Hüsker Dü Database
Magazine articles & interviews

Flipside #34, 1982

Flipside was still sloppy and ingenuous when this issue went to press in August, 1982. Errors in text left as is (which is not to say that I haven't introduced a few of my own in transcribing it). The same issue also featured a review of the Hüskers' 09 Jul 1982 show at the International Blend Coffeehouse, San Diego.

by R. Moore (Noise Fanzine)
"A familiar guitar hook or riff occasionally surfaces, but before you place it, it disappears. The band exists on the sheer strength of it's music, nothing else."
"I almost lost my teeth during Husker Du the way people were dancing."
First things first: a hearty "fuck off and die" to all of you lame Daytonian "punks" who were over at the Hills be-bopping to Human Switchboard (sic) the same night that Husker Du were putting every drop of their effort and energy into the most intense, fuckin'-A-atomic harecore punk show Dayton has EVER seen.
Husker Du is Swedish for "Do You Remember?" Husker Du is a childs game. Husker Du is one of the most intense and musically brilliant hardcore bands in America.
They started out 3 years ago with the same line-ip as they have today:
    BOB MOULD-guitar
    GREG NORTON-bass
    GRANT HART-drums
Bob was a freshman in college, Grant was just out of High School as well and working in a record shop and Greg was still in High School. Their first years were tough, as no one appreciated hardcore and they had very little support, save the Veggies. They played punk at a time when it wasn't really cool to do so, not really giving in to the fashion/new wave.ska trends at the time.
In November 1980 the released the Statues" single, which featured two of their slower songs. At the same time, American hardcore was just coming onto being and taking hold. Husker Du got swept up in the ranks.
"Everybody thinks we went hardcore last week or something. That's not true at all. We've got tapes of our second gig in July of 1979 and we still do lots of those songs. They (the songs) were real fast then, but they're faster now. The slow stuff is our other side, but we're not limiting our selves..."
They've recently been under some criticism that they're a simple thrash band and not complex at all.
Grant: That's bullshit.
Bob: Too bad for them if they've got such a narrow concept of what music is. I thougt all the stuff the bands are trying to do was supposed to be different music. So now there's a "hardcore" sound and it's right back to what we started out trying to get rid of...
The night before the show, the Huskers were hanging out and getting drunk at Michelle's apartment. Bob picked up her gibson acoustic and began playing a variety of things from Neil Young to Yes to some obscure bluegrass before he started improvising country & western versions of some Husker songs. Maybe it
was the beer, but Bobs hands were virtually a blur as he blistered through the songs hitting each note concise, clear and letter perfect.
Bob Mould stands on stage at 7th St. Entry, preparing his Ibanez Flying-V. Turning from his Yamaha amp, he slowly lowers the neck end of his guitar towards the microphone, as cautiously as one would adjust a log in a fireplace bare handed, until the silver tuning knobs touch the metal. Feeling no shock, he adjusts the controls and repeats. He lifts up one finger, signaling to the DJ at the back for one more song. Greg Norton and Grant Hart slip into position as Mould glances, routinely into the crowd. Norton drops his cigarette, steps on it.
Then with a one, two, one-two-three-four the calm gives way to the storm as the band crashes into a wall of sound. Bob staggered as a mortar exploded in his monitor, Grant screamed unintelligably and Greg ducked under a line of machine gun fire that splintered the back wall of Sams.* Yes, Husker Du were under attack and holding their own brilliantly. And just what was their nemesis? Why, Gladys, it's nothing more than a profound sense of Dayton Ohio apathy that lurked in the shadows at Sams and kept company the twenty-or-so people that had dragged

themselves out to see this band. Despite this, Husker Du played not one, but TWO all-balls-out sets of mind numbing ultracore. Bob was contorted into a gnarly knot of pure psycho energy, his face inches for the guitar, which was near vertical. Silouetted in the spot light he was a blur, shaking uncontrolaby spit and sweat misting and flying from his head like in those slow motion boxing footage on Wide World.** Greg was running around like a maniac tripping iver mick cords and puunding his fist into his bass, occasionally launching himself into the air or off the stage. Grant, their amazing drummer, seemed to manage most of the singing and screaming. It was incredible just to watch him go...

* There seems to be some confusion here about the venue, but perhaps it's intended to be a literary device that doesn't quite work?
** "Wide World of Sports" was a popular weekly sports program that lasted for decades on US TV.

