Jet Lag was a St Louis zine, but the "Hüsker Dü in Chicagoland"
interview with Bob and Grant in this issue took
place in Chicago on 12 Jan 1986, prior to the
Hüsker show at the Metro. The interviewer is identified only as
"Russ" (no surname given in the magazine's masthead).
The Metro (Chicago)
Hüsker Dü performed remarkably well, considering that they left their monitor and sound man thirty miles outside of Chicago due to truck problems. I was surprised by their energy on stage since I had found their show in St. Louis last June [20 June 1985, Mississippi Nights] to be less than impressive.
Hüsker Dü has been one of the top selling bands on independant labels for some time and recently left SST to sign with Warner Bros. Before the show I talked with Bob Mould and Grant Hart (guitarist and drummer) of the band.
Hüsker Dü, being the second of three bands I interviewed that weekend in Chicago, was also the most humiliating. During the interview I asked them a question about their cover songs on FLIP YOUR WIG. I was shocked and embarrassed to find out that every song was original. I myself found many of the melodies and lyrics on that album incredibly familiar. A list of excuses for that question follows:
A) I am living a double life, one of which is ten years in the future.
B) I was mentally disrupted by eight fifteen-year-old girls, screaming about Joan Collins having a monster baby on TV, the night before the interview.
C) I an brain-damaged.
JL: Let's talk about your new contract. Why the big delay in signing. There were rumors...
BOB: Basically, the rumor started because we reached an agreement in June of last year and a contract, there's a big gap and people interpreted the agreement as a contract. Fortunately, we didn't, and we waited until December to sign. Actually, Warners approached us around September of 84 when ZEN ARCADE came out.
B: So we were going to approach them and
every... you name a label and they called to make me an offer. So, we sat and waited
to weed out who was honest and who was dishonest and it seemed pretty obvious that
Warners was going to give us complete freedom to do what we wanted, so it's the
label we chose.
JL: Well, that took care of the next question.
B: Grant and I produced the new album [Candy Apple Grey]. It'll be out March 17.
JL: I especially like the sound of the guitar-work on the last album. What did you change?
B: It's a little tighter sound, we were doing it ourselves and it was exactly the way we wanted it. We weren't dealing with any outside influence as far as how it should sound or anything. It worked real well and I think the new album worked real well.
JL: Damn, I had a whole bunch of questions. What was I going to ask?
G: Everybody gets like that around us.
JL: Well, let's talk about St. Louis, then. Do you hate St. Louis?
B: No. St. Louis is fine. Why should we hate St. Louis? I guess I was confused that night as to how things were being run. It was between Tony and John and then John Green and there was a number of things going on at once and it was a real weird initiation to that level of St. Louis.
JL: Oh, that's where St. Louis is at right now.
B: There were a lot of people vying for the same congratulations. I thought it was a good show. We didn't feel real well that night. We were sick that day. It was just strange, the seperating of all ages and the drinkers. There was a weird vibe. And another thing that has to be said is the crowd has to realize that the stage is only so big and to crowd up real hard to remain...? But basically it happens too many times. Well, like last night, out whole monitor system fell over and busted a horn that we can't replace without going back to the factory in California. It gets a little
expensive after a while and people have little regard for other's things.
JL: Are you touring with your own PA now?
B: We're touring with our own monitor system, but the one we got right now is stranded up north. Our truck broke down. We just tour with monitors and merchadise and use house PAs. But again, what it comes down to is that people have to be responsible. You can't do a good show if people constantly trash the PA.
G: It's fascist capitalism.
B: No, it's irresponsibility.
JL: We're kind confused about D. Boon. Do you know what happened?
B: There's been bad information passed around.
G: He wasn't driving. He wasn't drunk.
B: SST will be issuing a formal statement. I really don't want to talk about it, if that's okay.
G: It's easy to assume that he enjoyed life. He was sleeping in the back of the truck and woke up an activist in Heaven.
JL: Well, I guess you can tell that I didn't come too well prepared. This whole trip was on short notice.
B: Well, briefly, in closing, the new album will be more interesting, people will be surprised.
JL: Another question. What's your new album like? Is it different melodically?
B: It's real wide variety. It's an album. It's not just a collection of songs.
G: It's more like applesauce than, say, a plum.
B: People will appreciate it as an album like ZEN ARCADE was an album, not a collection of the last six months in the truck.
G: I want to get out of the truck.
JL: Do you write most of your music on the road, then?
B: Half and half, about 20-80.
(continued on page 16)
JET LAG MAGAZINE - FEBRUARY 1986
G: The songs I write on the road we never use?
B: We used a couple.
JL: Well, I guess we'll leave and see you in spring.
B: We'll probably be there in May.
G: St. Louis. I hate St. Louis.
(Publisher's note: Gee, guys, I guess Tony (he was editor when the original show was set up) and I were confused that night as to how things were being run, too. As you no doubt figured out we didn't have, or want to acquire, a great deal of experience putting on shows. Your show was phenominal and in fact swamped us. Oh, by the way, you can bet we were vying for congratulation that night. After all, the only reason we put on the show at all was to celebrate five years of continuous publication, one of the few independent magazines in this country to avhieve that status. And son of a gun next issue is our sixth anniversary. Anyway, we're glad to hear about the new album and possible St. Louis show. Don't worry I'll suggest to the promoter some security near the monitors. - John)
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