utterances from his previous in a lengthy Twitter thread, admitting “a variety of issues I stated and did from an ignorant place of consolation and privilege are clearly terrible and I remorse them” — together with naming one in every of his bands Rapeman. “For myself and lots of my friends, we miscalculated. We thought the main battles over equality and inclusiveness had been received, and society would finally specific that, so we weren’t harming something with contrarianism, shock, sarcasm or irony.”

“In shock at Steve Albini’s sudden passing,” wrote underground music veteran David Grubbs (Squirrel Bait, Bastro, Gastr Del Sol) on X. “Such a superb, infinitely beneficiant particular person, completely one-of-a-kind and so inspiring to see him change over time and come clean with issues he outgrew.”

Added journalist Michael Azzerad, who profiled Albini extensively in his 2001 e-book Our Band Might Be Your Life, “I don’t know what to say about Steve Albini’s passing. He had a superb thoughts, was a terrific artist and underwent essentially the most outstanding and inspiring private transformation. I can’t consider he’s gone.”

Albini was additionally an avid poker participant, having participated within the World Collection of Poker and profitable a gold bracelet in 2022 within the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. occasion.

Extra to return…

To see our operating checklist of the highest 100 best rock stars of all time, click here.

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