Husker Du Members Forge Working Relationship on Merchandise Sales, Boxed Set
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, bassist Greg Norton said, "We don't physically get together or conference call. But at least there's a level of communication." He and his former bandmates Bob Mould and Grant Hart have long since gone their separate ways. After years as a chef with his own restaurant, Norton is playing bass in a LaCrosse, Wisc.-based band called Porcupine, which is planning to record soon, while Hart is reportedly working on a concept album about the life of the "Unabomber," Ted Kaczynski. Mould has been regularly touring and recording as a solo act.
Norton's words echo those of Mould from early-2016. “You know… Grant and I have talked," he said. "We’re fine. Will we work together? No. I like to run my own ship and I think he likes to run his own ship, and that’s great. I never want to take advantage of the fact that I was in that band. Nor do I ever want to get in the way of its legacy… Nah, no reunion.”
Their contact now is more strategic, and less personal. It began two years ago, when they launched a website to sell the band's merchandise, which naturally prompted a spell of reunion rumors and nearly derailed the detente.
"A few years ago, I did an interview with a paper when we were ready to go live with the Hüsker Dü website that you could order merchandise from," Norton continues. "[The reporter] never asked about a reunion, and I never said anything about a reunion. I said just the fact that the band was communicating was enough. But some website threw up a clickbait title on it like, 'Hüsker Dü Reunion, Who Knows!' and, all of a sudden, rumors were like, 'Oh, my God, Hüsker Dü's reuniting." And Bob got pissed off, and Grant wasn't happy. I literally had to put up a Facebook post like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, everybody, slow down. We're just trying to sell some T-shirts here."
That eventually evolved into the archival project that became Savage Young Dü, which arrives Nov. 10. The Numero Group executives who were pushing the boxed set then found a tape containing an alternative version of their 1982 Land Speed Record album in the piles maintained by friend of the band, Terry Katzman. They knew they were onto something. "If you're a fan of this band, you've heard Land Speed a million times," the label co-founder Ken Shipley said. "But if you heard a totally different version of that same record and it sounded better ... it's like, this is actually what you want, you just don't know it yet."
Despited the working relationship, the guys aren't ready to start hanging out together again. "I've seen Bob once since 1993 when he was doing his book tour in 2011 and playing solo electric," Norton said. "It was interesting. And I saw Grant do a solo acoustic thing a couple of months ago and he plays some interesting arrangements of some of the stuff." But as for a reunion, he says "the idea of the reunion is an absolute no."
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