FOO FIGHTERS Dedicate 'My Hero' To STEVE ALBINI At Charlotte Concert

May 10, 2024

FOO FIGHTERS paid tribute to Steve Albini Thursday night (may 9) during the band's concert in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Prior to launching into the FOO FIGHTERS hit song "My Hero", the band's frontman Dave Grohl, who worked with the producer on NIRVANA's "In Utero" album, told the crowd: "Tonight, I'd like to dedicate this song to a friend we lost the other day, who I've known for a long, long time. And he left us much too soon. He's touched all of your lives, I'm sure. Talking about Steve Albini. For those of you who know, you know. For those of you who don't know, just remember that name: Steve Albini. So let's sing this one for him."

In a 2013 interview with NPR, Grohl stated about NIRVANA's collaboration with Albini on the follow-up to "Nevermind": "He was one of our heroes, man. That was a big deal to be able to make a record with him. I had BIG BLACK records and I loved 'Surfer Rosa' [the PIXIES album produced by Albini]. To make a record with him was a big deal. And I admit that when we walked in there, I was terrified and intimidated because his reputation was that [he was] really cynical, opinionated — and I heard stories that bands would send them their single and ask him to do their next record and he would smash it and send it back with no letter. Stuff like that. Like, 'Oh my god, he's the [Colonel] Kurtz of the music industry! This is crazy; he's gone too far up the river and he's lost it!' And then we get there, and he's like a pussycat. He's the sweetest person in the world, and we had a blast. He and I got along really well, because we're both kind of goofs."

Grohl and Albini later reunited at Steve's Electrical Audio in Chicago when FOO FIGHTERS recorded the track "Something From Nothing" from the 2014 "Sonic Highways" album at the studio.

Albini died earlier this week of a heart attack. He was 61 years old.

In addition to fronting underground rock acts SHELLAC and BIG BLACK, Albini produced albums by PJ Harvey and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. He was an aggressive critic of musicians and others who he felt were in it for the money or popularity rather than the music and he famously refused to take royalties from the recordings he produced for other artists.

In 2004, Albini estimated that he had engineered the recording of around 1,500 albums. According to Mix With The Masters, he continued to work almost entirely in the analog domain, being known for recording "live in the studio" as much as possible. He also placed particular emphasis on the selection and use of microphones in achieving a desired sound, and to best capture the ambience.

"A lot of people making records don't have a grasp of the process," he once told Billboard. "They do it thinking that it's some abstract art form that doesn't need to be comprehended on a technical procedural level. [In those cases] you'll end up with a record that isn't formally completed, but that's finished when the bell rings."

In a separate interview with Musician, Albini lamented what he called the industry's assembly-line mentality. "The sound of contemporary rock records, especially those made with big budgets, is so homogeneous," he said. "You hear exactly the same mix balance, the same dynamic, the same production techniques brought to bear on every single band."

Albini also pointed out that the quality of his own records had improved, largely because he had resisted the "fiddling impulse" with the music.

"In quest of a distinctive sound, people endlessly process things," he told Billboard back in 1995. "But because so many people use that method, those sounds have become quite commonplace. In the last few years, I've learned to leave things alone. Now when I set up a microphone and like the way it sounds, I consider the job done."

SHELLAC's first album in a decade, "To All Trains", is scheduled for release next week.

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