Natasha Shneider biography
Natasha Shneider (May 22, 1956 - July 2, 2008) was a Russian musician, born in Moscow, Russia, USSR. She was most notably the keyboardist and vocalist in the musical group Eleven, and was the partner of bandmate Alain Johannes. She also played left-handed bass on the group's first three albums.
Shneider and Johannes contributed to Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf, and joined the band as part of their touring line-up in support of their 2005 album Lullabies to Paralyze. They also wrote, performed and produced with Chris Cornell for his 1999 solo album, Euphoria Morning, and formed part of his band for the subsequent tour. Previous band affiliations include Desert Sessions, Black Russian, and Walk the Moon.
Shneider also acted in two feature films, playing the roles of Russian cosmonaut Irina Yakunina in 2010 (1984), and Polish former exchange student Wanda Yakubovska in the film Spiker (1986), as well as minor roles in the TV shows Miami Vice and Hill Street Blues. She also wrote and performed her own song, "Who's in Control", for the 2004 film Catwoman and contributed harpsichord to the 2008 Louis XIV track "Guilt By Association".
On July 2, 2008 Natasha Shneider passed away following a battle with cancer. The news broke with a message posted on the MySpace page of the band Sweethead, of which Natasha's former band-mate Troy Van Leeuwen is a member and was a close personal friend:
Natasha Schneider, musician extraordinaire, former actress, singer of the ground-breaking band Eleven, and one-time Queens Of The Stone Age keyboard player, died today at 11:11am of cancer. She was a brilliant, beautiful, and ballsy woman who will be missed deeply by all those who knew her. Send your loving thoughts her way in the universe.A similar message was later posted on the Gearslutz forum, announcing the set-up of the Natasha Shneider Memorial Fund.
The following message later replaced the main page at qotsa.com:
On July 2nd, at 11:11 AM, Natasha Shneider passed away. She ended her time in this Life with the style and poetry that she lived all the days previous, crossing over while held in the arms of her closest and dearest. No words can encapsulate the unwaivering strength she provided, adversities she overcome, the talents she possessed & nurtured, the sharpness of her wit nor the beautiful complexity of her intellect. We are so thankful for her influence & the gift of her friendship.
A celebration of Natasha Shneider will be held in Hollywood at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Saturday, Aug 16th. Further details will be released shortly. All proceeds of the benefit and donations made will go to the relieve the burden of Natasha's fight against cancer. To donate, go to NatashaShneider.org
Now is all we have. May you all make the most of it.— Josh Homme, (2008)
On August 16 2008, Queens of the Stone Age performed a concert in celebration of Natasha Shneider's life at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. They were joined on stage by Alain Johannes, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, Matt Cameron, Brody Dalle, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss and PJ Harvey, playing a variety of QOTSA and non-QOTSA songs. Proceeds from the concert went to defray the costs associated with Natasha’s illness.