Tributes are flowing for Rick “Soldier” Will, the three-time Grammy Award nominated producer and sound engineer who died last weekend from a suspected heart attack. According to unconfirmed reports, he was 52.
Across a studio career spanning four decades, Will had credits on more than 350 records with the cream of rock and blues, including Nine Inch Nails, Thom Yorke, No Doubt, Ben Harper, T Bone Burnett and Incubus, the latter partnership earning a Grammy nomination in 2020 for “Morning View” (Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical).
Legendary Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes worked with Will on Heat, Two Fires, and Last Wave of Summer. The late music maker was “one of the best sound engineers and the most gentle, sweet guys you’d ever meet,” Barnes recalls.
U.K.-based metal band Skindred recount Rick as “an incredibly talented musician, producer, mixer and engineer. Most importantly he was our friend,” while ARIA Award-winning Australian band Boy & Bear thanked the Will for “the love, talent and humour” he brought to their EP, With Emperor Antarctica.
“Rick was humble,” comments Michael Taylor, Managing Director of Universal Music Australia, in a statement to Billboard. “Many people he worked with didn’t know they were in a room with one of the best engineers in the business – multiple Grammy nominations, ARIA awards, multi-platinum records. And Rick preferred it this way – it kept the team approach and the super positive attitude he wanted in the studio when working…that anything is possible.”
Will leaves behind two sons, Oskar and Olly.