January 27, 2021

Vale Rick ‘Soldier’ Will, Grammy-nominated producer credited on Cold Chisel, Johnny Cash records

Vale Rick ‘Soldier’ Will, Grammy-nominated producer credited on Cold Chisel, Johnny Cash records

Sydney-based Grammy-nominated producer, engineer and DJ, Rick Will, has passed away from a heart attack.

Born in Ohio, Will worked from the 1990s on 350 projects, including records for Ziggy Marley (who bestowed on him his nickname ‘Soldier’), No Doubt, Björk, Johnny Cash, T-Bone Burnett, R.I.O.T, Thom Yorke, Deep Face, Kid Courageous, Joan Osborne and Nine Inch Nails.

After moving to Sydney, he plugged in with Cold Chisel, Jimmy Barnes, Grinspoon, Boom Crash Opera, Boy & Bear, Diesel, Hunters & Collectors, Tim Finn and Scarymother.

In a statement to TMN, Michael Taylor, managing director of recalled: “Rick loved making records – getting the best performance from the artist or band, the best sound from the room, the best sound from the instruments.

“He engineered for legends like T Bone Burnett, so he knew lost arts like how to cut tape or set-up the optimal vocal chain for a certain type of singer.”

Taylor added that a humble Will downplayed his achievements to his clients. “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.”

Grammy nominations came for his work on Incubus’ Morning View (2002), Foster & Lloyd’s Whoa (1990) and Ziggy Marley’s Joy and Blues. His engineering on Grinspoon’s sixth studio album Six To Midnight, a top 10 hit, gained him an ARIA nomination in 2010.

Jimmy Barnes bid farewell, saying: “We made beautiful records together. He was one of the best sound engineers and the most gentle, sweet guys you’d ever meet.” The two worked on ‘s 1998 album The Last Wave of Summer and Barnes’ solo albums including Two Fires, Soul Deep and Heat.

Boy & Bear, who worked with him on their 2010 debut EP With Emperor Antarctica, paid tribute to “the love, talent and humour he brought to the process”.