[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"]
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"]