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Magazine articles & interviews

Flipside #37 (via #54), 1983

The Hüskers were no strangers to the pages of Flipside. The piece below appeared in its original form in issue #37 (February, 1983), but the version here is a reprint, almost certainly abridged (if not butchered—the editing is atrocious and I've taken the liberty of trying to clean it up a little), taken from issue #54, the Ten Year Anniversary Issue, a summer 1987 compilation of the highlights of the first 50 issues.

Hüsker Dü were interviewed at SST in early January 1983 by Al, Mike, Gus and Pete. Hüsker Dü were down in L.A. for a week on their last American tour where they managed to record their new album for Reflex Records (their own label) and do a couple of gigs that were nothing less than great.
We start off by talking about their recording and Bob tells us about this new material. "It's real different, it's sort of like 'In A Free Land,' but more realized. 'In A Free Land' is what we wanted to sound like, but we didn't know what we were doing with it. Some of the new stuff is in that vein—but we know what we're doing now. There's still thrashers, but not as many." Greg adds: "Our new record, Everything Falls Apart, is pretty balanced out with things like on Land Speed Record to slower things. When we first put out Land Speed Record it mainly sold up and down the West Coast, but just with the pre-orders of Everything Falls Apart it's gotten pretty balanced out; the whole country is into it."
Hüsker's new sound is also reflected in a little different approach to the lyrics, as Bob relates: "The lyrics are more personal, no 'Reagan's fucked,' none of that; it's all personal stuff. It's pretty much a self-analysis thing. People can look into the lyrics for what they want; it's a personal thing this time—how we're fucked or everybody's a little fucked at one

time or another. Politics will come and go, but we're still people. That will never change, and that's what we're gonna sing about. That is just what I've got in my head. We're not worried if Reagan gets re-elected that much any more. I'll still be here, you'll still be here, you'll still be here.
In Hüsker Dü all members take an active part in writing the songs, and singing them. And this band has a great amount of material. "We were just fooling around the other day [this, presumably, is still Bob talking] between songs when we were recording and we had riffs from at least another dozen songs that we haven't recorded—we have at least 100 songs, and probably a lot more than that by now.... It's easier for me to translate through music; I can relate to that better than words sometimes. I'm not real good with words in songs because they're such a cut-and-dried thing. It's like once you write a song and you put the words on a lyric sheet, that's it. You've got to have guts to do that. It's hard to say something you really feel—then have it printed for everybody to read. Kids think about stuff, and we try to get them to think about stuff; that's what we should be doing at least."
Hüsker Dü don't feel like the old cliche "just one more band" applies to them: "It's like overpopulation, but I guess if you're real good it stands out. It's like the concept of evolution; this guy followed this lead and this guy followed this lead—and I don't think we did. Real good bands can get their message across. There's a wide variety of bands out there, different styles, people of different persuasions of 'hardcore,' some that I agree with and some that I don't. I have a hard time handling a lot of ultra-political bands...it seems like such a timely thing to do, such an easy subject, such a safe thing; there's no relevance to anybody's life, no substance. I just like bands where you put the record on and it blows you away no matter what, and when you see them it's just some religious thing."
When we asked for closing comments, they added their "don't get discouraged" line, which is almost like a slogan to them. It's a good bit of preaching that they certainly practice. Bob: "We're just trying to make people think. We used to make up a lot of reasons of how we could make people think, like breaking down people's defenses through repetition, that's always a good one. We're just trying to make people think and have a good time. It's all right to rag on things, but you still gotta be able to rock. That's what it all comes down to; it's gotta have a beat...."

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