Hüsker Dü Database
Magazine articles & interviews

Cretin Bull, 1983

My thanks to Richard "Jake" Dyer, who stumbled onto an earlier version of this page and provided some background about his old zine, Cretin Bull, and about this interview he conducted (as "Jake 2000") with Hüsker Dü. The transcription below was made from a truly horrible photocopy, parts of which are quite illegible, so I've had to interpolate in spots. The accompanying photos look as though they might be interesting, but my copies are of such poor quality that I haven't bothered to reproduce them.

Jake, who still lives in Austin, explains that "the Studio" refers to Studio 29, a (now defunct) punk-rock venue in that city. The interview took place outside the club. Context narrows the time frame to Dec 1982 or Jan 1983— the Hüskers made separate loops through Texas in both months— and the "Wednesday" show reference taken with the known parts of the itineraries leads me to guess the date as 19 Jan 1983.


HÜSKER DÜ
       Okay, let's go; it's late but I'm excited. I just got back from the Hüsker Dü rally and let me tell you — they're good, good, good shit. We're talking enthusiasm here...and energy.
       It's hard to say nice things about these guys without going through the same old cliches: it's hard to find the words — but I guess I can think of a few: orgasmic, volcanic, thundering, satirical, and just plain ol' (I gotta say it) good shit.
       Bob Mould does the guitaring for the Minneapolis combo, and he's excellent. Churning out Hüsker Dü poser chords for four years has taught him his stuff. Greg Norton, who looks something like a Jesus from Oxford, plays the bass, and Grant Hart, a veritable hippy happy Buddha, drums.
       These guys work well together. They all write; they all play, and from talking to them, I get the impression they all have the same philosophy: do your own thing, but don't preach too much. Hüsker Dü is not political or religious oriented; they're music oriented.
       Well anyway, they stung through an hour set at the Studio Wednesday night, with Grant (drummer) and Bob (guitarist) changing instruments after 45 minutes. Amazing, if you ask me.
       When Grant picks up the guitar, he angles it to an almost horizontal position and sings into the mike sideways. It's weird to see. If I remember right, he sang a copy of "Louie, Louie" and also a copy of "Wild Thing" like that. Later on, they foraged through more psychedelia with the old Donovan tune "Sunshine Superman." I'm not sure if it was all tongue in cheek or what, but the thrashers, few as they were, seemed to enjoy it.
       Of course, none of the copies rile the crowd as much as their catchy original stuff. "Wheels," off their new album and some of the stuff off Land Speed Record drove the entire unruly mob completely bonkers, koo-koo. That's what happened, I swear it.
       Even though the crowd was small (Wednesday night), and a little violent, I enjoyed the show nonetheless. Hüsker Dü is a good band, doing new things. Check 'em out next time you have a chance.
       Oh yeah, I talked to Bob Mould after the gig. Here's what he had to say.

Bull: What were you trying to say in "Everything Falls Apart?"
Bob: That's your pop/anarchy song. I think if you just listen to the words...it's like the words get all switched around. If I listened to everything that people said or if I did everything everybody else did, you know, it'd be shit.

(Tim Kerr walks by and interrupts the interview in progress.)
Tim: Hi mom!

Bull: You came through twice last year, right?
Bob: Three times we played.
Bull: Y'all just tour all the time?
Bob: Yeah, we try to.

[There's a line or two missing here, apparently on the subject of record sales.]
Bob: ...copies of...the new one (Everything Falls Apart), yeah. We'll [press?] 5000 more next week.
Bull: How long has it been out?
Bob: Two weeks.
Bull: Where'd you get your shirt?
Bob: Woody Woodpecker? I dunno. I went thrift-shopping in Long Beach and I found these iron-ons at the Goodwill. I bought the shirt in Tucson yesterday, and the place we were staying at had an iron, so I ironed it on the shirt.
Bull: Y'all been around three years?
Bob: Four years.
Bull: Uh, when y'all started out, were you playing a lot of slower stuff?
Bob: Most of Land Speed Record was the first songs we wrote. Yeah, but we've had slower stuff back then too; we've always had a good amount of fast stuff and some slower stuff. We've always had a balance. We never do one or another.
Bull: Do you all listen to a lot of psychedelia?
Bob: Hmmm...some...
Bull: Seems like you incorporate that into your set.
Bob: Yeah, that's always been there too. Now it's coming out a little more in the band. I don't do drugs, so I don't know how...it just comes naturally.
Bull: Does anybody in the band do drugs?
Bob: Not really...we all drink.
Bull: Y'all aren't necessarily into the straightedge philosophy?
Bob: No comment. The less said 'bout it the better.
Bull: How do you like playing Texas?
Bob: Texas is great. Texas is one of the best...Austin, Dallas and Tulsa are three of the places I look forward to most.
Bull: How far along are you on your new album?
Bob: The next one? It's finished.
Bull: What's the name gonna be?
Bob: Metal Circus. It's all originals — 12 songs.*
Bull: When will we see it on the shelves?
Bob: It'll be out in June.
Bull: What's the scene like in Minneapolis?
Bob: It's great. There's about 15 new bands just in the last year that are all real good. Everybody's performing and putting records out.
Bull: Anything else you wanna add?
Bob: Oh yeah...the thing we've been telling everybody on this trip... a week and a half before we left, we got our van stolen. We had about two or three months of mail in it. So anybody that's written us in the last three months — September, October, November, December — if they didn't get an answer, drop us a postcard. It's not like we don't write people.

                            by Jake 2000

*Not sure what the 12th song was but here are 11 of 'em.

Back to Hüsker Dü magazine articles page
Back to Hüsker Dü database main page