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Steve Albini is photgraphed at his workplace, Electrical Audio, in the Avondale neighborhood in 2021.

Steve Albini is photgraphed at his workplace, Electrical Audio, in the Avondale neighborhood in 2021.

Pat Nabong

Steve Albini, legendary rock underground pioneer, dies at 61

Steve Albini, the legendary studio sound engineer and artist who produced albums for Nirvana, the Pixies, Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey and countless other icons of the indie rock underground has died. He was 61.

The frontman for Shellac and Big Black died Wednesday, according to a report by Pitchfork.

For more than three decades, Albini made his musical magic happen at his Electrical Audio on Belmont Avenue, recording thousands of artists from across the city and across the globe.

The studio confirmed his passing to WBEZ radio, adding Albini died after suffering a heart attack.

Born in Pasadena, California, on July 22, 1962, and raised in Montana, Albini moved to Evanston to attend Northwestern University where he graduated with a degree in journalism from the Medill School.



In 2000, Steve Albini was one of the recipients of the first Legacy Awards from the Chicago chapter of the Recording Academy.

In 2000, Steve Albini was one of the recipients of the first Legacy Awards from the Chicago chapter of the Recording Academy.

Richard A. Chapman

A new album, “To All Trains,” from the singer-guitarist and his Shellac bandmates Bob Weston and Todd Trainer and recorded at Electronic Audio is scheduled for release next week. The band was also planning to tour in support of the new album, their first in a decade.

On Wednesdays, friends and fans took to social media to remember Albini.

“He engineered some of the greatest albums of all time,” Marc Maron noted.

Chicago’s Metro club paid tribute in a post on X that read, in part: “Thank you for all that you contributed to punk rock in our town and the reverberations of creativity you brought forth, felt the world over.” The tribute was accompanied by a photo of the club’s marquee that said it all.

In a 2021 interview with the Sun-Times, Albini was asked if he considered himself successful.

“To the extent that I could care about that, I would say yes,” he told Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg. “I’ve lived my whole life without having goals, and I think that’s very valuable, because then I never am in a state of anxiety or dissatisfaction. I never feel I haven’t achieved something. I never feel there is something yet to be accomplished. I feel like goals are quite counterproductive. They give you a target, and until the moment you reach that target, you are stressed and unsatisfied, and at the moment you reach that specific target you are aimless and have lost the lodestar of your existence. I’ve always tried to see everything as a process. I want to do things in a certain way that I can be proud of that is sustainable and is fair and equitable to everybody that I interact with. If I can do that, then that’s a success, and success means that I get to do it again tomorrow.”

This story is developing and will be updated.

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