If I Can’t Change Your Mind: Bob Mould

"I loved writing those songs..."

As Bob Mould takes his band out on tour to play Sugar’s classic 1992 debut, Copper Blue, in its entirety, Clash speaks to the man about the 20th anniversary reissue, how playing with Foo Fighters re-ignited his love for slaying big crowds and the making of his new record, due in September.

Perhaps best known for his work with his first band Husker Du in the 80s, Bob Mould has since gone on to develop a dense and eclectic body of work, ranging from early 90s alt heroes Sugar, various solo works, experimental electronica and even remixing.

Twenty years on from its arrival, Mould is currently doing the rounds in support of the reissue of Sugar’s small but potent back catalogue, particularly the band’s debut, Copper Blue. Speaking to us over a surprisingly clear Skype reception, Mould offers his opinion on the concept of reissues; an already frequent practise by many bands in their relative after-lives.

“I think people should do whatever they want with music,” says Mould. “I know there’s so many schools of thought in terms of reunions and stuff. Specifically with coming back to revisit Copper Blue, the simple part of it to me is I loved writing those songs, I loved making those records and I’ve played those songs non-stop for 20 years.

“The idea of repackaging the records and presenting the record in its entirety, y’know, I wasn’t the biggest fan of it when people started doing it,” he adds. “But I’m just sorta like ‘fuck it, whatever’. It’s 40 minutes of a set, people love that record, it’s really fun to play, so no harm no foul.”

Further to the live shows and reissues, Mould is also celebrating Copper Blue’s significance in a slightly different fashion with the forthcoming release of his as-yet-untitled new record, due in September. “For a couple of years now I’ve had my eye on the Copper Blue reissues and the 20th anniversary,” says Mould. “In the back of my mind I always wanted to write a record that doesn’t copy copper blue but maybe complements it. So, the ten songs that make up the new album; it’s pretty much loud guitars all the way so I guess it’ll be a pretty good fit, and a pretty good complement to Copper Blue”.

“I started writing this record once the book was finished. I had a handful of ideas from 2010 but I only really started digging in with ideas in the summer of 11, and truth be told, about half of this record wrote itself around December of 11; not coincidentally, right after I had done a bunch of dates with the Foo Fighters so you can fill in the picture I think.”

The dates with the Foo Fighters saw Mould, a personal hero of Dave Grohl’s, warm up stadium crowds with DJ sets, later taking the stage with the band for a couple of tracks, including Dear Rosemary, from Wasting Light, which features Mould on record. It was an experience that was as much a fan-boy moment to add to Dave Grohl’s personal hall of fame as it was a reminder for Mould of the thrill of the big show.

“Dave was very generous in having me come out and do the Milton Keynes stuff with them last summer and I did a bunch of arena shows over here with them… it was a hoot. Dave’s the sweetest guy in the world and I’ve loved Pat [Smear – Foos guitarist also in The Germs and Nirvana]’s stuff forever and all those guys are great so it was fun to hang with them. And who doesn’t like getting up and playing songs in front of 15,000 people?! It’s actually pretty easy; I can see why Dave enjoys doing it every night. But yeah being in that environment was good for reminding me of what I do.”

Words by Ryan Drever

Sugar will re-issue four studio albums later this month.

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