Tuesday, January 6, 2015

new day rising

Hüsker Dü approached a more melodic noise with the personal psychic pain of this perfect powerline purification.  With the completion of the dense and dark concept double album 'Zen Arcade', the trio went right back into the studio to begin work on their next album.  The sessions took place at Nicollet Studios in Minneapolis, MN with Hüsker Dü co-producing with engineer Spot (Glen Lockett).  'New Day Rising' showcases Bob Mould on guitar and vocals;  Greg Norton on bass;  and  Grant Hart on drums and vocals.  Steve Fjelstad also engineered on the album.  The album would be released only six months later and rise to number ten on the UK indie album chart. 

Norton considered:  "We are not making a conscious effort to sound more commercial, we are simply maturing as musicians and songwriters and are able to play our songs better, and people take that and say the music is more commercial because it is not as rough as the older material. If anything ever does make it as a top 40 hit, that's fine with us, but we're not purposely trying to achieve that goal...For lack of a better term, I guess we do play rock 'n' roll. The terms "punk" and "hardcore" have lost their meaning. When they were first coined, they stood for something, but are no longer representative of music. As far as today is concerned, they are reflections on style and fashion, and we are into music, not fashion...What is the definition of "hardcore?" If you are really involved with something, then you are "hardcore," and we are deeply involved with our band."

Hart would express:   "This is the roll we've been waiting for.  I don't want it to get out of hand.  We just want to keep it right where it is ... You look at the word 'hardcore' and what it really means is hard at the centre. I don't know what's happened to those people to make them feel so cold inside, but I think it's really a very sad thing...That frantic, over-the-edge rock'n'roll lifestyle is a myth that a lot of people out there are wasting a lot of energy trying to live up to,   We've never felt like we had to stop eating or take strange drugs to be creative. We don't feel like we have to die tragic, early deaths to be considered important. I'm a musician, not a fuckin' stock car racer."

Mould muses:   "You get to a point in your band where you stop wondering what people are gonna think when you do something. At a certain point you have to realize that it doesn't matter, and that's probably the reason they like you, because every record is different. Each record that we've put out successively has been a step in a different direction. We tend to change in midstream a lot. Our ideas and stuff. The texture is still the same but the patterns or the tempos are starting to change a lot. But the texture is still real irritating guitar, some real sharp guitar sounds...I don't think we need a producer. We could use a better engineer maybe. People have to realize that a producer is somebody who comes in with a clipboard and tells you how much money you're spending and you should do the chorus two more times on the end of the song. The engineer is the guy who turns the knobs and makes the sounds, balances the mix. We don't need a producer, A producer would be telling us how to write our songs, and that we don't need. We could use a good engineer...There's definitely a [hardcore] genre. There's definitely an attitude that a lot of bands carry. There's a certain way of playing that denotes that kind of music and we're not part of that. If they like us, fine, but I'm definitely not into any kind of movement  ...  I write about what I know and I'm not all that interested in politics. The things I talk about in my songs are probably the same things someone tells their best friend if they're lucky enough to have one. I think most people feel all the emotions we put on an album in a span of 48 hours. People have misconstrued the pessimism and anger in our songs. We're really the opposite of all that; we're not callous, insensitive people. But we're frustrated by the fact that most people seem to end up that way - hopeless, defeated. We're afraid of ending up that way ourselves, and that fear comes out in our songs  ...  To me, hardcore music, whether it was hardcore jazz, or hardcore industrial, or hardcore rock'n'roll, was no rules involved - you could do anything you wanted to, it was the intensity you put it across with that made it what it was. The hardcore punk thing got to have a lot of rules, and when we stopped being associated with those rules - or, as they would like to think, "following" those rules - we were immediately on the out  ...  We fell into this hardcore punk sound, and we quickly moved away from the dogma — the strict sort of anarchy-slash-destroy-the-government thing. By 1985 with New Day Rising, as a songwriter I was already trying to be a bit of an older soul. I started thinking about time, the temporal nature of relationships, opening myself up more personally  ...  It was just a reaction to 'Zen Arcade'.  'Zen Arcade' was longer, darker, moodier, it went through a lot of different changes - there were the little segues on piano and guitars, etc. With 'New Day Rising' we just said to hell with that, let's strip it back down and do what we were doing. It was like starting over again."    


'New Day Rising' 
full album:


All songs written and composed by Bob Mould, except where noted.

side one
0:00 New Day Rising  (Grant Hart / Bob Mould / Greg Norton)
02:34 The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill  (Grant Hart)
05:41 I Apologize
09:18 Folklore
10:55 If I Told You  (Grant Hart / Bob Mould)
13:04 Celebrated Summer
17:06 Perfect Example
side two
20:24 Terms of Psychic Warfare   (Grant Hart)
22:44 59 Times the Pain
26:00 Powerline
28:24 Books About UFOs   (Grant Hart)
31:14 I Don't Know What You're Talking About
33:37 How to Skin a Cat   (Grant Hart / Bob Mould / Greg Norton)
35:30 Watcha Drinkin'
37:04 Plans I Make   (Grant Hart / Bob Mould / Greg Norton)

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