With Hüsker Dü behind him, Bob Mould goes back to the guitar
Singer-guitarist Bob Mould first made a name for himself in the 1980s with the post-punk trio Hüsker Dü. Having dabbled in dance...
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Coming upThe Bob Mould Band, with Saturna, 8 p.m. Saturday at Neumo's, 925 E. Pike, Seattle. Ages 21 and over. Tickets: $14 advance, www.ticketswest.com or 800-992-8499
Singer-guitarist Bob Mould first made a name for himself in the 1980s with the post-punk trio Hüsker Dü. Having dabbled in dance music and electronica, he's rocking out again on his latest album, "District Line." Mould, 47, spoke to us by phone from Washington, D.C., where he moved six years ago.
Q: What lured you to our nation's capital?
A: It wasn't the politics. It's a good music town. I was living in New York City prior to this. I wanted something a little quieter, a little more affordable.
Q: I thought you had hung up your guitar for good, but you crank it up on the new album.
A: It's very much a guitar-composition record.
It also has the good elements of the electronic stuff that maybe people had trouble comprehending when that's all there was.
In '98, I was pretty much ready not to hang up the guitar, but to hang up the rock-band-in-a-van thing. I'd been living on the road in rock bands for almost 20 years. I wanted more out of life. Now, when I do it sparingly, and it's more special, I look forward to it.
I've got my life in a right place right now. I've got a great group of people around me, in varying degrees of relationship. It's really healthy, and I feel pretty whole as a person for it.
Q: How have your adventures in clubland rubbed off on your rock 'n' roll side?
A: The camaraderie and the interaction and the different codes and customs that that world offers affect the way I interact with people, and that obviously carries into my work somehow.
Maybe my observational skills are a little more finely honed. That's what a lot of "District Line" is about, the ability to observe and relate stories to things that have happened to me, as opposed to writing from the autobiographical point of view.
This record, it's personal, but not in the autobiographical sense. ... It's empathy, as opposed to autobiography.
Q: In concert, is anything fair game, including Hüsker Dü songs?
A: Yep. Well, anything I still like. Side two of "Zen Arcade," not so much. "Celebrated Summer," sure, why not?
Q: What's stopping you from doing a Hüsker Dü reunion?
A: Common sense! I'm not 23 and angry anymore. Walking away from a critically acclaimed band at what a lot of people perceive as a commercial peak — definitely not a creative peak — to walk away from that ... was one of the wisest things I ever did.
It wasn't where my heart was. It wasn't what the story was to me. The story was my progression as a songwriter.
I look back on that 19 years later, and I'm like, "That was a good move. That was the right thing to do."
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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