Mac Weekly, student publication of Bob's alma mater,
published this piece in the issue of 05 March, 1982.
By Philip T. Sudo
"Eat shit and die!" yells a drunk from the crowd as Hüsker Dü
ambles onstage for an encore.
"We get criticized sometimes for thinking too much," Mould says. "It's not
like we contrive these songs out of thin air. We sit around and talk
politics, as well as business and pleasure and music. We've got something
to say, and it does piss us off."
Hüsker Dü could probably reach more people if they played their songs softer and slower. But the compromise, Mould says, would be fruitless. "Once you get to the level of bands like Chameleon, the audience doesn't care what the songs say. All they want to do is put on their finery, get drunk, dance, and have a good time. If we were accessible and still had the message, they wouldn't care anyways."
Bands like The Clash, which shed their punk image for a larger audience while still espousing a political message, are hypocrites, Mould says. "After their first album, The Clash had absolutely nothing to say. Their politics are so timely now, and they're so contradictory. They say, 'We hate the system, we hate the government, blah, blah, blah.' and look where they areon fuckin' CBS, a huge corporate structure.
"Things can be changed by just making a few people wake up. One way to do that is to kick 'em in the face, like we try to do with our music. If they feel threatened enough, they'll respond. The only way modern politics keeps forging ahead is by groups threatening the established order."
The crowd starts to "Thrash," trying to keep pace with the music. Some'jump in place, hands in jacket pockets, wired on speed and beer.
Suddenly a pair go sprawling on the ground, wrestling amidst feet and empty beer cups. Quickly others begin to pile on the two, and the floor becomes a pro wrestling Battle Royale. Bodies are flung, pushed, blockedall in aggressive fun.
The band plays faster.
Most of the media attention punks get focuses on violencethe slam dancing, riots, and vandalism on the West Coast. Minneapolis has had little problem with violence, as most of the "hardcores" know each other and don't try to hurt one another.
Still, the destructiveness overshadows the political side of the music. Bands are often blamed for instigating the violence, but the serious ones (like the Dead Kennedys with their song "Nazi Punks Fuck Off") are condemning it. "The fighting, the trashing of clubs, the police harrassmentit just makes us more above-board and less threatening," Mould says. "Once those punks get arrested, the police start getting files and start to understand the culture. Once they start to understand it, it becomes part of the mainstream.
"I don't condone physical violence unless it's between consenting adults. Like in football or boxing. If they want to knock each other silly and make a shitload of money having people watch it, fine. I don't enjoy getting my head beat in and I don't savor the idea of kicking somebody's nuts through his mouth."
In "You're Naive," the band berates those punks who think their violence is political:
Tell me you're an anarchist
"We don't tell people what to think; that's not our goal. We tell people to think, period.
"We play so fast and rattle so many songs of in a row it doesn't give people a chance to turn to their friends and say, 'What do you think of it?' You can't do that with us when we're playing that fast and loud. We don't always stick to that, but when we do, people have to think about it in their own mind. They can't listen to their friends' opinions and get that acceptance."
As Hüsker Dü plays the last chords of the night, they become savages unleashed. Mould flings his guitar off with one hand, beating the strings with the other as though putting out a fire. His amp thunders in electric mayhem, a train grinding its brakes on at full-speed.
Hart, after abusing the drum set in his way for over an hour, hurls his body into it like a fullback on the goal line. The pieces crash across the stage.
Watching this from a safe distance are four motionless college boys, dressed in nylon sports jackets, attending their first punk show. They point and laugh at the spectacle under the lights.
Mould seizes the microphone, thrusting a finger back at them. "Why don't you fuckin' learn something, huh? Go kiss somebody else's ass, we're not gonna give you the show you wanted. You have to make the show for yourselves, you lame assholes."
The band stage stumbles off stage, through the crowd, and into the dressing room. "That was Hüsker Dü," the DJ says. "And the stuff on stage is what's left of our PA...."
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