Bob Mould

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Bob Mould
Bob mould mccarren park pool.jpg
Bob Mould at McCarren Park Pool, July 2007.
Background information
Birth name Robert Arthur Mould
Born (1960-10-16) October 16, 1960 (age 54)
Origin Malone, New York, United States
Genres Alternative rock, hardcore punk, punk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, singer-songwriter, dramatist, disc jockey
Instruments Guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass, percussion
Years active 1979–present
Labels Creation, Granary Music, Full Frequency, New Alliance, Reflex, Restless, Rhino, Rough Trade, Rykodisc, SOL, SST, Virgin, Warner Bros., Yep Roc
Associated acts Blowoff, Hüsker Dü, Loud Bomb, Sugar, Deep Dish
Website www.bobmould.com

Robert Arthur "Bob" Mould (born October 16, 1960) is an American musician, principally known for his work as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for alternative rock bands Hüsker Dü in the 1980s and Sugar in the 1990s.

Early years[edit]

Born in Malone, New York,[1] Mould lived in several places, including the Minneapolis-St. Paul area where he then attended Macalester College.[2] There, he formed Hüsker Dü in the late 1970s, with drummer/singer Grant Hart and bass guitarist Greg Norton.[3]

Musical career[edit]

Hüsker Dü[edit]

Main article: Hüsker Dü

Forming in 1979, Hüsker Dü first gained notice as a punk rock group with a series of recordings on the independent label SST Records.[4] In 1986, they signed with a major record label (Warner Bros. Records), but found only modest commercial success.[5] However, they were later often cited as one of the key influences on 1990s alternative rock, including bands such as Nirvana[6] and the Pixies.[7]

In the late 1980s, Hüsker Dü broke up acrimoniously amid members' drug abuse, personal problems, disputes over songwriting credits, musical direction, and the suicide of the band's manager, David Savoy.[8][9][10] Mould and Grant Hart, the band's other songwriter and vocalist, still take occasional jabs at each other in the press, though the two briefly revisited their Hüsker Dü back catalog together at a 2004 benefit concert for an ailing friend, the late Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum.[8]

First solo period (1988-1991)[edit]

After Hüsker Dü broke up in 1988, Mould sequestered himself in a remote farmhouse in Pine City, Minnesota,[11] having quit drinking and drugs, and wrote the songs that would make up his first solo album.[12] Signing to the newly formed Virgin Records America label, 1989's Workbook eschewed Mould's trademark wall-of-noise guitar for a stripped-down, atmospheric sound featuring acoustic guitars and cellos. Drummer Anton Fier (of the The Feelies and later The Golden Palominos) and bassist Tony Maimone (of Pere Ubu) served as Mould's rhythm section. The album peaked at number 127 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the single "See a Little Light" reached number 4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[13]

1990's Black Sheets of Rain had a much heavier guitar sound, recalling Hüsker Dü's louder, angrier moments. According to the liner notes for the 2012 re-release of Sugar's Copper Blue, Creation Records president Alan McGee verified that total album sales were 7,000 copies.[14] Still, the album peaked at number 123 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the single "It's Too Late" reached number 10 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[15]

Mould also co-founded a record label, Singles Only Label, with Coyote Records label founder Steve Fallon. The label released singles from bands such as Daniel Johnston, Grant Lee Buffalo, Moby, Mojo Nixon, Morphine, Nikki Sudden, and R. Stevie Moore from 1989-1994.[16][17]

Sugar (1992-1995)[edit]

Main article: Sugar (American band)

Mould then formed the group Sugar, with bassist David Barbe and drummer Malcolm Travis. Along with extensive touring, Sugar released two albums, an EP and a B-sides collection before breaking up. 1992's Copper Blue was named as NME's 1992 Album of the Year, and was Mould’s most successful commercial album, selling nearly 300,000 copies.[18]

While in the band Sugar, in 1993 he contributed the track "Can't Fight It" as a solo artist to the AIDS Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization.[19] In 1994, he recorded "Turning Of The Tide" for Beat The Retreat, a tribute album to the English guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson.[20]

Second solo period (1996-present)[edit]

