Bob Mould


Warehouse: Songs and Stories Cover Art Image

Warehouse Interview

[song: "Could You Be the One?"]

BM: Hello world. This is Husker Du, and we're all sitting here around these big microphones, and we're supposed to be here to talk about our new double album on Warner Brothers Records called Warehouse: Songs and Stories. People who have a limited view of the band will think "Hmmm...seems like they're regressing." There isn't as much obvious diversity on this record as there was on Candy Apple Grey, with songs like "No Promise Have I Made" or "Too Far Down." I think people who have learned to appreciate the band in the right context will see that this record has many more facets than any of our previous work. It's a very subtle record; it takes a long time to get used to the material. It took *me* a long time to get used to the material, once it was all ordered and sequenced and mixed. It's not an easy record--there's no songs that jump out and say..."I know you." It's a lot deeper record than it may appear to be on the surface.

GN: I like it. I think it's a lot of fun. It's got a good beat, you can dance to it. [laughter]

[song: "You're A Soldier"]

BM: Texturally, there is a lot of sonic layering on the record, just from a technical standpoint. And production-wise I think a lot less time was spent on the exact technical preciseness of everything. There's a lot of mistakes on the record. A lot of things might not sound the way people are used to hearing them on the radio--drums or vocals or guitars. I think a lot of that was sacrificed to keep the feel of the music intact, to keep the feel of the band as opposed to highlighting any particular instruments or any particular textural sound. I think it's more of a wash of sound. It might be the biggest-sounding record we made as far as sonics are concerned. I think its a real powerful record, it a very live-sounding record, which is nice.

GH: I think it's gotten to a point where if bands like us don't use real instruments or real instrument sounds, that some years down the line everyone's gonna be brainwashed that drums sound a certain way, that guitars don't exist, and that everything is synthesizers. I think it's good that it's got this...liveliness of sound. It sounds like going out and having a good time, rather than visiting some programmer's house.

GN: A trip to the park instead of a trip to the hospital. Something like that.

GH: Something like that. There's more than one snare hit on it.

BM: I think all those things have their place. But when you're dealing with a record like this, it's good to keep the band in mind. It's good to keep the general dynamics of what makes the band sound the way they do--an important part of the record. Not that all those other things are bad...but they're not Husker Du. There are a lot of other bands, there's a lot of other bands doing that right now. I think that's what makes us different--not that we're anti-technology or anti-synthesizer, but that's not what this band is about. This band is three people who play guitar and bass and drums and occasionally play keyboards--and occasionally dump other instruments in for the hell of it. But again, with Candy Apple Grey there was some deviation--I think with this record it's back to a band situation where there's more of a united feel to the record, where everybody was participating equally.

GN: From repeated listenings, I've found it to be very multidimensional. The more you listen to it, the more things you'll notice or hear. And another real interesting thing is listening to it on different systems, you'll hear different things, which I thought was wild.

[song: "Ice Cold Ice"]

BM: I guess that one thing I suppose everybody's interested in hearing about it--it's something that we get when we get mail from people, people who say "why don't you put all your lyrics on your records? You have these cryptic lyrics that fade in and out of songs that never get put on..."--I guess it's the whole concept of addressing lyrics in general with Husker Du. They don't mean anything, they don't mean anything at all. They're not supposed to be dictations. They're not supposed to be some kind of manifesto for people to live or die by. They're only stories. I think that lyrics don't mean anything unless you can apply them to your own situation, apply them to something you may have seen in yourself or seen in other people. I think that's really important. You listen to the radio, or you listen to television and you get bombarded with music that's telling you to buy this, or sell that, or be part of this movement, or be part of the other movement, or not be part of anything at all. And you get people banging on your door trying to sell you Jesus. Lyrics don't mean anything unless you can find a practical use for them. Just like all the other people that come to your door.

GH: The other day--yesterday in fact--i went across the street to get a pack of cigarettes, and this guy comes up to me and starts telling me about this organization. I'd never seen such an aggressive Buddhist before, but this was a Buddhist organization. This guy follows me into the supermarket and he's talking to me about [?] for 10 minutes, and he wanted to get my phone number and making all these freaky demands. And I thought it was behavior not really becoming a Buddhist.

BM: We come in through your speakers or we come in through your television set, like a lot of these other messages. But we're not really trying to sell anything. We do this because this is what we do.

[song: "Back From Somewhere"]

GN: I don't know if it's really too depressing. There's some real boldness and independence on the record, as well as some things to really sit and think about, to apply them to your individuality.

