Richard Swift of The Black Keys and The Shins Dies at 41

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Producer, Multi-instrumentalist, Singer-Songwriter, Richard Swift, passed away Tuesday morning in Tacoma, Washington. He was 41 years old. His death was confirmed on his Facebook page, with a post of an image of Swift with the description “And all the angels sing ‘Que Sera Sera’. Richard Ochoa Swift. March 16, 1977 – July 3, 2018.”

This was after a month he was admitted to the hospital with an undisclosed life-threatening illness, which made him create a GoFundMe account to help pay his medical bills.

 

Fellow musicians began to pay tribute to Richard Swift, like Dan Auerbach, who was his longtime counterpart and bandmate in The Black Keys. Auerbach posted a photo on his Instagram with the caption “”Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know, He’s now with his Mom and Sister. I will miss you my friend”

Other tributes came from Kings Of Leon’s Nathan Followil and Dave Depper, a member of Death Cab for Cutie, and from the band The Weeks.

Richard Swift was born in California, and was a self-taught musician and producer. He played bass for blues rock band, The Black Keys, and was also a former member of The Shins where he played drums. He’s also worked alongside the likes of The Pretenders, Kevin Morby, Sharon Van Etten, Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, Damien Jurado, Foxygen, David Bazan, Tennis, Shannon Shaw, and Guster, helping them produce their music.

 

He also has an impressive solo career as a singer-songwriter, where he began recording during the off-hours in the LA Studio in the early 2000s and released his last solo album in 2009.

 

 

“I think that being able to make friends with a new band, and hopefully help them have a really great musical and life experience, is more the goal than making a hit record,” Richard Swift told Tape Op in a 2017 interview. “What you can control are knobs, faders, and being a nice person. I think it’s listening to music, as well as listening to people and their ideas. Being open.”

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