In 1996, Mould returned to solo recording, releasing self-titled album in 1996 (which is often referred to as Hubcap because of the cover photo) for Rykodisc. The album consisted primarily of four-track home demos, with no live drums. The album peaked at number 101 on the Billboard 200 chart, and number 1 on the Heatseekers chart.[21]

In 1998, Mould released The Last Dog and Pony Show, his final album on Rykodisc (who had released all of the Sugar albums in the U.S.). The album was named as such because Mould decided that the tour that followed would be his "last electric band tour."[22]

After the tour, Mould took a break from the music world to get involved with another passion of his, professional wrestling, when he joined WCW as a scriptwriter in 1999 for a brief period.[23] Creative differences with some of the other writers led to Mould's leaving the company and returning to music. The liner notes for the 2002 album Modulate thank some of the wrestlers he associated with, most notably Kevin Nash and Kevin Sullivan.

During a stint living in New York City in the late-1990s, as he more fully embraced his identity as a gay man, Mould's tastes took a detour into dance music and electronica. Those influences were clear on his 2002 release Modulate, which featured a strong electronica influence to mixed critical reviews and poor fan reaction.[24] One song, "The Receipt," was fairly straightforward, according to City Pages: it "can be taken as a barely veiled attack on Mould's old Husker Dü-mate Grant Hart." [25] (In fact, another song on the album ["Trade"] had been written and performed live during his Hüsker Dü days.) In further pursuit of this sound, Mould also began recording under the pseudonym LoudBomb (an anagram of his name), releasing one CD ("Long Playing Grooves") so far under this name.[26]

Bob Mould live in 2005.

His next solo album, Body of Song, had been originally scheduled to closely follow the release of 2002's Modulate. Instead, Mould worked on the album for the next three years, resulting in a 2005 release. By this time, he had changed his mind on touring with a band, and announced his first band tour since 1998. The tour lineup included bassist Jason Narducy (of Verbow), drummer Brendan Canty (of Fugazi), and Mould's Blowoff collaborator, Morel, on keyboards.[27]

In addition to his solo work, Mould also worked as a live DJ in collaboration with Washington DC-area dance music artist Richard Morel, under the collective banner Blowoff. They frequently staged at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. A Blowoff CD was released in September 2006, consisting of songs recorded together by the two. Mould has also done remixes for a variety of dance and alternative rock artists, including a remix of the Interpol song "Length of Love."[28]

District Line was released February 5, 2008. A little over a year later, on April 7, 2009, Mould released his next album entitled Life and Times in the midst researching his life for an autobiography.[29]

Mould ultimately wrote that memoir with Michael Azerrad, the author of Our Band Could Be Your Life and Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. The book, See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, was released in June 2011.[30]

On August 6, 2012, Mould released the first single from his first album on Merge Records, Silver Age on September 4, 2012.[31] It peaked at #52 on the Billboard 200 album chart, #12 on the Alternative Albums chart, and #3 on the Tastemaker Albums chart.[32]

Collaborations[edit]

Mould has made various guest appearances throughout his career. In 1984, Mould played piano on Ground Zero's album Ground Zero.[33] In 1991, Mould sang and played guitar on the Golden Palominos album Drunk with Passion on the song "Dying from the Inside Out." In 1992, he contributed vocals to the song, "Dio" on the Throwing Muses album Red Heaven.[33] In 2000, Mould sang "He Didn't" (written by Stephin Merritt) on The 6ths' album Hyacinths and Thistles.[34] He also contributed vocals to the 2009 Fucked Up cover of "Do They Know It's Christmas?"[33]

Personal life[edit]

Though Mould's sexual orientation had previously been something of an open secret, he was outed in the early 1990s in an interview in the music magazine Spin; he came to terms with being openly gay, even appearing in the movie Bear Nation, self-identifying as a bear.[35][36]

In April 2004, Mould was a co-organizer of the WEDRock benefit concert for Freedom to Marry. "WedRock" was a play on the word "wedlock". The event raised an estimated US$30,000. Mould also contributed the song "See a Little Light" to the 2006 album Wed-Rock: A Benefit for Freedom to Marry, an album to support in the legalization of same-sex marriage.[37]

Pop culture[edit]

Mould's song "Dog on Fire" is the theme song for The Daily Show. They Might Be Giants perform the current version.[38] On December 19, 1996, Mould made a cameo appearance on The Daily Show Holiday Spectacular in an homage duet of "The Little Drummer Boy" with Mould playing the part of David Bowie to Craig Kilborn's "Bing Crosby".[39]

Mould is a passionate wrestling fan and was previously a writer for WCW.

