This interview in UK punkzine Son of Quincy #2
was conducted after the
25 Mar 1986 Hüsker Dü gig at the
Bierkeller in Bristol
but not published until about a year later. There are no photos, and the
layout is messy, so what appears below is just an unadorned text transcription
with spelling and most punctuation preserved.
Right, a real long time ago when the Huskers were touring here in the homeland the SOQ crew hit Bristol to catch the boys live & mebbe snag a lil interview. So here it is big thanks again due ta Terry & Tony for leggin it across the city ta fetch the cassette recorder from outa the wheels. Grant Hart was the mainman though Mouldy Bob cruised up ½ way thru & said some cool shit about the state of HC. We lost all that though cos the recorder kept fuckin up due to atmospheric moisture I think. JT did most of the talking & he was a lil pissed. There was a load of laffin so whenever there was a lot of it I'll put a harhar ok...
Grant: Here we go.
Terry: It's working.
G: It's working, don't thump it.
JT: OK, OK, OK...
T: We're started.
G: WHERES your level?
JT: No, no it's alright.
G: Right there. OK first question was?
JT: So your the drummer right.
G: Yeah I'm the drummer. harhar
JT: Yeah, well first off...
G: Er, I do a lot of repairing tape recorders too. harhar
JT: Well then, were you pleased with the response tonight?
G: Aaaah response was really good, was'nt our favorite gig ta play on the tour, we'd eaten about... well lets put it this way we went to a tandoori and by the time we got served it was 10 minutes before stage time.
G: And what happened was we noticed there'd been some adjustments made to the equipment we noticed about ½ way thru the set.
JT: So do you feel you were playin at your full potential or not? Cos like Terry here saw you in Newcastle and thought you were really shredding.
G: So tonite we tried to make up for it by playing some rarely heard things.
JT: I did'nt think the sound was much good tonite.
G: Mmmm, it was as good as the system.
T: Why did you sign to WEA?
G: Pretty much better distribution in the states, it's er... it reached the point with SST where we were'nt selling as many records as we should have been.
JT: You feel then you've got the potential to sell a lot more.
G: Well lets put it this way, we sold as many on the first day of release of Candy Apple Gray as we did total of Flip Your Wig.
T: Do you think theres any future for other HC bands over here?
JT: Are you a HC band is surely the question?
G: I don't think we are is the answer.
JT: Well I'll kind of diversify the questions. How do you feel about being approached for autographs? Does that make you feel like some sort of rockstar? I mean do you like willingly give the autograph?
G: It's not like something you wander round with saying "does anybody want one?" I mean if thats the way people want to remember its perfectly fine you send a greeting card to somebody you sign it.
JT: Fair enough
G: Anybody got a light? harhar
JT: Everybody a non smoker. YO! non smoking contingent.
G: Good idea.
JT: How come you played the Beatles song ["Ticket To Ride"] tonite?
JT: Favourite song of yours?
G: Yeah, it works good as a cover.
JT: We're back, we're back with the Husker Du interview.
G: This is the microphone here, your talkin inta the speaker.
JT: OK OK... a question somebody. OK heres a pretty boring question: what do you think of music in this country?
G: I really don't listen to any music from any country to tell you the truth. When it finally comes time for me to take a record and put it on a turntable out of my own valition... it's like in the last month I've probably heard 200 hrs of live music. You know it takes a lot of your listening time away and by the time I actually put a record on I'll go for an old favourite somethin that I feel like you know.
JT: OK so...
G: And if you listen to a lot of your contemparies you'll hear something that might sound something of yours and get worried & have a writers block, paranoia.
JT: Do you like literature at all?
G: Whats that?
G: Do I what about it, do I read it?
JT: Yeah, authors...
G: William Burroughs, he's a good one. I read a lot of non fiction.
T: What about?
G: History, America, Aircraft.
JT: Haha aircraft ohhh...
T: Did you ever have a skateboard?
G: I had a skateboard in about 1966.
T: Cool, 20 years ago when I was born.
G: And I painted it white with a blue stripe down the middle, and my sister took it while it was wet & went whoowhowaichoowawoo all over the paint. Eventually my mother threw it away when I was seven.
JT: What do your parents think of all this?
G: Er, my dad was a vocational guidance councillor and like there were'nt too many people coming up to him for vocational guidance & saying "well I want to be a punk rocker" so he did'nt really know how to deal with it. My mother was like as long as I was safe was
happy. My folks are so much older than my parents ought to be. I mean its like they're both in their mid sixties.
JT: Hey! Same with mine. Mines...
JT: Thats my brother there.
G: So they've like kinda skipped over the whole rock n roll thing period so its like this is no different from this or anything. Know what I mean?
JT: Yeah, right.
G: Its just all those crazy kids.
JT: So do you feel your like a punk rock band?
G: Oh, I guess, ask Jerry Garcia if he's a hippy.
Tape failure... Mould drops in...
G: ...well you can't be hardcore cos your not a skinhead or this or that, comprendez vous, instead of bein totally free...
Tape failure... feedback noises...
T: Aaaaaghhh!!! It sucks...
