Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mould unleashes 'American Crisis' from upcoming 'Blue Hearts' album

Bob Mould in Seattle in 2014. (Cat Rose photo)

By Andy 

It's in your face, just the way it should be in times like these.

We're a troubled country and Bob Mould unleashed his blistering new song "American Crisis" today as protests continue in the wake of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. On Sept. 25, the song will appear amongst 13 others on his latest "Blue Hearts" album via Merge Records.

Speaking with Andrea Swensson of The Current in a Facebook live interview today, Mould -- a former Minneapolis resident -- said it was hard to watch the senseless injustice, but is amazed to see people taking to the streets and raising their voices.

On releasing "American Crisis" at this time, Mould said, "I've been really nervous for weeks, and especially in the last week. Everything has taken a turn that none of us could have seen, and now that we've seen it, we have to do something about it."

The blue in "Blue Hearts" references the Democratic party, he noted, adding, "Last time I had blue in the title of an album during an election year, we won! So I'm gonna try again." The date was Sept. 4, 1992 when Sugar's "Copper Blue" hit the scene and Bill Clinton won the presidency a month later.

Backed by bandmates Jason Narducy on bass and Jon Wurster on drums, Mould's guitar and vocals are in full-on rage mode on "American Crisis," which features the line, "Ringing in my head only goes away/ When I yell all the things that I shouldn't say/ Ringing in my head never goes away."

Mould said he's chomping at the bit to perform the raw and visceral songs on stage soon.

Hearing the new song transported me back to when I saw the Huskers in the early days and Mould one time nearly became unglued during a particularly frenzied version of "Out on a Limb." An hour earlier we were chatting and joking around, and then on stage he seemed bent on ripping his guitar strings and vocal cords to shreds. A scream into the microphone then was a precursor to a million more vicious shrieks that have blasted out of his mouth since.

"American Crisis" was part of Mould's musical arsenal when it came time to assemble the songlist for last year's "Sunshine Rock," but he felt it wasn't a good fit for the record.

Now's the time -- big time.

With "American Crisis" already penned, Mould branched out from there to complete his "Blue Hearts" journey. Looking back to 1983, he told Swensson it was tough touring with Husker Du as a closeted gay man and having right-wing televangelists, "Telling me I'm less than, telling me this is God's punishment for who I am and how I live. All of that kind of being feeling marginalized, you know, feeling less than, I was feeling that coming back during this current administration."

Now through June 7, all proceeds from "American Crisis" will go to Black Visions Collective
and OutFront Minnesota.

Click here for today's full interview.

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