F.D. - HOW AND WHEN DID THE BAND FORM?
The band as it is now, the three of us--Bob on guitar, Grant on drums, and myself
on bass--got together in the spring of '79.
When we first got together, it was with another person to do a show at this little 3.2 bar.
A 3.2 bar is place where they don't serve strong liquor, just weak beer.* We learned
a bunch of cover songs, from the Buzzcocks to Eddie Cochrane. A real variety of stuff.
That was more or less just for that show. When Bob, Grant and myself decided to keep
going, as the three of us, we started working on our own material. There was a personality
conflict between us three and the fourth guy. We played one last show as a foursome at
Macalester College, and there was 15 minutes left when Bob, Grant and myself jumped onstage
and played the stuff that we had just written and kicked the other guy out of the band right
there. That's how we got together. After that we worked really hard, wrote enough songs
to have a set worth of originals, and went to a club for an audition here in Minneapolis
called the Longhorn. This was in June of '79 when we got our first gig.
F.D. - WHY DID YOU PICK THE NAME HÜSKER DÜ?
Because it was somewhat unusual and ambiguous. People hear that we're Hüsker Dü
and they can't really put us into a category. They can't say, "Well, they're called that,
so they must sound like this." And the meaning, "Do You Remember?," was another factpr
in choosing it.
F.D. - WHAT BANDS HAVE BEEN YOUR INFLUENCES?
I don't really think that any of our contemporaries have really been that much of an influence
F.D. - WELL YOU MOST CERTAINLY HAVE YOUR OWN SOUND! ARE THERE ANY BANDS
THAT YOU LIKE MORE THAN OTHERS?
There's a lot of bands that we like a lot: Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, D.O.A., Meat Puppets,
Flipper, Minor Threat. There is really quite a variety of bands that we like, although
there are at least a dozen "hardcore" bands in Minneapolis. There is a compilation cassette
we're trying to get out on Rough Trade in California. This coming Friday (15th) and Sat-
urday (16th) we're having a benefit at Goofy's Upper Deck for Reflex Records. Both nights will be
recorded, the same as Land Speed Record was recorded. There will be 10 bands on it and
it will be an LP.
F.D. - WHO WRITES YOUR SONGS AND WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO EXPRESS THROUGH
All of us share in the writing. Bob, our guitarist, tends to write more songs. He just
seems to have more of a knack of coming up with the tunes. The bulk of the stuff we write
deals with life on a personal level--personal politics, things that happen to people in the
course of their lives--as opposed to writing songs that try and change the world. It's
not that easy to try and change the world with a song. More of our newer material is more towards
the personal level. The actual writing is split. Bob probably writes half of it, the remaining
half Grant and I fill in.
F.D. - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ANARCHY AND OTHER PEOPLE'S INTERPRETATION
I'm all for personal anarchy. Anarchy on a national level seems sort of ridiculous. I'm
sure you will have all these people that are all for anarchy until someone burns their house
down 'cause there are no rules. How much are they gonna be for anarchy then?
F.D. - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT AMERICAN PUNK AS OPPOSED TO BRITISH? THERE
SEEMS TO BE A SEGREGATION BETWEEN THE TWO
The only English band that I personally really care for is Discharge. If they ever make
it into the US, we would love to play with them. All the other English bands that we've
dealt with seem to have a slight attitude problem, as, "We're from England, here in the
United States doing you a favor playing for you, so therefore we'll have things OUR way
or no way at all." I don't really care for that attitude. I prefer bands like the American
ones that try to help out as many other bands as they possibly can. The Kennedys, Black
Flag and D.O.A.** do this and we're also trying to do that.
F.D. - HAVE YOU HEARD MUCH BY KILLING JOKE? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THEM?
I haven't heard much of their recent material, but I like their earlier stuff. As a matter of
fact, back when the single "Wardance" came out, a lot of people thought we sounded ike
Killing Joke, which was kind of interesting at the time.
F.D. - TELL ME ABOUT THE MIDWEST HARDCORE SCENE
The Midwest scene has been getting better over the last two years. It has a really good scene
right now. The Minneapolis scene itself is real strong right now. There are three clubs to play at.
One in particular that has been helping us is 7th Street Entry. Duffy's has the money to draw
the showcase "name" acts. They usually get most of the English acts because they ask for a
hell of a lot of money and Duffy's can afford it. Also, a new club, Goofy's Upper Deck,
is trying to bring in some of the lesser-known hardcore bands. Seventh Street is willing to
take a gamble on a band that just has one single out or the like.
F.D. - HOW DID YOU GET ON NEW ALLIANCE RECORD LABEL?
The first time we played out of town, in March '80, we played at the Oz in Chicago. We played
a party at Oz after a Black Flag show. They saw us, liked us a lot, and said that if we ever
planned on coming west, they would try to help us out. So we mailed them a tape that we had
recorded for them to play around to other bands in LA to get somebody interested in it. They
weren't going to be in LA when we got there. When we finished the Children's Crusade '81 tour
we went back to Minneapolis to record Land Speed Record. We were going to put it out our-
selves, but we had trouble coming up with the money. Mike Watt of the Minutemen heard
that we wanted somebody to help put out our album, and he said, "New Alliance will do it;
we have the money, we'll put it out right now." So the album came out January of this year.
