Natasha Shneider

born on 22/5/1956 in Moscow, Russian Federation

died on 2/7/2008 in Los Angeles, CA, United States

Natasha Shneider

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Natasha Shneider

Natasha Shneider (Russian: ) (May 22, 1956 July 2, 2008)[1] was a Russian musician. She was most notably the keyboardist and vocalist in the musical group Eleven, and was the partner of bandmate Alain Johannes. She also played keyboard bass on the group's first three albums. In 2005 she toured with Queens of the Stone Age for their album Lullabies to Paralyze.

Life and career

Shneider was born in Moscow, Soviet Union (now Russia), to a Jewish family.

In the early 1970s she was a member of Sovremennik, a state-run pop orchestra, that featured Natasha Shneider on vocals and piano, her first husband Serge Kasputin on guitar and percussion and her brother Vladimir Shneider on piano and keyboards. They became part of a successful Russian group, the Singing Hearts whose output and sound was heavily controlled by the Soviet authorities. Vladimir Shneider recalled We'd sing 37 songs about how good the Communist Party is, and at the endif we were luckywe were allowed to play a mellow song like Killing Me Softly or Ain't No Sunshine. But never rock.[2]

Natasha Shneider, her husband Kasputin and her brother Vladimir defected to the West in May, 1976 arriving in New York City with no finance and no connections taking day jobs and playing evening gigs around the city. In 1978 they arrived in Hollywood where they met Guy Costa, the head of Motown's Studio Operations, who introduced them to Berry Gordy, founder of Motown records. As a consequence of the meeting with Gordy they were signed to the label, reputedly the first Russian band to be on a major label. In June 1980 the newly named Black Russian released an album of r & b styled pop that was well received by Billboard who highlighted the songs Mystified, Leave Me Now, which was later released as a single, Emptiness, New York City, and Love's Enough.[3] The album was not a commercial success and Black Russian did not continue. Natasha Shneider and Serge Kasputin later divorced

In 1987 her second husband Alain Johannes and Shneider released the album Walk the Moon under the MCA label. Reportedly, Chris Hutchinson and Jack Irons played on some of its tracks. 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 and Walk the Moon.

Acting career

Shneider also acted in two feature films, playing the roles of Soviet 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".

Later life and death

On July 2, 2008, Natasha Shneider died following a battle with cancer. The news broke with a message posted on the MySpace page of the band Sweethead, of which Natasha's close friend and former band-mate Troy Van Leeuwen is a member:

Natasha Schneider [sic], 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.

The following message later replaced the main page at

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 overcame, 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 relieve the burden of Natasha's fight against cancer. To donate, go to
Now is all we have. May you all make the most of it.

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, Tenacious D's 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 Natashas illness.

In late 2009, a song she co-wrote with Johannes, Time for Miracles, was recorded by Adam Lambert and used in the movie 2012. In 2010 the track WYUT, co-written by Shneider, Johannes and Natalie Imbruglia, appeared on Imbruglia's album Come To Life.


  1. Cohen, Johnathan (2008-07-02). Eleven's Natasha Shneider Dies Of Cancer. Billboard. Retrieved on 2008-07-03.
  2. The People Newspaper, October 16, 1980)
  3. Billboard, June 14, 1980

External links

  • Natasha Shneider at the Internet Movie Database
  • Natasha Shneider at Find A Grave
  • Mundo Eleven Shneider & Johannes Spanish language blog
  • Natasha Shneider memorial fund
This page was last modified 08.04.2014 13:41:23

This article uses material from the article Natasha Shneider from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.