STEVE ALBINI (1962 – 2024)

May 8th, 2024

Steve Albini passed away on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at his home in Chicago, Illinois. 

Steve recorded (he hated the term “produced”) essential albums from NirvanaPixies, and PJ Harvey. His extensive discography also includes work with Failure, The Breeders, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Superchunk, Helmet, Jawbreaker, Dazzling Killmen, Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, and many others. 

He fronted Big Black from 1981 to 1987 and the short-lived band Rapeman. In 1992, he formed Shellac with Todd Trainer and Bob Weston. A new Shellac record, To All Trains, was already scheduled for release next week via Touch & Go Records.  

I spent some time with Steve at his Electrical Audio recording complex in Chicago in 2006, where he recorded Zao’s The Fear is What Keeps Us Here. We documented the sessions with a DVD included in deluxe editions of the album (see it here on YouTube). As he worked away in his signature boilersuit-style uniform, I found Albini as clever, diligent, and driven as his reputation promised. But he was also gentle and a great storyteller who didn’t hold back on rich details and insights. 

Steve was 61. He is survived by his wife, documentary filmmaker Heather Whinna.