F.D. - AREN'T YOU NOW ON THE ENGLISH LABEL ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES?
Alternative Tentacles picked it up in England. A.T. is Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, and
Bill Gillam from England. The English album will be out this week.
F.D. - YOUR FIRST SINGLE "STATUES" IS QUITE A CONTRAST FROM YOUR ALBUM.
COULD YOU COMMENT ON THAT?
"Statues" was recorded in July '79. We were going through a really dark phase of our career.
Now, since LSR has been out, the sales of "Statues" have definitely picked up. Evidently,
"Statues" is a real big number in Germany, from what the people at Rough Trade tell me. I would
say "Statues" is the only record to date that we haven't made money on.
F.D. - HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IMAGES SUCH AS BLACK FLAG'S NEW ONE?
IMAGES IN GENERAL?
I think everybody's image should be what they want. What they want. I don't agree with
these bands that say, "Cut off all your hair, get a mohawk, etc, or you're not cool." You
should be able to look the way YOU WANT TO. It goes back to personal anarchy--the whole
thing about "NO RULES." Then you get all these people saying there are rules and I'm going
to tell you what they are. Don't do this. Don't Do that. Don't wear this. Don't wear that. Wear
your hair this short. Don't wear it that long. That's all BULLSHIT! You should make your-
self happy, not make other people happy.
F.D. - IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HARDCORE BAND AND JUST A PUNK
That's a good one. I guess the English bands are more punk, whereas the American ones
are more hardcore. Then again, "hardcore" is an American term. They're all just simply
F.D. - WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JELLO?
He likes our band and we like the Kennedys. If it weren't for Jello, the English deal
probably wouldn't have happened.
F.D. - WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE IMEDIATE FUTURE?
For the immediate future, Grant and I are going to see D.O.A! Beyond that, we've got a
new album that we recorded this summer in LA with Spot. It will be on New Alliance.
It's called Everything Falls Apart and it should be out in November.*** It has 12 songs on it.
It ranges from real fast (faster than Land Speed Record to mid-tempo. Between now and
January we're going to be doing short tours. In January we'll tour the South, possibly into
Florida. Chuck from B.F. has been talking about the scene there favorably.
F.D. - HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THE SCENE DOWN HERE?
All I've heard is that there's a club in Tampa, the Cuban Club. I heard that was pretty
good. I have seen a couple of other fanzines from Florida, and scene updates like those in
Flipside. I haven't heard a lot about it, but there's a scene here! (chuckle) As one reviewer
put it about LSR, he said, "Shit, these guys are from Minnesota. If there's hardcore there, it must
F.D. - I"D LIKE TO KNOW YOUR FEELING ABOUT SLAM DANCING IN REGARDS TO
DIFFERENT HYPES ABOUT IT, GEOGRAPHICALLY SPEAKING
Let's start with the thing about how it's supposedly really violent in LA, etc. We spent a
couple of weeks in LA this summer on our tour, and we went to a few shows that we had a
chance to. I think the violence in the slamming in LA is more myth than fact. I think it's
something the press picked up more to try and scare people off than to pick up on the music
itself. Maybe they are a little more righteous about their slamming; they get into it heavier.
Also, LA itself is the second-largest city in America, so there are bound to be a minority of
people that are doing it because they like the violence asoect of it. That is definitely a
minority. The way people slam across the country does vary a little bit. Most of the places
we've played I think it's mostly the people that KNOW each other, and they are out there for fun
and not to kill each other. And if they are out there to kill each other, they might as well turn
to hockey or something.
F.D. - DO YOU FORESEE YOUR STYLE CHANGING MUSICALLY?
The longer you play, usually the better yuo get at writing songs. Land Speed Record was the
"definitive" fast Hüsker Dü. Now that we've done that, there are a lot of bands coming out
that are playing as fast as they possibly can. So maybe we've slowed down a bit, but we have
a lot of punch there, and there is some stuff on the new LP that is extremely fast. Faster than
anything on LSR. It's really hard to predict the future of our music. We don't sit down
and discuss it. It just happens.
Every band changes, hopefully for the better, although that's not always the case. The more you play,
the better you get at what you do.
F.D. - WHERE DO YOU THINK PUNK MUSIC AND THE ATTITUDE WILL GO IN THE YEARS
TO COME? WILL IT LOSE ITS MEANING AS THE 60S HAVE?
That's always possible in anything. Right now is more the time for people to be supportive of
each other and other bands--in particular, bands trying to get out and expose themselves to
new areas, new people through touring etc. I think if the support is there, the American
new-music scene has a really good future. If the support isn't there, yes, it probably will
lose some of its gusto, and thus it will fade. But basically it depends on everybody else--
the readers of this magazine or whatever.
F.D. - WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 2-3 YEARS?
We'll still be Hüsker Dü. We'll keep doing it as long as people come
see us, buy our records, whatever. Our plans are to keep going. We don't see
any demise in the future at all. I can see Hüsker Dü laughing in at
least another 2-3 years!****