BM: There's a general "up" feel to it, but I think there's some definite bummer moments. I don't want people to take that the wrong way; there's some real personal thoughts on the record and some of them aren't too pleasant, but I think generally the record's got a lot snappier feel to it. It's a lot more of a...I don't want to use the word "classic," but more of a real spirited rock and roll album. It's got a real nice consistency to it, and I think the ebbs and the flows are apparent, and I think they're in the right place. It goes back to having a double album: you have a lot more room to expand, a lot of room to elaborate on a certain emotion. You can do it over the course of a side, as opposed to having to do it in two and a half minutes.

[song: "Bed of Nails"]

BM: I think that people are gonna be really amazed with the cover this time. I think that Grant and Dan Corrigan, our long-time photographer, have really outdone themselves this time. The cover is very, very wild; I don't think you're going to miss it if you go to the record store. The insert was a collective effort, which was a lot of fun to put together. It was sort of strenuous because there was a lot of detail work and a lot of confusion about how it going to get put together.

GH: It didn't help being a week past the deadline on the inserts either.

BM: We were really past the deadline, folks.

GH: Thanksgiving holidays came...

BM: ...we had our collective acorns on the table...

GH: Thanksgiving came at just the right time, because that meant Warners was gonna be closed for a few days. I mean, shucks, we don't take too many holidays.

[song: "Too Much Spice"]

[song: "Everytime"]

BM: When you have time to sit in one place and evaluate your work and take a good look at it... and get everything out of the notebooks and get them in one area you can concentrate on...taking all the notes out of your luggage and out of the glove compartment of the van and out of everywhere else that you end up stuffing them in and out of...having a number of months like that to be able to just sit and assess where you're at with your work, you tend to have a lot more time to be objective about it. And ultimately you end up with a lot more stuff, because you can find it all [laughs]. You can put it all in one place and take a look at it, to try to make that shorter. I think having a number of months off means that you can accumulate all the work you've done over the time you're on the road--the time you're here, the time you're there--you can get it into one place and be objective about it, and ultimately turn it around to be a lot more productive, and just a higher output of work. I think that's something we were all able to do. We'd all written a lot of material during the times that we were touring from September of '85 up till now. And to have a few months off was a luxury, the time to put it together and to have time to rehearse all the material.

[song: "Standing in the Rain"]

GH: What I really enjoyed about working with the material on this new album was that we had a practice space that wasn't anybody's house or anything, so we could pretty much go there independently and work up stuff. It was just really groovy. It'd been a long time since we'd had a space where we could get together at any hours of the night, and we did that. We would rehearse quite late, sometimes we'd rehearse a little early. We found out in the first couple weeks of our practice schedule that we were annoying people at the bowling alley across the street [laughs], but it pretty much went without a hitch.

GN: The practice space was great, sort of like a luxury, that's how I thought of it. Being able to go in and just concentrate on new material, as opposed to... Like Bob said, we were on the road pretty much constantly for like a year and half solid, and it's tough to work on new material during soundchecks, or in the van, or in the motel room. So it was really nice for the three of us just to get together and do new stuff, yeah.

GH: Just to get together and jam was a thrill.

[song: "She's a Woman (and Now He is a Man)"]

BM: The song "No Reservations" is real interesting to me. It sort of straddles the fine line between being a very personal song and being a very noncommittal song. That was a interesting one for me to write, as opposed to sitting down and having a train of thought that was a lot of found images that were just accumulated on loose pieces of paper over a period of months. Again, having the break, sitting down and being able to making some semblance of order out of a lot of nonsense. being able to put it together into something that might mean something. At least to me, and hopefully other people.

[song: "No Reservations"]

GH: ...staying in chains of motels where it's like, "God, how'd they get the room here ahead of us?!"

BM: We were going to stay in a motel once, and we got there and all the furniture was outside in the parking lot! Indiana I think, Columbus, Ohio. Our tour manager had booked us into a motel that hadn't been built yet! They were still building the rooms when we got there. We just went, "Boy, good thing it's warm out. We can sleep out in the parking lot tonight." I don't know how they can advertise them. It's not fair.

[song: "Up in the Air"]

BM: You find that you start losing your mind real quickly on the road, which is always fun. We strongly encourage everybody out there to do it, just to see what it's like. I remember one time Greg flipped his wig because Grant was letting balloons out of the van in Seattle during rush hour...

GN: The exact quote was, "If I was behind this van, I wouldn't want anybody dropping balloons out at me!"

GH: We just looked at each other and laughed.