"When I was a youngster I played and sang because I didn't know better. When I got a little older I saw Dave Ahl of the Suicide Commandos singing and playing all the time. I just play and don't pay attention to anything else when I'm singing. Breathing properly is essential (sic"
We pause here to talk with the band about a bunch of things.....
FS: Has there been much violence (punks vs. punks) at your recent shows?
Greg: Not at recent shows, it has been getting better. I think the word has been getting out pretty well that the bands don't like it. The main thing at a show id to have fun, not to kill your neighbor — not only the bands but the people who truely support the scene and the music do a great job of keeping violence to a minimum.
FS: What are some other good mid-western bands that people should listen for?
Bob: The ones who don't try to cut everyone elses throat by bad-mouthing people; anybody reading this, you know who you are. Good bands are: the Replacements, Man-Sized Action, Die Kreuzen, Mecht Mensch, Marblehead, Six Feet Under, AOF, Fix, Efigies, Trial by Fire, Delinquents, Toxics. I guess all the bands in Michigan, although I haven't heard them. Some of them think they're pretty cool, or so I've heard. What about this new band in Michigan, the Elite Fuckers? If anyone knows how we can get a gig with them, let us know. I hear they got loads of friends.
FS: How about your mid-west compilation?
Bob: We're going to try to do two compilations. Both of them will be cassette only; the first one is Minneapolis and Madison bands only and the second one will be anyone who sends a reproducable tape that is remotely HC or interesting.
It will be a lot like Noise Mags Charred Remains tape.
FS: Tell us about your new record?
Side one is called "In A Free Land". It's about freedom of thought, education and what the government wants you to know. It is another departure from our "typical" style. I'm sure it will get some good airplay. Side two starts out with "What Do I Want?", it's about that certain something missing in everybodys life. It's not the same thing for everybody. More or less it's about being depressed for no particular reason. The last song is "M.I.C.", which stands for Military Industrial Complex. War stimulates the economy but it doesn't stimulate us. Wars suck. It will be out in April hopefully, on New Alliance Records, which is the label "Land Speed Record" is on.
FS: What kind of sound are you looking for now?
Grant: The sound is a lot different. The album was recorded live on a 4 track. It was a GOOD LIVE sound. The new ep on the other hand, was recorded on a 24 track in a studio. Our objective with the ep was to make a good record. We were not intending to sell a million copies.
Bob: There's no way we can realistically put out another record as hectic as LSR, unless we do another live album next summer. We just wanted a good sounding studio thing, that's all.
FS: What bands do you listen to/influences?
Bob: Influences: 60's pop/psych. hits, some experimental stuff. Listen to: American HC, some British stuff, some real garbage (Rick Springfield is God).
Grant: Influences: Pop/ethnic stuff/noises. Listen to: HC, psychedelic music and oldies.

Greg: Influences: Psychedelic, new music experimental, early punk, late punk.
Listen to: our contemporarys (HC), experimental, silence.
FS: What are your upcoming tour plans?
Greg: We are planning to tour extensively this summer. Our last day in Minneapolis will be May 15 (Armed Forces Day), after that we're leaving and heading west to Denver then we will go north into Canada over to the west coast and then down, hitting both SF and LA. From there it's off to Texas and the rest of the south to the east coast, up the east coast thru DC and back up into Canada. West to Detroit, thru the Ohio Valley to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and then home. We should be out on tour for two or three months.
FS: What do see in the future for American Hardcore?
Bob: It's up to the individual bands. If bands decide to sign with major labels (who now know that there is a market for it), it will become above ground and subsequently fodder for FM radio.
FS: Any last/final band statements?
Grant: No thanks.
Greg: Make up your own mind, think for yourself.
Bob: Start a band, or a fanzine. Make yourself useful, make it happen and don't get discouraged. And, as always, think.
"Statues"/"Amusement" Reflex 11/80
"Land Speed Record" lp New Alliance
    Records 12/81
"Bricklayer" on Charred Remains Comp.
    Tape Noise Records 3/82
"In A Free Land" ep N.A.R. 6/82
coming soon:
"Land Speed Record" 12 inch ep
     Alternative Tentacles U.K.
Wisconsin HC Compilation cassette
Husker Du 731 Pontiac Pl., Mendota Heights, Mn 55120 612-454-5366
New Alliance POB 21, San Pedro, Ca 90733

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