Saturday, June 7, 2014

Bob Mould Still Bringing the Punk Rock Ethos

It was 1979 that Bob Mould helped put together Husker Du, the seminal punk band that paved the way for some of the best rock music of the 80s and 90s. And long after many of those pioneering a powerful rock sound have faded away, Bob - post-Husker, post-Sugar, post-grunge, post-alternative - continues to plug along making good music. He's back this summer with a new CD, Beauty and Ruin. Check out this perfectly framed piece of music and commentary called "I Don't Know You Anymore":

And he's profiled in a great piece on, where else, NPR. Take a look at Bob Mould's Beautiful, Ruinous Life in Punk.

On a new record called Beauty & Ruin, out this week, Mould looks back on his life and long musical career, both of which were profoundly influenced by his father — a music enthusiast who bought him records and guitars, but could also be cruel. In a conversation that covers Mould's entire artistic life — from playing along to Ramones albums in rural New York to building a DIY touring network with Hüsker Dü, through sobriety, sexual self-discovery and the death of his father — the elder statesman of alt-rock tells NPR's David Greene that at 53, he's finally starting to have fun.

You know, we fell into this hardcore punk sound, and we quickly moved away from the dogma — the strict sort of anarchy-slash-destroy-the-government thing. By 1985 with New Day Rising, as a songwriter I was already trying to be a bit of an older soul. I started thinking about time, the temporal nature of relationships, opening myself up more personally. By the time we got to "I Don't Know for Sure" off of Candy Apple Grey, punk rock had become "alternative rock"; it was on MTV all the time. It was just a natural progression.
Having said that, as far as people accusing Hüsker Dü of selling out or whatever, it was a pretty ferocious live band. If the records had been softened even one bit, all anybody had to do was come and see the band live and they'd recognize that there wasn't anything soft about it.

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