BM: ...which is one of the most ridiculous things that I think Greg has ever said in his life.

GH: Then I heard from the tour manager that Greg was in fact letting balloons out of the van later on...

BM: ..on the way home from Seattle at the end of the tour.

GN: Through South Dakota at midnight, with nobody around.

BM: We also celebrate holidays with great fervor on the road. We've done everything from eating fried chicken in Fort Worth at Denny's for Christmas to cutting up pumpkins in the van for Halloween. This year, we're going to boil and paint eggs in the truck for Easter.

GH: This'll be our first Easter on the road.

GN: So if you see anybody throwing boiled eggs out of a van...

GH: If you see a vanload of bunnies drive by...

GN: It's probably us.

[song: "You Can Live at Home"]

Special hats off to Mark Athitakis
for this transcription as posted to sugar@csua.Berkeley.EDU on 30 Aug 1997

He notes that this is from the promo-only Warehouse interview disc that Warners released to radio stations and states: "I'm pretty sure everything's right, though I may have attributed something Grant said to Greg (or vice versa) in some cases. Anyway, enjoy."

Warehouse: Songs and Stories Album Lyrics

These Important Years Well, you get up every morning And you see, it's still the same All the floors and all the walls And all the rest remains Nothing changes fast enough The hurry, worry days It makes you want to give it up And drift into a haze Revelations seems to be another way To make the days go faster anyways We're all exchanging pleasantries No matter how we feel And no one knows the difference 'Cause it all seems so unreal You'd better grab a hold of something Simple but it's true If you don't stop to smell the roses now They might end up on you Expectations only mean you really think you know What's coming next, and you don't Yearbooks with their autographs From friends you might have had These are your important years You'd better make them last Falling in and out of love just like... These are your important years, your life Once you've seen the light, you finally Realize it might end up all right It might end up all right now

Charity, Chastity, Prudence, and Hope She gave her little child a name A ward of welfare she became And then one day she met a man Digging through the trash for cans Charity, chastity, prudence, and hope It was his aluminum That attracted her to him And quite a day there did unfold Turning garbage into gold Charity, chastity, prudence, and hope She took that money in a trunk And bought a bunch of worthless junk And now they're back where they began Digging through the trash for cans Charity, chastity, prudence, and hope

Standing In The Rain Looking outside my window And all I see is grey I'm watching the clouds roll by every day And we make a reservation You say you'll be on time I say, "I might be a little late" Well, I pull it together and brush my teeth Comb my hair I stop to think and I can see you there I think of the times you've waited Just for me to care I care about you Checking the clock inside The room we call our own I see that I'm late, I should get going Hop on a local transit Spending all my change And I can still hear the telephone I wanna go back, but I'm halfway to The place where we will meet And I'm half dead on my feet And once I get there, I see Everything's the same Here comes the rain You left me standing I should have guessed that you'd stand me up Why did I even go, now And I guess it goes to show The snow may well thaw out, but it Goes right down the drain You left me You left me You left me You left me You left me standing in the rain

Back From Somewhere Now you look like you just got back from somewhere Somewhere yeah you know that it's true Together we went nearly to nowhere Nowhere really worth going to Standing at the city center In the middle of the winter I was waiting for you and you were due When I got back you said you were leaving Leaving you said right away And coming back for the sake of retrieving Things you'd forgotten on that day Still now my eyes are burning With the sight of your returning Everywhere I look I'm finding you I remember you Familiar places that we turned into gardens Somewhere yeah you know that it's true I'm begging you now a thousand pardons For all of the wastelands we've been through I remember asking whether Or where we could be together You smiled at me and you said soon

Ice Cold Ice Barren lands and barren minds In another place and time I feel I've never known myself Frozen in the sand again See the blank expressions waiting for progression They're standing still in place and time And no one's moving, they're only Standing still in ice cold ice cold ice All machines and all are one Catching up on what's been done Stealing glimpses from the past These impressions always last Never penetrating, always contemplating We sit and count the blessings but we're blessed by icons No one else could Trust in ice cold ice cold ice cold ice We'll stay together till the end Thinking you might be a friend We sit and pray together that they might change the weather My love for you will never die If I sound distant, that's because You shouldn't see me crying ice cold ice

You're A Soldier Running around like an insane maniac Anywhere that you please Taking advantage of anyone handy To satisfy your disease You're a soldier Going off on a big adventure You never want it to end Saving up a million stories To tell to all your friends You're a soldier Knocking over everything that's standing in your way Can you tell me just how many did you kill today You're a soldier Patrolling the world with your little boy face And a grown up gun that shoots You got a fresh scrubbed teenage outlook on terror And a khaki attitude You're a soldier

