Kim Shattuck, guitarist and vocalist of The Muffs, has died

The band were due to release a new album this month.

Kim Shattuck, guitarist and vocalist of The Muffs, has died aged 56. The musician had been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for two years. Shattuck’s husband Kevin Sutherland revealed on social media that she had “passed peacefully in her sleep” on Wednesday (2 October), Rolling Stone reports.

Shattuck’s passing comes two weeks before The Muffs are due to release their new album, No Holiday, on Omnivore Recordings. It will be their first album in five years. Shattuck’s bandmates Roy McDonald and Ronnie Barnett revealed in a statement that she had produced the 18-track album while struggling with ALS, “overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork”.

“Besides being a brilliant songwriter, rocking guitarist and singer/screamer extraordinaire, Kim was a true force of nature… She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor,” their statement reads. “Goodbye Kimba. We love you more than we could ever say.”

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We are very sorry to announce the passing of our bandmate and dear friend Kim Shattuck. Besides being a brilliant…

Posted by The Muffs on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Shattuck’s longtime collaborator Melanie Vammen reposted Sutherland’s social media post with the caption, “My heart is forever broken.” Vammen and Shattuck formed The Muffs in 1991, having played together in 80s hard rock group The Pandoras. The Muffs released their self-titled debut in 1993, and became best-known for the cover of Kim Wilde’s Kids In America that they contributed to the soundtrack of the 1995 romantic comedy, Clueless.

Though Vammen left The Muffs many years ago, she still played with Shattuck in The Coolies with Palmyra Delran. The band made their debut only this past July, releasing an EP that, as Variety points out, raised funds for ALS research. Shattuck explained in interviews at the time that ALS ran in her family, particularly her father’s side, though she did not reveal she was struggling with it herself.

Besides The Muffs and The Coolies, Shattuck also played in a side project The Beards, and briefly joined Pixies in 2013 as a bassist after Kim Deal’s departure.

On Instagram, Billie Joe Armstrong eulogised Shattuck as “one of my favourite songwriters”, explaining that when Green Day recorded their 1994 record Dookie, “we listened to the first Muffs records constantly”. He added, “We will hear that rock ’n’ roll scream from heaven.”

Other musicians who have paid tribute to Shattuck include members of Veruca Salt, Fucked Up, The New Pornographers, Vivian Girls and Cursive.

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