A behind-the-scenes legend who worked for Slipknot, Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and many others has passed away. Musicians are paying tribute to front-of-house engineer Dave "Big Shirt" Nicholls, whose death was announced today (May 24).

For many years, Big Shirt perfected the live sound for some of rock and metal’s biggest bands, including working for Slipknot for 15 years. The crew member was loved by the musicians he worked with, as evidenced by how many tributes have been pouring out online.

You can view Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga’s memoriam in the Facebook post above. “Deeply saddened and crushed,” Mayorga writes. “I love you Dave Shirt Nicholls. I going to miss you like crazy. RIP.”

Hardcore legends Sick of It All shared their memories of Nicholls on Facebook:

Obituary also paid their respects to Big Shirt, who co-produced the band’s 1994 full-length, World Demise:

During a 2006 interview with Audio Technica, Nicholls described how he got into the live sound business. “I used to play in a band—guitar was my main instrument, and I played drums and piano,” said Nicholls. “The band I was in kind of finished; another friend was playing in his band, and I started helping him carry his gear around. I went into a studio and I ended up the helping the guy that ran the studio, and ended up working at the studio being the tape operator. Long story short, I was supporting a band in 1990—after three days they fired their engineer and insisted that I mix them. That was basically the start. I never went home for three years after that.”

The news of Nicholls’ passing comes on the seventh anniversary of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray’s death, an event Nicholls mourned alongside the band he had seen reach the pinnacle of modern metal. We’d like to send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Dave "Big Shirt" Nicholls.

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