The song "See a Little Light" has been used more than once in various television applications: It was used in the closing scene of the original un-aired test pilot episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer,[40] it became one of the principal theme songs for the HBO series The Mind of the Married Man and was also used in a television commercial for TIAA-CREF (August 2007). Mould also composed the theme for the TLC program, In a Fix.[41]

In 2001, Mould played lead guitar in the house band for the film of John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and on the film's soundtrack.[42] In 2003, Mould also participated in a Hedwig tribute album, Wig in a Box, on which he covered the song "Nailed."[43]

On September 29, 2005, Mould's song "Circles" was included on The OC.[44]

Mould appeared on an episode of Independent Film Channel's The Henry Rollins Show on June 15, 2007.[45]

Mould performed on the Foo Fighters 2011 album Wasting Light, contributing guitar and vocals to the track "Dear Rosemary."[46] He has made sporadic appearances with the band during their Wasting Light tour to perform the song on stage, including on the Conan O'Brien show.[47]

On November 21, 2011, musicians such as Dave Grohl, Britt Daniel and Jessica Dobson of Spoon, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady, Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt of No Age, Margaret Cho, Jason Narducy, Jon Wurster of Superchunk, and Ryan Adams came together at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and played songs from Bob Mould's career. During the concert, Bob discussed a new solo album involving Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster (of Superchunk) due in 2012 and an extremely limited tour of Sugar's debut album Copper Blue.[48]

Discography (post-Hüsker Dü)[edit]

Studio albums
Compilations and live albums
  • Poison Years (1994)
  • Besides (1995), Sugar B-sides compilation; first 25,000 copies with live bonus disc The Joke Is Always on Us, Sometimes (also part of the 2012 reissue of File Under: Easy Listening)
  • Live Dog `98 (2002)
  • Live At ATP 2008 (2009) - Released under the name "Bob Mould Band"
Singles and EPs
  • See a Little Light (1989)
  • Wishing Well + Four Live Tracks (1989)
  • Beaster (1993), with Sugar
  • Egøverride (1995)
  • Paralyzed (2005)
  • The Silence Between Us (2008)
  • I'm Sorry Baby, But You Can't Stand In My Light Anymore (2009)
  • The Descent (2012)
Videos;
  • Circle of Friends (2007)
  • See a Little Light: A Celebration of the Music and Legacy of Bob Mould (2013)[50]
"Various Artist" compilations including individual tracks by Bob Mould
  • No Alternative (1994) - includes "Can’t Fight It"
  • Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson (1994) - includes "Turning of the Tide" by Richard Thompson, performed by Bob Mould
  • Wig in a Box (2003) - includes "Nailed"
  • Wed-Rock: A Benefit for Freedom To Marry (2006) - includes "If I Can't Change Your MInd (acoustic)"


