Top 15 Alternative Rock Producers

Photographed (left to right): Butch Vig, Rick Rubin, and Brendan O’Brien

Introduction, title & photo edit by Brett Buchanan

Below, in no particular order, are 15 of alternative rock and hard rock’s greatest producers!

Steve Albini

Discography: Pixies’ Surfer Rosa (1988), Slint’s Tweez (1989), The Breeders’ Pod (1990), The Jesus Lizard’s Goat (1991), Helmet’s Meantime (1992), PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me (1993), Nirvana’s In Utero (1993), Melt-Banana’s Scratch or Stitch (1995), Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase (1996), Chevelle’s Point #1 (1999), Low’s Things We Lost in the Fire (2001), Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Yanqui U.X.O. (2002), High on Fire’s Blessed Black Wings (2005), The Stooges’ The Weirdness (2007), Scott Weiland’s “Happy” in Galoshes (2008), Manic Street Preachers’ Journal of Plague Lovers (2009), Weedeater’s Jason… The Dragon (2011), Neurosis’ Honor Found in Decay (2012), Foxy Shazam’s Gonzo (2014), Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways (2014)

Joe Barresi

Discography: Melvins’ Stag (1996), Fu Manchu’s King of the Road (1999), Pennywise’s Land of the Free? (2001), Powerman 5000’s Transform (2003), Backyard Babies’ Stockholm Syndrome (2003), Tomahawk’s Mit Gas (2003), Queens of the Stone Age’s Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), The Butterfly Effect’s Imago (2006), Clutch’s From Beale Street to Oblivion (2007), Zico Chain’s Food (2007), Saviours’ Into Abbadon (2008), Isis’ Wavering Radiant (2009), Pearl’s Little Immaculate White Fox (2010), Coheed and Cambria’s Year of The Black Rainbow (2010), Bad Religion’s The Dissent of Man (2010), Apocalyptica’s 7th Symphony (2010), Fair to Midland’s Arrows and Anchors (2011), Every Time I Die’s Ex Lives (2012), Stam1na’s Nocebo (2012), Chevelle’s La Gárgola (2014)

Butch Vig

Discography: Killdozer’s Little Baby Buntin’ (1987), Die Kreuzen’s Century Days (1988), Laughing Hyenas’ You Can’t Pray a Lie (1989), feedtime’s Suction (1989), Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991), L7’s Bricks are Heavy (1992), Overwhelming Colorfast’s self-titled (1992), Drain’s Pick Up Heaven (1992), Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream (1993), Sonic Youth’s Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (1994), Freedy Johnston’s This Perfect World (1994), Soul Asylum’s Let Your Dim Light Shine (1995), AFI’s Sing the Sorrow (2003), Against Me!’s New Wave (2007), Jimmy Eat World’s Chase This Light (2007), The Subways’ All or Nothing (2008), Tom Gabel’s Heart Burns (2008), Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown (2008), Never Shout Never’s Harmony (2010), Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light (2010), Sound City Players – Real To Reel (2013)

Brendan O’Brien

Discography: Stone Temple Pilots’ Core (1992), Jackyl’s self-titled (1992), Pearl Jam’s Vs. (1993), King’s X’s Dogman (1994), Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire (1996), Korn’s Issues (1999), The Offspring’s Conspiracy of One (2000), Train’s Drops of Jupiter (2001), Papa Roach’s Lovehatetragedy (2002), Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising (2002), Incubus’ A Crow Left of the Murder… (2004), The Wallflowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart (2005), Audioslave’s Revelations (2006), Velvet Revolver’s Libertad (2007), AC/DC’s Black Ice (2008), The Nightwatchman’s The Fabled City (2008), Mastodon’s Crack the Skye (2009), The Fray’s Scars & Stories (2012), Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt (2013), The Gaslight Anthem’s Handwritten (2012), Seether’s Isolate and Medicate (2014),

Rick Rubin

Discography: Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill (1986), Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell (1986), The Cult’s Electric (1987), Danzig’s self-titled (1988), Slayer’s South of Heaven (1988), Masters of Reality’s self-titled (1988), Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Tom Petty’s Wildflowers (1994), AC/DC’s Ballbreaker (1995), Rage Against the Machine’s Renegades (2000), American Head Charge’s The War of Art (2001), System of a Down’s Toxicity (2001), Audioslave’s self-titled (2002), Limp Bizkit’s Results May Vary (2003), Slipknot’s Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004), Weezer’s Make Believe (2005), Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight (2007), Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow (2007), Metallica’s Death Magnetic (2008), Black Sabbath’s 13 (2013)

