Bob Mould: My Life in 15 Songs

Indie-rock vet surveys Hüsker Dü hardcore ragers, electronica-informed solo experiments and more

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Hüsker Dü, "I Apologize" (1985)

Hüsker Dü flew under the radar until Zen Arcade, and all of a sudden we were way up on the radar, and people would say, "Wow, this amazing piece of work — how will they beat this?" That's a great problem to have, but it does create a different kind of self-awareness. For me, it was: Do I keep doing the same thing that people like? Do I challenge myself? Do I go off the grid? You get a little more self-conscious.

Zen Arcade was our coming-of-age record: "OK, I'm an adult now." With New Day Rising, with "Celebrated Summer" and "I Apologize," I was coming to the end of my drinking time and was realizing I wasn't the easiest person to be around at times. I could be a fully functioning yet contrary alcoholic at 23 or 24. So songs like "I Apologize" are clearly me feeling like a bad young man, like I should apologize globally for something I probably did but was not fully aware of because I was drunk a lot. "I Apologize" is a very simple, domestic apology about not taking out the trash and being a little rage-y when I drank. I sang, "I said I'm sorry, said I'm sorry," and it's not so hard to sing it every night. It was the best I could do at the time.

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