Bands produced[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matt Morello (15 June 2011). "Bob Mould Looks Inward, Shines 'A Little Light'". NPR. 
  2. ^ By Jim Walsh (Fall 2010). "Music Makers". Macalester College. 
  3. ^ By Chris Roberts (14 June 2011). "Bob Mould looks back on Hüsker Dü with 'rage and melody'". Minnesota Public Radio. 
  4. ^ Dave Lang (July 1998). "The SST Records story - Part 1". Perfect Sound Forever. 
  5. ^ Hüsker Dü: Awards at AllMusic. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
  6. ^ Ryan J. Downey (10 March 2011). "Dave Grohl Talks Pseudo Nirvana Reunion On 'I Should Have Known'". MTV. 
  7. ^ Bob Mehr (6 November 2010). "Memphis writer explores legacy of '80s indie-rock pioneers Hüsker Dü". Go Memphis. 
  8. ^ a b Colin Devenish (25 October 2004). "Husker Du Men Reunite". Rolling Stone. 
  9. ^ Chris Heim (19 January 1990). "Grant Hart Putting Bad Image, Husker Du Behind Him". Chicago Tribune. 
  10. ^ "Downside Up". Edge Boston. August 1989. 
  11. ^ Chris Riemenschneider (8 March 2008). "Bob Mould an open book at Dakota". StarTribune. 
  12. ^ Sam Baltrusis (16 June 2011). "Bob Mould walks the ’Line’". StarTribune. 
  13. ^ "Bob Mould Workbook". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  14. ^ Cameron, Keith (2012). "Copper Blue". Copper Blue / Beaster Deluxe Edition (Media notes). Sugar. Merge Records. p. 6. 
  15. ^ "Bob Mould Black Sheets of Rain". Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Singles Only Label". LA Record. 27 April 2009. 
  17. ^ "Singles Only Label". Discogs. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  18. ^ AJ Ramirez (3 August 2012). "Sugar: Copper Blue / File Under: Easy Listening (Deluxe Editions)". Pop Matters. 
  19. ^ Parry Gettelman (10 December 1993). "'No Alternative' And 'Born To Choose'". Orlando Sentinel. 
  20. ^ "RT Covers by Others VII". Beesweb. 23 July 2010. 
  21. ^ "Bob Mould Bob Mould". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Bob Mould. "The Last Dog and Pony Show". Granary Music. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  23. ^ Sinclair, Tom (22 July 2005). "Body Slam". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  24. ^ Music Reviews: Bob Mould: Modulate, Rolling Stone, 2002-04-25, retrieved 2009-04-12 
  25. ^ Minneapolis Music - Bob Mould: Modulate, City Pages, 2002-03-27, retrieved 2009-04-12 
  26. ^ Dan Oko (3 May 2002). "Bob Mould, LoudBomb". The Austin Chronicle. 
  27. ^ Chip Adams (26 September 2005). "Bob Mould's Body Of Song Tour Hits North America". Fader. 
  28. ^ Mark Deming. "Blowoff". allmusic. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  29. ^ Bob Mould Schedules Performances Leading up to the Release of his Latest Solo Effort 'Life and Times
  30. ^ Mould, Bob; Michael Azerrad (2011). See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody. New York: Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 9780316045087. 
  31. ^ "Bob Mould premieres "The Descent" the first single from Silver Age". Merge Records. 6 August 2012. 
  32. ^ "Silver Age - Bob Mould". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2013. 
  33. ^ a b c Paul Hilcoff. "Hüsker Dü Database". Thirdav. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  34. ^ Michael Gallucci. "Wig in a Box". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  35. ^ Simons, Ted (8 December 1994). "Sweet And High Bob Mould's Sugar Proves The Best Listening Is Not Always Easy". The Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  36. ^ Steve Kandell (28 January 2008). "The Spin Interview: Bob Mould". Spin. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  37. ^ Doug Rule (30 September 2004). "Rock the House". MetroWeekly. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  38. ^ Dwight Garner (14 June 2011). "After Metal Music’s Deafening Roar, Hüsker Dü’s Guitarist Pauses to Reflect". New York Times. 
  39. ^ Paul Hilcoff. "Section 13--TV Appearances". Thirdav. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  40. ^ "Bob Mould". IMDB. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  41. ^ "Godfather Of Alternative Rock To Visit SF". KTVU. 14 October 2007. 
  42. ^ MacKenzie Wilson. "Hedwig and the Angry Inch [Soundtrack]". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  43. ^ Heather Phares. "Hyacinths and Thistles". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  44. ^ Mike Sandler (14 November 2005). "File Sharing, electronica and "The O.C.": Chatting with Bob Mould". OnMilwaukee.com. 
  45. ^ "Bob Mould plans January release, previews song on the Henry Rollins Show". punknews.org. 16 June 2007. 
  46. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Wasting Light". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  47. ^ Caryn Ganz (16 September 2011). "See Foo Fighters and Bob Mould Pulverize ‘Conan’". Amplifier. 
  48. ^ Alex Young (22 November 2011). "Video: Dave Grohl, Ryan Adams, Britt Daniel pay tribute to Bob Mould". Consequence of Sound. 
  49. ^ "AllMusic, Blowoff, Album". February 5, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Bob Mould, See a Little Light, Announcement". February 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]