Could You Be The One? Could you be the one they talk about? Hiding inside, behind another door? Is it only happiness you want? Does wanting a feeling matter any more? It doesn't mean that much to me Sometimes I don't mean that much to you And I don't even know what I'm hiding for And I don't even know what I'm crying for Don't even know what I'm hiding for Could you be the one they talk about? Life is a game that only you can make Maybe I'm about to throw it out I've given it all, that's all I can take Could you be the one Could you be the one Could you be the one that's hanging all around Don't even know what I'm hiding for Don't even know what I'm crying for Don't even know, could you be the only Broken hearted one

Too Much Spice You never used to care for fancy new obsessions You never used to have a reason to be bored Now you indulge yourself with new ways of possession Now you indulge yourself and your feelings are ignored And you're coloring your life with too much spice There was a time, there was a place, there was a reason There was a situation comfortable for you You've tasted everything in this here bag of season But now you're bored and you've run out of things to do And you're coloring your life with too much spice You don't see anything your eyes are so revealing They're sharply focused on looking for a thrill You've turned so numb you never notice any feeling Your thoughts are dead and you've still got some time to kill And you're coloring your life with too much spice

Friend, You've Got To Fall I can hear the treetops in the distance I can see your hollowed eyes What have you done to yourself in this instance? I guess it comes as no surprise I can see the billboards in the distance Writing is on every wall I don't wanna know about your business Sooner or later, friend, you've got to fall Every night it's gotta be adventure The way you live your life's a crime And if you're guilty, will you serve the sentence? You're already doing time There's nothing wrong with having aspirations Nothing wrong with walking tall But if misfortune deals the consequences Sooner or later, friend, you've got to fall I know the difference, you keep your distance I don't wanna know what you've got Is it pathetic to be sympathetic? Maybe you don't wanna get caught Caught up in something that's real That could last for a lifetime Nothing like the disease Disease that's in your mind I can see your life disintegrating Into ashes in your hand And I know you wouldn't want to tell me What is wrong 'cause you're a man

Visionary Panhandle, pedal faster Playing card, listen, master Pointed gun, aim to please No one talking, no one sees Take a stand and collect Images and imageless Think in rhymes every time Someone was a friend of mine Visionary, in a cage, Londonderry Visionary, foggiest notion, visionary Visionary Strip away the silver and the gold Torn up stories in your cage Never time to be a sage So sublime Growing old before your time

She Floated Away With her grandmother's face and her father's brown eyes Her own force of will to her mother's surprise A whole look about her that says that she may She lifted her arms and she floated away She floated away, she floated away She lifted her arms and she floated away She don't give a damn what the other girls say She lifted her arms and she floated away "Let me talk to you mother," she tried to confess "Go ahead honey and wear the white dress Don't let traditions go stand in your way" She lifted her arms and she floated away Well a man has two reasons for things that he does The first one is pride and the second one is love All understandings must come by this way She lifted her arms and she floated away

Bed Of Nails I can walk the bed of nails I'm not the only one But some, they cannot walk the jagged line Callous, concentrating For nails are sharp as lies I run the jagged line From years and years of practice I know just how to stand Alone with perfect balance, hand in hand Prepared with boards and hammers And several bags of nails I could build a wall to lean on Roof above my mind I can see you've got your own plans Please don't drive your nails into this heart of mine I can walk the bed of nails Grin and bear the pain But some, they cannot deal with all these things Always sacrificing For lies are sharp as nails And all the pain it brings Sometimes I just pretend that all the lies are true And I know I might depend on you But if my concentration breaks I'm washed away with pain And then my feet begin to bleed upon my only bed of nails And I'm stuck here in the middle of a sea of lies Inside my bed of nails

Tell You Why Tomorrow I see the sun and I see the calendar The days go floating by so slowly in a blur I read the numbers and I discard everyone I burn my fingers on the pages of the sun I'll tell you why tomorrow Moonlight pulling all the water to the beaches Soaking time into everything that it reaches Turn it upside down and count the spilling sand Seize the moment with a minute hand I'll tell you why tomorrow Men and animals are floating through the sky Every month or so a new one passes by Forming circles 'round the planets in the air Find a newspaper and it is printed there I'll tell you why tomorrow

