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Rolling Stone Known as

Rolling Stone Known as


Rock star Bob Mould is the anti-Morrissey; the former member of seminal bands like Husker Du and Sugar is polite, muscular, and openly gay -- and he brought down the house at Coachella. Congratulations on your new album, Life and Times . You just had an album last year; any reason you're so prolific lately?DistrictLine was supposed to come out about six months sooner than it actually did. It was meant to be out in late '07, and when I switched labels from Yep Roc to ANTI it got held up. So actually the writing has been in cycle, but the albums have been out of cycle.

From your Coachella set, it's clear you have a diverse fan base. How do you describe your fans? It's an eclectic mix. Going back to Husker Du in the '80s, that was a very underground, hard-core punk audience that morphed into what we know as college rock or alternative music. In the '90s with Sugar, that music had become so mainstream, and Sugar was a really popular band that got a lot of exposure on MTV and commercial radio; that brought a much bigger casual audience. Now I think the audience is a combination of a lot of the old-time fans, but there's a whole new crop of people coming in. Specifically, with the gay and lesbian audience, I have the bear fans. Go figure.

The music you make has evolved over the years. Are you currently responding to new genres? Over the last decade I've been a real fan of the electronic stuff going on. In the late '90s, when I was living in New York, that's when I got exposed to a lot of that music; Chelsea and West Village and that trancy techno that was everywhere. I got an ear for it and started composing in that style. Through the rest of the decade I've been moving back to guitar stuff. Having said that, Blowoff is the big DJ event we do [at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club], so I get to have my electronica fix there and my guitar fix here. As far as stuff I'm listening to, there's a lot of young bands that are revisiting that hard-core alternative rock sound from the '80s like No Age and Fucked Up.

You're based in D.C. Does it feel like a new city post-Barack? Totally. It started the night of the election. The streets were mobbed with people celebrating. I live in the middle of town and it's simple things: less Escalades flying up and down the street and more single-gear bikes. The city is being humanized. During the Bush administration -- I've lived there since the middle of '02 -- those guys wrecked everything. There's a lot of rebuilding to do, but some of the class war that was there -- whenever Republicans are in power and city services start to shrink the disenfranchised get angry -- now that's starting to dissipate and everybody's getting along better. It's a lot healthier.

Tell me about your upcoming memoir. I'm working on an autobiography that'll be out in the fall of 2010. Michael Azerrad [author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana ] is editing the book and keeping me on track. I think it'll be really interesting; I've never been the kind of person who looks back much on his life, I always try to move forward. So looking back on the past 48 and 49 years is pretty daunting.

Will it put you in the rock and alternative scenes of the '80s and '90s? There'll be a lot of music, a lot of personal stuff. There's nothing that's off-limits. And Azerrad's pushing me. The whole dynamic of Husker Du will be told from my perspective; I've been really reticent about that.

How's your relationship with the guys in Husker Du now? There is none. Every handful of years we have to agree on one or two business things and that's it.

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