Steve Albini Dead at 61

( – A heart attack has claimed the life of legendary music producer and sound engineer Steve Albini.

The 61-year-old Albini was also the frontman of Big Black and Shellac, but was primarily known for being the recording engineer for classic rock band Nirvana, as well as for the Pixies, and PJ Harvey. He headed the recording of Nivana’s final album, “In Utero,” and worked as well on the Pixie’s “Surfer Rosa” album in 1988.

He passed away in his home in Chicago, Illinois, according to Taylor Hales of Electronic Studio, Albini’s recording studio in the Windy City.

The producer – or “engineer” as he preferred it – first became known to a wider audience for his work as the frontman for the Chicago-based rock band Big Black in 1993. The group, known for their aggressive guitar-focused sound, was among the pioneers of the use of a drum machine, as opposed to the conventional approach of just having a live drummer.

Albini is most known for his scathing criticisms of other bands and artists, especially the ones whom he felt were just in the industry for the money rather than the music. He was also a fierce detractor of the mainstream music industry, whom he says routinely cheated bands and musicians from the compensation they are due. Albini also participated – and won – the 2022 World Series of Poker, taking home a prize pack of close to $200,000. He was also active on social media, embracing the community with fans that it brought, rather than shy away from it like many of his fellow musicians.

It was on social media that he would often explain his stance, saying the recording companies take largest chunk out of the monies earned by an artist’s song. Producers and agents got the second allotment, but the artist, Albini claimed, can sometimes earn less than what he or she would as a fast-food chain worker. And he also walked the talk, more often than not refusing to accept royalties for the songs he helped write.

Albini leaves behind a wife, filmmaker Heather Whinna.

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