Pixies, Superchunk, Cloud Nothings, and More Pay Tribute to Steve Albini

    Following the tragic news of Steve Albini’s passing on Wednesday, May 8, figures in the music world and beyond have been paying tribute to the underground rock icon.

    Michael Azerrad, who wrote the 1993 Nirvana biography Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, wrote of the In Utero engineer on X: “He had a brilliant mind, was a great artist and underwent the most remarkable and inspiring personal transformation.”

    Cloud Nothings worked with Albini on their celebrated 2012 LP Attack on Memory. “steve touched countless lives and changed mine and many others for the better,” frontman Dylan Baldi wrote. “a genuine, singular, principled person. spent the last 40 years helping people make art. there’s no reason for him to be gone and the world is less interesting without him. just a really sad day.”

    Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker, who worked with Albini on his 2009 solo album Further Complications, shared: “Working with Steve Albini was an education in many ways: the technical aspects of recording sound, for sure – but also lessons in how to live & work at making music without being destroyed by the Music Business. Listen to the music he was involved in & read what he wrote about it. It’s worth it.”

    “grateful to have seen steve albini play, to have my taste in music shaped by the incredible records he performed & engineered, & for his thoughts on recording and its business, which changed my worldview,” Speedy Ortiz and Sad13’s Sadie Dupuis wrote. “getting to meet him & check out electrical was a top 10 moment for me. RIP.”

    Drew Daniel, of the Soft Pink Truth and Matmos, wrote: “I’m saddened to learn of the death of Steve Albini. Like so many, I loved his firebreathing Big Black records as a teenager. I met him briefly at Jason Noble’s memorial service and found him to be a kind and thoughtful person. My thoughts go out to his friends and family.”

    “I love Steve so much,” comedian and musician Fred Armisen shared. “We said it more often to each other in recent years. I’m so glad I got to tell him. He was so funny, all the time. He sent me this text a few days ago: ‘I shouldn’t admit this but I don’t get cymbals. Like I can tell the difference between this one and that one but if I’m honest they both sound like cymbals and I don’t care.” I always loved hearing him say ‘I don’t care.’ He was such a good friend to me, endlessly. I admired his work ethic and his warmth. And his opinions on national flags. On everything.”

    Jon Wurster of Superchunk shared: “Steve was such a good, caring, and funny guy. I will always treasure the night in ‘99 when he took me to Second City to see a show. I walked into the Electrical kitchen at the agreed upon departure time and he looked at my head, smiled and said, ‘Your hair is peak Mellencamp.’ ❤️.”

    “Ugh man, a heartbreaking loss of a legend. Love to his family and innumerable colleagues,” the actor Ejiah Wood posted. “Farewell, Steve Albini.”

    “No singular artist’s body of work has had an impact on me more than that of Steve Albini,” the band Chat Pile wrote. “Incredibly thankful that the world had him while it did, we’re all better off because of it. RIP.”

    “RIP to our friend Steve Albin,” Slint posted. “Steve was, in his own way, unfailingly magnanimous and kind. His humility was a constant. He was a leader, in many ways, and he was an all-around nice guy. He will be deeply missed. We are infinitely fortunate for having known him culturally and, amazingly, in person. Slint would not be the same without him.”

    “I so much enjoyed his trail-blazing bands & talent, and recording songs at his great studio,” experimental guitarist Bill MacKay remembered. “I admired his fierce fight for justice and fairness, and had one unforgettable & hilarious Ramen dinner together. He’ll never be forgotten.”

    Mission of Burma posted, “People come and go, but there was no one quite like Steve Albini. I keep hoping the news is false. I just thought he would always be there, keeping us wised up ‘n pissed off. A fucking giant.”

    Primavera Sound, where Albini performed regularly with his band Shellac, wrote: “We have lost a legend, a friend, a member of our family. What are we going to do without you, Steve? After having welcomed them at 15 editions of the festival, it is impossible for us to imagine a Primavera Sound without him, because no band explains us better than Shellac.”

    Below, read tributes from Pixies, the Breeders, Jack White, Jeff Rosenstock, Low, illuminati hotties, Fucked Up, Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Ratboys, the Cribs, Ted Leo, Lee Spielman (of Trash Talk), Liturgy, Ian Williams (of Battles), HEALTH, Sleaford Mods, the Ataris, David Grubbs, Amanda Palmer, Dave Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), Laura Jane Grace, Lawrence Rothman, Teen Suicide, and more.

     

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    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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