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Bob Mould (part 2)

16 June 2009

Continued from part 1

We wanted to ask you about the forthcoming autobiography. You’re working with MICHAEL AZERRAD, right?

BOB MOULD: Michael is directing traffic. That’s the term that I would use.

Matt: Does he have one of those cones and does he wave it with his hands? (laughter)

BOB MOULD: I’m doing all of the writing and sending chapters off to Michael and he’s doing old-school line editing as well. He’s cleaning up grammer, which I’m usually pretty good at, but sometimes it’s better to have someone else look at it and find a quicker way to say something. I’m definitely doing the writing, the lifting. It’s coming along pretty well. There are two different levels I’m writing at right now. One is purely chronological with all of my notes and thoughts and that’s up through Beaster right now, so I’ve got to pick up the pace. In addition to that, I’m doing the full writing and that’s up to just signing with Warners in 1985. So the short writing is up to ’93 and the real writing is up to ’85.

Anne: Do you find the process of writing for a book harder than writing about your life, in an abstract sense, for a song?

BOB MOULD: It’s much harder than writing songs. That’s why Michael is that other voice who can go “what are you really trying to say here”? It’s good to have someone say “I don’t understand what you’re talking about here” because I’m too close to it. With autobiographies, I don’t know if they’re easy or harder to write in general, but it’s hard for me. You write it once and maybe you start writing memoirs.

Matt: Yeah, you could be like MARIANNE FAITHFULL. She wrote her autobiography, which I just finished reading, in ’94 and then there was another memoir a few years later.

BOB MOULD: Memoirs are fun because there are stories that don’t necessarily hang on the timelines, the things that are more fun, the free-floating chapters… It’s a long process.

Matt: Is there a method to your songwriting? Do you have a schedule or a daily writing time per day, like say between 9 and 12 or something?

BOB MOULD: I get up and try to write in the morning. I try to stay away from the computer and work in the studio. For me, writing is best when I get up. Everything is clear. I don’t have any unanswered e-mails or bills I just paid in my head. Once I start to think about that stuff, I’m not really hearing the music.

Matt:Does that mean that dreams would influence the writing? I have a lot of trouble remembering mine.

BOB MOULD: Yes of course and you gotta get them right after you wake up. You can’t move and you gotta just get ‘em. So sure, to say close to the unconscious state is a good way to make art.

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, you had a label called Singles Only, which put out 7” by SPRINGHOUSE and some other bands. I’m sure that you’re aware that there’s been a lot of talk about the vinyl revival and used record stores actually booming when other, bigger stores are closing down. Would you consider reviving it or doing something similar in the future?

Anne: You need a third job.

Matt: I know you’ve very busy.

BOB MOULD: I’ve certainly contemplated the idea of doing that for my own stuff. It would be nice, instead of waiting 18 months to put out an album, to just be able to put out 7” singles.

Matt: Are you at the point where vinyl sales are catching up to CD sales?

BOB MOULD: Not on my end. My crowd’s in-between. There are people my age who grew up buying vinyl and then there’s my audience, who grew up on CDs and then the even younger audience who’s really into vinyl now.

Matt: I mentioned that because I was talking to someone from a pretty popular local band here recently and he mentioned that most of their sales now come from vinyl. I think that their crowd is mostly the younger sort that you mentioned, though. I’m somewhere between your first and second categories myself.

BOB MOULD: I’m old school, but I think people from 30 to 40 are CD people.

Matt: I’m definitely in that age bracket, but I buy a lot of vinyl, too.

BOB MOULD: I just download stuff now.

Matt: I download a lot of stuff, too.

BOB MOULD: I’m trying to become a lot more nomadic, a little less possession-oriented. It’s easier to put it on a hard drive, I guess.