Steve Albini, Musician & Producer Dubbed the ‘Noise Rock Pioneer’ Dies at 61

American musician and producer Steve Albini in the 'A' control room of his studio, Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois, June 24, 2005
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Steve Albini, a producer and musician who helped create some of the greatest alternative rock albums has passed away at age 61. The staff at Albini’s Electrical Audio Recording confirmed his death but did not provide any details. Some reports say he died from a heart attack. Just a week ago, his noise rock project Shellac was set to release their first new album in over a decade called To All Trains.

Albini worked with bands such as Nirvana, Pixies, the Breeders, Bush, and former Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. While he was mainly known as a record producer and audio engineer, he played in bands such as Big Black and Shellac. He often went against norms in the music industry and refused to take ongoing royalties from bands and artists during his engineering career. It has been estimated that he engineered the recording of over 1,500 albums, many by underground musicians.

Steve Albini, guitar, performs with Shellac at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 12th February 1995

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He was introduced to the Ramones as a teen and it inspired him to pursue punk music. He played in several bands as a teen and later went to Northwestern University and earned a degree in journalism. For years, Albini was a writer in the Chicago area, covering the punk rock scene.

Guitarist and vocalist Steve Albini of Shellac performs on stage during Primavera Sound 2022 on June 03, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain

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In his free time, Albini was an avid poker player who competed in the World Series of Poker. He also began a cooking and food blog in 2011. He was married to film director Heather Whinna but often admitted that he avoided seeing movies.

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