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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Sugar, "JC Auto" (1993)

With Sugar, I went from a three-piece to a three-piece to another three-piece. But it didn't feel like Hüsker Dü, and it didn't feel like Anton [Fier] and Tony [Maimone, his rhythm section on Workbook]. Anton and Tony were world-class players, and I felt like that's what they wanted. It cost me a lot. Sugar was back to a more economical approach to things, to get back to working with a bass player and drummer who were good with sleeping bags on the floor and touring around. Sugar showed me it was OK to call it a band, even though I was the principal writer.

I brought Dave [Barbe] and Malcolm [Travis] this stack of 30 songs, and at those sessions we did Copper Blue, and then we came up with this suite of songs that was much heavier and much more self-flagellating. A very self-destructive motif as opposed to Copper Blue, which was pessimistic with shards of brightness. Beaster was definitely darker, like in "JC Auto" — Jesus Christ autobiography. File under: "Listen to this if you like 'Bed of Nails'!" It's definitely autobiographical. It touches back on a lot of the less restrained, more self-destructive part of my life. But it's a killer riff. It kills and never lets up.

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