Terry Date

Discography: Dream Theater’s When Dream and Day Unite (1989), Metal Church’s Blessing in Disguise (1989), Mother Love Bone’s Apple (1990), Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger (1991), Overkill’s Horrorscope (1991), Screaming Trees’ Uncle Anesthesia (1991), Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power (1992), Fishbone’s Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe (1993), Prong’s Cleansing (1994), White Zombie’s Astro-Creep: 2000 (1995), Staind’s Dysfunction (1999), Deftones’ White Pony (2000), Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000), Powerman 5000’s Anyone for Doomsday? (2001), Otep’s Sevas Tra (2002), Dredg’s Catch Without Arms (2005), Smashing Pumpkins’ Zeitgeist (2007), Bring Me the Horizon’s Sempiternal (2013), Soulfly’s Savages (2013), Miss May I’s Rise of the Lion (2014)

Ross Robinson

Discography: Korn’s self-titled (1994), Sepultura’s Roots (1996), Limp Bizkit’s Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$ (1997), Soulfly’s self-titled (1998), Vanilla Ice’s Hard to Swallow (1998), Cold’s self-titled (1998), Machine Head’s The Burning Red (1999), Slipknot’s self-titled (1999), Amen’s self-titled (1999), At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command (2000), Fear Factory’s Concrete (2002), Glassjaw’s Worship and Tribute (2002), The Blood Brothers’ …Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003), The Cure’s self-titled (2004), From First to Last’s Heroine (2006), Idiot Pilot’s Wolves (2007), Drop Dead, Gorgeous’ Worse Than a Fairy Tale (2007), Norma Jean’s The Anti Mother (2008), Klaxons’ Surfing the Void (2010), Soko’s My Dreams Dictate My Reality (2015)

Nick Raskulinecz

Discography: Goatsnake’s Flower of Disease (2000), Velvet Revolver’s Contraband (2004), Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor (2005), Stone Sour’s Come What(ever) May (2006), Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow (2007), Shadows Fall’s Threads of Life (2007), Death Angel’s Killing Season (2008), Trivium’s Shogun (2008), Danko Jones’ Never Too Loud (2008), Alice in Chains’ Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), Deftones’ Diamond Eyes (2010), Evanescence’s self-titled (2011), Rush’s Clockwork Angels (2012), Ghost’s Infestissumam (2013), Bush’s Man on the Run (2014), Mastodon’s Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014), Adelitas Way’s Stuck (2014), The Hold Steady’s Teeth Dreams (2014), Black Star Riders’ The Killer Instinct (2015), Apocalyptica’s Shadowmaker (2015)

Adam Kasper

Discography: Truly’s Fast Stories… from Kid Coma (1995), Seaweed’s Spanaway (1995), Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside (1996), Pond’s Rock Collection (1997), The Watchmen’s Silent Radar (1998), Wellwater Conspiracy’s Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives (1999), Cold’s 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage (2000), Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf (2002), Foo Fighters’ One by One (2002), Aya’s Senjou no Hana (2002), The Tragically Hip’s In Between Evolution (2004), Pearl Jam’s self-titled (2006), Eddie Vedder’s Ukelele Songs (2011), Spoonshine’s Song of the Sockeye (2012), Soundgarden’s King Animal (2012), Ume’s Monuments (2014)

Rick Parashar

Discography: Forced Entry’s Uncertain Future (1989), Temple of the Dog’s self-titled (1991), Pearl Jam’s Ten (1991), Alice in Chains’ Sap (1992), Blind Melon’s self-titled (1992), Pride & Glory’s self-titled (1994), Litfiba’s Spirito (1994), Unwritten Law’s self-titled (1998), U.P.O.’s No Pleasantries (2000), Nickelback’s Silver Side Up (2001), Stereomud’s Perfect Self (2001), Anyone’s self-titled (2001), 3 Doors Down’s Away from the Sun (2002), Default’s The Fallout (2001), Longview’s Mercury (2003), Melissa Etheridge’s Lucky (2004), Alex Lloyd’s self-titled (2005), Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day (2005), 10 Years’ Division (2008), Juke Kartel’s Nowhere Left to Hide (2009)

Toby Wright

Discography: Brad Gillis’ Gilrock Ranch (1993), Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies (1994), Slayer’s Divine Intervention (1994), Kiss’ Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1995), Chris Whitley’s Terra Incognita (1997), Korn’s Follow the Leader (1998), Jerry Cantrell’s Boggy Depot (1998), Primus’ Rhinoplasty (1998), Sevendust’s Home (1999), 8stops7’s In Moderation (1999), Soulfly’s Primitive (2000), Tantric’s self-titled (2001), Taproot’s Welcome (2002), 3rd Strike’s Lost Angel (2002), Memento’s Beginnings (2003), Fear Factory’s Transgression (2005), Brown Brigade’s Into the Mouth of Badd(d)ness (2007), Linea 77’s Horror Vacui (2008), Sonic Syndicate’s We Rule the Night (2010), The Letter Black’s Hanging On By a Thread (2010)