JT: Shit, sorry bout that, testing testing...
I think maybe you've lost the raw edge, I've lost track of what I was saying, I'm drunk...
Bob: Well we had to go a little more poppy..
G: Hey, did that sound like a pop band tonite.
JT: No that certainly did'nt.
T: Hey, we're on the wrong side, we're just rubbin out...
G: ...not to go on about musicianship or anything, what we do has its roots in something that went on 100 years ago in New Orleans.
JT: Well I supppose I can't really speak about that...
G: Well, it's like er to quote Duke Ellington "when everybody and their fuckin mothers started playin swing, I started playin the blues" & with Husker Du when everybody and there fuckin pony rode in playin hardcore...
JT: So you were HC then, you'd say.
G; Yeah... oh, you got it working again.
T: Yeah, yeah... I think, mebbe if I rewind it a long way...
JT: NO, no just don't, don't mess with it.
JT again: Right the question is...
To: Hold it, what about d. boon?
T: Yeah, d. boon d. boon, did you know him?
G; Yus... (there is suddenly a massive and meaningful sadness over proceedings)
T: Was he a real good bloke?
T: Were you at his funeral?
G: It was a fuckin tragedy, it was the worst thing that happened to a lotta people.
JT: Yes, it's kinda hard to believe over here. You read one line in a music paper, 2 lines and a picture in MRR...
G: That guy had too big a heart for a one line obituary.
T: And what about the Minutemen, what are they gonna do now, do you know?
G: I don't think the Minutemen are gonna do anything...
T: That says it all really does'nt it...
JT: Yeah, alright. Well whats happening in Minn. right now. I've heard the Replacements are really popular. It's ridiculous really, everybody looking towards Minn. for cool new bands just cos you & the Replacements come from there. Anything happening in Minnie? -Baby Astronauts?
G: Never heard of them. harhar
G: Haahaahahaha general harhar
JT: Well I don't know, I just read about them and I've written them letters and stuff.
G: Ummm, Outcry was...
JT: Some straight edge kids.
G: Nooo, I believe it was a joke!
JT: Well they're still going got a 12" out on 7 SECONDS label.
G: Well um... I think it's an example of... well Outcry's kind of dissapointment cos Jamie who used to be with Ground Zero quit to be in Outcry and it was like definitely a step backwards for jim.
G: Cos he was playing a lot less interesting stuff with Outcry.
JT: What US bands do you like at the moment?
G: Ooh lets see Soul Asylum from Minn. are very good ah new band called the Blue Up, um Volcano Sons from Boston.
JT: They're supposed to be a new Husker Du or something... I think.
G: Not really, no maybe a new Mission of Burma or something.
Non entity: Do you think people are gonna start knocking you down now you've signed to a major?
G: I think thats the way things go over here.
JT: Its shit, its shit over here, thats why its rubbish over here, they're just interested in trends over here, nothing else.
G: Well they're interested in some of the papers. If you play both sides of the coin then your gonna sell twice as many papers.
T: Their idea of HC only extends to you and Black Flag.
JT: Yeah, we're not saying your HC just they see the SST groups as being the HC invasion or somethin.
G: Yeah I think pretty much if thats all they got to say you gotta judge how valuable what they're saying is... well lets see how accurate it is...
T: You Americans are normally crazy about Brotish beer so why are'nt you drinkin it?
G: No, I don't normally drink beer.
JT: Do you drink a lot?
G: Personal thing.
JT: Greg smokes a lot of dope, am I right?
G: He does!!! Wish he'd give me some harhar
No the thing about making any statement pro or con drugs is... there are a lot of kids who are probably less responsible than I or you & arrr a whole lot more impressionable. How many kids lost their minds in the 60's cos they thought Jimi Hendrix was a god and Jimi Hendrix told everybody how much acid he took.
T: Are you in the money now or are you still living out of the back of a van?
G: Ohhh I'm living in a loft in a warehouse in downtown St. Paul.
T: So its pretty seedy.
G: I have to walk about 2 blocks to go to the bathroom.
T: So why do you carry on? Why don't you get a regular job?
G: Because it is a regular job.
JT: So from Husker Du do you hope to like make a regular income an income that would support you?
G: I've supported myself for better or worse for the last 5 years off Husker Du. Now mind thats an awful lot of macaroni & cheese.
T: Do you want to be rich & famous?
G: Well lets put it this way, I am an ultimately creative person and money is a resource.
G: Aaah, new movies, old movies?
JT: Any movies, Taxi Driver?
T: Repo Man?
G: I saw a bit of that on TV, I did'nt like Repo Man... harhar
JT: Repo Man, that's a cool movie, forget that you should see Taxi Driver though, its a good movie. What sort do you like then?
To: Blood and guts?
G: No, I'm really squeamish, I don't go in for that. I like... airplane movies! harhar
T: Disaster movies?
G: Depends on the nature of the disaster I guess. I always liked the Titanic one and if it was the Hindenberg I'd watch it yeah, but if it was like "Earthquake" or "Floaad!" harhar or the more boring apocalypses well...
