Good News for Modern Man
Records with Grant Hart's name
on them have been few and far between
since the breakup of Hüsker Dü a dozen
years ago, a real surprise considering how
prolific he was in the Minneapolis trio.
When Bob Mould went on to greater suc-
cess in Sugar, Hart's compelling solo album
Intolerance and work with the band Nova
Mob were overlooked, perhaps because
Hüsker fans weren't ready for the
keyboards and oblique themes their hero was exploring. But after guest-
ing on Patti Smith's Gung Ho, Hart returns with Good News which
that. The writer of many of Hüsker Dü's finest songs lets his great
roam, from the opener "Think It Over" to the Beach Boys-meets-Dick-Dale
"Run Run Run to the Centre Pompidou" and the swirling stomp of "Nobody
Rides for Free." Playing every instrument himself (aside from one guest)
and building a massive sound, Hart has made a tour de force that shows he
remembers what a rush live music can be. And in quieter moments, like
"You Don't Have to Tell Me Now," he shows he can still write classic songs.
PULSE: Why so long between
HART: Well, there was a band in
between there (Nova Mob). And then this
one I started recording this in '97; and
spent a good deal of time on it, so that
explains part of the time. But you know, I
was never really in such a hurry.
PULSE: Were you happy with
HART: It's well crafted enough, though
there was practically no budget to make it
with at the time. Unfortunately, things have to be paid for in this business.
Studio time is one of them. That was a good album for what it was.
PULSE: Are you happier with the new
HART: Yeah, I would have to say that anything else that I've made up
this point there are certain little things that you go, 'Oh, I should have
there,' or 'This could have been a cross-fade into that.' And judging by
I have less things that I would go in and change on this one than anything
been involved in.
PULSE: How would you assess your
career at this point?
HART: I've been able to keep music as the only source of support since
17 years old, so going on 21 years now. And that is quite surprising when
back on it and go, 'Wow!" Particularly with Hüsker, the breakup of
that left the
three members kind of in the emotional state that they were in when the band
started. You're kind of looking around and you're a 26-year-old high school
uate, it's like getting free, shaking off whatever shackles but also having
forward to what the next solution's going to be. Life doesn't end when
tract's up, you know?
PULSE: Did time heal the wounds
left by Hüsker Dü's breakup?
HART: There's the ripples in the pond still that are, to me, it's
ing in its pettiness. ... a lot of situations where I might have a record
out and different people in the press would be like, "Oh, we'd do a review
except that we just wrote up Bob's album last month. And we pretty well cov-
ered the ex-Hüsker bases.' ... People want to take sides in what they
perceive to be
a feud. The important thing for me is: Do a good job artistically. From
on, be nice to people, put on a good show, do your work, let the people that
notice it appreciate it, let the people that love it appreciate it more.
Nixon could have done much better without an enemies list.
PULSE: What's Hüsker bassist
Greg Norton doing now?
HART: Greg Norton is getting ready to cook a meal for my band and
she's in town next week. He is running aI would definitely give
it at least four stars
restaurant in Red Wing, Minn., where he has lived for the past 15 years or so.
him pursuing music and I was just thinking, 'God, people are just using him for
his name and not taking on any of his ideas.' He got out of it and started
going to differ-
ent schools for cooking, and really lays an extra special plate.