Michael “Elvis” Baskette

Discography: Puddle of Mudd’s Life on Display (2003), Chevelle’s This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) (2004), Cold’s A Different Kind of Pain (2005), Falling Up’s Dawn Escapes (2005), Escape the Fate’s Dying is Your Latest Fashion (2006), I Am Ghost’s Lovers’ Requiem (2006), A Change of Pace’s Prepare the Masses (2006), Alterbridge’s Blackbird (2007), Army of Me’s Citizen (2007), Story of the Year’s The Black Swan (2008), Fact’s self-titled (2009), The Classic Crime’s Vagabonds (2010), Taking Dawn’s Time to Burn (2010), Ratt’s Infestation (2010), Blessthefall’s Awakening (2011), Tremonti’s All I Was (2012), Falling in Reverse’s Fashionably Late (2013), Eve to Adam’s Locked & Loaded (2013), Crown Jewel Defense’s self-titled (2013)

David Bottrill

Discography: David Sylvian and Robert Fripp’s The First Day (1993), King Crimson’s THRAK (1995), Muse’s Origin of Symmetry (2001), Flaw’s Through the Eyes (2001), Mudvayne’s The End of All Things to Come (2002), Silverchair’s Diorama (2002), I Mother Earth’s The Quicksilver Meat Dream (2003), Godsmack’s Faceless (2003), V Shaped Mind’s Cul-De-Sac (2003), Staind’s Chapter V (2005), Tool’s Ænima (2006), Fair to Midland’s Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True (2007), Placebo’s Battle for the Sun (2009), Moneen’s The World I Want to Leave Behind (2009), Circa Survive’s Blue Sky Noise (2010), dEUS’ Keep You Close (2011), Between the Buried and Me’s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (2011), The Getaway Plan’s Requiem (2011), Stone Sour’s House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 (2012), Chiodos’ Devil (2014)

Alan Moulder

Discography: Ride’s Going Blank Again (1992), Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), Moby’s Animal Rights (1996), Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile (1999), The Killers’ Sam’s Town (2006), Wolfmother’s Cosmic Egg (2009), White Lies’ Rituals (2011), Foals’ Holy Fire (2013)


Discography: Pop Will Eat Itself’s This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! (1989), Erasure’s The Circus (1987), Depeche Mode’s Violator (1990), Nitzer Ebb’s Ebbhead (1991), The Charlatans’ Between 10th and 11th (1992), Curve’s Doppelgänger (1992), Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral (1994), Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ The Boatman’s Call (1997), New Order’s Get Ready (2001), U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), Soulwax’s Any Minute Now (2004), The Killers’ Sam’s Town (2006), Sigur Rós’ Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008), 30 Seconds to Mars’ This is War (2009), PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake (2011), Glasvegas’ Euphoric Heartbreak (2011), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s Belong (2011), Foals’ Holy Fire (2013), Warpaint’s self-titled (2014)

  • Corndog

    Dude on the left looks like the dude on the rights dad.

    Middle guy, i dunno, great uncle or something maybe?

  • Junior Moore

    You forgot Terry Date also did Louder Than Love, and Kasper did King Animal.

    • Riley Rowe

      My apologies, I intended to mention that I was doing the most successful album from each artist for each producer to prevent repetition and overkill of certain bands, but the article got posted before it was complete.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    all those producers remain the moments of rock history.

  • Debbie Hutton

    You forgot to mention that Brendan O’Brien produced Pearl Jam’s 2013’s Lightning Bolt album!

  • Roe

    Nick Raskulinecz also did Big Wreck’s last 2 albums which are definitely worth checking out.

    • Billy

      yay some Big Wreck love. Kaspar did an amazing job with Silent Radar (watchmen) keeping on the canadian content tip lol

  • Thelonious Funk

    That’s a very solid list. Alan Moulder is definitely my fave of the bunch, because the sound he gets is so dense and lush. Dude’s had his hands all over some of the most important albums of the past 30 years

    Butch Vig, Brendan O’Brien, Terry Date and Steve Albini are all masters of their respective realms, too

  • dakotablue

    Great list, but I would put Dave Jerden on there for AIC’s Dirt alone. However, Jerden also produced Facelift and Sap, plus lots of other iconic albums with outstanding sound by Talking Heads, Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Social D and the Offspring, just to mention a few.

  • RUFKM?

    Sylvia Massy (Tool, RHCP, SOAD)

  • Keith.

    Didn’t Rick Rubin also do some of the Johnny Cash American Recordings albums? If so, hard to leave those classics off his list of credits.

  • God

    My Balls did your mother