T: Are you gonna learn to fly?
G: The only reason I'm into airplanes is cos I'm afraid of flying, people kind of have an affinity for things that excite them, excitement is a fear activation.
T: Did you come over on a plane?
T: Private one?
G: Jumbo jet.
JT: Why have you got that round your neck (airplane)?
G: Cos its er one of my symbols.
JT: Have you got loads of equipment cos we saw a massive tour truck down the road?
G: Whats massive?
JT: Like a massive juggernaut. Do you know what a juggernaut is. Thats an English thing. Like a bloody big truck.
G: We have an itsy caravan. harhar
JT: Ohhh... how many people have you brought with you.
G: Us and our manager.
JT: Five people... oh oh no 4, 4 sorry.
G: Three in the band. harhar
JT: Oh oh sorry, my mistake.
To: Do you reckon you could sign my arm?
G: Yeah, how d'ya break your left one, its normally the right one that goes?
To: Aaahh well I was skating along and I went like this and then I went... and snap.
G: Mmmm... ooops sorry (pretends to break arm again) harhar
JT: What's this badge you got on Daniel Lambert?
G: Oh, a friend gave that to me, 52st11lbs.
T: Yeah, he was the fattest bloke in the world.
JT: English presumably.
T: Do you always do your autograph in capital letters? Or is it just because its a plaster cast?
G: It says BE CAREFUL
T: Ohh sorry harhar
JT: Ya can't get away with anythin without gettin a question about it.
To: BE CARFUL you spelt it wrong, and what does that say?
G: Grant Hart, I'm not gomno sign my name BE CAREFUL. harhar
JT: Ok, you gettin fed up with the interview or shall we carry on?
G: Lets give it another 2 minutes.
T: Is ther anything you want to say to British kids?
G: I said it for an hour & a ½ up there.
To: To American kids?
G: American kids should be a little more broad minded, so should all kids.
JT: What do you think of all this macho Rambo/Reagan shit in the US?
G: Oh, I think it has a lot to do with penis envy.
Some shit bout war etc. followed.
JT: ...missiles have been launched like a few years ago missiles were launched by computer.
G: Really! Who got it?? harhar
JT: Well I take what I read in the paper to a certain extent, arrrh fuck this.
T: Can you see yourselves splittin up in the near future?
G: If I could it would have already happened.
T: So you get on well together then.
To: Quick, ask about the Meat Puppets.
G: We know how to get along. Its like we're not best of friends or anything like that.
JT: Would you say the other two were your best friends?
G: I would say its a combination of best friends and worst enemies. Nobody can piss me off as much as those guys and nobody can make me feel as happy... some people can maybe.
JT: Are you married?
G: Not exactly.
From here on Grant asked us not to print this cos it was quite personal and he did'nt want the whole world to know, and no he's not queer if thats what your a thinkin. Anyway... later...
G: I'll go join my buddies now. This has been fun.
T: One thing, are the Meat Puppets coming over soon?
G: I've heard plans that they are but er sometimes they have difficulties getting things together.
T: They get homesick or something.
G: Yeah, well they have a real good solid home environment, its like wives and chickens and dogs harhar... no, seriously!
JT: Thanks for the interview, thanks ok we'll mail you a copy where?
G: c/o PO BOX 8646 Minnesota, Mn. 55448.
G: Ta, bye.
JT: Hey, its cool! JT, T: Strange week, strange week, etc. etc...
JT: OK that was Husker Du interviewed by James.T.Coolboy Hawkes and some Terry.T.B. and some other kids. And that was Grant Hart of Husker Du he was unshaven but he was cool and we had a good evening of it and I think the group, being honest and speaking personally for the record, on stage they were quite good, I was just really pleased, its easy to think they're some fuckin rockstars or somethin shredding out the tunes but they were cool coming over and talking to us. OK this is the TTb crew signing off, catcha later in the zine. I love ya...
kissing noises from the crew.
JT: Just leave it on, leave it on if we tape anybody we tape them. Whats this deal here? Keep this handy anyway this is a wristband for me.
Walkin out noises...
JT: What's the deal?
More mumblin... shouts from a scummy soundin H Du...
T: Cool, cool, Husky Doo...
JT: We got it kids, we fuckin got it more shit...
JT: Noway, no way, it was'nt that ass breath, it was that kid that was supposed to be really nice with the top hat on.
To: Yeah, yeah I saw him...
JT: No he was alright actually Tony. He was'nt like a real ass breath. He was sellin a HC compilation tape and stuff. That other kid was moronic. Which way, which way?...
We got the interview, we got that goddam interview!! harhar wheres the motor, did you drive it down here?
T: Yeah, yeah...
JT: You rule, you rule...
shit, the bloody tape recorder breaking down in the Bob Mould... well it broke down before then, anyway it sucks, thats just fuckin cool stuff the way sort of like the way it'll write in the zine, Bob Mould cruises up "hey Bob!" harhar
listen we got a few brains on this so more shit... we haul ass...
T: Shall we listen to it then?
JT: Hold it, what's the deal, whats the fuckin...
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