It's Not Peculiar Is it sensible, life is what it seems When you're living in a dream Could you care enough? While pausing on a thought Can you think of what you've got? (Only you know what matters in your life) When it's pouring out, you're pondering inside And all the times you shouted, everybody cried You've got to learn to compromise To live inside the others' lives It's not peculiar, there's nothing to devise at all On a stormy night, you're sitting on the floor Is it nothing anymore? Waking up to fix it, making up the fight Will it be one more tonight? (Some things we said will never wash away) Taking all of this into another day Recollections of the words we used to say The times you looked into my eyes Whispered vowing not to lie Hear the telephone, it's raining in the fall And you hope I never call Sending messages that never get received But we're trying, I believe (Sometimes we wonder what our lives are for) Taking all of this is taking all of me Sometimes I wish I had the energy When it falls apart like fragments of our lives Give a little bit, and give a lot to die

Actual Condition Well the actual condition of my mind Is elusive as the answers that I find I keep going through transition From doubt to indecision It's the actual condition of my mind Well the actual condition of my soul Sometimes feels like being sucked into a hole And I've come to this position Regardless of religion It's the actual condition of my soul The actual condition of my heart Feels like two hands that are ripping it apart I keep losing definition But still I keep on wishin' It's the actual condition of my heart

No Reservations I hear some news, I read the words It's different every day I get my thoughts from a letter that's lost That someone threw away It says, "Don't give up, 'cause you can't give away" The thought's appreciated Now at the best, you've second guessed And never should you have waited (Never changes, the things I feel inside Sit by a lake and cry Like a shingle on a roof in a windstorm Should I let loose and fly?) An overpass, and some corn in a field Fat birds on the line Dented guard rail, immaculate bumper Protecting your design A broken down shack with a pond in the back Laundry out to dry Some of them barren, some of them whole All of them have no time Come along with me Come along, come along with me We'll go to places that we have never seen And if we're together, we'll have a happy time 'Cause I got no reservations

Turn It Around Several times I've tried Everything to make you feel all right (Turn it around) Is anything working? Several times I've died inside And then I see you get uptight (Turn it around) We gotta get back Turn it around I've got time on my side And you've got time on your side Now it's only time to decide Which side you're on We've tried everything in sight To make it turn out all right Now is the only time Now is the only time Now it's time to try to turn it around Several times I've wished That everything would slip into a void (Turn it around) Does it even matter now? It's time to figure out The things we want, and things that we'll avoid (Turn it around) We gotta get back Turn it around I don't grab for straws anymore And you don't sink your claws anymore But the more I think The less I really know about myself We gotta turn it around Before it goes into the ground Several times tried to turn it around Several ways tried to turn it around There's several morals and there's several plays Several parts that anyone can try It's enough to make you cry I may not think that I'm right But I know the things I've got Are gonna turn out all right We gotta get back, turn it around I may not be anything And you might be the biggest thing But the biggest thing to me Is making this thing work for life We gotta turn it around Before it goes into the ground

She's A Woman (And Now He Is A Man) I can see her loading boxes in my mind Into a belvedere with a trailer pulled behind Well things didn't go exactly as they planned She's a woman and now he is a man There's a vacancy between them everyday And a sense of guilt that's not going away When they get older perhaps they'll understand She's a woman and now he is a man And now he's into something that her heart cannot forgive She's saying to herself, "No, this is not the way to live" He'll never listen to her 'cause his mind is like a sieve Oh brother! Oh brother! I'm telling your sister No way can I resist her With a guilty feeling hanging in their brain And the two of them are potentially insane Well they've had enough which is more than they can stand She's a woman and now he is a man

Up In The Air Pass away the hours, hear the footsteps of the past Walking up the stairs of time, knowing that I'm trapped Cold winds of indifference persuade a movement south Thinking that it's better there The warmer climes that we seek out Poor bird flies up in the air, never getting anywhere And how much misery can one soul take? Trying to fly away might have been your fist mistake Poor bird flies up int he air Never getting anywhere Picking petals off a flower, loves me, loves me not Is love another way to count the things you haven't got? We wish the best to all our friends, young and old alike When the dust has settled in the sky, you can have anything you like

You Can Live At Home You're looking for a chance to give your mind a rest Now please correct me if I'm wrong The story goes that I'm not terribly impressed I guess I've known it all along Walk, walk away, keep on walking away Figured it out that I'd been wasting all my time And time was eating at my soul Now I find comfort only somewhere in my mind Free to pursue another goal Walk, walk away, keep on walking away I can be fine, I can be free I can beautiful without you torturing me Walk, walk away, keep on walking away Go You can live at home now You can live at home now


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