Big Black was an American noise rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985 Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).
Big Black's aggressive and abrasive music was characterized by distinctively clanky guitars and the use of a drum machine rather than a drum kit, elements which precursored industrial rock. The band acknowledged no taboos, and Albini's lyrics openly dealt with loaded topics including murder, rape, child sexual abuse, arson, racism, and misogyny. They also held staunch principles, shunning the mainstream music industry and insisting on complete control over all aspects of their career. Big Black booked their own tours, paid for their own recordings, and refused to sign contracts, eschewing many of the traditional corporate trappings of rock bands. In doing so they had a significant impact on the aesthetic development of independent and underground rock music.