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One Track Mind

Bob Mould discusses and performs “Hoover Dam”

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of Sugar's Copper Blue, we talk about one of that album's best songs.

About This Episode

Bob Mould has a deep catalogue that stretches back to the very early ’80s, when Hüsker Dü first began to make its mark on its hometown scene in the Twin Cities. That band would become one of the defining underground rock acts of the ’80s, a massively influential group whose albums still sound vital nearly 25 years after its breakup.

But Mould would find his biggest success with his post-Hüsker band, Sugar. The trio’s 1992 debut, Copper Blue (and its companion EP, Beaster, recorded at the same time but released the following year), would become one of the classics of the alternative era, a nearly flawless collection of melodic songs built on Mould’s signature guitar and vocals.

When Mould was on tour—promoting his excellent memoir, See A Little Light: The Trail Of Rage And Melody—we decided to meet up with him ahead of Copper Blue’s 20th anniversary in the place where he wrote it: New York City. Mould had one of his most creatively fertile periods in a 4,400-square-foot loft in Williamsburg, in a small room overlooking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

He revisited his old place with us for the first time since he moved, telling some great stories—like the time Jeff Buckley sung an a cappella rendition of Bad Brains’ “Pay To Cum” in his living room—and talking about why Sugar’s “Hoover Dam” has remained in his live set for 20 years.

He also offered a bit of a preview to the new album he’s recording right now.

“It’s funny because I’ve been writing for the new record, and knowing that this was coming up, I started thinking about the song again. And sure enough, as soon as I started thinking about it, out comes another song that’s… not the same, but it’s going to be very… not similar either, but related, very much a touchstone. It’s not like Hoover Bridge or anything. It’s just, in thinking about, in preparing for this and thinking about this song and this place, it brings stuff back, and lo and behold, another song falls out sort of from it.”

Filed Under: Music, Video